I’m sure a lot of you think I’m making it up, or at least exaggerating, when I talk about how terrible I am at games. Here’s another example. I’m currently winless in the Through the Ages beta and TtA is a game that I’ve played more than any other. Hundreds of games. I was the jamoke who created the official TtA Vassal module back before anyone had conceived of an online version. Just playtesting that involved playing, literally, hundreds of games. You’d think I’d have this game down to a science; a civilization building savant. Instead, I can’t stop tripping over my own feet. Oh, and James Cook is still a butthead.
PC, Mac • So, I was over at the Paradox Interactive website this morning, looking up details for Prison Architect’s soft launch, and it was a little like coming downstairs on Christmas morning when I was seven. Toys as far as the eye could see, so many that I didn’t know where to begin. With such a cornucopia I’ve decided that, instead of separate posts, I’m going to lump all of the Paradox news into one juicy tidbit. Some of this might be old news to you but it’s all new to me and I run the joint [says who? -Kelsey], so deal with it.
iPad, Android Tablets • One of Owen’s ongoing lamentations about the App Store involved the absolute dearth of good city-building sims, and sims in general. Properties like Roller Coaster Tycoon, SimCity, and Dungeon Keeper were all available, but saddled with free-to-play shenanigans that robbed them off their joy. [For the record, a proper port of RCT was eventually released -ed.] A couple years ago we were told that our suffering was near an end because Introversion Software was bringing their funny, deep, and horrifying prison sim, Prison Architect, to mobile. While news has been slow since those initial announcements, Paradox (yes, Paradox…they’re publishing the mobile version) came forward last week and announced that Prison Architect has been released…in the Netherlands.
I just want to say that James Cook is a big butthead. Thank you.
iPad, PC • Every Single Soldier are the genius minds behind the beloved Vietnam ’65 and this year’s Afghanistan ’11. Vietnam ’65 has been on our tablets since 2015 and Afghanistan ’11 should make it there shortly. Their next title, Carrier Deck, is coming to iPad as well, but if you’re thinking it will be another hex-and-counter war game, think again. Instead, Carrier Deck will be a naval real-time management simulation without a hex in sight and they’re looking for beta testers now for both iOS and PC.
After successful contributions to game designs such as Snakes and Ladders, Candyland, and Monopoly, Satan returned to our tabletops with a single element of Magic: the Gathering: the blind-buy booster pack. Disliking the random booster is roughly as popular among players as the orgasm, so it was with great surprise that I realized, some time ago, that they also have virtues I value. The game which turned me around into trying to see the good side of boosters was Rodeo Games‘ Deathwatch. Players earned boosters slowly enough in Deathwatch that you either had to be smarter than me, grind, or buy, which is exactly the sort of arrangement which would normally make me hate the developer.
iOS Universal, Android • One of the best titles of 2017 is by the little powerhouse developer, Tinytouchtales. Of course, I’m referring to Card Thief, which was released for iOS back in March and stole more than just gold and trash-filled treasure chests…it also stole our hearts. Zing, pow! I threw myself a fastball and hit it out of the park. I’m going to sit here and congratulate myself for a bit more, but if you don’t want to hear it you can head past the jump and hear all about Card Thief showing up for Android.
iOS, Android • If you’ve been wondering where we’ve been the last few days, you’re not alone. I’ve been trapped with my family in a minivan for the past 24 hours and I’m not sure where I am, either. I think we ended up in Florida, but I feel like I asked to see Saw Garrera and have been transported across the country with a bag over my head. I could be anywhere, but considering that I’m looking at palm trees and the Indian River, Florida is a good bet. Spending this much time with my kids in a vehicle would drive most adults insane, but I had a secret weapon to help through the rough times. Czech Games Edition has started the online beta for Through the Ages and it’s so good, it almost prevented me from going completely bonkers.
iOS Universal, Android • It is difficult to call something, anything, unique these days and be confident it is true. No one person can play all the games, listen to all the music, read all the books, and watch all the things to feel sure about such an assessment. Most things are derivative of something, often clearly so. When I play Erin: The Last Aos Sí, however, I am drawn to that description: unique, rare, different.
iOS, Android • Terra Mystica is a tabletop behemoth and, even though it sits at #4 on BGG’s list of the best board games ever made, my group likes it about as much as a fart in an elevator. As such, my pimped out copy with acrylic everything lies dormant in my basement, silently waiting for me to man up and get a new game group. Sorry, cardboard monstrosity, but you’re going to be waiting a long time. First of all, I kind of like my game group and, secondly, in a week I’ll be able to play as much Terra Mystica as I want without any eyes rolling or noses turned up in disgust. Actually, I’ve received a pre-release copy, so I’m playing TM right now, you damned old box filled with wood and plastic. Take that! Don’t worry, I talk to my games quite a bit. It’s a combination of being alone all day and staggering levels of mental illness. I’ve taken my pills, and I think it’s time to share a bit of how the digital version of Terra Mystica is shaping up. That, and we have the trailer just on the other side of the jump.