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 • Boardnaut Studios has quietly been translating quality print-and-play and small box tabletop games to digital for a bit now, titles like Maquis and Land 6. Their latest has just landed on the App Store, and it’s a port of another print-and-play game, Constantinople.
iOS Universal, PC • Other than the upcoming adventure title Thimbleweed Park, the future of classic point-and-click adventure titles on the App Store looks pretty bleak. Sure, there’s Telltale, but their titles feel more like interactive movies than the point-and-click adventures of old. Luckily, we still have Wadjet Eye Games, makers of the fantastic Blackwell series of games for iOS. They’re the lone soldiers on the point-and-click frontier and their latest, Shardlight, has just made its way from PC to iOS.
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, Android • Link Twin is a simple, pleasantly-presented puzzler. Though modest in scope and number, its puzzles pass my idiosyncratic test: they sometimes stumped me until I stopped playing, and were immediately solvable when I returned. That tells me that there are various ways to approach them which are valuable enough to attract one’s thinking but easily accessible enough that breaking one’s chain of thought makes it possible to take a new tack. This would leave me perfectly satisfied, but for the fact that the minimal narrative hints at something more.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • Being a socially awkward 12 year-old in 1983 meant that I spent an inordinate amount of time by myself at the local mall, most of it at Aladdin’s Castle spending paper route earnings one quarter at a time. When the quarters dried up only a few other stores could garner enough excitement to get a visit before biking home. There was Hobby Horse, where I could peruse Dungeon & Dragons modules and Ral Partha metal figures. There was Spencer Gifts, whose poster section offered the alluring chance to spy sideboob before being asked to leave the store. And then there was Waldenbooks, one of the early Amazon casualties, which offered up more books than I could imagine and was far closer to home than any public library. It was here that I purchased my first Fighting Fantasy book, Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • When the first Where’s Waldo? book was published I was already in high school failing to impress the ladies with tales of my 7th level paladin, Sir Loinofbeef. Yes, even at 16 I was confused why girls weren’t impressed by the wit of a Bugs Bunny cartoon from 1949. Anyway, I was a bit on the old side for “hidden object” books that seem to still be a thing 30 years after the bespectacled barber pole made his first appearance. Hidden Folks is basically a Where’s Waldo? for the digital age. Each screen is loaded with a mind boggling horde of stuff, and you’re tasked with finding a needle in the figurative haystack. Sounds terrible, I know, but for some reason it isn’t. In fact, it’s a rather wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
iOS Universal, Android • One of the best games to land on our PCs in the last ten years became one of the best games ever ported over to an iPad back in 2013 when XCOM: Enemy Unknown arrived on the App Store in all its tense, heart-breaking glory. In 2014 it was superseded by XCOM: Enemy Within which added more stuff and a new way to ratchet up the tension by placing a pseudo-timer on each mission in the form of Meld. If you haven’t picked up XCOM: Enemy Within for mobile, first of all, shame on you. Secondly, go pick it up now; it’s only three frickin’ bucks.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • It’s about time I came clean. I know this will come as a shock to many of you, so you might want to prepare yourself. Ready? Here we go: Back when I was in college, I was a huge nerd. There, I said it. Take as much time as you need to let that soak in. Now, when I say “nerd”, I’m not talking about the kind that spent their time in the library on Thursday nights rather than at house parties, I’m talking about the kind that stayed in and played role-playing games with friends on Thursday nights instead of going to house parties. A lot of Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition was played in many dorm common areas, let me tell you. We even, for a short time, dabbled in something called Vampire: The Masquerade which was White Wolf’s more freeform answer to D&D’s mathiness and was all the rage thanks to Anne Rice and the lingering effect of a young Kiefer Sutherland in leather. Well, Vampire: The Masquerade is back and it’s on your phone.
iOS Universal • One of the most unique games I’d ever played was Her Story released back in 2015. The “game” consisted of a myriad of video clips that you had to piece together in order to figure out the entire story. There was no winning or losing, just learning more and more about this rather interesting woman who was being questioned by the police for…something. Designer Sam Barlow has said that he’s working on a follow-up, but we haven’t heard of when Her Story 2 might actually find its way to our tablets. Yesterday, Three Story House released a game I wasn’t aware of that brings a lot of that Her Story vibe back to our iPads and adds a healthy dose of Sherlock Holmes along the way. It’s called Ink Spotters 1: The Art of Deduction and, as someone who loved Her Story and also devours anything Sherlockian, color me intrigued.