iOS, Android, PC • Last week, big news ’round these parts was the announcement that the farming/war board game, Scythe, was coming to digital. At the time all we had was a little art and a rough release date of 2017. Using the bat-computer, I was able to log into every cell phone in Gotham and track down the developers, The Knights of Unity. Using an elaborate scheme that involved getting arrested and surgically implanting a cell phone bomb into one of my lackeys, I was able to get some face time with Sir Lucas, one of the aforementioned Knights. If you’re wondering what the hell’s wrong with me, I also rewatched The Dark Knight yesterday. That’s on top of the staggering mental deficiencies you’re already aware of, so it should all make sense now. Sort of.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • If you’ve played the physical version of Terra Mystica, you’re aware that the game comes complete with enough chunky wooden pieces to heat a small home through an extremely bitter winter. Every building you can plop on the board is made of wood with the small individual houses all the way up to massive strongholds and temples. That’s just the wood, there’s also about 30 pounds of cardboard in the box to account for the 14 different factions, each one playing completely differently than the others. Each time a copy is purchased, there’s a copse in Germany that sheds a tear. Lucky for Gaea, there’s a digital version on the way and it’s coming sooner than we thought.
Every year it seems like there’s one or two tabletop games that get 98% of that year’s hype. Last year’s darling, Scythe, was a huge game from a small publisher funded via Kickstarter, a combination that wouldn’t seem to warrant the levels of anticipation we were seeing. Turns out the hype was warranted, because Scythe launched to great reviews and turned out to be one of 2016’s best tabletop experiences. Unbeknownst to us, there’s a digital version of Scythe in the works and, from what little we can gather, it looks like it should be generating a whole lot of hype on its own.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • One of the highlights of last year’s Gen Con was seeing North Star Games‘ fantastic take-that euro game, Evolution, in digital form and looking like it was near ready for release. Turns out, the version we saw wasn’t fit to survive and, dare I say, is still evolving. That’s the word from inside North Star’s digital group, and it sounds like it might be a while before Evolution actually climbs from the primordial code-soup and onto our tablets.
PC/Mac • A long time ago I remember hearing rumors of cardboard publisher Lock ‘n Load getting into the digital game, then I hit a personal black hole and lost contact with the world only to reemerge last fall having completely forgotten about their digital plans. Turns out I should have written a note or tied a string around my finger to remind myself, because Lock ‘n Load published several versions of their light, fast tank battler Tank on Tank for PC/Mac last year and I’m just hearing about them now.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • If it seems like it’s only been a few weeks since Nomad Games updated their venerable flagship, Talisman, I can’t blame you. It’s actually been over a month, but the Talisman expansions are so numerous at this point it feels like there’s a new one each time you load up the app. Today is like that, except when I loaded it up there really was a new expansion waiting for me, The Firelands. It’s probably waiting for you, too. Go check, we’ll wait.
iOS Universal, Android • The retreat from Game Center has opened a hole in the iOS board game development world. With Apple’s commitment to asynchronous multiplayer looking uncertain and the value of a unified multiplayer solution high, publishers of popular board games are likely to seek partnerships with developers who have proven multiplayer systems. That’s going to be very interesting to observe over the next few years. Potion Explosion is a Horrible Games/Cool Mini Or Not product in the tabletop world, but Asmodee Digital and Studio Clangore have brought it to mobile devices, which means you can use an existing account for any Days of Wonder or Asmodee title. That’s a pretty impressive catalog–just in my own iTunes library, I have Ticket To Ride, Small World (2, he added, rolling his eyes), the recently improved Colt Express, Pandemic, and Splendor.
iPad, Android • Titan HD was the first game I ever decided to review for Pocket Tactics more than year after its initial release. Its tabletop version was famously deep, challenging, and counter-intuitive, and is still played at conventions more than thirty years after its introduction into a hobby famously obsessed with the Cult of the New. More importantly, it’s also surging in popularity among users of our own forum, drawn not only to its classic gameplay but to an app which has been lovingly supported by developer Kristopher Giesing for almost as long as there have been tablets capable of holding it. I managed to track down Kristopher and grill him about one of my favorite iPad apps.
Asmodee has been on a digital rampage over the past couple months. Since Thanksgiving in late November, they’ve released Colt Express and Mysterium and tomorrow we’ll see another Asmodee creation, Potion Explosion.
Another Commands & Colors game from the mind of noted designer Richard Borg has made its way to digital. No, it’s not Memoir ’44 or Command & Colors: Ancients, instead it’s his latest entry into the series, The Great War. It was released earlier today for PC/Mac with tablets coming down the road.