iOS, Android • I first heard of Tim Fowers back when Wok Star was released way back in 2010. It was a cooperative game that didn’t follow the standard Pandemic formula of “take your turn then pull a card and see what terrible stuff happens”. Instead, the game used a timer and players played simultaneously, trying to keep the restaurant running smoothly. Since then, he’s become a powerhouse designer, running his own publishing digs and putting out games that don’t fit into the standard mold set by previous titles. For example, Paperback took the well-worn mechanisms of Dominion, but put them into a word game which, somehow, made deck-building fun! What really separates him, however, is that he learned a long time ago that digital board games are pretty cool and, as of now, has released both Paperback and Burgle Bros. onto mobile. Soon we’ll get their third title on our phones and tablets, a sequel of sorts to Paperback appropriately titled, Hardback.
You might think that Avogadro’s number relates to the number of atoms in a mole, but it was actually created to give dimension to the number of IAP available in Nomad Games‘ digital version of Talisman. If this makes no sense, I’m trying to say there’s a lot of DLC for a digital board game, but that’s not to be unexpected considering the cardboard version and all its expansions have lain waste to entire forests. Today, they added yet another expansion to not just Talisman but also Talisman: Horus Heresy, albeit for a miserly price: free. If that’s not enough for you, they’re also putting the whole lot on sale.
The hardest part of traveling is trying to get back into a normal routine once you get home. I’ve been home since last Saturday afternoon and still don’t quite have the usual rhythms down. For example, this morning I nodded off while trying to write this story and the small catnap turned into a 3 hour tour of dreamtown. The worst part: I still feel tired as hell. Anyway, sorry for the lack of content the last couple days. My malaise and confusion mixed with a huge job interview I had yesterday have made it hard to get back on the SP horse. We’re going to keep trying, however, and today’s attempt concerns RPG masters Spiderweb Software. They have an entirely new RPG world they’re itching to create, and have taken off for Kickstarter to get it done.
iOS Universal • Earlier today we mentioned App Store guru Michael Brough and Cinco Paus arriving for PC/Mac. Let’s talk about the other App Store genius who always seems to hit the nail on the head, Zach Gage. Zach Gage takes the commonplace and turns it on his head. Not only did he tackle that old excuse to drink beer in a boat, fishing, with Ridiculous Fishing, but two examples of applying this mantra to games are Really Bad Chess and FlipFlop Solitaire. The former replaced chess’ rigid rules with utter randomness, while the latter took a dull card game a spiced it up by adding one minor tweak. This week Zach Gage tackled another common game and updated it for the mobile scene, pool. Pocket Run Pool is the result and, like all of Zach Gage’s games, you wonder how no one thought of this before.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • Michael Brough‘s latest gem on the App Store is a strange one, Cinco Paus. The strangeness comes from the fact that the entire game is in Portuguese with no options to translate it to any other language. At first we weren’t sure what to think. Did this mistakenly show-up on the US App Store? Is there another version being released? The answer to both was “no”. Instead, it slowly dawned on everyone who downloaded it that the Portuguese was part of the puzzle or, as Kelsey puts it, part of the joy of discovery. Unfortunately, only those on with Apple devices have been able to explore this bit of the Brough-verse until today when it became available for PC/Mac.
iOS, Android • I’m anything but an expert traveler, but I feel worldly enough to share this one travel tip: when using Airbnb, double check that the apartment you’re moving into has WiFi. If you’re wondering where I’ve been this week, I basically failed to follow this rule and have been unable to post due to being in an apartment sans internet since Monday. “But there are tons of places with WiFi in Vienna!” I can hear you screaming. This is true, but I’m traveling with my father who doesn’t view writing as a “real job” and therefore has little patience for me to whip out my laptop when we’re sitting at a cafe. I’m learning he has little patience in regards to just about everything, actually. It’s been a fun couple of weeks. Anyway, there has been activity on the App Store, so I’m going to try to post something while we’re on the train to Salzburg. It may be brief because the WiFi on the train isn’t great and it’s only a 2 hour ride, but at least you know that I’m still alive. As for our WiFi-free apartment, we move out on Saturday to a new apartment and, yes, I checked that it has WiFi. Next week should be far more productive.
iOS Universal, Android • In this year of endless betas, we’ve had at least one launch that was worth talking about, the Tinder-ish roguelike, Meteorfall. I really liked the game even though — yes, you were all right about this — it’s not a substitute for Dream Quest. Is anything, though? Today Meteorfall received its first major content update since its January launch, something called the Necrodude.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Acram Digital made their digital name with a well done port of Steam: Rails to Riches and, later, Ryan Laukat‘s Eight-Minute Empire. Both games nailed what made their cardboard cousins so much fun and presented everything polished to a glistening shine. Even better, their releases weren’t just for mobile, but the PC/Mac/Linux crowd could get in on the fun as well via Steam. Looks like those salad days are behind us, however, as all of Acram’s titles have been removed from Steam due to the folks at Acram being naughty.
PC/Mac/Linux, Android, iOS • Another week, another post about a mobile beta. Sigh. I don’t know what’s happening, but I know that the next few months there’s going to be an explosion of goodness oozing out of the App Store’s pores. This week (and I’m sure there will be more as the week goes on…we’ve become Betas-R-Us) we have an abstract that hasn’t gotten enough coverage: Feud.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • I may be the only person who actually kind of loves XenoShyft. I mean, there are problems both as a game and as an app, but there’s something about it that keeps bringing me back. Not every day. Hell, it’s too difficult and soul-crushing to attempt daily. That said, I’ve played dozens and dozens of games since it released back in 2015 (winning…once? Maybe twice?) and it’s become something of a guilty pleasure. Yesterday, Asmodee and Cool Mini or Not added a major expansion to XenoShyft called Dreadmire, and it looks like I’ll be suiting up for battle again real soon.