I love geeky tabletop games, especially the kind with a dozen different decks of cards, scores of specialized counters, multiple boards and player reference cards with charts and tables. Call me Ameritrash, but that’s the way I like it. Unfortunately, I have young children: my oldest is taking an interest in games now, but at age 5 he’s not ready for Twilight Struggle or Terra Mystica yet, and my youngest is mostly interested in teething on the pieces. As a result, I mostly play my board games on a tablet these days, and keep notes on which ones I might want to pick up when the kids get older. I say this because Space Food Truck is a digital board game. There’s no print edition yet, and that’s a shame because if there was, I’d have purchased it and put it in a place of honor in my collection, there to wait for the day we can sit down as a family and play together. If you haven’t picked up on my subtle hints, what I’m trying to say is that I love this cooperative multiplayer game.
Over the past few years the French board game publisher Asmodee has played the role of Pac Man with the rest of the tabletop industry being small white dots. Publishers like Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight, and F2Z Media have all fallen under the Asmodee umbrella. One benefit for us is they seem intent on porting as many of their titles to digital as possible. Colt Express, Potion Explosion, and Mysterium are all planned for release before the New Year and they also just announced that Spot It! will be coming to digital in early 2017.
You probably haven’t heard of Nyx Hydra. Their biggest success to date has been Egg!, a FTP Tamagotchi game in roughly the same vein as Neko Atsume. Egg! isn’t Stately Play material, but it is cute and doesn’t push the IAP too hard. But I’m not here to talk about Egg!, a game I would never even have discovered it it weren’t for The Arcana, a passion project they’re currently seeking Kickstarter funding for.
Earlier in the week I managed to track down the latest winner of the coveted Spiel des Jahres award, Vlaada Chvátil from Czech Games Edition. You might remember him as the prolific designer of board games such as Through the Ages and Galaxy Trucker. You might also remember that Through the Ages has been in the works at CGE for some time with an expected 2016 release. As 2016 nears its end, where do digital versions of TtA and other CGE games (such as the much awaited Codenames port) stand? Lucky for us, Vlaada was happy to fill us in on the details.
If you’ve ever played Mysterium I’m sure the last thing on your mind was if a digital version was in development. It’s a great board game, but it involves players all discussing strange images that have been handed to them from another player. Thus, it seems to be most at home around a dining room table or the like. Well, Asmodee Digital is saying whatever to all that and is going forward with a digital version of Mysterium anyway. After reading what they have planned, I have to admit I’m actually excited to see this on my iPad.