iPad, Android tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Last Thursday I stopped by Steam several times to see if Handelabra‘s port of One Deck Dungeon was live. One of these trips — for no good reason — I scrolled down to read current Steam reviews. Negative reviews weren’t hard to spot, all complaining that this game uses too much “RNG” which is, apparently, a cool thing all the kids are saying. It means random number generation and if you’re complaining about randomness in a game that has you chucking literal handfuls of dice each turn then maybe you’re playing the wrong game. One Deck Dungeon is nothing but randomly generated numbers and, if you’re into that kind of game –other ports I can think of are Elder Sign and Roll for It! — then you’re in for a treat.
Tabletop • Before I left for Europe I was asked if I wanted to attend PDXCON, Paradox‘s annual navel gaze, in Stockholm. Of course I said yes, but before you think I’m a lucky bastard, I should tell you that I didn’t go. I’m traveling with my dad and deviating from our itinerary nearly put him in the cardiac ward, so I had to crawl back and turn them down. Luckily, there’s this thing called the internet and you can pretty much be there without actually, you know, being there. It’s been a big week of announcements thus far: Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Imperator: Rome, and more. That said, the biggest announcement (in my board game centric eyes) was made today. Paradox is bringing some of their biggest franchises to the tabletop.
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.
PC/Mac/Linux, Android, iOS • Another week, another post about a mobile beta. Sigh. I don’t know what’s happening, but I know that the next few months there’s going to be an explosion of goodness oozing out of the App Store’s pores. This week (and I’m sure there will be more as the week goes on…we’ve become Betas-R-Us) we have an abstract that hasn’t gotten enough coverage: Feud.
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.
Tabletop, PC/Mac/Linux • There’s something very cool happening over at Victory Point Games. For years they were known as a company that made interesting games with components that weren’t very interesting, but not anymore. Over the past 2-3 years they’ve started to reprint second and third editions of games and upping their component game. Thus, we’ve seen gems such as Nemo’s War, Dawn of the Zeds, Healthy Heart Hospital, and Darkest Night all reappear with shiny new versions, begging for gamers who had poo-pooed VPG in the past to love them. It’s not hard to do, they’re all fantastic. The latest reimagining is another title I hadn’t heard of called Gem Rush. Not only is the shiny new 2nd edition currently on Kickstarter, but they’ve also announced that a digital version is on its way to Steam for PC/Mac/Linux.
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.
iOS, Android • Yesterday I vented a bit about the seemingly endless barrage of board game betas being thrown at us in 2018 without anything actually, you know, releasing. The folks at Cublo heard my cries and, today, announced that their 7 Wonders-like, sci-fi builder, Among the Stars, will be arriving on iOS and Android on May 10.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Maybe it’s just me, but 2018 thus far has been a rather depressing year from a digital board game perspective. I’m still playing the hell out of Through the Ages, Twilight Struggle, and even Race for the Galaxy, but 2018 has been the “Year of the Beta”. It’s been a lot of talk about a bunch of great games set to release in 2018, but nothing has actually manifested into reality yet. We have Scythe, Terraforming Mars, One Deck Dungeon, Onitama, Among the Stars, XenoShyft, and probably a few more that I can’t remember offhand. I get that it’s a long slog to get a game released, but I want more goodies on my iPad and it’s all about me, me, me! Today we have another beta for an upcoming game that I really, really want to start playing, Istanbul.
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.