PC • In 2016, Stonemaier Games released the engine building mech/farming crossover board game Scythe to much acclaim. The game quickly shot up the ranks on BoardGameGeek and currently sits firmly at number seven, ahead of classics like Agricola and Puerto Rico. That’s in no small part to its worldbuilding –a post WWI fought with giant mechs– along with the addition of strategic 4x gameplay and Jakub Rozalski’s outstanding art. For those reasons, Scythe: Digital Edition, developed by The Knights of Unity and published by [our dark overlords -ed.] Asmodee Digital, is one of the most anticipated titles of 2018. Recently it landed in Early Access which seemed like a good time for us to attempt the conquest of Eastern Europe.
PC, PS4, XBox One • There’s an inbound Steam summer sale bearing six-two-two-carom-one-eight, Statelies. You know what that means? That means, with any luck, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock might be had at a lovely discount, alongside the most recent and most wonderful DLC, The Broken Alliance. That is, if you’ve not already played it. And if not, here’s impetus in the form of an internet-grade list as to why Deadlock is worth a punt.
iPad, Android Tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Sentinels of the Multiverse was deluged with constant updates, new content, expansions, and more after its release and at a pace that would make most developers shut down from exhaustion. You’d think Handelabra would have a hard time replicating that with their latest baby, One Deck Dungeon, but it’s starting to feel like déjà vu. They’ve already added the Phoenix Den and tomorrow the roguelike card game is getting not one, but two new characters to kill with poor dice rolls: Fanatic and Caliana.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • Ah, nothing like a warm island breeze cooling you off as you’re sipping a daiquiri from a comically tall glass on a hot beach. The only thing that could make it better would be pocketing away millions of corrupt dollars while doing so, all while avoiding being handcuffed and taken away to a reeducation center because you happened to mention that El Presidente’s mustache was looking a tad droopy this morning. If you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, welcome to Tropico, the city building game where you play the corrupt leader of a banana republic. The original Tropico is more than 15 years old now, but it’s had a slew of sequels and, later this year, it will make its debut on iPad.
iOS, Android, PC, Switch, PS4 • We mostly know Nomad from their continuing love affair with Games Workshop’s fantasy classic, Talisman. Last week they released The Woodland expansion which, if you’re not counting, was the 7,426th* expansion released for Talisman since January. Of course they’ve done some other games as well, most notably a team up with Alderac Entertainment Group for a digital port of Smash Up. Well, they’re teaming up with AEG again, this time bringing 3 of their titles to PC, mobile, and some other platforms as well.
PC/Mac/Linux (today); iPad, Switch, Consoles (later) • While it’s one of the most polarizing titles available for the iPad, Darkest Dungeon on Steam is less divisive. The game still sports a “very positive” rating on Steam more than 2 years and many updates later. Today that will be put to the test when the latest major DLC, The Color of Madness, arrives. From what I can tell, the expansion is sure to be a hit. The test is going to come from the changes being made to the base game at the same time. Let’s just say the list of changes coming to DD is massive.
I’m making an infantry fighting vehicle for my three kids, which can also read as “guy makes 1:4 scale miniature under camouflage of parenting”. There’s more to it than that, though. Sitting back, nine-odd months on from starting this outrageous project, the act of making my kids an insane billy-kart is a pretty powerful allegory, and though that ball of gristle I call my heart doesn’t suffer cheese lightly, the journey continues to be an important one of personal growth.
If you didn’t figure it out from today’s posts, it’s Father’s Day weekend here in the US. For a lot of dads this means going golfing, attending a sporting event, or just getting an uninterrupted couch nap. For us, it means that we get to play some games. Here’s hoping that goes for you too because, as we all know, golf sucks.
The ball was only six pounds and you could hear the pins snickering as it drunkenly rolled down the lane, pinballing from the bumper covering the right gutter to the left. Somehow, magically, it struck squarely between the one and three and, unlike a heavier ball’s urethane devastation, the small green ball bounced gleefully between pins, knocking some down and wobbling others. When all was said and done, however, the snickering had stopped and all ten pins lay prone, defeated. Harry stopped jumping up and down and turned to face me with a smile as big as Christmas morning.
I wrote recently that I think the distinctive art of game design resides in tailoring the elements of the game itself (mechanics, art, etc.) to create the experiences of players. Blizzard has created a particular experience to which I connected very deeply, and it illustrates that idea well. When I play Overwatch, I play a lot of Reinhardt, a character who carries a massive hammer and can generate a wide shield. One reason, I confess, is because I’m so bad at aiming in fast-paced games that a meleé-focused character helps avoid a weakness so exaggerated that one wonders whether I must reach superheroic heights in other areas [He doesn’t. -ed.]. But the other is that his shield evokes for me a particular ideal of fatherhood. I don’t much go in for tradition, or belonging, or the comforts of occupying clearly-identified roles, so the power of this one over me earned some attention.