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.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • As a huge fan of the tabletop version, 1775: Rebellion was one of my most anticipated board game ports in 2016. When it launched in November, it managed to capture the light brilliance of its forebear, but as Matt mentioned in his review, was a bit subpar in terms of AI and other glitches here and there. Fear not, fellow gamers, for HexWar has been on the case and has just released a massive update to the PC/Mac version that will soon also be coming to the App Store.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • One of the most beloved (if not THE most beloved) CRPGs of all time was released back in 1999 and used the greatest RPG engine ever created, the Infinity Engine [don’t argue with him about this…he locked Alex in the cellar just for suggesting that the Gold Box games were better -ed.]. Even without the title of the post screaming what game I’m talking about, most of you would instantly know I’m referring to the fantastic Planescape: Torment. Nearly 20 years after its initial release, Beamdog has polished it up and reissued it in a new Enhanced Edition which has gone live for iOS, Android, and PC/Mac.
iOS, Android, PC • The original Great Little War Game made its way to our phones way back in 2011 and was one of the first must-have titles for strategy gamers. It was followed up by Great Big War Game and Great Little War Game 2, both of which were also strong entries for strategy gamers looking for anything with a some bite on their touchscreens. Announced back in 2014 was the next iteration of the series, Epic Little War Game, and nearly three years later Rubicon Development is announcing the beta is starting and they need help.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Before we begin, I need to tell you that, yes, I’m ashamed of that title but low-hanging fruit and all that. Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Evolution and how you can sign up for the alpha.
iOS Universal, Android • If you’re one of our seven readers (and, if you’re reading this, you are! Thanks!), you might have noticed that we announced a mobile version of celebrated card game, Race for the Galaxy, last week and then promptly removed said story. No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke or a prank on our part. Instead, it was me being an idiot. I received a press release for RftG last week and promptly posted the story only later realizing that the press release contained an embargo and I shouldn’t have spilled the beans until today. Now, after doing this for over six years I still haven’t grokked the purpose of embargoes on press releases but we also don’t want to be dicks, so we’ll try to abide by them as much as possible. My inner voice just told me that none of you give a rat’s ass about any of this backstage nonsense and just want to know if RftG is coming to mobile or not. Yes, it is, and you’ll have it on iOS and Android on May 3.
iOS Universal, Android • At the end of last November, Asmodee Digital started their deluge of board game ports with Colt Express and haven’t let up yet. In fact, if my counting is correct, Onirim will be their sixth release in just over four months. One constant of the Asmodee releases has been their failure to adhere to the tenets of our multiplayer manifesto, creating multiplayer experiences that have been less than stellar. Onirim manages to dodge that bullet by being a completely solitaire experience and it just happens to be available right now for iOS and Android.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • When you think of Fighting Fantasy books, you probably remember solitary dungeon romps with your trusty d6s in tow and pining for the love of another human being. Good times. Gamebooks like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, City of Thieves, and the Sorcery! books replaced my parents for a good chunk of my adolescence and it seems these books can’t stop being brought back to life on our phones and tablets. Heck, we just had a new version of Warlock of Firetop Mountain land a month or two ago, and the Sorcery! saga was brought to life in ways my pimply-faced self couldn’t have imagined thirty years ago. Nomad Games, creators of digital Talisman, have joined forces with Fighting Fantasy to bring some of these old titles back to life. They’re not doing it with stodgy pages and, you know, reading. Blech! Instead, they’ve added dice and cards and are turning the whole thing into a boardgame-esque romp.
iOS Universal, Android • The Battle of Polytopia is one of the best pick-up-and-play time wasters on the App Store. In minutes you can build an empire, quash your enemies, and then realize your score is tens of thousands lower than everyone else who’s ever played the game. Hooray! Battle of Polytopia is one of only two things you can be terrible at and still have a good time. You can guess what the other one is and, yes, I’m terrible at that, too. Yesterday, Midjiwan released a major expansion for Polytopia ensuring my futility will continue for all time.
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.