PC/Mac/Linux • According to Steam, over the past week I’ve played Factorio for 31 hours. That may not seem like a lot to gaming diehards, but we’re talking about a guy with three kids who is forced to spend most of his waking hours away from a keyboard. 31 hours in a week on my laptop, playing games, is simply unheard of. Even games like Civ or Cities: Skylines haven’t drawn that kind of devotion from me in the past few years. In fact, I’d have to go back to pre-kid days when I’d spend every night playing World of Warcraft while my wife travelled for her job. Yes, I was a really cool cat back then, too. The thing with Factorio is that I haven’t even scratched the surface. I suddenly understand why my kids like Minecraft so much.
PC (now), Mac/Linux (when it reaches Steam) • Did you play with Legos as a kid? Did you build elaborate spacecraft and make them fly around and fight each other? Do you have Legos around now, you know, for “your kids?” If you answer “yes” to those questions (as I do), have I got a game for you.
PC/Mac/Linux • 2017 has been such a great year for mobile gaming that I can’t even remember the last time I fired up Civilization VI, which was my top game of 2016. I know it’s been within the last few months, but there’s always been something else to pull me away from all that civ-building goodness [mostly the civ-building goodness of Through the Ages, I’m sure -ed.]. Looks like Civilization VI will be getting a bunch of my attention in February as Firaxis just announced that a full expansion, Rise and Fall, is coming on February 8.
iOS, Android • We’ve lamented the dearth of decent, non-freemium city-builders on the App Store in the past, leaving us to be content building metropolises on our laptops via City: Skylines or the old Impressions titles. By the way, who do I have to pay to get mobile versions of Pharaoh or Zeus? Seriously, people, if you’re going to bring old PC games to mobile, can we start there? Anyway, back to the sorry state of city-building and management on the App Store. I was perusing Touch Arcade this morning and stumbled on a post they had about a little game called Pocket City. I’m intrigued.
PC/Mac/Linux • Over the weekend our intrepid reporter, Zac, mentioned a title he’d been playing called Dungeons 3. Having never heard of either Dungeons or Dungeons 2, I assumed that this was the first game in a series but Realmforge added a “3” to the title to make it seem more seasoned. My assumption turned out to be incorrect, however, and there is a Dungeons and Dungeons 2, further confirming that I’m an utter dunce. Jumping into Dungeons 3 this weekend made me a little upset that I only discovered the series now. I’ve wanted a new Dungeon Keeper for ages, and it’s been there, under my nose, all along.
iPad, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • When Prison Architect landed on our tablets earlier this year, it was a big deal. It not only marked another major PC title making its way to mobile, but it was also published by Paradox as part of their new focus on mobile gaming. We never got around to writing a review for Prison Architect here, mainly because it’s too damn big and I just never felt like I got deep enough to have an opinion that’s worth a damn [as opposed to your other opinions? Okay… -ed.]. The parts I did play seemed pretty polished and right in line with what I was familiar with from the desktop version. Apparently, however, the game had more bugs than an entomologist’s fever dream. Version 2.0 was just released and, judging by the patch notes, all the bugs have received a death sentence.
iPad, PC • It probably won’t come as a huge surprise to readers of Stately Play that we’re not on the press list of Slitherine. As such, unless I’m actively searching out for Slitherine news, it passes us by. Last week they published a game developed by Every Single Soldier, the gents behind the wonderful Vietnam ’65 and it’s companion title, Afghanistan ’11. Their latest is called Carrier Deck and it’s not another hex and counter war game. Instead, it’s a naval simulation that puts you on the deck of the titular ship and it couldn’t be more different than their previous titles. Even more interesting, however, is that it was released for both PC and iPad.
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.