PC • Here’s a bold prediction. Kerberos Studios‘ Pit of Doom will be a runaway hit. And not just one of those cult sleepers, name-dropped for cred at gatherings of those in the know. A bona fide smash. It sounds ludicrous to predict the fortune of an unfinished game, one still slick with Early Access afterbirth, but I have that tingling sensation. Could be the creeping onset of Zuul poison, though. You never know.
PC • Though age hath wearied my nerves and reaction time isn’t what it once was, the siren song of the shooter still manages to kindle the old fascination. Eximius: Seize The Frontline is aiding and abetting this month, due to running headlong into Pandemic Studios’ luminary Ken Miller’s proposition that FPS players don’t want to think, and RTS players don’t want to die. If the idea of commanding, ahem, and conquering appeals — and why we aren’t enjoying a glut of these hybrids is one of gaming’s more mystifying vacuums — then give this a look-see.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Acram Digital made their digital name with a well done port of Steam: Rails to Riches and, later, Ryan Laukat‘s Eight-Minute Empire. Both games nailed what made their cardboard cousins so much fun and presented everything polished to a glistening shine. Even better, their releases weren’t just for mobile, but the PC/Mac/Linux crowd could get in on the fun as well via Steam. Looks like those salad days are behind us, however, as all of Acram’s titles have been removed from Steam due to the folks at Acram being naughty.
PC • At the intersection of Hornblower-Tolkien cosplay, you find Maelstrom. It’s an enticing clash of high-fantasy and fighting sail, and is exactly the twist a certain type of popular multiplayer game needs right now. Behold, Battleship Royale.
PC • Every once in a while, I’m bum-rushed by a seriously polydactyl concept, one that presses all the buttons. Tempest Citadel is this month’s most fabulous of ambushes. Science fantasy. Offworld expedition. ALIENS meets Milton. Dante’s Bespin. Aartform Games, the tiny outfit behind Spice Road, is dropping Tempest Citadel in a few hours on Steam, and it looks very, very intriguing.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • If there’s one thing I’ve learned after doing this at 164, Owen’s old site, and here at Stately Play, it’s that big news will always drop when I’m unable to reach a keyboard. I’ve been behind the wheel of a 13 year-old minivan the last few days, so getting new news up on the site has been…challenging. Luckily, Kelsey filled in and wrote something I can only describe as “don’t miss”. Still, I failed Czech Games and my favorite title of 2017 by missing the launch of Through the Ages on Steam. So, here goes: If you haven’t heard, Through the Ages is now on Steam!
PC • Nothing turns the alternator of mid-life assessment more than realising you’re no longer at the top of your game-game. Nerves withering like sun-dried kelp. Reaction time raising smirks and eyebrows in the Galapagos paddock. The abyss, it looms. But then along comes the invigorating cordite suppository known as SYNTHETIK. Sometimes, you just need a little help to feel the old magic.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • If you’ve been reading Stately Play for any length of time you’re aware that my favorite digital–and tabletop, for that matter–board game of all time is Through the Ages designed by Vlaada Chvátil and developed and published by Czech Games Edition. I’ve played more games of TtA online than any other game and it’s not even close. Before the app released, I played dozens of games on Boardgaming Online and, before that, I developed a VASSAL mod and played dozens of games while trying to get that up and working. Since the app released last year, I’ve had 3-5 games going at all times and I’m still not getting tired of it. On March 26 Through the Ages will arrive on Steam for PC/Mac and being able to play it on my laptop while appearing to work will make my life complete.
PC (now), Mac and Tablets (coming soon) • Back in January of 2017, Nick gave us a preview of an upcoming digital miniatures game, Wartile, and wouldn’t shut up about how great it was. We didn’t get a chance to play the game, but just looking at screenshots was enough to get us excited about what Playwood Project was working on. As of last week we can stop window shopping and actually try on this new dress because Wartile is now available on Steam.
PC/Mac/Linux • There are few games that take over my complete existence for periods of time, where nothing else in the world matters other than taking another turn. The Civilization games will do this, as will most city-builders. Another group of games that I tend to lose myself in for days or weeks at a time come from a small indie developer, Zachtronics. I instantly fell in love with them after my first foray into SpaceChem, and have loved just about everything else they’ve ever conjured up. Their latest is in Early Access on Steam right now and it’s just as good as anything they’ve ever made. If you’re looking for a puzzler that requires actual brain power, logic, and a dose of coding, look no further than Opus Magnum.