Tabletop • The last time Eric Lang and Cool Mini or Not joined forces on Kickstarter, it cost me just shy of $300 to get about a million boxes full of some of the coolest plastic figures I’d ever seen. While this made me happier than the birth of my 3rd child, my wife thinks Eric Lang is the devil incarnate and Cool Mini or Not a writhing den of pure evil intent on destroying our bank account. Not sure about the Eric Lang part, but she’s not too far off on Cool Mini or Not. Unfortunately, yesterday they launched their latest joint Kickstarter and, yes, I’ve already pledged.
iPad, PC/Mac • After my torrid love affair with Hearthstone cooled, I kind of figured I was done with the whole CCG thing. After all, a big part of Hearthstone’s appeal was the setting, which I’d spent time in since the 90’s, and the polish that only a billion dollar developer can provide. 2016 surprised me, however, with not one, but two, new CCGs due for mobile that piqued my interest. The first is Duelyst, created by board game designer Eric Lang, and the second is Faeria. Both offer a CCG experience that incorporates a board and tiny little critters you can move around, but Faeria has one advantage over Duelyst, it’s been released for iPad.
iOS Universal, PC • Other than the upcoming adventure title Thimbleweed Park, the future of classic point-and-click adventure titles on the App Store looks pretty bleak. Sure, there’s Telltale, but their titles feel more like interactive movies than the point-and-click adventures of old. Luckily, we still have Wadjet Eye Games, makers of the fantastic Blackwell series of games for iOS. They’re the lone soldiers on the point-and-click frontier and their latest, Shardlight, has just made its way from PC to iOS.
iOS Universal, Android, PC • A few weeks ago one of the big muckety-mucks at Playdek contacted me to let me know that the Stately Play emails he’s received have misspelt “postmaster” as “plostmaster”. Being the socially stunted infant that I am, I followed up his friendly email by neither fixing the problem nor emailing him back and thanking him for the information. That’s the kind of thoughtful, thankful response I guarantee when you contact me here at Stately Play. Turns out, he probably was too busy to read any reply I might have sent anyway, as Playdek’s first-born, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, has been taking up much of their time culminating in today’s release of the latest expansion, War of Shadows.
iOS, PC/Mac• Failbetter Games just completed their Kickstarter for Sunless Skies, the spiritual sequel to indie smash-hit and certified (by yours truly) best game of all time, Sunless Sea. They blew past their goal of $125k, raising almost four times that much and unlocking stretch goals for Sunless Sea and Fallen London as well as Failbetter’s forthcoming spacefaring adventure. The only disappointment of the campaign was that it was conducted neither in pounds sterling nor the Echoes approved by the Masters of the Bazaar, presumably because the only thing riskier at the moment than raising capital in a fictional currency would be relying on the pound post-Brexit. Residents of the rebel colonies can take some small satisfaction in the estimation of the USD to be momentarily more stable than the currency of the crown, but they should have a care – there have been whispering of late that Mr. Iron has been seen in the Forgotten Quarter and, stranger yet, at the Cumaean Canal, working an abacus with inhuman speed and chuckling softly.
iOS, Android • There are a lot of great puzzle games for mobile, but even amongst the best we can separate them into The Room titles with everything else a step behind. Fireproof Games blazed onto the mobile scene back in 2012 with The Room and showed everyone how to utilize a touchscreen. Not only were there beautiful graphics and a creepy tone, but puzzles were solved by flipping switches and turning knobs, all done by manipulating items with your fingers. It was incredibly tactile, and made The Room the best puzzle game on the platform. It was followed by the shrewdly titled Room 2 and Room 3, both of which raised the bar by expanding the size of the titular room(s) and bumping up the number of puzzles. Earlier today they announced that The Room series isn’t finished, and the next version The Room: Old Sins will be on our devices by the end of 2017.
PC • Eugen Systems are back. Seventy-three years back. As you might have picked up on the battalion squawk, the French powerhouse are returning to World War II with the Paradox-published Steel Division: Normandy 44. What’s old is very, very new again.
iOS, Android • Link Twin is a simple, pleasantly-presented puzzler. Though modest in scope and number, its puzzles pass my idiosyncratic test: they sometimes stumped me until I stopped playing, and were immediately solvable when I returned. That tells me that there are various ways to approach them which are valuable enough to attract one’s thinking but easily accessible enough that breaking one’s chain of thought makes it possible to take a new tack. This would leave me perfectly satisfied, but for the fact that the minimal narrative hints at something more.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac, Consoles • With their game-changing take at Fighting Fantasy, Sorcery!, and their globe-trotting mega-adventure, 80 Days, inkle Studios has yet to swing and miss. As such, we’ve been waiting patiently (mostly) to see what they might be working on next. The wait is over. Yesterday at GDC inkle announced their next project and, unsurprisingly, it looks completely unique. It’s called Heaven’s Vault and is coming to mobile, PC, and consoles.
iOS, Android, PC • Last week, big news ’round these parts was the announcement that the farming/war board game, Scythe, was coming to digital. At the time all we had was a little art and a rough release date of 2017. Using the bat-computer, I was able to log into every cell phone in Gotham and track down the developers, The Knights of Unity. Using an elaborate scheme that involved getting arrested and surgically implanting a cell phone bomb into one of my lackeys, I was able to get some face time with Sir Lucas, one of the aforementioned Knights. If you’re wondering what the hell’s wrong with me, I also rewatched The Dark Knight yesterday. That’s on top of the staggering mental deficiencies you’re already aware of, so it should all make sense now. Sort of.