PC/Mac (available now), iOS/Android (coming soon) • Just a hint to developers out there who want Stately Play to cover their titles: include “Through the Ages” in your subject line and it’s sure to make it to the front page. Age of Rivals developer, Roboto Games, did one better. They told me their latest title, Age of Rivals, is a cross between Through the Ages and 7 Wonders. Insert “Shut Up and Take My Money” meme here.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Whenever a cooperative game is released, regardless of how impossible it is to win, it will only be a matter of days before some gamers start squawking about how easy the game is. There’s always folks claiming to have an 80% win rate on games that I have yet to sniff a victory, and I’m usually playing on the easiest difficulty level. Now, either I’m a terrible gamer or they’re lying. I fully admit to being terrible at everything, gaming included, but I like to think that those folks are lying through their teeth or, at least, playing the rules wrong. It can’t all be me, can it? Case in point, I suck at Sentinels of the Multiverse. I’ve played a ton, and yet still fail miserably against just about every villain regardless of which team I’ve cobbled together. For those who find Sentinels too easy I have two things to say. First of all, I hate you, and, secondly, Handelabra somehow agrees with you and has given masochists the option to make SotM even harder via something called Challenge Mode.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Ryan Laukat is the Leonardo da Vinci of the board game world. Not only does he design interesting and much-loved games, but he also does all the artwork, graphic design, and publishing. He’s a true renaissance man, and it was only a matter of time before one of his designs made it to digital. Turns out the first digital title is also one of his first physical titles, Eight-Minute Empire, and it’s coming this summer.
PC/Mac • It’s the flight model. No, no, it’s the visuals. Wait, it’s the muted pokka-pokka-pokka of the cannon. Whatever it is about recent shmup revelation Furious Angels, I’m ensconced in its cocktail of arena shootery like nothing else. As such, I reached to the man behind the game for a quick goosey at where, why and how.
iPad, PC/Mac • After my torrid love affair with Hearthstone cooled, I kind of figured I was done with the whole CCG thing. After all, a big part of Hearthstone’s appeal was the setting, which I’d spent time in since the 90’s, and the polish that only a billion dollar developer can provide. 2016 surprised me, however, with not one, but two, new CCGs due for mobile that piqued my interest. The first is Duelyst, created by board game designer Eric Lang, and the second is Faeria. Both offer a CCG experience that incorporates a board and tiny little critters you can move around, but Faeria has one advantage over Duelyst, it’s been released for iPad.
iOS, PC/Mac• Failbetter Games just completed their Kickstarter for Sunless Skies, the spiritual sequel to indie smash-hit and certified (by yours truly) best game of all time, Sunless Sea. They blew past their goal of $125k, raising almost four times that much and unlocking stretch goals for Sunless Sea and Fallen London as well as Failbetter’s forthcoming spacefaring adventure. The only disappointment of the campaign was that it was conducted neither in pounds sterling nor the Echoes approved by the Masters of the Bazaar, presumably because the only thing riskier at the moment than raising capital in a fictional currency would be relying on the pound post-Brexit. Residents of the rebel colonies can take some small satisfaction in the estimation of the USD to be momentarily more stable than the currency of the crown, but they should have a care – there have been whispering of late that Mr. Iron has been seen in the Forgotten Quarter and, stranger yet, at the Cumaean Canal, working an abacus with inhuman speed and chuckling softly.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac, Consoles • With their game-changing take at Fighting Fantasy, Sorcery!, and their globe-trotting mega-adventure, 80 Days, inkle Studios has yet to swing and miss. As such, we’ve been waiting patiently (mostly) to see what they might be working on next. The wait is over. Yesterday at GDC inkle announced their next project and, unsurprisingly, it looks completely unique. It’s called Heaven’s Vault and is coming to mobile, PC, and consoles.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • I was breezing through my Twitter feed the other day and stumbled on a tweet from occasional contributor, gaming genius, and friend of the site, Matt Thrower. He was asking if anyone was making classic adventure games like we’d find back in the 80’s and 90’s. Classics like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and dozens like them. The only reply he received was from the wonderful Wadjet Eye Games, but today I stumbled onto Thimbleweed Park and I think it will make our British friend very, very happy.
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.
PC/Mac • That’s me, pretending I played more than five-odd minutes of Devil Daggers, 2016’s gothic arena chest-hair simulator. It gained immense traction with its collision of deft art direction and lean, mean shooter gameplay. Too crazy for me, but akin to many other folk, it was an easy purchase to make. One to have on the digital shelf, say they were part of, and move on. But Furious Angels? Now we’re talking.