iOS Universal, Android • At the end of last November, Asmodee Digital started their deluge of board game ports with Colt Express and haven’t let up yet. In fact, if my counting is correct, Onirim will be their sixth release in just over four months. One constant of the Asmodee releases has been their failure to adhere to the tenets of our multiplayer manifesto, creating multiplayer experiences that have been less than stellar. Onirim manages to dodge that bullet by being a completely solitaire experience and it just happens to be available right now for iOS and Android.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • When you think of Fighting Fantasy books, you probably remember solitary dungeon romps with your trusty d6s in tow and pining for the love of another human being. Good times. Gamebooks like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, City of Thieves, and the Sorcery! books replaced my parents for a good chunk of my adolescence and it seems these books can’t stop being brought back to life on our phones and tablets. Heck, we just had a new version of Warlock of Firetop Mountain land a month or two ago, and the Sorcery! saga was brought to life in ways my pimply-faced self couldn’t have imagined thirty years ago. Nomad Games, creators of digital Talisman, have joined forces with Fighting Fantasy to bring some of these old titles back to life. They’re not doing it with stodgy pages and, you know, reading. Blech! Instead, they’ve added dice and cards and are turning the whole thing into a boardgame-esque romp.
iOS Universal, (Android coming soon) • It’s not often that we post about app updates unless they include some major new features or content, but here we are prattling on about an update to the excellent Card Thief which adds neither. It’s almost as if it’s been a slow news week or something.
PC/Mac (available now), iOS/Android (coming soon) • Just a hint to developers out there who want Stately Play to cover their titles: include “Through the Ages” in your subject line and it’s sure to make it to the front page. Age of Rivals developer, Roboto Games, did one better. They told me their latest title, Age of Rivals, is a cross between Through the Ages and 7 Wonders. Insert “Shut Up and Take My Money” meme here.
iOS Universal, Android (coming soon) • Neil Gaiman is my favorite (living) author. I haven’t read anything from him that I’ve disliked, and will buy any new book he writes without even knowing what it’s about. I feel the same way about Wes Anderson’s movies, even though I’m not a hipster (and if you call me one, I’ll take off my glasses and jaunty hat and we’ll have to go outside, mister). For some reason, certain creators just connect with each of us regardless of what they put their minds too. It’s no different in the digital realm. For a long time, Blizzard was my spirit animal, then Playdek. I still like both of them, but I’m starting to think that Tinytouchtales is the one. Maybe it’s the art, maybe the gameplay. Probably both. Whatever it is, they know how to crawl inside my head and hit all the right buttons. Card Crawl is still in there, tapping away as one of my favorite mobile games ever. Their latest, Card Thief, might be even better.
iOS Universal • The small 2-person developer Tinytouchtales arrived on the scene back in 2015 with the release of Card Crawl, an unassuming solitaire card game/dungeon crawl that ended up being the best game of the year. Few mobile games last more than a few months on my devices, Card Crawl has been on there–getting play–for two years. That would explain whey we’ve been so eager to get our hands on the follow-up title, Card Thief. We’ve been teased for over a year with gameplay hints and the occasional screenshot, but today the waiting ends. Card Thief is now available on the App Store.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Whenever a cooperative game is released, regardless of how impossible it is to win, it will only be a matter of days before some gamers start squawking about how easy the game is. There’s always folks claiming to have an 80% win rate on games that I have yet to sniff a victory, and I’m usually playing on the easiest difficulty level. Now, either I’m a terrible gamer or they’re lying. I fully admit to being terrible at everything, gaming included, but I like to think that those folks are lying through their teeth or, at least, playing the rules wrong. It can’t all be me, can it? Case in point, I suck at Sentinels of the Multiverse. I’ve played a ton, and yet still fail miserably against just about every villain regardless of which team I’ve cobbled together. For those who find Sentinels too easy I have two things to say. First of all, I hate you, and, secondly, Handelabra somehow agrees with you and has given masochists the option to make SotM even harder via something called Challenge Mode.
iPad, PC/Mac • After my torrid love affair with Hearthstone cooled, I kind of figured I was done with the whole CCG thing. After all, a big part of Hearthstone’s appeal was the setting, which I’d spent time in since the 90’s, and the polish that only a billion dollar developer can provide. 2016 surprised me, however, with not one, but two, new CCGs due for mobile that piqued my interest. The first is Duelyst, created by board game designer Eric Lang, and the second is Faeria. Both offer a CCG experience that incorporates a board and tiny little critters you can move around, but Faeria has one advantage over Duelyst, it’s been released for iPad.
iOS Universal, Android, PC • A few weeks ago one of the big muckety-mucks at Playdek contacted me to let me know that the Stately Play emails he’s received have misspelt “postmaster” as “plostmaster”. Being the socially stunted infant that I am, I followed up his friendly email by neither fixing the problem nor emailing him back and thanking him for the information. That’s the kind of thoughtful, thankful response I guarantee when you contact me here at Stately Play. Turns out, he probably was too busy to read any reply I might have sent anyway, as Playdek’s first-born, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, has been taking up much of their time culminating in today’s release of the latest expansion, War of Shadows.
iOS Universal, Android • Pathfinder Adventures from Paizo and Obsidian was my top mobile game of 2016 and one that I still find myself playing more than most of the other games on my iPad. It’s always big news when Obsidian drops a new update for the game, if only to squash some of the still lingering bugs. Yesterday, the latest update was released for the game bringing some new features and fixes but, more importantly, it was accompanied by a blog post indicating that Quest Mode has an upcoming appointment with the headsman.