Back in Pocket Tactics‘ glory days, one of my favorite writers over there was Clancy. He was a lot like Owen, but without the snark. Or, I should say, a different type of snark, but he knew what the hell he was talking about and shared that info with aplomb. His reviews were delights, with one of my faves being for the roguelike-puzzle gem, Hoplite. Not only did Clancy give it 5-stars but, behind the scenes, he nearly convinced Owen that it was GOTY material. This in a year that saw both FTL and XCOM: Enemy Unknown land on the App Store. Even with that competition he wasn’t too far off. 2014 was a fantastic year for gaming, and all three of those titles remain on my iPad. Hoplite took a little vacation from the App Store the past few weeks but, yesterday, rose from the ashes with a brand new 64-bit version ready to conquer iOS 11.
iOS, Android, Steam • It wouldn’t be a complete week without at least a little bit of news out of the Asmodee Digital camp. Last week they released two games, Ticket to Ride: First Journey and Harald. This week is a bit more subdued. This week they’re merely announcing a huge release coming next week. It’s Smash Up, the wacky card game of amazing mix-ups, which is totally not the actual tagline for the game; I just came up with it on my own. That said, it’s pretty great, so if you need any PR guys, AEG, give me a call.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • We started Monday by learning that Asmodee Digital would be releasing a kid-oriented version of Ticket to Ride on the App Store later in the week. What they didn’t tell us was they’d be releasing another game as well, Harald: A Game of Influence. Not a peep. Not this week, not at Gen Con, not ever. What the hell is Harald and why is Asmodee keeping it under wraps?
iOS Universal, Android • To me, the best parts of any civ-building game are the Wonders. From the moment I built the Pyramids in Civilization II and was presented with a FMV movie showcasing my achievement, I was hooked. In fact, while I’m not a huge fan of FMV, I do wish they still had them in the Civ series. Nothing was cooler than adding that last brick and hearing the CD-ROM drive fire up. Through the Ages doesn’t have any FMV movies celebrating your achievements, either, but Wonders still play an important role in building a competitive civ. They’re also just fun to play around with, so let’s take a look at them Age by Age.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Not sure how relevant Asmodee Digital‘s latest title will be for most of the Stately Players out there, but I’m guessing at least a few of you have kids. Little kids. I’m talking preschool, kindergarten, maybe 1st-2nd grade. You know, little kids. Their latest release is a digital version of Ticket to Ride: First Journey and if you’re thinking it’s basically Ticket to Ride for kids you’d be right, especially if you’re thinking it’s for little kids.
iOS Universal, Android • I’ve given up being mad about freemium games. Its akin to fighting the tide, doesn’t really have any impact, and, after all, most freemium titles aren’t games at all but psychological engines devised only to part people from their money. Occasionally, however, a freemium title releases that, deliberately or accidentally, is actually a good game and that old rage begins to brew. Stormbound is a strategy CCG developed for Kongregate by Paladin Studios in the Netherlands. It’s a vibrantly styled, unique take on the CCG with some very interesting gameplay elements. It also has a freemium pay-engine strapped to it, by Kongregate I presume, that will make you weep for what could have been a true gem. It’s not as sad as the ending of Old Yeller, but you will ponder how greed can so often overcome the desire to less egregiously monetize a very good game.
iOS Universal, Android • After posting yesterday’s mammoth strategy guide for Czech Games‘ awesome port of Through the Ages, I was asked by several people to go over one of the game’s most frustrating mechanisms, Corruption. Let’s do this!
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Last night an update arrived for our beloved, yet seemingly beleaguered, Pathfinder Adventures. The update brought more content, which is good, but also completely changed prices for IAP in the mobile version, which is good news too, I think? I don’t know, the future of Pathfinder has seemed foggy since Obsidian wrapped up the Rise of the Runelords campaign, and changing their pricing and whatnot at this point seems like a bad sign that, maybe, Pathfinder isn’t doing as good as Obsidian or their new overlord, Asmodee, had hoped. Or maybe I’m full of crap. It’s happened in the past, and I definitely have no insight into what’s going on in the darkened back rooms of Obsidian. With that in mind, let’s focus on what we do know about, the latest Pathfinder Adventures update.
iOS Universal, Android • I’m pretty sure I’ve stated my incompetence when it comes to winning games of Vlaada Chvátil’s masterpiece, Through the Ages. Now that it’s out on the App Store, many of you have been witness to said incompetence. For those who have yet to see it, t’s truly a wonder to behold. While I may suck at TtA, I have played the game, hundreds of times, actually. While my win percentage doesn’t back up that claim, I attribute my woeful performance far more to my adult ADD and less to understanding how the game operates. I cannot resist building a Wonder, even if everything in my current “strategy” screams against it. I like shiny things. While Through the Ages can seem complex, the rules are actually rather simple. The complexity comes from trying to juggle all of TtA’s parts so they work together. Let’s take a look at how this thing ticks.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • The past couple of weeks have been tough ones for me, but this hardship has been completely of my own devising. Instead of going to sleep at a remotely decent time, I’ve been staying up well past 2am nearly every night playing War of the Chosen, the new expansion for XCOM 2. While we’re unlikely to ever see the XCOM sequel on our tablets, there is good news in mobile-land for XCOM fans: XCOM: Enemy Within was just updated to comply with iOS 11’s 64-bit requirement.