iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • This might come as a shock to you, but I have a few board games stowed away in my basement that I have yet to play. Actually, it might be a few dozen. Yep, brand new games, still in shrink wrap, just waiting for someone to come and play with them. My basement is basically the Island of Misfit Toys, but without that creepy Charlie-in-the-box. One of the games that remains unplayed is Eight-Minute Empire by Red Raven Games. I think I picked it up because it’s a 4X-style game that plays in slightly longer than eight minutes, but my wife will tell you I picked it up because I have a mental disorder that forces me to continually buy games. Whatever. Anyway, it’s coming to mobile soon so, while my copy will remain in shrink, I might actually get a chance to play it.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • One of 2017’s biggest hits around these parts is a little card game called Age of Rivals. With the mixture of card drafting and empire building, it could be seen as a 7 Wonders replacement, particularly since it’s on the App Store and that oft-delayed title has yet to appear. The problem with the comparison, however, is that Age of Rivals is a better game. It’s more complex, requires more strategy, and, dare I say, is just more fun to play.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • “What game had you up so late last night,” my wife asked. I had been up until 1 AM or so, a rare thing is the age of the barbarian-monkey children, aka our seven-year old twin boys. “Predynastic Egypt,” I replied and was quickly greeted with a look of confusion. I explained it was a game set in Egypt, but well before the pyramids. It was a strategy simulation covering two millennia of ancient Egyptian history where you play as a nomadic tribe and grow that tribe, turn by turn, from humble origins toward the ultimate goal of unifying Egypt under your control within 220 turns. “Oooh, I want to play it,” was her immediate response. [Nick’s wife is cooler than my wife. Mine just elbowed me in the back and called me an idiot. -ed.]
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Yesterday morning I got into a minivan with my family, drove for several hours, and am now trapped in the northern woods of Wisconsin with three unappreciative and sunburnt children. Yay, vacation! Luckily, I found a weak wi-fi signal to log in because today is the day Nomad Games dropped they long awaited gamebook/top-down RPG, Fighting Fantasy Legends. Yes, if you’ve always really wanted to play through the classic gamebook, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, with fancy graphics you’ve been able to do so for quite awhile. Now, you can do it in another app! Just kidding. FFL doesn’t replicate the genius of Tin Man, instead Fighting Fantasy Legends is, to quote John Cleese, something completely different.
iOS, PC/Mac • It’s been a long time since I’ve played a true RPG on my iPad. Sure, there are a ton of games with RPG elements in them–Pathfinder Adventures immediately come to mind–but nothing with the joy of building your characters from scratch and watching them level up while working your way through a well-told story. Thus, I’m pretty excited for West of Loathing. Not only is it a “real” RPG, but it offers a graphic style that sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen on the App Store.
iOS, Android, PC • When Onirim launched earlier this year, it was a fun little diversion, a perfect way to kill some time while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. Apparently, Asmodee wants us to think of it as more than a diversion and, as such, keeps adding more and more content to the game, pushing it closer and closer to GOTY material. Today, not only did Onirim receive a major expansion, but it also spread its wings and is now playable on your PC.
PC/Mac (mobile version coming soon) • When Antihero launched for PC/Mac last week I assumed that, like any board game, I would get 3-5 plays in and be ready to put quill to parchment and regale you with opinions so clear and well thought out that they’d bring a tear to your eye. While Antihero is definitely a board game, I found that 3-5 plays simply wasn’t enough to see everything it has to offer. I’ve worked my way up through the campaign and several skirmish games, and even an online game or two and I think that I finally have Antihero’s nuances all sorted out. I can’t promise that my florid prose will bring a tear to your eyes, but I can promise you that Antihero doesn’t disappoint and is a well designed and intriguing board game.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • All the big news coming out of the Nomad Games‘ camp the last few months has revolved around their gamebook/RPG mashup, Fighting Fantasy Legends. We’re so jacked for the FFL release next week, that it’s hard to remember that Nomad makes a few other pretty great games for your touchscreen or desktop, namely that old standby, Talisman. This weekend Games Workshop is having a “Skulls for the Skull Throne” feature on Steam which features all of GW’s titles on sale from 25-90% off. You can find those here, but we’re going to focus on what this means for our favorite roll-and-move board games, Talisman and Talisman: Horus Heresy.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Earlier this year, 2016’s best mobile title made its way to our desktops and laptops when Pathfinder Adventures was launched on Steam. While more platforms isn’t a terrible thing, most of us were far more interested in what was going on content-wise with Pathfinder, which hadn’t seen any major content additions since the Rise of the Runelords campaign came to an end last year. We had heard, from Pathfinder’s new publisher, Asmodee, that more content was coming, but what and when was in left up in the air. That all changed this morning.
PC • A long, long time ago there was a brand new developer that wanted to make high quality, complex war games for iPad called Shenandoah Studios. Sounds crazy, I know, but it really happened! You could say they succeeded, with fairly amazing releases such as Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow proving that complex strategy on iPad wasn’t just a pipe dream. In 2013 they ran a Kickstarter for their magnum opus, Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, an American Civil War title for iOS as well as a cardboard version. Nearly 1000 folks gave them close to $30K to develop it. As of July 18, 2017 those backers haven’t seen hide nor hair of Gettyburg on their touchscreens, nor their tabletops. Instead, last week a version for PC arrived on Steam.