It’s about time I come clean with all of you with why I enjoy writing about games so much. Sure, the money and fame are great, but what really gets me going is being able to boss around a bunch of writers and then not pay them. Yeah, it’s as great as it sounds. The other nice thing is getting to know people in the biz. Devs are pretty great, and when I put out a call for Christmas help this year, a bunch were happy to comply. Today’s generous donor of codes is Nomad Games of Talisman fame.
Like most sites, we were going to wrap up 2016 with a list of top games by category but a few issues sprung up. First of all, our star chamber is still under construction, so we have nowhere to hold the voting. Secondly, we’re all [actually, just Dave -ed.] extremely lazy and the thought of organizing the whole thing was bringing everyone [again, just Dave -ed.] down. Thus, our year-end wrap up is going to be a little different [Dave is forcing us to do it this way -ed.] Instead of categories, each of us selected our top five digital games of the year. We didn’t care if they were mobile, desktop, 3DS, console, or VR. Actually, I told the writers we didn’t care about platform, but I do care, and forced everyone to focus on mobile and desktop (except Tanner, damn him). Each day we’ll run down one of our top games, starting with #5 today, until we get to the #1 games of 2016 on Friday. Will this be how things work every year? Probably not. This year, however, this is how it’s going down. Let us know how much you hate this format in the comments! [or you could, you know, be nice -ed.]
Ah, the day after Christmas, the day when the Lords of Avarice settle down for their year-long slumber. Oh, wait, I forgot about the Steam Winter Sale. Perhaps we can keep the door to the Vaults of Greed open for a few more days. Here are the top five Stately Picks currently at a low, low price. Treat yourself, buy one for a close relative, or soften up that enemy with unsuspected magnanimity.
“Captain Drigo, sir, system VXG-0199 is now in view of our long-range sensors.” Drigo turned from yet another review of the ship’s inventory projections to face the helmsman. “Visuals if you please, Mr. Gupta.” A three-dimensional image of a star appeared before Drigo. It was a type-G, a yellow dwarf, as promised. Drigo let out an inaudible sigh of relief. That was one anxiety laid to rest. “There she is, sir. A beauty, is she not?”
Back when I was a kid and mom would put on the same Christmas music we listened to every year, I took great offense at the line, “Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” Hey, Bing, why don’t you go straight to hell you old child abusing asshole. Now that I have three kids of my own, I feel that Bing was actually a little soft. “Mom and Dad are only one more whine away from murder*,” would be a more appropriate lyric. Unfortunately it doesn’t rhyme, so we’re stuck with the original. Anyway, today is my kids’ last day of school before we enter into two full weeks of familial bliss. It’s not even a full day, they get out of school at 11:30. Kids these days, amirite? What this means for you, dear reader, is that I’ll be up to my armpits in teenagers with one ungrateful first grader thrown into the mix. Getting content up on the site is going to be a hit or miss proposition from 11:30 going forward. I can’t promise I’ll have a lot of time to write, but I will try to get content up nonetheless. How is that possible? Read on.
I love me some Martin Wallace and Steam: Rails to Riches is one of his finest contributions to game shelves everywhere. A digital version was released last year from Acram Digital and it was polished and shiny with one glaring exception: no online multiplayer. Today, that’s been remedied. It’s just been updated to include asynchronous play and I think someone needs to organize a tournament.
[We’d like to introduce you to the FNG at Stately Play Manor, Nick Vigdahl. You might have seen his work at another site whose name eludes me right now. Pocket something. It will come to me. Anyway, as the FNG, we threw Mario at him all the while muffling our laughter at his misfortune. Instead of pouting about having to review a rather shallow runner, Nick decided to look at Mario in a larger light. I think you’ll see why he’s a welcome addition to the site, and hope you help us in welcoming him aboard. -ed.] Following months of hype and domination of prime App Store real estate Super Mario Run was released to eager iOS gamers last week and the user reviews are, well, let’s say less than glowing. Mario has been reviewed over fifty-four-thousand times in just a few days—a staggering number—and is averaging about two-and-a-half stars. Not great. So what gives?
I’ve not kept my admittedly somewhat disturbing love for Pathfinder Adventures well hidden since its release earlier this year. Despite its bugs and garish, in-your-face pleas to spend money, I simply haven’t found a better game on mobile all year. Despite being a card game that feels awfully themeless on the tabletop, Obsidian managed to create what might be the best RPG experience currently available on an iPad when they ported Pathfinder over. The only thing holding it back was the slow leak of new content. Over the past few months, that slow drip has turned into a steady stream and yesterday we finally reached the end of the road. The sixth and final adventure deck in the Rise of the Runelords campaign has been released.
Cheaper than a bag of Perry miniatures, more bang for your buck than a Legend of the Five Rings starter deck; Warbands: Bushido is a lightning-quick slice of Early Access turn-based multiplayer tactics. And it is素晴らしい*. * bloody good gear.
Season 2 of new content for the super heroic cooperative card game, Sentinels of the Multiverse, is underway in full force with the just released mega-expansion, Vengeance, which is live on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac.