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.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Back when Tokaido landed on mobile, it might have been the prettiest board game port we’d ever seen which matched the sleepy, zen-like nature of the game itself. It’s a bit slow, but that seems to be how people (and the designer) like it. To each their own, I say, and now people can enjoy Tokaido without their mobile device as it has just been released on Steam for PC/Mac.
iOS Universal, Android, PC • It’s a well known fact that the digital version of Tim Fowers‘ deck-building word game, Paperback, is one of the best word games available on the App Store. What’s less known–because it released at Gen Con and I didn’t have time to write a review that week–is that the digital port of his cooperative heist game, Burgle Bros., is pretty sweet as well. It takes a bit of work to wrap your head around what’s going on, but once you get it, it’s a nice solo puzzle to solve. Yesterday, Tim popped up on Twitter to let us all know that mobile isn’t the only way to enjoy these games, they’re also now on Steam.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Back in September, Czech Games Edition did what we’ve been waiting nearly 4 years for them to do: they released Through the Ages for iOS and Android. To say it managed to live up to the hype would be an understatement, as I still can’t get enough of picking Michelangelo even though I have no temples or wonders producing happiness. WHY DO I DO IT EVERY TIME? While the mobile version is about as polished as the underside of András Hadik’s horse, CGE did tell us that they were hoping to release on Steam, eventually, as well. It’s not out on Steam yet, but the beta is starting soon and signups are open.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • I’ll admit that I didn’t get the first Reigns. I know it was everyone else’s 2016 GOTY, but I just couldn’t get into it at all. Swiping left, right and ending up…somewhere? I just couldn’t figure out what all the hubbub was about. Apparently, if you stuck with it, all sorts of special story-driven stuff happened, but I didn’t have the patience [or common sense -ed.] to keep playing. That said, it remains on my phone. One of these days I’ll really dig into it and realize I had an awesome game right under my nose all this time and it will be great. Or, I might delete it and just download the sequel, Reigns: Her Majesty, which is coming to all platforms on December 7.
iOS, Android, Steam • Thanks to Gen Con, we already knew Asmodee Digital had a ridiculous amount of new games slated for later this year and 2018. This week is Essen, however, and it seems they still have some tricks up their sleeve. Yesterday they released a teaser trailer for Scythe that failed to show any gameplay but did manage to remind us it’s coming. They also mentioned some new Catan vehicles which we’ll talk about when they get closer to launch. Today, however, we learned that apart from all the new releases coming down the pike, they still had at least two they were holding back. That would be Arcane Wonders‘ abstract Onitama and Steve Jackson‘s ubiquitous Munchkin.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux • Warbands: Bushido is a digital miniatures skirmish game from Russian developers Red Unit Studios aiming to bring the experience of tabletop minis gaming to digital. All the cards, dice, and miniatures without all the messy assembly and painting. The game is set in the later Warring States, or Sengoku, period of Japan’s 16th century and allows you to build warbands of varying sizes taking on all comers in PvP gameplay. Warbands had a rather difficult Early Access release on Steam which I, thankfully, missed. They appear to have weathered those initial difficulties, however, and have added a Mac and mobile release to the Warbands: Bushido stable. Make no mistake though, this is still an unfinished product. Playable and very fun but still not a done deal.
PC • Uppercut Games dropped City of Brass into Early Access last week, and after having spent a good few hours with their Arabian Nights gauntlet simulator, I’m here to give it a mighty thumbs up from the bottom of a spiked pit.
PC, Mac, Linux • NEXT JUMP: Shmup Tactics has my number something fierce. Do you like shmups, this Brazilian indie effort asks. YES, I proclaim. But do you suck at them, it continues. YES, I admit. If you find yourself in this quandary of unquenchable thirst, Post Mortem Pixels has your back.
Windows • Junkers, wanderers, lurkers with dicky pistons, attention. Big Robot‘s The Signal From Tölva is just about out on Steam, and if the screenshots are anything to go by, a STALKER of conduit and coolant is about to amble over the horizon.