iOS Universal, Android • Shortly after this review was published, Funforge updated Tokaido, notably adding the previously missing two-player option. Because two-player local play was my ideal use case for the game, this pleased me greatly, and it deserved special mention. My thanks to forum-goer “Misguided” for directing my attention to the improvement. Tokaido crystallizes thinking about the merits and challenges of digital translations of tabletop games. The cardboard version features lovely art, evocative of stylized watercolors, which sets the mood for a pleasant walk along a scenic road in ancient Japan. Not content to simply replicate these static images, developers Funforge created a 3-D, animated version which captures the artistic impact of the original–given the extent to which this is the game’s greatest asset, that’s genuinely impressive. Unfortunately, the very quality of the presentation highlights limitations of both the app and the underlying game.
iPad, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • On Monday we wondered about the timer that Beamdog was winding down on a site that just happened to be named “Planescape”. When the timer went off yesterday revealing that, yes, it does indicate a new, enhanced version of the Infinity Engine classic, we were right there to post all about it. We were, our site was not. Turns out we had some issues on the backend that were preventing posts from appearing on the front page and, although he had absolutely nothing to do with it, I blame Kelsey. We’re back now–the issue self-corrected, which doesn’t inspire much hope for a problem-free future–and we’re ready to talk about the only digital RPG to feature the Lady of Pain.
iOS Universal • Word games are usually not my go-to, but every now and then one will get under my skin and become an obsession. The last was Tim Fowers’ board game port, Paperback, but Zach Gage’s latest, TypeShift is the newest word game keeping me up at night.
PC • Not only were strategy fans left to solve the quagmire of Afghanistan last week, but the equally brutal Battle Brothers lumbered out of its stint on Steam Early Access on Friday. Because there’s clearly not enough you could be spending doubloons on. To arms!
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Over the past four years, Beamdog has made it their mission to resurrect classic Bioware Infinity Engine RPGs on both PC and mobile. They’ve already released both Baldur’s Gate and it’s nearly perfect sequel, Shadows of Amn. They’ve even cranked out the combat-focused Icewind Dale. What’s missing is the one Infinity Engine title that everyone [to be honest, BG2 was always my favorite. -ed.] wants, Planescape: Torment. Is that about to change?
iPad, PC/Mac • When Commands & Colors: The Great War was released earlier this year for PC/Mac, HexWar assured us that it would only be a matter of time before we could play the Commands & Colors title on our tablets. True to their word, yesterday The Great War was unleashed on the App Store.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • While it arrived on Steam way back in 2015, Militia escaped our attention mainly due to the fact that no mobile version was on the horizon. Turns out developer BrainGoodGames always had a mobile version planned, they just didn’t let us know about it until yesterday which is a good thing, because that’s when it landed on the App Store.
I have no idea what to make of this, but Nomad Games of Talisman fame seems to be spreading their wings. First, they’ve announced that they’re developing the mix-and-match card game, Smash Up! and now they’ve posted the following:
PC/Mac • Aristotle’s ontological legacy can be summed up in a single, irrefutable truism: Man can never have too many mech games. No such state exists. Such sagely observation continues to ring through the ages. The battlesuit-besotted have a lot to look forward to. Tetragonworks’ Phantom Brigade (which is utterly ace), Valkyria Chronicles-dated-Armored Core Dual Gear by Orbital Speed Studio (also ace), Harebrained Studios’ Battletech (should be ace) as well as a bunch of other titles like Bombdog’s Chromehounds successor, MAV and the tungsten-tough isometric magic of Stellar Jockeys’ Brigador. And so on and so on. The god of iron and autocannon continues to smile upon us, as Armored Freedom gears up for Steam Early Access.
Switch • With a daughter turning nine in March, I had an excuse to pre-order a Switch and the new Zelda. The one-sentence review I would give of it is this: it’ll make you feel like a kid again, until you watch kids play. If I could add another sentence, I’d note that I’m only writing about it because I promised my kids I wouldn’t do the thing I just started doing in the game until they could watch me, and they’re in school. As I have now been gifted with an unsought opportunity to reflect, I’m going to make the most of it to try and excuse playing Zelda to the exclusion of writing for you wonderful people for weeks. It was “research” for this piece.