iOS, Android • Dave has given me the impression that HexWar are the Lucy van Pelt to our Charlie Brown, repeatedly advertising wonderful games and delivering troubled ones once we get our hopes up. I assume that, once the running gag had been established, the challenge for Charles Schultz was to find a way to create interest in a joke with a predictable ending. With Lightning: D-Day, HexWar did it by translating to app from a well-regarded, unusually simple WWII card game famous for its poorly-written rules. I had hoped that the combination of a lower degree of difficulty than their ambitious past games mixed with an easily addressed problem in the cardboard version made this a superb candidate for an unqualified HexWar success. Then again, we all know how this joke ends.
iOS, PC/Mac • It’s been a long time since I’ve played a true RPG on my iPad. Sure, there are a ton of games with RPG elements in them–Pathfinder Adventures immediately come to mind–but nothing with the joy of building your characters from scratch and watching them level up while working your way through a well-told story. Thus, I’m pretty excited for West of Loathing. Not only is it a “real” RPG, but it offers a graphic style that sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen on the App Store.
iOS, Android, PC • When Onirim launched earlier this year, it was a fun little diversion, a perfect way to kill some time while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. Apparently, Asmodee wants us to think of it as more than a diversion and, as such, keeps adding more and more content to the game, pushing it closer and closer to GOTY material. Today, not only did Onirim receive a major expansion, but it also spread its wings and is now playable on your PC.
iOS, Android • When December finally rolls around, I think it’s safe to say that Tinytouchtales will have two contenders for Game of the Year. Back in March they released Card Thief, a complex stealth-based card game about looting castles and avoiding the guards tasked with protecting said loot. Next week they’re releasing GOTY contender #2, Miracle Merchant, a card game whose complexity is more akin to their previous GOTY winner, Card Crawl.
PC/Mac (mobile version coming soon) • When Antihero launched for PC/Mac last week I assumed that, like any board game, I would get 3-5 plays in and be ready to put quill to parchment and regale you with opinions so clear and well thought out that they’d bring a tear to your eye. While Antihero is definitely a board game, I found that 3-5 plays simply wasn’t enough to see everything it has to offer. I’ve worked my way up through the campaign and several skirmish games, and even an online game or two and I think that I finally have Antihero’s nuances all sorted out. I can’t promise that my florid prose will bring a tear to your eyes, but I can promise you that Antihero doesn’t disappoint and is a well designed and intriguing board game.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • All the big news coming out of the Nomad Games‘ camp the last few months has revolved around their gamebook/RPG mashup, Fighting Fantasy Legends. We’re so jacked for the FFL release next week, that it’s hard to remember that Nomad makes a few other pretty great games for your touchscreen or desktop, namely that old standby, Talisman. This weekend Games Workshop is having a “Skulls for the Skull Throne” feature on Steam which features all of GW’s titles on sale from 25-90% off. You can find those here, but we’re going to focus on what this means for our favorite roll-and-move board games, Talisman and Talisman: Horus Heresy.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Earlier this year, 2016’s best mobile title made its way to our desktops and laptops when Pathfinder Adventures was launched on Steam. While more platforms isn’t a terrible thing, most of us were far more interested in what was going on content-wise with Pathfinder, which hadn’t seen any major content additions since the Rise of the Runelords campaign came to an end last year. We had heard, from Pathfinder’s new publisher, Asmodee, that more content was coming, but what and when was in left up in the air. That all changed this morning.
iOS, Android • Over the weekend I was invited to partake in designer Tim Fowers‘ next foray into the mobile gamespace, Burgle Bros. His previous board game port was the absolutely fantastic, Paperback, so I was immediately on board for checking out whatever Tim was working on. The only difference is that I’d played the cardboard version of Paperback before the app landed whereas Burgle Bros. was a completely new entity for me. Let’s take a look.
iOS Universal, Android • Last week an observant reader pointed me toward a Touch Arcade story in which they praise the game, A Planet of Mine, to the high heavens. Having not heard of this apparently hidden gem, I immediately went and downloaded it and…well, I’m not sure. Is it worth downloading? Absolutely. Is it the bee’s knees? Depends on how smart the bee is.
PC • A long, long time ago there was a brand new developer that wanted to make high quality, complex war games for iPad called Shenandoah Studios. Sounds crazy, I know, but it really happened! You could say they succeeded, with fairly amazing releases such as Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow proving that complex strategy on iPad wasn’t just a pipe dream. In 2013 they ran a Kickstarter for their magnum opus, Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, an American Civil War title for iOS as well as a cardboard version. Nearly 1000 folks gave them close to $30K to develop it. As of July 18, 2017 those backers haven’t seen hide nor hair of Gettyburg on their touchscreens, nor their tabletops. Instead, last week a version for PC arrived on Steam.