PC • Qvadriga was one of those titles that few people had ever heard of, but those that had absolutely loved it. I’m quite confident that Qvadriga was (and probably still is) in Owen’s top 5 mobile titles of all time. While the title was published by Slitherine, the developer was Turnopia. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of them either. Turns out they’re still hard at work on other titles, with their latest just heading to beta now. It’s all about ancient naval combat and is called Mare Nostrum.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • If you’re like me, the only thing you know about ancient Egypt is that their gods looked like Gerard Butler and that King Tut had a condo made of stone-a. That’s not entirely true, as classic city-builders like Impressions’ Pharaoh and Tilted Mill’s Children of the Nile are two of my favorite oldies. From them I learned that jugglers will only walk so far down the street and don’t build farms too close to the Nile. In other words, I’m nearly an Egyptologist. Today a new Egypt simulation landed on the App Store, covering the time period when the pyramids weren’t even gleams in Imhotep’s eye. Predynastic Egypt is the rather dull title, but the game itself looks very promising.
iPad, Android Tablets, PC, Mac, Linux • I’ll admit that when I first heard praise being heaped upon a PC title called Prison Architect, I was a bit suspect. I love builders and simulation games more than I love my second and third children (my eldest is okay, I guess), but the theme turned me off and I didn’t give it another look until well after it had been released. As it turns out, the only thing waiting did was keep me from playing a fantastic builder. This morning, Paradox released the mobile version of Introversion‘s Prison Architect for iPad and Android tablets and it sure is nice to test my electric chair while sitting on the couch.
iPad, Android Tablet • Back in April we mentioned that the mobile version of Prison Architect from Introversion and Paradox had soft launched in the Netherlands. Since then it’s launched in a few other places–Sweden and Australia–but I don’t live in those places so who cares, right? Stately Play is nothing if not all about me. MEEEEEEEEEE! What we really want is the full worldwide launch so I can do my Warden Norton impression wherever, whenever I want. Today, Paradox let us know that it’s coming. Soon.
Tabletop • As a sad and lonely man, it’s only natural that I would gravitate toward games I can play by myself. This used to mean playing a game meant for 2+ players alone by taking control of all sides. Over the past year or two, however, I’ve discovered that there are great solo games out there, you just have to look. GMT is one company that regularly puts out games that play great when you’re all by your lonesome, and Victory Point Games is another. To be honest, before HexWar brought Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp to digital, I wasn’t familiar with VPG’s offerings. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with several of their designs, and have Kickstarted several others (including their latest Kickstarter for Chariots of Rome). The latest to draw my attention is one with a unique board game theme, Healthy Heart Hospital.
iPad, Android Tablets • One of Owen’s ongoing lamentations about the App Store involved the absolute dearth of good city-building sims, and sims in general. Properties like Roller Coaster Tycoon, SimCity, and Dungeon Keeper were all available, but saddled with free-to-play shenanigans that robbed them off their joy. [For the record, a proper port of RCT was eventually released -ed.] A couple years ago we were told that our suffering was near an end because Introversion Software was bringing their funny, deep, and horrifying prison sim, Prison Architect, to mobile. While news has been slow since those initial announcements, Paradox (yes, Paradox…they’re publishing the mobile version) came forward last week and announced that Prison Architect has been released…in the Netherlands.
iPad, PC • Every Single Soldier are the genius minds behind the beloved Vietnam ’65 and this year’s Afghanistan ’11. Vietnam ’65 has been on our tablets since 2015 and Afghanistan ’11 should make it there shortly. Their next title, Carrier Deck, is coming to iPad as well, but if you’re thinking it will be another hex-and-counter war game, think again. Instead, Carrier Deck will be a naval real-time management simulation without a hex in sight and they’re looking for beta testers now for both iOS and PC.
iPad, PC/Mac • A fairly big week for releases (both Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Dungeon Rushers are already scheduled) just got bigger with the upcoming release of Gamious‘ oil tycoon simulation, Turmoil, which is due on February 23.
PC/Mac • RimWorld is a colony building and survival simulation game that has everything you’d expect from the genre. You’ll act as the architect for a new colony and guide its residents to ever greater levels of survivability, self-sufficiency, and success. This includes zoning the settlement area for residential buildings, farming, and storage as well as identifying what structures should be built, how electricity should be generated, and what tools of production, furniture, and artwork should be used. There’s also the usual research function to build out a technology tree and open up new options. What’s cool about RimWorld is not that it hits these hallmarks of base-building and survival games. It certainly does. It’s not that it does it really well or better than most—though this is also true. What really makes RimWorld so good–I had to force myself to stop playing–are two things: a true open-world style and a relatively unique story-infused narrative.
Cricket, or baseball with less chewing tobacco. Second only to soccer in terms of global attendance and popularity, but a game of impregnable mystery to our North American friends. [Up until this article, my nearest brush with cricket has been watching Ian Faith smash his cricket bat into a television. -ed.] It was also a sport done a decade-long cycle of digital travesty in the 2000s, so much so that a game heralding one of cricket’s greatest clashes was released in such a state, it was removed from sight and beaten to death with a Gray-Nicolls.