iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Last Friday we skipped our normal Scrying article to bring you a new screenshot of the upcoming Leaders & Wonders expansion for Czech Games Edition‘s magnum opus, Through the Ages. Well, my embarrassing pleas to Vlaada to be noticed and get into the beta have born fruit! I’m not helping playtest the new expansion (they’re not stupid), but I should be in the beta once it goes live. Also, they sent me a couple more screens from which we can extract completely erroneous information. Let’s put on our deerstalkers and get to work.
PC, iPad, Android Tablets • While the name Marek Pańczyk might not ring a bell, no doubt readers of Stately Play are aware of his work. One of the co-founders of Big Daddy’s Creations, they were at the forefront of bringing board games–particularly heavier euros–to digital. We’re talking gems like Neuroshima Hex and the brilliant, yet perennially undercooked, Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy. While Big Daddy’s has seemingly gone to that big compiler in the sky, Marek is alive and well and still making games. His new company is Red Zero Games and their first foray on the App Store is an original title that pokes fun of good ol’ Chris Columbus and imperialism in general. It’s called Here Be Dragons.
PC, Xbox, PS4 • Listen up, nuggets. You should all be familiar with Black Lab Games‘ dark horse tactical gem, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock. Quite possibly the best licensed game this side of, heck, Dark Forces. A terrific tactical starship game based on the paradigm-shifting show of the 2000s, one that I’d put in my top five — count ’em, five — games of all time. Well, there’s a new expansion coming out very soon, and it sounds all manner of tasty.
PC • When Terraforming Mars first hit the cardboard scene back in 2016, the hype was up there with the likes of Agricola and Dominion. You couldn’t listen to any game podcast, Twitter feed, or YouTube channel and not be overwhelmed with tales of just how good this game was. I held off as long as I could but, when I finally got Terraforming Mars to the table, I had to agree. It was a keeper. Maybe not the best game I’d ever played, but it came with enough variety and decision points hidden beneath a fairly simple facade that I could see it hanging around and being a family favorite for a long time. That was the cardboard version. Today I’m starting a new Terraforming Mars hype train, but for the digital version. It deserves it. The PC port from LuckyHammers and Asmodee Digital is nearly flawless and is easily one of the best digital board games I’ve ever played.
PC/Mac, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch • You sneaky bugger. At least, that’s what you should aim to be, and Nintendo Switch owners can work on their window-smashing, wall-sliding, robot-braining, loot-grabbing, computer-hacking antics with the fresh release of a modern classic. Dan Marshall’s The Swindle has arrived.
PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, Xbox • XCOM2 might just be the most evergreen video game I’ll ever have the pleasure of playing. It never gets old and, honestly, I can see myself sitting down at a laptop ten years from now and blindly rushing into ambushes and getting all my best troops slaughtered. What I’m trying to say is, XCOM2 is really good and I kind of want to marry it. Imagine my shock when, yesterday, I noticed that there was new DLC for XCOM2. NEW DLC! Are you kidding me? I contemplated quitting my day job just to stay home and try it out today but, instead, went to work so I can write posts for Stately Play on the company dime. To quote Bugs Bunny, ain’t I a stinker?
iOS, Android, Switch, Consoles, PC/Mac/Linux • My history with Stardew Valley is a tale of two extremes. I first started hearing about it on other mobile sites wondering if it would ever make the move to phones and tablets. Looking into it, I decided the cartoonish graphics weren’t my style and, other than Agricola, farming doesn’t do a lot for me. I tried to forget about it, but its immense popularity ensured it popping up in Twitch streams or YouTube reviews of people I followed. It became too big to ignore. Eventually, it came to Mac and I caved. Thus begins the second act of my experience with Stardew Valley, the phase my wife likes to call “that time you were obsessed with that one game and you didn’t talk to anyone in your family for about four months”. Yes, she’s very verbose and, unfortunately, not exaggerating much. I fell for the open-ended game pretty damn hard and loved just about everything it offered and was only saved by the fact it wasn’t available for mobile, confining my addition to a desk. That’s changing, however. Not only is has it been out for Switch for a bit (yes, I own it there, too), but it’s coming to iOS on October 24. My wife has already threatened divorce.
PC (now), Xbox/PS4/Switch (soon) • Back when I first got into the Savage Worlds RPG system, one of the offshoots that attracted me was the Weird Wars setting. This posited that World War II wasn’t just Allies vs. Axis, but that there was a whole lot else going on such as demons, mages, etc. Players would join the Allied version of the 1940’s X-Files and root out the supernatural wherever Nazis were to be found. A few Gen Cons ago, I picked up another RPG source book for a game called Achtung! Cthulhu which was similar, but added Lovecraftian horror to the Nazi backstory instead of the generic supernatural hocus-pocus of Weird Wars. It’s kind of a strange genre considering that the Nazis don’t really need anything added to make them more evil, but, for some reason, I eat this stuff up. The Achtung! Cthulhu brand got big enough to spawn more than just an RPG and, today, Auroch Digital released a turn-based, squad-level game set in this universe, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux, Switch (in Nov) • Last year’s surprise release of Civilization VI for iPad was big enough that I was compelled to buy a new iPad just to play it. I haven’t regretted it, with Civ VI being my most played iPad game since. Last week I received a pre-release copy of Civ VI for iPhone and, I have to say, I’m starting to regret that iPad purchase. Sure, a game as big as Civ shouldn’t work on a tiny screen, but Aspyr pulled it off. Don’t believe me? You can try it for yourself today.
PC (for now) • Last year we’d gotten used to Asmodee Digital pumping out so many titles it felt as if a new one arrived each week or so. This year has been a different story. While they’ve had a number of releases (Onitama is fairly fantastic), most of the Asmodee news has focused on the anticipation surrounding two huge board game ports set to release this year: Scythe and Terraforming Mars. Scythe made the leap to Steam last month so all our focus turned to the, hopefully, imminent release of TM. Without a public beta, it’s been tough to discern just when it might be going live, but today we got our answer. We can expect Terraforming Mars to land on Steam for PC on October 17.