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.
PC, iOS, Android • If you’re one of those folks who live in a perpetually sunny clime and think Seasonal Affective Disorder is something conjured up by the weirdos in flyover country to explain why people on Fargo ain’t that bad, let me introduce you to weather in Wisconsin. Last Tuesday–April 10th if you don’t have a calendar–I was wearing shorts and short sleeves while working outside in mid-60 (Fahrenheit) degree temps. Like all warm and sunny days that occur after months of being perpetually chilled–even while indoors, mind you–it felt like a miracle. Yesterday–April 15th–I spent a couple hours outside, only this time I was shoveling the heaviest, wettest snow there is. Any heavier or wetter and it would have been classified as slush. It snowed, literally, all day with the sky a dark gray and the temperature never exceeding 30. It’s enough to make you want to pour a hot bath and leap in while holding a toaster. The worst part isn’t my frozen toes or numb fingers (we had, stupidly, socked all the boots and gloves away in the attic assuming that Spring was finally here), but the fact that I couldn’t spend the day in front of my laptop. On Friday, Asmodee gave me the keys to Terraforming Mars and I was dying to take it out for a spin. Luckily, I got my chance this morning (yes, it’s still snowing outside, but I’ve given up).
iOS Universal, Android • Onirim was one of our favorite solo time-wasters last year which was impressive for two reasons. First, it was a really good year for games and, secondly, what the hell is Onirim? It wasn’t one of Asmodee Digital‘s highly touted releases and just kind of showed up one day in its nearly perfect form. Since its release Onirim only got better, adding new expansions and going free to download with no pesky F2P shenanigans on the side. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any news on the Onirim front, however. Yesterday Asmodee let everyone know that updates are on the way. Not only that, but they’re looking for testers to help get the updates out the door.
iOS, Android • If you haven’t played Onitama from Arcane Wonders, you’re really in for a treat when the game lands on iOS and Android later this year. I’m not much of an abstract fan, but I fell in love with Onitama when I played it at Gen Con and can’t wait for Asmodee Digital to bring it to all my touchscreens. From the sound of it, we won’t have long to wait.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Don’t let the snarky headline fool you, this is some awesome news. Remember the other day when we learned that Asmodee Digital was taking over publishing duties for some of Playdek’s catalog and wondered what that meant? Would anything really change? Well, it hasn’t with Playdek (yet), but today another game that Asmodee took over publishing duties for, Talisman, did something amazing. Earlier this morning, Nomad announced that all IAP (and there is a ton of it) is now cross-platform available. I may have just wet myself.
Back in September we were surprised to see the name Asmodee Digital on the App Store where Playdek once resided, specifically on the Playdek versions of Twilight Struggle and Ascension. Today we learned that those two games were only the beginning of the Playdek/Asmodee partnership as Asmodee is now also the publisher of Playdek’s first foray into the heavy euro-world, Agricola as well as their card battler, Summoner Wars.