Frozen Synapse. The Samaritan response to Earl Grey going cold during CS 1.6 matches. A dignified serving of tactical WEGO that kept the brew hot and the neurons firing. It was the firearm surgery of Counterstrike, but field-stripped to core components and removed from the Hindbrain for proper turn-based deliberation. Every action you’d pull in a regular realistic shooter could be replicated in fastidious detail. And ruminative sipping. When Frozen Synapse 2 was announced earlier this year, I wondered how Ian and friends could possibly improve upon an already proven clutch of systems. Turns out Mode 7 like to dream a little bigger.
While 4X is a very close second, I’m pretty confident that my favorite game genre is the city builder. To this day I still play the great city builders from Impressions like Pharaoh, Caesar, and Zeus. And don’t get me started on my all-time favorite, Children of the Nile. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I’ve been high on Colossal Order‘s magnificent Cities: Skylines from the start. A brilliant and beautiful city-builder that was lacking only one thing since launch: the ability to destroy your creation. That omission has now been resolved with the just released Natural Disasters expansion.
I love geeky tabletop games, especially the kind with a dozen different decks of cards, scores of specialized counters, multiple boards and player reference cards with charts and tables. Call me Ameritrash, but that’s the way I like it. Unfortunately, I have young children: my oldest is taking an interest in games now, but at age 5 he’s not ready for Twilight Struggle or Terra Mystica yet, and my youngest is mostly interested in teething on the pieces. As a result, I mostly play my board games on a tablet these days, and keep notes on which ones I might want to pick up when the kids get older. I say this because Space Food Truck is a digital board game. There’s no print edition yet, and that’s a shame because if there was, I’d have purchased it and put it in a place of honor in my collection, there to wait for the day we can sit down as a family and play together. If you haven’t picked up on my subtle hints, what I’m trying to say is that I love this cooperative multiplayer game.
1997 might have belonged to the triumvirate of genre-stompers — Total Annihilation, Age of Empires, and Myth — with a hearty sci-fi Blizzard chaser the following year, but there was one game that fought adversity and lived on. Netstorm: Islands at War was an innovative strategy effort that earned the title ‘Best Game Nobody Bought‘, largely due to anyone owning the demo being able to convert it to the full game. Ah, those halcyon days. Netstorm did however garner a small but dedicated fan-base, who praised its interesting and comparatively static tactics in contrast to the build-rush nonsense of its peers.
We’ve known about the flood of board game ports that tabletop giant, Asmodee, is planning on brining to digital. Time to grab your galoshes, because the flood is beginning today with the release of the 2015 SdJ winner, Colt Express.
Arrival appears to be the hot new business at the box office. Being industrial-grade Parentcore, I’ll get to it when I can — presumably just before heat death ruins home-streaming — but have it on good authority that Denis Villeneuve’s film is the new Contact, stripped of cheese. Alright, alright, alright.
This post originally appeared at TIGSource. A Good Bundle is a rag-tag alliance of a great many indie game devs, from big dogs to folks with one smallish title to their name. It’s a game bundle, sure, but it’s not your typical bundle. There are 151 games (and tools) by 115 different developers in here and it’s all for charity: split 50/50 between Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Tagline: “A Good Bundle is a bunch of creators sharing their works to combat some of the ugliness in our world.”
Over the past few years the French board game publisher Asmodee has played the role of Pac Man with the rest of the tabletop industry being small white dots. Publishers like Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight, and F2Z Media have all fallen under the Asmodee umbrella. One benefit for us is they seem intent on porting as many of their titles to digital as possible. Colt Express, Potion Explosion, and Mysterium are all planned for release before the New Year and they also just announced that Spot It! will be coming to digital in early 2017.
Everyone hates words games. It’s true. Well, almost everyone. Your grandma still loves Scrabble, and so does that one tool who’s memorized every two-letter word that begins with “Q”. Do we want to game with those people? Hell, no! (Grandma excluded. It’s fun to game with grandma!) What if I were to tell you that there was a word game that didn’t suck? What if we took one of the most popular games of the past 10 years and mixed it with word games? How would that work? Let’s take a look at Paperback.
Are you a creep? Put away the Coke Babies import, you don’t need to show the severity of your creepdom. I’m talking of Knuckle Cracker‘s magnificent little RTS trilogy, a twist of tower defense and supply chain optimisation. Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal has been on Steam since 2014, but it has finally been joined by its elder siblings from 2009 and 2011.