iOS Universal, PC/Mac • It’s been a long time since we’ve had a pure puzzle game worth talking about land on the App Store. The Witness, Jonathan Blow‘s puzzle opus, almost fits. It’s definitely a puzzle game, but it’s also big, beautiful, and mysterious. It feels like there’s much more to do than just solving the maze-like puzzles, but when you get down to it, there really isn’t. It’s kind of weird, but I keep loading it up and exploring the world so there must be something there.
PC/Mac/Linux • INTRODUCE Capped off 12 East Games’ Trackless some days ago. Still thinking about 12 East Games‘ Trackless today. Surely a very good sign. CONTINUE
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux • You’re probably sick and tired of me talking about Thimbleweed Park around these parts, but I know a lot of our readers are mobile gamers first and foremost, so I also know many of you have probably ignored my earlier praises of the game. You’re probably also aware that the previous sentence is an abomination of word structure and nearly, but not quite, a run-on sentence. That sentence wasn’t much better. Shorter, but not better. What I’m trying to say is, mobile gamers can now experience the joy I’ve had playing Thimbleweed Park because it’s currently on the App Store.
iPad, PC/Mac • There was a time–well before anyone had coined the phrase App-ocalypse–that Spiderweb Software had their fill with Apple and vowed to never produce another RPG for our tablets. Remember that? Spiderweb guru Jeff Vogel was lamenting the fact that iOS 8.3 broke their engine, and they were taking their ball and going home. They eventually relented, with the reveal that Jeff’s initial rage was caused by some underlying medical issues and things happening outside the wonderful world of coding. That circus revolved around the release of Avernum 2 and, thanks to Pocket Gamer, we learned that we can expect the final chapter in the saga, Avernum 3, next year.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Art is cheap, at least when it comes to mobile games. You know this is true because even the most crap-filled freemium abomination is filled to the bevel with the most precisely crafted artwork. Pretty pixels are the aluminum siding of mobile gaming. Consequently, a good game is often not even particularly about the visuals but about the way the developer creates a tension between the tactical options available to the player and the desired game outcome. That and timers. We must always have timers. The reason this is important is that one of the latest titles to make its way to mobile, Minos Strategos by Brett Lowey of Militia fame, is not a particularly ground-breaking game in terms of visuals and also has some surprisingly poor UI choices. Combined, these make Minos Strategos troublesome at first but are, ultimately, a slight blemish on what is a very good abstract strategy game.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux • Still one of the best gamebook translations to the touchscreen, Warlock of Firetop Mountain just got even better with some new DLC that’s now available for the iOS version.
iOS Universal, Android, Consoles, Switch, PC/Mac • While I absolutely adored the PC/Mac version of Thimbleweed Park earlier this year, I’ll admit that I still haven’t fully solved the Twin Peaks-like murder mystery that lies in the game’s center. The game is big and sprawling and while it looks and feels like a 1990’s LucasArts point-and-click title, there’s much more here to unravel story-wise. I’ve kind of been waiting for the mobile version to launch so I can follow the exploits of Agents Ray and Reyes–who are in no way anything like Dana Scully or Fox Mulder–on my couch. The wait is nearly over! Thimbleweed Park is coming to iOS next week and Android in October.
PC/Mac • Psst. Hello there. My access card still works at Stately HQ, so I’ve slipped the after-hours cleaning staff a fiver to wax floors elsewhere and jumped on Dave’s terminal. Password: daStatel1est. You see, one of the blokes behind Quakey roguelite Teleglitch has a new one in the pipe. Influences front and center, if you’re champing for more FTL all these years later, Shortest Trip To Earth is a right old trek.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • It seems like we’ve been talking about a digital version of North Star Games‘ creature builder, Evolution, for longer than Darwin sailed on the Beagle. Well, guess what? It still isn’t ready for release and, in fact, is looking for a little extra help to push it along via a brand new Kickstarter campaign that started earlier today. We saw Evolution in action at Gen Con 2016 and it looked pretty darn polished then, so what the heck is going on?
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Minos Strategos is an abstract digital board game that traces its roots to a physical board game from none other than Through the Ages designer, Vlaada Chvátil. The game is called Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends and is one of the very few Vlaada creations I haven’t played. That’s because it’s a two-player, head-to-head battle game which, in my home, are less likely than Monopoly to hit the table. Luckily, Minos Strategos has an AI to play against so I don’t have to rely on my kids and, better yet, it’s now on mobile, so I can play on my phone.