iOS Universal, Android • This is a weird way to start a review, but I think I’ll probably just keep beating this dead horse all through the post if I don’t do this up front. I’m talking about the theme of Hostage Negotiator and the fact that it’s dark; dark enough that it turns me off a bit. It’s a fairly hypocritical stance, I know. After all, I have no issue with assassinating William Shakespeare in Through the Ages or laying waste to a horde of redcoats in Liberty or Death. Hostage Negotiator feels a little more personal, however. Whether the bad guy is a terrorist or a rogue teacher, the number at the top of the screen represents helpless humans that are going to, very likely, shuffle off their digital coils before you’re done. I’m not saying Hostage Negotiator is a bad game–you’ll have to read past the break to see how I actually feel–but I felt that I’d keep bringing the theme up at every turn and didn’t want it to bog the whole thing down. There, that’s the last you’ll hear of it. Now let’s talk about the game itself.
PC/Mac/Linux (now in EA), Mobile (coming later) • I know everyone’s busy playing Into the Breach today, but I’d like to ask you to stop for just one moment. Please. C’mon, you can pull yourself away for a little bit. No? Okay, then just listen to me drone on in the background. Into the Breach isn’t the only bit of coolness to land on Steam today. Our friends at Handelabra have also pushed out an Early Access build of the card-based dungeon crawler, One Deck Dungeon for PC/Mac/Linux which is two more platforms than you’ll find for Into the Breach. Take that, Subset!
Mobile, PC/Mac • Earlier this year my Kickstarted copy of One Deck Dungeon from Asmadi Games arrived and it quickly became my go-to solo game. It’s compact, easy to fit in a backpack, and plays fairly quick while still giving you something to think about each and every turn. Those gents at Handelabra have taken it upon themselves to convert this card game to digital and, just this week, they let me have a look behind the curtain to see how things are going. They’re going very, very well.
Tabletop • Dickens famously wrote one book about two cities. Martin Wallace, on the other hand, topped that by designing two games about the same city. You know, I’d been milling that intro about in my head for days and it sounded way better there than it does when I type it out. Unfortunately, my delete key is broken so it will have to remain as-is [unfortunately, my delete key is broken too, or it would have been destroyed. -ed.]. What I’m trying to get at is that I’ve played London by Martin Wallace. I’ve played it a lot. I’ve played both the first and second editions and I’m going to talk about it after the jump.
iOS Universal, Android • We’re not huge fans of hyperbole here at Stately Play–the best damned site in this or any other universe–but when a game like Meteorfall shows up, it seems appropriate. Meteorfall is good. Dare I say, super-duper good. So good, in fact, that I’m sticking it in the running for Game of the Year and it’s not even the end of January yet. Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a review, dummy. [Dave fell on the ice, hitting his head on the concrete yesterday and has been calling everyone–even his wife and kids–“dummy” ever since. We’re hoping the concussion symptoms go away soon but, until then, please take no offense. -ed.]
PC/Mac/Linux (First Access now), Tablets (down the road) • An alien spacecraft streaked down from the sky and plowed into the desert. It spoke to you when you arrived, and now you’re considered a prophet. It’s on you to lead your newfound followers through a desert wasteland in search of a new home, a journey fueled by the promise of the unlimited powers and ancient knowledge of an alien race.
PC/Mac/Linux • I still haven’t figured out how to use Steam. I mean, I play games on Steam quite a bit, but scanning the store for new arrivals and Early Access gems isn’t something I’ve acquired a skill for. As such, I have to wait until I see someone tweet or post about a Steam title before I’m aware it exists. Slay the Spire is a recent example. I’ve been playing the Early Access version for a couple days, thinking I stumbled onto something special, only to find that it’s been available for 2 months now and we’re the only damn site that hasn’t written up something about it. So, just ignore the fact that Slay the Spire isn’t a brand new release and play along.
iOS, Android • I’m officially over collectible-card games. I’m done buying packs and chasing rares all to play random people on the Internet. I do love the strategy of deck building and tactics of turn-based card slinging, however, which makes me happy we have people like the fine folks at Slothwerks making games for us all to enjoy. Games like the upcoming Meteorfall.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Harry Dresden is the other wizard named Harry who didn’t go to Hogwarts and doesn’t have a lightning scar on his forehead. I just wanted to let you know that I know the difference between Harry Dresden and Harry Potter before anyone gets angry that I mixed up the two worlds in the headline. I may be a muggle, but I’m an informed muggle. The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game landed on Steam back in November, and Nick quite liked it as did I when I finally gave it a go. All you mobile gamers out there can now join in on the fun, as it arrived for both iOS and Android devices Sunday. [yeah, it launched on a Sunday -ed.]
Tabletop • There aren’t many activities where being a friendless abomination is actually a boon, but board gaming is getting there. There’s a bevy of solo board games on the market and it seems like I’m discovering more and more of them each week. Asmadi‘s One Deck Dungeon is a one or two player affair (you can play up to four with two copies), but I’m going to focus on the solo game. Because I’m alone. Yeah, I already covered that. Even if you’re one of those cool people with family and/or friends who want to game with you, this review might still be illuminating [illuminating is not a word I would apply to any of your reviews -ed.]. That’s because our friends at Handelabra will be bringing ODD to our PCs and tablets later in 2018, meaning what follows should be applicable to all you digital board gamers as well.