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.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • When something gets too much hype there’s a good chance that reality will never rise to meet the expectations already formed in your head. That was the fear when GMT started talking about a “major” announcement regarding digital games that would be coming in late July. I was expecting the announcement of something like Labryrinth or, if we were lucky, a digital COIN game being announced. Big, but hardly the earth shaking announcement we were led to believe was coming. Then I found out what the announcement was and, damn, if GMT didn’t actually surprise me with this one. Not only is Playdek making digital versions of GMT titles, but they’ve joined forces and formed a partnership which ensures we’ll be getting GMT games on our devices for a long, long time.
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.
PC, Xbox, Playstation • Ex-Bioshock devs Uppercut Games have enjoyed a very warm reception to their Arabian-themed swashbuckler City of Brass. No tricks here, it’s magical. If you’re not already playing on PC, Xbone or Playstation, it’s worth rubbing the lamp on. Especially now they’ve unleashed two post-release updates, the latest of which is very tidy.
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.
PC/Mac • Games these days are all about making big decisions and watching the repercussions. Whether it’s a split second tactical misstep in Rainbow Six: Siege that costs your team a highly contested match or a game of Civilization in which you decide to research Pottery instead of The Wheel and end up ten turns behind your opponents (okay, okay – it’s been a while since I’ve played Civ, so that analogy might not be great). These games do function as escapism, but sometimes they end up feeling more frustrating than satisfying. I’m starting nursing school in just a few months, so my anticipation/anxiety is, obviously, through the roof. I have a to-do list of several things I need to complete beforehand – immunizations, visits to my physician, and so on – that progress feels so slow, and the end goal is so far off that I am not getting resolution any time soon. For this reason, it seems like I have been migrating more and more towards games that are less weighty. Farming Simulator 17 is at the top of my list right now.
PC • In 2016, Stonemaier Games released the engine building mech/farming crossover board game Scythe to much acclaim. The game quickly shot up the ranks on BoardGameGeek and currently sits firmly at number seven, ahead of classics like Agricola and Puerto Rico. That’s in no small part to its worldbuilding –a post WWI fought with giant mechs– along with the addition of strategic 4x gameplay and Jakub Rozalski’s outstanding art. For those reasons, Scythe: Digital Edition, developed by The Knights of Unity and published by [our dark overlords -ed.] Asmodee Digital, is one of the most anticipated titles of 2018. Recently it landed in Early Access which seemed like a good time for us to attempt the conquest of Eastern Europe.
PC, PS4, XBox One • There’s an inbound Steam summer sale bearing six-two-two-carom-one-eight, Statelies. You know what that means? That means, with any luck, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock might be had at a lovely discount, alongside the most recent and most wonderful DLC, The Broken Alliance. That is, if you’ve not already played it. And if not, here’s impetus in the form of an internet-grade list as to why Deadlock is worth a punt.