iOS, Android, PC/Mac • A few years ago, Upper Deck leaped onto the board game scene with a deck-builder set in the Marvel universe. It was called Legendary, and since then has taken on so many different IPs that it’s nearly impossible to name them all. Luckily, we don’t have to name them because the digital version of Legendary is right around the corner and instead of using one of the existing IPs, the digital version will have a new fantasy theme tacked on. Considering how much everyone seems to love Marvel everything, I might be the only person on Earth excited by this change of scenery.
iOS Universal, Android • Paperback is one of the better board game apps released in the last couple years, but not because of the app. I mean, the app is fine and works great if all you want to do is build words against the AI, but it falls short in one area that Stately Players demand in their board game conversions: multiplayer. Originally released with only pass-and-play capabilities, last night the app was hit with a stealthy update that adds what we all wanted, asynchronous multiplayer.
Tabletop • I’ve been on a quest of late to find the best two-player tabletop games the world has to offer. Card games, board games, dice games…it doesn’t matter, I just want fun games to play with my wife around home or with a friend now and then. I may have stumbled onto something with my latest conquest, The Fox in the Forest.
iPad, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Faeria is one of the many games on my “must play” list that I never seem to get around to actually playing. The combined CCG and tactical board game elements would seem to be my chocolate and peanut butter but, alas, Race for the Galaxy came out and pretty much ruined me for card games until some time in 2019 when I might get a little bored with it. Still, Abrakam, is trying to get me to put RftG aside early by unleashing new expansion content for Faeria. Looking at what’s in the expansion, they might just succeed.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • I still play Pathfinder Adventures more than a year after it was released, and more than 8 months after any new major content was added. I’m not sure I can say that about many other board games on my iPad. Maybe Galaxy Trucker? Twilight Struggle? Agricola? Those are some of the App Store’s heaviest hitters when it comes to digital board games, so Pathfinder is in good company. I’m only going to be playing more now that the long awaited Rise of the Goblins campaign has gone live.
iOS Universal, Android • Earlier this week my wife and two eldest children left on a trip to Spain to spend time with an exchange student who had lived with us during the last school year. Now, normally, my wife and kids leaving me home alone for an extended period of time would be cause for celebration–I usually wouldn’t even shower until they came back–but this time she left me with a very energetic 6 year-old, and I’m lost. How do you keep a kid busy when he’s used to having two brothers to annoy all day long? I have no idea, but I found out quickly that they don’t appreciate Twilight Struggle. So, I’m kind of having a bummer week, but then a new title arrived in the App Store, Miracle Merchant from Tinytouchtales, and now all is right in the world.
iOS Universal • Because I’m a filthy hipster when it comes to board games, I tend to shit all over the seminal euro game, Settlers of Catan. It’s the cool thing to do these days, and I’m nothing if not cool [don’t sell yourself short, you’re also a douche -ed.]. I just find the game to be a random mess and, because the guys in my group are all better at it than me, tend to always find myself pinned into a corner from which escape is hopeless. As you can tell, my opinion of Settlers probably lies in the fact that I’m not good at it, but, whatever. This post is about Settlers’ little 2-player cousin, Rivals for Catan. Now, that’s a game that I truly enjoy both on the tabletop and my iPad, but we just found out that the latter isn’t long for this world thanks to Apple.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • One of 2017’s biggest hits around these parts is a little card game called Age of Rivals. With the mixture of card drafting and empire building, it could be seen as a 7 Wonders replacement, particularly since it’s on the App Store and that oft-delayed title has yet to appear. The problem with the comparison, however, is that Age of Rivals is a better game. It’s more complex, requires more strategy, and, dare I say, is just more fun to play.
iOS, Android • Dave has given me the impression that HexWar are the Lucy van Pelt to our Charlie Brown, repeatedly advertising wonderful games and delivering troubled ones once we get our hopes up. I assume that, once the running gag had been established, the challenge for Charles Schultz was to find a way to create interest in a joke with a predictable ending. With Lightning: D-Day, HexWar did it by translating to app from a well-regarded, unusually simple WWII card game famous for its poorly-written rules. I had hoped that the combination of a lower degree of difficulty than their ambitious past games mixed with an easily addressed problem in the cardboard version made this a superb candidate for an unqualified HexWar success. Then again, we all know how this joke ends.
iOS, Android, PC • When Onirim launched earlier this year, it was a fun little diversion, a perfect way to kill some time while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. Apparently, Asmodee wants us to think of it as more than a diversion and, as such, keeps adding more and more content to the game, pushing it closer and closer to GOTY material. Today, not only did Onirim receive a major expansion, but it also spread its wings and is now playable on your PC.