Switch • I like to imagine that Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was pitched by the most dependable, sober person at Ubisoft. You may have heard that it’s mostly XCOM, but with much less uncertainty and with some light puzzling elements replacing base management. Add a manic, child-friendly theme and remove permadeath, and that’s pretty accurate, which makes me think that pitch involved a virtuoso in the projection of normalcy. The characters are pre-made (so I can’t do what I’ve long done with XCOM and learn my kids’ classmates names by assigning them to my soldiers*) [I, on the other hand, change all my soldiers to British redheads named Amy Pond. It’s a bit weird. -ed.] but they have distinct skills trees which allow them to specialize in quite varied ways. Consequently, you have a lot of freedom to build the tools you want, but the game is correspondingly free to offer rather off-the-wall challenges.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • The past couple of weeks have been tough ones for me, but this hardship has been completely of my own devising. Instead of going to sleep at a remotely decent time, I’ve been staying up well past 2am nearly every night playing War of the Chosen, the new expansion for XCOM 2. While we’re unlikely to ever see the XCOM sequel on our tablets, there is good news in mobile-land for XCOM fans: XCOM: Enemy Within was just updated to comply with iOS 11’s 64-bit requirement.
iPad • “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for any man to actually succeed at Darkest Dungeon.” — Jesus (probably)
PC/Mac/Linux • While there have been some fantastic PC ports showing up on our iPads over the past few years–including Firaxis‘ own XCOM: Enemy Unknown–the chances of us seeing XCOM 2 on our tablets is hovering right around 0%. So, you’ll need a PC or Mac to delve back into the XCOM world, but it’s more than worth it. XCOM 2 was one of the best experiences I ever had on my laptop and, later today, it’s slated to get even better. The first major add-on for XCOM 2, War of the Chosen, is unlocking tonight and everything about it sounds amazing.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • It’s official. Darkest Dungeon is officially coming to our iPads, and it’s happening in only a couple weeks. We’ve been asking about Darkest Dungeon on our iPads before the PC/Mac version was out of Early Access, but were always given answers that neither confirmed or denied a mobile port. Makes sense, as developer Red Hook is up to their eyeballs with supporting and expanding the PC/Mac version. Turns out Red Hook had an accomplice in getting the iPad version up and running, Blitworks, which I’d never heard of before, but have instantly become one of my favorite devs. If you can’t tell, I kind of like Darkest Dungeon.
iOS Universal, Android • One of the best games to land on our PCs in the last ten years became one of the best games ever ported over to an iPad back in 2013 when XCOM: Enemy Unknown arrived on the App Store in all its tense, heart-breaking glory. In 2014 it was superseded by XCOM: Enemy Within which added more stuff and a new way to ratchet up the tension by placing a pseudo-timer on each mission in the form of Meld. If you haven’t picked up XCOM: Enemy Within for mobile, first of all, shame on you. Secondly, go pick it up now; it’s only three frickin’ bucks.