iOS Universal, PC/Mac • HexWar, HexWar, HexWar. Seems like we can’t go a week without more HexWar news popping up. It’s not rehashing a release we’ve already talked about before, either, it’s all new stuff. First The Great War launches, then we find out they’ve teamed up with GMT Games for more Commands & Colors, and now we learn they’re going to tackle endless war by entering into the Warhammer 40K universe. That’s right, they’ve teamed up with Games Workshop and are bringing a new Warhammer title to PC, Mac and iOS: The Battle of Tallarn.
iOS Universal, Android • The retreat from Game Center has opened a hole in the iOS board game development world. With Apple’s commitment to asynchronous multiplayer looking uncertain and the value of a unified multiplayer solution high, publishers of popular board games are likely to seek partnerships with developers who have proven multiplayer systems. That’s going to be very interesting to observe over the next few years. Potion Explosion is a Horrible Games/Cool Mini Or Not product in the tabletop world, but Asmodee Digital and Studio Clangore have brought it to mobile devices, which means you can use an existing account for any Days of Wonder or Asmodee title. That’s a pretty impressive catalog–just in my own iTunes library, I have Ticket To Ride, Small World (2, he added, rolling his eyes), the recently improved Colt Express, Pandemic, and Splendor.
PS4, Vita • Mention the title ‘Dynasty Warriors’ and some folk blanch at the prospect of once again scything to hair-metal through hordes of hesitant Han. Truth is, the Dynasty Warriors games are actually pretty damn good, and they’re one of the last bastions of the moribund beat ’em up genre. I’m here to talk about one specific spin-off for PS4 and Vita in Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers, a fresh turn-based twist on the long-running series. The Omega Force gang were said to have been jonesing to create something like Godseekers for a while, give the series hasn’t seen a tactics game since the PS2, largely honing their Han-themed crowd control simulators. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and time in the wilderness has justified the return to cogitative griddery. Cutting to the chase, Godseekers is absolutely terrific and the rest of year ought to get its tactical act together, because this is 2017’s turn-based strategy to beat.
iPad, Android • Titan HD was the first game I ever decided to review for Pocket Tactics more than year after its initial release. Its tabletop version was famously deep, challenging, and counter-intuitive, and is still played at conventions more than thirty years after its introduction into a hobby famously obsessed with the Cult of the New. More importantly, it’s also surging in popularity among users of our own forum, drawn not only to its classic gameplay but to an app which has been lovingly supported by developer Kristopher Giesing for almost as long as there have been tablets capable of holding it. I managed to track down Kristopher and grill him about one of my favorite iPad apps.
PC/Mac • RimWorld is a colony building and survival simulation game that has everything you’d expect from the genre. You’ll act as the architect for a new colony and guide its residents to ever greater levels of survivability, self-sufficiency, and success. This includes zoning the settlement area for residential buildings, farming, and storage as well as identifying what structures should be built, how electricity should be generated, and what tools of production, furniture, and artwork should be used. There’s also the usual research function to build out a technology tree and open up new options. What’s cool about RimWorld is not that it hits these hallmarks of base-building and survival games. It certainly does. It’s not that it does it really well or better than most—though this is also true. What really makes RimWorld so good–I had to force myself to stop playing–are two things: a true open-world style and a relatively unique story-infused narrative.
Cricket, or baseball with less chewing tobacco. Second only to soccer in terms of global attendance and popularity, but a game of impregnable mystery to our North American friends. [Up until this article, my nearest brush with cricket has been watching Ian Faith smash his cricket bat into a television. -ed.] It was also a sport done a decade-long cycle of digital travesty in the 2000s, so much so that a game heralding one of cricket’s greatest clashes was released in such a state, it was removed from sight and beaten to death with a Gray-Nicolls.
If you’re like me you have a stack of games that you’ve purchased and have yet to play, both tabletop and on your PC. Time, family, and a debilitating drug habit always seem to get in the way. Poor me! One of these Isle of Misfit Toys wannabes is Pillars of Eternity from Obsidian. Released back in 2015, I purchased it on day one and it has sat in my GoG library ever since with the knowledge that, when I have time and/or quit heroin, I have a really great RPG waiting for me. This week Obsidian kind of kicked me in the ribs and told me to hurry up because Pillars of Eternity 2 is on the way.
The previous two editions of Banner Saga by Stoic were rather large hits, so it only makes sense that part 3 would be in the works. It is and, if you were a fan of the previous two installments, you can help make it happen via Kickstarter.
Asmodee has been on a digital rampage over the past couple months. Since Thanksgiving in late November, they’ve released Colt Express and Mysterium and tomorrow we’ll see another Asmodee creation, Potion Explosion.
HexWar released 1775: Rebellion last year to much fanfare, only to have the initial release be received less than warmly. Since Matt’s review, the game has undergone several updates fixing many of the issues brought up in the review. They’re not done, either. They’re planning another major update that will not only fix bugs and improve the app, it will also introduce a brand new scenario created by the game’s original designers.