Welcome to what may become a regular SP Sunday-night feature, if you’re in the US (more like second breakfast or elevensies time in NZ). I’ve always fancied myself a decidedly non-prime hours horror host, in the vein of Vampira, Elvira, and Commander USA. Don’t remember Commander USA? Just imagine Watchmen’s The Comedian unconvincingly faking enthusiasm for El Santo movies and “drawing on” his hand with his cigar. I asked editorial for a wardrobe budget, but all I got back was a series of farty noises, so just imagine me in a LBD and a smoking jacket, wearing a wig stolen from a community theatre production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, sitting in a ridiculously oversized Gothic armchair next to a roaring fireplace (burning official strategy guides and AOL diskettes, ‘natch) and cradling a coffee mug bigger than my head in my arms with a degree of tenderness usually reserved for newborn babies and Alpha Edition Magic: the Gathering cards. Got it? Good, let’s go.
iPad, Android Tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • One thing I look forward to every year is a Jeremy Handel sighting at Gen Con. He’s incredibly hard to find, but when you do you won’t be disappointed because he’ll be dressed as someone else. Sure, there’s a lot of cosplay at Gen Con, but not many people cosplay as characters from Sentinels of the Multiverse. This year, my son and I ended up getting sick on Saturday and our time in the convention center was nil from Saturday morning on, so I didn’t get a chance to find Jeremy this year [for the record, we did meet up with Jean-Marc Giffin of Handelabra who was affable as always -ed.], but I did get a chance to play a ton of his latest game, One Deck Dungeon. That’s because Handelabra released the major expansion, Forest of Shadows, the Wednesday night before the Con opened.
PC/Mac/Linux • There’s something a little less exciting about a game releasing when it’s been available on Steam Early Access for a long time prior to going “live”. I mean, I’ve been playing Factorio for so long now that if they took it out of EA and into actual release, I doubt I’d really notice. That said, Star Traders: Frontiers is a Trese Brothers game and we kind of love those around these parts. If you need reminding, they’re the dynamic duo behind the oft-overlooked but much-loved Templar Battleforce. Star Traders: Frontiers went live while I was at Gen Con and I’m dying to dive into it.
Developers have distantly flirted with the idea of a Warhammer 40K grand strategy, but the commitment to rendering a colossal empire management sim in the grimdark future has yet to be fully realised. It would be an interesting undertaking, and while perhaps some conversions and mods have offered glimpses into what might be, we’re yet to see one with the official GW stamp. Along comes Gladius – Relics of War, from Pandora: First Contact devs Proxy Studios and published under the auspices of Slitherine, and while the game has aspirations to the grand strategy genre, it’s best described as a wargame. Or is that Waaaaarrrghgame? Apostates and the pious alike, read on.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Digidiced is turning into quite the workhorse. Not only is their port of Isle of Skye currently in beta, but we learned last week that they’re also working on a digital port of the Stefan Feld classic, Castles of Burgundy. Today I was sent a missive of another game Digidiced has in their pocket, the chaotic stock trader, Stockpile. Even more surprising is that it’s already entering beta. Apparently Digidiced has been working on this one for a bit now in secret.
iPad, Android tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Considering that Handelabra‘s digital port of One Deck Dungeon is so damn good, it only stood to reason that we’d eventually be seeing the stand-alone expansion, Forest of Shadows, make its way into the app. Earlier this morning we got a confirmation of the digital expansion from none other than the designer and head of Asmadi himself, Chris Cieslik. Not only that, but he sent us our first image of the expansion in action. Well, almost in action. It’s the selection screen, but it’s still cool.
iPad, Android Tablet, PC/Mac/Linux • I love Handelabra as much as the next guy, but the amount of One Deck Dungeon news is starting to get annoying. I mean, I haven’t even tried a dungeon with Caliana, their last DLC hero and now they’ve gone and added another? Not just that, but I still have problem getting through the 1-star-difficulty Dragon and now they’ve added a 4-star deathtrap? Geez, it’s almost like I’m just going to have to just keep playing and playing One Deck Dungeon for the foreseeable future. Woe is me.
iPad, Android Tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Sentinels of the Multiverse was deluged with constant updates, new content, expansions, and more after its release and at a pace that would make most developers shut down from exhaustion. You’d think Handelabra would have a hard time replicating that with their latest baby, One Deck Dungeon, but it’s starting to feel like déjà vu. They’ve already added the Phoenix Den and tomorrow the roguelike card game is getting not one, but two new characters to kill with poor dice rolls: Fanatic and Caliana.
PC/Mac/Linux (today); iPad, Switch, Consoles (later) • While it’s one of the most polarizing titles available for the iPad, Darkest Dungeon on Steam is less divisive. The game still sports a “very positive” rating on Steam more than 2 years and many updates later. Today that will be put to the test when the latest major DLC, The Color of Madness, arrives. From what I can tell, the expansion is sure to be a hit. The test is going to come from the changes being made to the base game at the same time. Let’s just say the list of changes coming to DD is massive.
If you were one of the people who loaded up Handelabra‘s One Deck Dungeon and thought, Hmmm…not enough dungeon, then today is your lucky day. Not only did the game update to add fixes and UI features, but it also brought along the game’s first DLC, The Phoenix’s Den.