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.
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, 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.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Although there are many 4X games with a sci-fi bent in the tabletop world, only one has made a big splash on mobile, Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy, and that was released way back in 2013. We’ve been told by GMT that Space Empires 4X is in the works and have secretly been hoping that Fantasy Flight would, someday, grace us with a digital version of Twilight Imperium. As of now, though, it’s Eclipse or nothing. That’s set to change this summer when Offworld Games launches Exodus: Proxima Centauri for iOS, Android, and PC/Mac.
PC/Mac (available now), iOS/Android (coming soon) • Just a hint to developers out there who want Stately Play to cover their titles: include “Through the Ages” in your subject line and it’s sure to make it to the front page. Age of Rivals developer, Roboto Games, did one better. They told me their latest title, Age of Rivals, is a cross between Through the Ages and 7 Wonders. Insert “Shut Up and Take My Money” meme here.
iOS, Android • Last year we learned that several members of the Rodeo Games crew had gone and started another game company, Perchang. Their first, eponymous title was a fairly light twitch/puzzle game that was incredibly successful and seemed to close the door on any chance Rodeo might get the band back together and give us more classic mobile fare like Warhammer Quest or Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion. Turns out a Rodeo reunion wasn’t necessary, as Perchang has announced a sequel to Rodeo’s Warhammer Quest, Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times.
iOS Universal, Android • One of the more prolific board game designers out there is Antoine Bauza. He’s won the SdJ twice (the Kennerspiel des Jahres in 2011 for 7 Wonders and Spiel des Jahres in 2013 for Hanabi), and can always be counted on to craft solid titles with unusual themes. He’s made it to the App Store already with his often overlooked Ghost Stories, a cooperative romp in which Taoist monks protect a village from some of the best boardgame artwork ever created. Today another game of his has launched for iOS and Android, Tokaido.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Whenever a cooperative game is released, regardless of how impossible it is to win, it will only be a matter of days before some gamers start squawking about how easy the game is. There’s always folks claiming to have an 80% win rate on games that I have yet to sniff a victory, and I’m usually playing on the easiest difficulty level. Now, either I’m a terrible gamer or they’re lying. I fully admit to being terrible at everything, gaming included, but I like to think that those folks are lying through their teeth or, at least, playing the rules wrong. It can’t all be me, can it? Case in point, I suck at Sentinels of the Multiverse. I’ve played a ton, and yet still fail miserably against just about every villain regardless of which team I’ve cobbled together. For those who find Sentinels too easy I have two things to say. First of all, I hate you, and, secondly, Handelabra somehow agrees with you and has given masochists the option to make SotM even harder via something called Challenge Mode.