One of the greatest memories I have of my Good Ol’ DaysTM working at Pocket Tactics occurred in 2014 when Owen went apoplectic regarding Atari’s botched release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 4. Seriously, go read his review. It’s a beautiful thing. Not only did RCT4 fail to bring a fascinating simulation to mobile, it basically became the face of the free-to-play downfall of the App Store. Here was a classic title with promise that was retooled to wring as much cash out of players as possible, fun be damned. I had given up on seeing a decent RCT game ever make its way to mobile but then this week I spotted something else over at our old digs. A five-star review for something called RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic. What the hell?
Good news, everyone! Cyberstorm is back! And by back, I mean rescued from relative obscurity and decay in the wastes of abandonware.
Mysterium was one of the victims from the famous Colt Express fallout of 2016. You might remember that Colt Express was launched by Asmodee with much aplomb, only to be met with rather dour reviews especially concerning the state of its multiplayer system. Asmodee quickly pushed back the releases of Mysterium and Potion Explosion to 2017 to work things out. I’m not sure if you noticed, but it’s 2017. As such, we can expect Mysterium to materialize this Thursday on all platforms.
Pocket Tactics is running a contest for free copies of Demon’s Rise, a tactical RPG for iOS which has a recent sequel of which Nick Vigdahl thought very highly indeed. Should you like to check out Demon’s Rise (the first of his name), PT Editor-in-Chief Joe Robinson has extended the hand of friendship, and wanted specifically to make this offer to Stately Play readers because he’s pretty good at Venn diagrams, and a mensch. So you can safely visit their contest without feeling like he’s going to ask you kids to get off his lawn. I can’t personally vouch for Demon’s Rise, but I’ll say this: I went to the game’s official site looking for some screenshots, and the background of the page appears to be an armed, armor-clad polar bear with a bit of an algal fringe standing over a couple corpses. My current hypothesis is that it starts from the premise that it was a bad idea to teach polar bears about warm weather. If you want to enter, head on over to Pocket Tactics and tell ’em Kelsey sent’cha. Actually, don’t do that. It’s a bit too kitsch.
The Cold War is singular in world history for the level of political complexity combined with the possibility for diplomatic failures to bring about a conflict which could engulf the known world in a horrifying level of destruction. But the period of the Avignon Papacy offers similarly high-stakes drama and intricate machinations, and is relatively unfamiliar to most modern audiences. As such, it’s an ideal setting for a heavy-weight successor to Twilight Struggle, or perhaps a highly thematic, negotiation-heavy behemoth (a role which, admittedly, is likely adequately occupied by Here I Stand). Avignon: A Clash of Popes isn’t one of those. It’s a small game which is actually less portable on an iPad than in physical form. It aims to offer a light, quick, but tense two-player contest between Rome and Avignon, in which each tries to recruit the support of influential people. You also occasionally recruit peasants, which probably won’t help much, but you never know.
Despite the recent death of SolForge, there’s still hope for mobile CCG fans who don’t want to go crawling back to Hearthstone. Duelyst has been around on PC/Mac for a bit now and it’s one of the few CCGs that can actually hold my interest. Lucky for us, it appears to be coming to mobile in Q1 of 2017.
Despite what you might be hoping, Avignon: A Clash of Popes does not feature Stephen IV and St. Peter performing the fish slapping dance. Nor does it feature Boniface VI riding a pegasus while holding the severed head of Sixtus II. Despite that, it sounds like a pretty great game.
One of the more popular CCGs on the App Store that wasn’t Hearthstone was SolForge from Stone Blade Entertainment. Turns out it wasn’t as popular as we thought. Yesterday, Stone Blade bigwig Justin Gary announced that not only was SolForge suffering from a terminal illness, but that it only had a few weeks to live.
I’ve spent the last ten days doing not much more than yelling at children and trying to drink away this never-ending headache. No luck thus far, but tomorrow the sun shines again and the house belongs to me and me alone (and the dog, but he’s way less annoying than the kids). As such, I can start looking at the App Store again to see what I’ve missed. In theory, there shouldn’t be much as the App Store has been shut down over the holidays. You can imagine my surprise this morning when I awoke to find that an expansion to one of my favorite games was released early last week. Pretty sneaky, sis.
I was going to write a long diatribe about 2016 to wrap up the year, but instead I want you all to look at my GIMP skills in that header pic. Yes, that’s a crown. I also wrote in that really sweet “#1”. I figure I had to tell you that it was me because I’m guessing most of you would assume we dropped beaucoup bucks on a real graphic artist. I mean, I don’t like to brag, but I kind of like to brag. We’re finally here! Our number one games of 2016. What’s at the top? Will anyone pick a mobile game? Will anyone not pick a mobile game? Will David and Maddie ever hook up? [I’ve only seen seasons 1 and 2 of Moonlighting. I’m saving up for the season 3 blu-ray -ed.] All these answers (not all of them, actually) will be answered beyond the break.