iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • I’m a huge fan of Klei Entertainment, who have managed to port several of their very polished PC titles into very polished mobile apps. Their latest was the turn-based spy thriller Invisible Inc., which I really need to spend some quality time with, one of these days. I really, really enjoyed it when it was released but…well, it seems I never have the chance to sink that much time into one single game these days. Back when I could sink a lot of time into one game, I did just that with Klei’s other fantastic mobile port, Don’t Starve. If there was one complaint I had about this survival gem, however, it would be about just how damn hard it is. I mean, I get that a steep difficulty is kind of the point of surviving in a hostile world with nothing buy your brains to get by, but playing for hours and getting killed by a spider because you weren’t paying attention and having to start over was a huge pain in the ass. For those of you who felt the same way, Klei has just updated the app with a new mode promising a simpler adventure for the simple among us (me…I’m really talking about me).
iOS, Android • I’ve heard people mention three web-based boardgaming sites often: Brettspielwelt, Yucata, and, um, Bootyjew (that’s what I’ve always heard it called, and I am proud of myself for finding a link despite that). BSW has always sounded the strongest, but it wasn’t enough for them–now they’re coming for our mobile devices, as well. Their first foray: Friedemann Friese’s Friday, a sterling choice. It’s a well-regarded solo game with complexity just a bit above Onirim‘s, so they avoided the twin bottomless pits of development effort: AI and multiplayer, like Pitfall Harry. I looked it up–that’s actually the name of the character from Pitfall! I’m not excited about it, it just seemed like a waste of punctuation to end a sentence with “Pitfall!.”
iPad, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • When Prison Architect landed on our tablets earlier this year, it was a big deal. It not only marked another major PC title making its way to mobile, but it was also published by Paradox as part of their new focus on mobile gaming. We never got around to writing a review for Prison Architect here, mainly because it’s too damn big and I just never felt like I got deep enough to have an opinion that’s worth a damn [as opposed to your other opinions? Okay… -ed.]. The parts I did play seemed pretty polished and right in line with what I was familiar with from the desktop version. Apparently, however, the game had more bugs than an entomologist’s fever dream. Version 2.0 was just released and, judging by the patch notes, all the bugs have received a death sentence.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • It’s no secret that Hearthstone has lost its luster since its glory days back in 2014/2015. I’m only speaking for myself, of course, as I know there are still millions of players who play and love it. It just got big enough that I lost track of what the hell was going on, kind of like life. It seemed easier to ditch the game than try to learn the new cards and metas and, surprise, I’m the kind of guy who usually takes the easier path. Today, however, Blizzard announced the next expansion for Hearthstone and it might just be what was needed to drag me back in.
iOS Universal, Android • In a year filled with fantastic digital card games and solo time-wasters, Onirim stands out as one of our favorites. Its mix of quick, simple card play and a difficulty that seems just hard enough to keep you coming back for more is the peanut butter + chocolate combo we didn’t know we needed on our phones. Asmodee has been awfully generous with Onirim since its release, with it often going on sale for the price of a glass of tap water, but they also previously released a free expansion that added new glyphs and more doors (The Glyphs). Today another expansion arrived for Onirim (albeit not free), Crossroads and Dead Ends, and where The Glyphs made the game a bit easier, this one does not.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • This will be Stately Play‘s ninth article mentioning Pathfinder Adventures. If you’re not into PA, our apologies. Dave’s the guy who stands in my way when I propose something terrible, but our affections overlap enough that it’s not an ideal example of checks and balances. But political commentary is an even worse idea than a ninth PA article, so let’s proceed to check out the differences between the mobile and PC/Mac versions!
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Summer is a huge pain in the ass. Instead of talking to developers and actually playing games, I’m spending my days going to amusement parks and museums “building memories” with my kids. Gross, right? The worst part is that a small part of me is actually kind of enjoying it. Fear not, it’s only a matter of time before they ask me for money and the warm fuzzies quickly dissipate. The worst part of all this involves Stately Play getting the short end of the stick. A bunch of stuff happened last week that I didn’t get a chance to talk about simply due to time constraints. Considering that this week is probably going to be worse–tomorrow is a holiday here in the US, and I won’t be around to post–I figured a quick news dump was in order. Let’s start with our old friend, Solitairica.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • When Age of Rivals launched for iOS last week, I’m not sure anyone saw just how damn good it was going to be. Sure, I’d played it on my laptop a bit, but it took a tablet version for me to really start digging into it and realizing that the design is brilliant. Even more surprising is the lack of complaints from other users. Not to say gamers can be a picky lot, but there’s always something that the dev didn’t do right. The only complaint I’ve heard about Age of Rivals is that it requires an online connection, even when you’re playing the AI. In what might be the quickest response to a complaint by a developer ever, the always-online component is now history.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Every now and then a game appears on the App Store and it just clicks. It takes hold immediately, as early as playing through the tutorial. There’s more than just a sense of “fun”, whatever that means, but an urge to really dig in and explore. It doesn’t happen often. I remember it happening when I first played Pathfinder Adventures last year, or the first time I loaded up Hearthstone, and it happened again last week with Age of Rivals. What a game.
iOS Universal, Android • I love Temple Gates‘ digital version of Race for the Galaxy so much that I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it. Hell, I’m tired of hearing about it. That’s tough, though, because not only is Race for the Galaxy my current front-runner for Game of the Year, today it got better. Late last night, version 1.02 landed on the App Store and it plugs up the few holes that were remaining from the initial launch.