Back in Pocket Tactics‘ glory days, one of my favorite writers over there was Clancy. He was a lot like Owen, but without the snark. Or, I should say, a different type of snark, but he knew what the hell he was talking about and shared that info with aplomb. His reviews were delights, with one of my faves being for the roguelike-puzzle gem, Hoplite. Not only did Clancy give it 5-stars but, behind the scenes, he nearly convinced Owen that it was GOTY material. This in a year that saw both FTL and XCOM: Enemy Unknown land on the App Store. Even with that competition he wasn’t too far off. 2014 was a fantastic year for gaming, and all three of those titles remain on my iPad. Hoplite took a little vacation from the App Store the past few weeks but, yesterday, rose from the ashes with a brand new 64-bit version ready to conquer iOS 11.
PC • Uppercut Games dropped City of Brass into Early Access last week, and after having spent a good few hours with their Arabian Nights gauntlet simulator, I’m here to give it a mighty thumbs up from the bottom of a spiked pit.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • I remember talking with Red Hook Studios about Darkest Dungeon way back when Owen was still running the ship over at Pocket Tactics. He was, rightfully, enamored with the PC version and wanted a tablet version pronto and, at the time, was told mobile was a possibility. It’s taken a couple years, but today Owen should be doing a little happy dance as Darkest Dungeon is now available on your iPad.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from genius developer Michael Brough, creator of such gems as Imbroglio and 868-HACK, but he resurfaced last week with an unexpected addition to his classic hacking roguelike. The update fixes some bugs and makes some balance changes to 868-HACK, but the biggest addition is that of a new expansion: PLAN.B.
PC/Mac/Linux • We’re still holding out hope that, one day, Darkest Dungeon will find it’s way to our iPads. It was originally a “maybe” and then a “we’ll see” and lastly an “hmmm”, so it’s looking more and more that, if you want to play Darkest Dungeon (and you should), you’ll need to get it on Steam or GoG. For those of us already playing it on our laptops, however, today is a good day. More content in the form of DLC was just released, The Crimson Court.
PC, Mac • How often does a game’s catchphrase, a blurb that’s often silly and seldom informative, sell you on playing said game? We’re hoping the answer is, “not often”, but check this out: A Deckbuilding Roguelike Adventure. Sold! That’s the tagline for Monster Slayers, a game by Nerdook Productions, and it’s the exact coupling of words needed to penetrate the inky blackness of my heart and, more importantly, wallet.
PC, Mac, Linux • I remember talking with Owen back in the day and listening to him gush over Empire: A Deck Building Strategy Game as if it were the second coming of XCOM. Was his love for Empire a tad overzealous? Perhaps, but just a tad. Designed by Keith Burgun, Empire and his other titles, 100 Rogues and Auro, have all been the cream of the App Store crop since their release. Thus, you’ll be happy to hear that Mr. Burgun is working on another title and he’s currently funding it via Kickstarter. You’ll be less happy to hear that there’s no plan to bring it to mobile.
One of 2016’s better mobile titles was a little card battler from Righteous Hammer called Solitairica. Following in Card Crawl’s footsteps, it was a quick-playing, fast solitaire card game whose true genius was less in the game’s mechanisms and more in all the extra doodads you can unlock the better you play. Solitairica sported several different classes and special powers to unlock so, even if you failed to make it all the way to Castle Stuck, there were rewards right around the corner. The problem is, eventually, you ended up with all the doodads in your pocket with nothing left to quest for. Lucky for us, it looks like Righteous Hammer has big plans for 2017 and making Solitairica something to come back to.