iOS Universal, PC/Mac • Being old and lazy, I hadn’t heard of forma.8 until yesterday. It’s been on Steam since February, but that’s Alex’s domain, and I hate stepping on his toes. Plus, did I mention I’m lazy? Searching Steam for new games just isn’t my bag. Luckily, forma.8 has arrived on what is exactly my bag: the App Store. Retitled forma.8 GO, it brings the open-world exploration and action to our small screens. Oh, and it’s on sale.
iOS, Android • At some point, Tinytouchtales will release a dud but, to quote Aragorn, it is not this day. Over the past few days, while neglecting my Stately duties, I’ve been playing the beta of their upcoming alchemical card game, Miracle Merchant. It’s pretty freaking great.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • And…we’re back. Sorry for the lack of content this week, but summer vacation started this week for my kids and, coincidentally, my wife has been gone since Sunday on a business trip, leaving me with no time to myself to get anything written. While summer will make it a little harder for me to get content up, I don’t plan on going AWOL very often, so I apologize for the past few days. Let’s get caught up, shall we? The biggest news of the week (maybe?) comes from our friends at Handelabra who have announced the next major update for Sentinels of the Multiverse is arriving on June 22.
PC • Qvadriga was one of those titles that few people had ever heard of, but those that had absolutely loved it. I’m quite confident that Qvadriga was (and probably still is) in Owen’s top 5 mobile titles of all time. While the title was published by Slitherine, the developer was Turnopia. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of them either. Turns out they’re still hard at work on other titles, with their latest just heading to beta now. It’s all about ancient naval combat and is called Mare Nostrum.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • When Terra Mystica was released for iOS and Android back in April, I had hoped to get a review up about a week or so after release. Surely, one week would be enough time to get a few games in and form an opinion. You would think so, but then Race for the Galaxy happened and the rest is history. Luckily for me, this week I can give Terra Mystica a go on my Mac instead of my iPad, meaning I can play it without RftG softly whispering my name.
iOS • Format plays much the same role in modern writing that fate played for the ancient Greeks. Monument Valley 2 is exactly what that title suggests, and the original was so popular that there’s little need for reviews. But I’m a game reviewer, and to resist describing it would invite the intervention of displeased gods. So: Monument Valley took the inspiration for its puzzles from M.C. Escher, its visual style from Helvetica and sunsets, and its lightly-presented narrative from maturing, regret, and making amends (and how distinct are those, really?). It was the sort of gem which made people feel like there was still something they could use to show off the potential of touchscreen devices to jaded onlookers. MV2 refines that success very gently.
iOS, Android, PC • If you asked me my pick for Game of the Year on May 2, I would have had a hard time narrowing it down. Let’s face it, 2017 has been a pretty great year for mobile apps with releases like Onirim, Card Thief, and Warlock of Firetop Mountain just to name a few. On May 3rd, however, Race for the Galaxy landed on the App Store and I can honestly say that I haven’t played another mobile title this much in a long, long time. It’s nearly perfect in just about every way and the few remaining issues are on Temple Gate‘s radar. In fact, they plan on having them all cleaned up on June 27.
iOS, Android • Jaipur on tabletop has long been highly regarded as a fairly light and quick, but still satisfying, economic game. The translation is everything we could hope for from an Asmodee digital title. Asmodee’s online service could improve in numerous ways (most notably by allowing asynchronous games), but they tend to choose games which support relatively large player bases so it is, at least, usually possible to find opponents. Solo play includes a generous campaign with a variety of tweaks to the formula, and, of the three AI opponents, only the easiest seems like a pushover.
iOS, Android • Few games do what they set out to do as well as Battle of Polytopia. Create a 4X game with depth and strategy that plays in 20 minutes? We can do that. Part of that success comes with developer Midjiwan‘s constant tinkering. Their latest update is set to arrive on Thursday, and it will introduce a new clan to the mix.
Android, PC • Last week the somewhat surprising news broke that Asmodee and Obsidian had joined forces, and that Asmodee would now be publishing Pathfinder Adventures for PC and mobile. The Asmodee surprises keep coming with this week revealing that they’re tackling one of the most beloved digital games out there: Carcassonne.