iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • Ah, nothing like a warm island breeze cooling you off as you’re sipping a daiquiri from a comically tall glass on a hot beach. The only thing that could make it better would be pocketing away millions of corrupt dollars while doing so, all while avoiding being handcuffed and taken away to a reeducation center because you happened to mention that El Presidente’s mustache was looking a tad droopy this morning. If you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, welcome to Tropico, the city building game where you play the corrupt leader of a banana republic. The original Tropico is more than 15 years old now, but it’s had a slew of sequels and, later this year, it will make its debut on iPad.
PC/Mac/Linux • One of the unheralded gems of 2017 was a little historical title with a terrible title, Predynastic Egypt from Clarus Victoria. We liked the hell out of it with the exception that it ended when the 1st Kingdom began which is kind of when all the really cool stuff in Ancient Egypt started rolling. Yes, I’m talking about the pyramids. No pyramids in Predynastic Egypt, but in the follow-up, Egypt: Old Kingdom, which was released on Steam yesterday, we’ve got pyramids aplenty.
PC • Radvaĭ se, Vauxhall Viva fans and the confraternity of the Nissan Cedric Special! MinskWorks‘ Jalopy has left the detritus-strewn garage of Early Access and is now travelling the Eastern Bloc highways of a one-point-zero release! Put the State in your Stately Play car game of 2018. Read on!
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.