iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • There are mornings when I wake up and read press releases and really wish Owen were around. Today is one of those days. There weren’t too many developers that Owen appreciated more than Luca Redwood, whose 1000000 and You Must Build A Boat were always on his top whatever lists. Luca has a new game in the works, Photographs, and it’s unlike anything else he’s done. Maybe unlike anything anyone has done. I know I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it.
iOS Universal, Android, Kindle, PC/Mac • Much like a nuclear apocalypse, Asmodee Digital publishing everything on the App Store is a foregone conclusion these days. Take, for example, Talisman. Talisman is a game that was happily developed and published by Nomad Games for years, but now resides under the Asmodee flag. Why? World Domination, my friends. Talisman today, Pathfinder Adventures tomorrow. Wait…hold on…Kelsey is trying to say something. What? They already got Pathfinder Adventures? No corner of the App Store is safe, it would seem. All joking aside, we welcome our new benevolent overlords and wish them good tidings and peace (and maybe beg for a job). Oh, and today they released a new expansion for Talisman, The Harbinger.
iOS, Android, PC • As can be seen in our Readers’ Game of the Year nominations, Race for the Galaxy is considered one of the best games of 2017. Temple Gates did a bang up job on it, crafting a wonderful UI, bringing in Keldon’s AI for solo play, and providing a robust multiplayer experience. As great as it is, the thing it’s lacking in comparison to its cardboard ancestor are expansions. It launched with two, Gathering Storm and Rebel vs. Imperium. The third, Brink of War arrived today, just in time to help it get more votes in our end of year polling.
iOS, Android • It’s December which means every site is obligated to start handing out awards, recognizing games that made a difference in the current year. 2017 is going to be a tough one, as there are a lot of great games that popped up on the App Store since January. Next week, we’ll be counting down our top 5 games of the year similar to how we did it last year. Everyone on the staff will give you their top five, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll only get my take, which has been scientifically proven to suck. Now it’s your turn.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux • Fez looks like one of those games 12-year old me would have loved but old, decrepit me should detest. Like all platformers, it looks as though it requires at least a modicum of dexterity, something I haven’t been in possession of since I was 24. Still, like Braid or Super Meat Boy, it’s one of those indie platformers you hear about even if you’re not a fan of the genre. Today Fez made its way to the App Store so I gave it a go. Lo and behold, I’m not as worthless as I thought I’d be.
iOS, Android, Kindle, PC/Mac/Linux • Before I begin, a personal note: I’m a big fan of Choice of Games, both because of the sheer range of themes and authorial voices in their library of gamebooks and because of their inclusive ethos – more on that in a bit. Oh, and I’ve known Jason Stevan Hill, Choice of Games’ COO, and Nissa Campbell, author of Heart of the House, for years. Heart of the House is a branching adventure with themes of mystery, horror, and romance, in a Victorian setting that eschews the goggles and cogs of steampunk in favor of the hauntings and seances of Spiritualism. Hold that planchard steady, my spirit guide tells me we’re not alone. Did you hear that? A single knock as upon a great door? Did you feel that? A touch of cold at the back of your neck? Did you see that? A tenebrous shadow, almost a face, then subsiding into a roil of tiny tentacles? They’re here.
PC/Mac • This is something we’ve known has been in the works for a while, but were verboten to talk about until today. Fantasy Flight‘s new FFG Interactive digital studio is bringing one of their LCGs to digital, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.
iOS, Android, Tabletop • Tabletop games that emulate escape rooms are all the rage these days, with one version even winning this year’s Kennerspiel des Jahres award. These games tend to be $10-15 and are one-time deals. Once you’ve played through the puzzle, the game is useless to you. Some folks have an issue with board games they can’t replay, but spending $10-15 to get a group of your friends together for a fairly authentic escape room experience is way cheaper than paying $25+ per person for the real thing. Escape Team is a new escape room title that uses your phone as its centerpiece while getting rid of that pesky $10-15 bill you had to pay for EXIT or Unlock. Intriguing, isn’t it?
PC/Mac • When you think of fantastically themed solitaire card games your mind should instantly head to mobile with games like Solitairica, Card Crawl, and Miracle Merchant. Fun, quick games like this are a staple on your phone, less so on Steam where you expect a bit more under the hood. A new solitaire card game, Shadowhand, was released yesterday and while it seems like mobile would be a perfect fit, you’ll only find it available for PC/Mac. As expected, there’s a little more under the hood.
iOS, PC/Mac/Linux (Early Access), Android (coming soon) • My father was born in Austria and came to the US when he was a kid, which means I grew up with a rather inflated view of Austria’s importance to the rest of the world. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that Austria wasn’t the world power I had envisaged in my head and hadn’t been for nearly 100 years. Still, I’ve been over there to visit a few times and am heading back that way next year to visit once again. It’s a pretty neat place, but the Austria of Wolfgang Lueger’s vampire-themed deck-builder, VEmpire – The Kings of Darkness, seems a lot cooler.