PC/Mac • Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition began life as a digital marvel, removing the not-very-fun role of game master and putting it in the hands of an iPad or whatever other digital device you had sitting at the table. Thus, up to four players could play as a team while the mystery, map, and whatnot were held under wraps by a GM that didn’t care if you took a break to eat or talked about the latest baseball game while exposition was divvied out. It even allowed for friendless losers, like myself, to play Mansions of Madness solo, which worked better than I could have ever expected. Since its release, there have been many updates to the companion app, adding new mysteries and expansion packs. Today we learned that Mansions of Madness is getting a new digital form. It has nothing to do with the current board game+app configuration, instead it’s a completely new game that will drop you into the Mansions of Madness world in glorious 3D.
Trespasser: Jurassic Park is such an outrageously fantastic game. It’s as much a primeval, primordial walking sim as it is a survival-lite FPS, served on a revolutionary bed of fully-realised physics. It has wonderful environmental story-telling; audiologs and internal monologues that don’t strain atmosphere. It offers a natural sense of physicality. Hell, it did the two-weapon limit before Halo. Trespasser: Jurassic Park is also a broken, under-baked mess. Twenty years on, there hasn’t really been a game quite like Trespasser. There have been games better than it in some of its aspirations, but DreamWorks Interactive’s ungainly opus is more than the sum of its oft-busted parts. What follows is a record of certain events in which I took part between the years 1980 and 1997, on an island I will call Site B – Hammond
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, Xbox One • Sorry I was AWOL yesterday, but unbeknownst to me (and for no reason I can ascertain) my two younger kids had off school yesterday. This allowed me to do real-life things with them like fix my attic stairs and teach them a slew of new curse words. Today’s a new day, however. The new attic ladder appears to be functional and I can’t wait to get a call from the school’s office today informing me that my kids decided to share their new vocabulary words. Oh, I also got a chance to play Armello on both my phone and iPad and it’s good. Very, very good.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • It’s okay, you can say it. I miss a shitload of news. I know it, you know it. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I’m the only one working the Stately Play news beat these days, but it’s more an issue with me just being a lazy bum and focusing only on the stuff I really enjoy. I don’t think I need to tell you that the stuff I enjoy is board games. I’m going to try and be better and cover more than whatever Asmodee is currently up to, trying to write about at least one non-board game every day. Will I stick with it? Mostly. I’m sure I’ll have days where I slip, but it’s going to be better than it has been. Promise. Today’s non-board game is Card City Nights 2 which hit the App Store late last week.
iPad, PC/Mac • Hey, everyone! It’s Monday and I’m still sick! This announcement has nothing to do with the game we’re about to discuss or with garnering sympathy (I’ll take it, but that’s not the main point), but I wanted everyone to understand why content might be a little slow over the next few days. The flu I seem to have picked up is accompanied by migraine level headaches, and staring at a screen makes it about 100x worse, which is kind of an issue when writing a blog. Hopefully this clears up quickly and things can get back to normal, but I thought you should know. Back to our regular programming: Let’s talk about Subsurface Circular.
Tabletop • While board gaming is still a fairly small niche of the hobby world, it’s made up of many smaller niches. Many of those I’ve dabbled in: war games, miniatures, 18xx, smelling like you haven’t showered in three weeks. One group I’ve never participated deals with something called Print-and-Play. These are the crazy people [I only say this because a good friend is one of these people and he’s only slightly not crazy -ed.] who spend a lot of time to handcraft beautiful copies of games released for free and posted on sites like BGG. I haven’t even been one of the lazy ones who just print everything on regular paper and tape it together with Scotch tape. Nothing in this process interested me in until I helped design a Print-and-Play game of my own, and now I think they’re the greatest thing ever. Well, this game is, at least.
PC/Mac/Linux • INTRODUCE Capped off 12 East Games’ Trackless some days ago. Still thinking about 12 East Games‘ Trackless today. Surely a very good sign. CONTINUE
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux • You’re probably sick and tired of me talking about Thimbleweed Park around these parts, but I know a lot of our readers are mobile gamers first and foremost, so I also know many of you have probably ignored my earlier praises of the game. You’re probably also aware that the previous sentence is an abomination of word structure and nearly, but not quite, a run-on sentence. That sentence wasn’t much better. Shorter, but not better. What I’m trying to say is, mobile gamers can now experience the joy I’ve had playing Thimbleweed Park because it’s currently on the App Store.
iOS Universal, Android, Consoles, Switch, PC/Mac • While I absolutely adored the PC/Mac version of Thimbleweed Park earlier this year, I’ll admit that I still haven’t fully solved the Twin Peaks-like murder mystery that lies in the game’s center. The game is big and sprawling and while it looks and feels like a 1990’s LucasArts point-and-click title, there’s much more here to unravel story-wise. I’ve kind of been waiting for the mobile version to launch so I can follow the exploits of Agents Ray and Reyes–who are in no way anything like Dana Scully or Fox Mulder–on my couch. The wait is nearly over! Thimbleweed Park is coming to iOS next week and Android in October.
iOS Universal, Android • Tin Man Games left their usual gamebook fare in the dust when they released Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze earlier this year. Instead of reading pages of text and then picking where the story goes, Miss Fisher was a full-fledged adventure game with a rather awesome protagonist and a slew of other interesting characters wrapped around a compelling mystery. It’s good enough that I started bingeing the Australian series on Netflix and have been loving every minute of it. Over the weekend, Tin Man added Episode 2 to the mix and, in the process, made the first episode free-to-download.