iOS, Android, PC • A week ago Asmodee Digital surprised us all with the announcement of Gloomhaven and other games coming out later this year and in 2019. I was at the press conference and took pictures of all the games they listed for the next 2 years and nowhere did they list Kings and Assassins. So, it makes perfect sense that, this week, they released Kings and Assassins. [insert head banging into wall gif here]
I wandered over to the Renegade booth to pick up a copy of Spy Club (only to find that they were already sold out) when I ran into the crew of Shut Up & Sit Down. Being incredibly “with it”, I knew that the SU&SD guys were hosting the Asmodee Digital press conference later that day so I meandered on over and struck up a conversation. If you know me, you know that conversation isn’t my strong suit so I mumbled a few things and shrugged and may have had a droplet of spit land on one of their shirts. May have. My charm, naturally, shone through and, next thing I know, they’re sharing that Asmodee was going to be making a huge announcement. I mumbled something stupid and wandered away, self-loathing at peak levels, determined to discover what it could be. A few short hours later, there it was: the new board game darling, Gloomhaven was going digital.
iOS, Android • If you’re not aware, there are two [actually three, you dolt -ed.] different Spiel des Jahres awards each year. One for a ‘family’ game that tends to be a little lighter than I prefer, and the other is the Kennerspiel des Jahres which awards more complex titles. Considering that my tastes run in the Vital Lacerda/Martin Wallace/18xx vein, these games tend to still be on the light side for me, but I still try to at least give them a go once or twice. Two years ago the award was won by Isle of Skye and it remains one of the few KSdJ winners that I’ve never played. In fact my only contact with the game came at Gen Con in 2016 when I was working the BGG Game Room and had people returning it to the library. As a rule I would be told two things about the game: it was great and the printing was really, really small and hard to read. Well, now Digidiced and Asmodee Digital have teamed up to bring it to digital and here’s hoping they blew up that text out so even old farts like me can read it.
PC • In 2016, Stonemaier Games released the engine building mech/farming crossover board game Scythe to much acclaim. The game quickly shot up the ranks on BoardGameGeek and currently sits firmly at number seven, ahead of classics like Agricola and Puerto Rico. That’s in no small part to its worldbuilding –a post WWI fought with giant mechs– along with the addition of strategic 4x gameplay and Jakub Rozalski’s outstanding art. For those reasons, Scythe: Digital Edition, developed by The Knights of Unity and published by [our dark overlords -ed.] Asmodee Digital, is one of the most anticipated titles of 2018. Recently it landed in Early Access which seemed like a good time for us to attempt the conquest of Eastern Europe.
PC, (Mac, iOS coming soon) • In a year with a lot of anticipated board game ports, Scythe from Stonemaier Games and Asmodee Digital is near the top of a lot of lists, mine included. Strangely, Asmodee has been somewhat quiet about what’s happening with Scythe, only giving us tiny glimpses into the inner sanctum. Sure, we got a week-long beta test back in April but that was only for PC so all the cool kids were left out. I’m built of strong enough stuff to wait for Early Access and a build specifically for Mac, yessiree…Oh, what’s this? Today, Scythe arrived on Early Access…for PC only. Ugh.
iOS, Android • I’m anything but an expert traveler, but I feel worldly enough to share this one travel tip: when using Airbnb, double check that the apartment you’re moving into has WiFi. If you’re wondering where I’ve been this week, I basically failed to follow this rule and have been unable to post due to being in an apartment sans internet since Monday. “But there are tons of places with WiFi in Vienna!” I can hear you screaming. This is true, but I’m traveling with my father who doesn’t view writing as a “real job” and therefore has little patience for me to whip out my laptop when we’re sitting at a cafe. I’m learning he has little patience in regards to just about everything, actually. It’s been a fun couple of weeks. Anyway, there has been activity on the App Store, so I’m going to try to post something while we’re on the train to Salzburg. It may be brief because the WiFi on the train isn’t great and it’s only a 2 hour ride, but at least you know that I’m still alive. As for our WiFi-free apartment, we move out on Saturday to a new apartment and, yes, I checked that it has WiFi. Next week should be far more productive.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • It’s been a rather slow news week on the mobile front with the big releases still far in the distance and nothing new coming to light. Leave it to Asmodee Digital, keepers of the keys to the mobile board gaming vault, to break that silence and give me something to write about other than stuff that happened 70 years ago. A bunch of Asmodee news appeared this week — nothing so grand that I felt I should stop playing Factorio to mention it — so here it all is in one place.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • I may be the only person who actually kind of loves XenoShyft. I mean, there are problems both as a game and as an app, but there’s something about it that keeps bringing me back. Not every day. Hell, it’s too difficult and soul-crushing to attempt daily. That said, I’ve played dozens and dozens of games since it released back in 2015 (winning…once? Maybe twice?) and it’s become something of a guilty pleasure. Yesterday, Asmodee and Cool Mini or Not added a major expansion to XenoShyft called Dreadmire, and it looks like I’ll be suiting up for battle again real soon.
PC (beta), iOS/Android (down the road) • After collecting nearly $2 million on Kickstarter in 2015, Scythe made its grand debut at Gen Con 2016 and quickly scrambled up the Board Game Geek rankings to eventually land in the top ten games of all time. I’m not sure it deserves to be called the 7th best board game ever, but I do enjoy the game and its incredible overproduction quite a bit. Due to its success, a digital version only seemed natural and, of course, our digital overlords, Asmodee Digital, would be the ones bringing it to life. We know it’s coming to Steam and mobile sometime later this year, but maybe you want to give it a try now? Follow me.
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.