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, PC/Mac/Linux (Early Access), Android (coming soon) • My father was born in Austria and came to the US when he was a kid, which means I grew up with a rather inflated view of Austria’s importance to the rest of the world. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that Austria wasn’t the world power I had envisaged in my head and hadn’t been for nearly 100 years. Still, I’ve been over there to visit a few times and am heading back that way next year to visit once again. It’s a pretty neat place, but the Austria of Wolfgang Lueger’s vampire-themed deck-builder, VEmpire – The Kings of Darkness, seems a lot cooler.
Tabletop • At first glance you might be tempted to compare Catalyst Game Labs‘ latest card game, Dragonfire, to one of the favorites around the Stately Play grounds, Pathfinder Adventures. Both use cards to replicate the role-playing experience with the latter set in Pathfinder and the former in D&D 5E. Other than those similarities, however, the games couldn’t be more different. You already know I love Pathfinder ACG, so how does Dragonfire stack up?
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, Android, PC, Mac • Star Realms is one of those cardboard-to-digital ports that everyone seems to love. Even if deck-building isn’t your favorite mechanism, Star Realms just does everything so right that you feel the need to keep it installed on your iPad. Games can be played quickly, the entire game is remarkably cheap without any boosters to constantly buy, and it just feels like it was made for digital from the get-go. That said, it’s about to feel a lot different. The Star Realms you know and love is getting a complete makeover, and it’s coming on Wednesday.
PC, Mac • How often does a game’s catchphrase, a blurb that’s often silly and seldom informative, sell you on playing said game? We’re hoping the answer is, “not often”, but check this out: A Deckbuilding Roguelike Adventure. Sold! That’s the tagline for Monster Slayers, a game by Nerdook Productions, and it’s the exact coupling of words needed to penetrate the inky blackness of my heart and, more importantly, wallet.
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, PC/Mac • Yes, I know it’s terribly flawed, but one of my favorite time wasters of 2016 was Gambrinous’ dungeon-builder-crawler, Guild of Dungeoneering. Featuring a combat mechanism that could have become rote, but instead was kept interesting via deck building and the promise of unlocking more stuff, GoD was one of my most played titles of the year. The problem came when there was no more stuff to find. Eventually the map is cleared and every new room in your guild has been built. Luckily, Gambrinous has kept adding new content starting with last year’s Pirate’s Cove and their latest expansion, Ice Cream Headaches, coming this week.