PC, Xbox, PS4 • Listen up, nuggets. You should all be familiar with Black Lab Games‘ dark horse tactical gem, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock. Quite possibly the best licensed game this side of, heck, Dark Forces. A terrific tactical starship game based on the paradigm-shifting show of the 2000s, one that I’d put in my top five — count ’em, five — games of all time. Well, there’s a new expansion coming out very soon, and it sounds all manner of tasty.
iOS Universal, Android • The wonderful folk in our forums directed me to some questionable reviews posted on the just released mobile strategy title Chaos Reborn: Adventures. One of them gives the game one star on the sole basis that Julian Gollop, the creator of the original XCOM, created this game and it’s nothing like XCOM. I found this funny as hell because we usually criticize when creators keep redoing the same thing over and over but now Chaos Reborn is being flogged because it’s not just like another game that the designer created 23 years ago. What’s even better is that Chaos Reborn: Adventures is actually a remake of a game that Julian Gollop designed well before the idea of cryssalids ever entered his brain. Anyway, I’m rambling here. The major point to take from all this is that Chaos Reborn: Adventures is now available for both iOS and Android.
PC, PS4, XBox One • There’s an inbound Steam summer sale bearing six-two-two-carom-one-eight, Statelies. You know what that means? That means, with any luck, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock might be had at a lovely discount, alongside the most recent and most wonderful DLC, The Broken Alliance. That is, if you’ve not already played it. And if not, here’s impetus in the form of an internet-grade list as to why Deadlock is worth a punt.
PC/Mac • What is your favourite Battlemech? Is it the 100 ton Atlas, king of the battlefield with it’s death’s head cockpit? A bit on the nose, don’t you think? How about the Zeus or the Battlemaster, each titans in their own right? Perhaps the more stately Catapult, bristling with Long Range Missiles (LRMs), or the fragile but devious Firestarter? I’ve fallen in love with the Shadow Hawk all over again. Sitting at the high end of Medium weight-class, it’s a lot zippier than its heavy cousins, especially when kitted out with jump jets. The Shadow Hawk is a another Battletech classic, a mech that literally punches above its weight class, with melee and Death from Above (DA) damage that many heavier mechs might envy. Behemoth’s Shadow Hawk gives up long-range weaponry for more intense medium-close range firepower and heavier armour, and it’s cherry, only the best ++ and +++ parts for Behemoth’s ride.
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.
PC, Xbox, Playstation, Switch • Witching Hour Studios‘ Masquerada: Songs and Shadows had been sitting near the top of my Steam wishlist for about a year when I got around to it. You may know Witching Hour for their mobile and PC TBS Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion, and if you don’t you should. Almost everything about the game intrigued me: the hand-drawn isometric art style, the highly developed and original fantasy setting, a plot that sounded like it just might actually explore tensions between the rich and poor with some subtlety, and the promise of tactical combat modeled on fencing.
PC/Mac/Linux • I’m sure it wasn’t but in the fuzzy, blurry brain of mine, FTL: Faster than Light was the first PC port for iPad that proved tablets could be a legit platform. Here was a top notch PC title that made the jump to iPad and the devs respected us enough to put some love into it. Not only was there the full game with all the recently released Advanced Edition content, but they took the time to rework the UI for the smaller screen and make the touchscreen feel like a natural input device. It was at that moment that Subset Games became one of our favorite developers. It’s been a few years, but Subset is back with their latest foray into the digital world, Into the Breach, which we can expect to land on Steam on February 27.
PC • We’ve been pulling on the same pair of jeans for twenty five-odd years when it comes to space empire builders. The comfortable fit of a SimTex stonewash is time-tested, and its reliable density drags all and sundry towards the event horizon. As such, you wouldn’t be alone in feeling a wee twig of ennui towards the galactic overlord genre. The outliers are few, but one new tantalising project is tilting at trading the star lane traipse for something different. A little more, ahem, stately. [Dave, take note. This is how we use the word “stately”. -ed.]
Stormbound is an interesting take on CCG and lane defence titles and poses interesting tactical questions for players both during play and in deck-building. Like many games, there are some facets of play in Stormbound that aren’t immediately apparent. The purpose of this article is to shine a light on these aspects and get you up to speed as quickly as possible.
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.