iOS Universal, Android • Paperback is one of the better board game apps released in the last couple years, but not because of the app. I mean, the app is fine and works great if all you want to do is build words against the AI, but it falls short in one area that Stately Players demand in their board game conversions: multiplayer. Originally released with only pass-and-play capabilities, last night the app was hit with a stealthy update that adds what we all wanted, asynchronous multiplayer.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • I’m a huge fan of Klei Entertainment, who have managed to port several of their very polished PC titles into very polished mobile apps. Their latest was the turn-based spy thriller Invisible Inc., which I really need to spend some quality time with, one of these days. I really, really enjoyed it when it was released but…well, it seems I never have the chance to sink that much time into one single game these days. Back when I could sink a lot of time into one game, I did just that with Klei’s other fantastic mobile port, Don’t Starve. If there was one complaint I had about this survival gem, however, it would be about just how damn hard it is. I mean, I get that a steep difficulty is kind of the point of surviving in a hostile world with nothing buy your brains to get by, but playing for hours and getting killed by a spider because you weren’t paying attention and having to start over was a huge pain in the ass. For those of you who felt the same way, Klei has just updated the app with a new mode promising a simpler adventure for the simple among us (me…I’m really talking about me).
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from genius developer Michael Brough, creator of such gems as Imbroglio and 868-HACK, but he resurfaced last week with an unexpected addition to his classic hacking roguelike. The update fixes some bugs and makes some balance changes to 868-HACK, but the biggest addition is that of a new expansion: PLAN.B.
iOS Universal, Android • In a year filled with fantastic digital card games and solo time-wasters, Onirim stands out as one of our favorites. Its mix of quick, simple card play and a difficulty that seems just hard enough to keep you coming back for more is the peanut butter + chocolate combo we didn’t know we needed on our phones. Asmodee has been awfully generous with Onirim since its release, with it often going on sale for the price of a glass of tap water, but they also previously released a free expansion that added new glyphs and more doors (The Glyphs). Today another expansion arrived for Onirim (albeit not free), Crossroads and Dead Ends, and where The Glyphs made the game a bit easier, this one does not.
iOS, Android, PC, Mac • It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the Hearthstone bandwagon. I know it’s got polish on top of its polish and that, as far as digital CCGs go, it’s still a pretty great game. Still, there’s something that drove me away. I think it was the bloat of expansion after expansion and the focus on esports that made me feel like casual play wasn’t really something Hearthstone did well anymore. I just don’t have enough time to research a game in order to play it well. Also, I have Race for the Galaxy now, thank you very much. Still, it’s a big money maker for Blizzard and, as such, they keep showing it love. In a few weeks it will be getting a major update that adds a couple of new features that might make it easier for old farts like me to get back into it.
iOS • Here’s a “fun” game to play if you’ve updated to iOS 10.3: Go to Settings > General > About > Applications and take a look at the list. These are the apps you have on your phone right now that won’t work at all once Apple removes compatibility for 32-bit apps in a future iOS version.
iOS Universal, Android • The Battle of Polytopia is one of the best pick-up-and-play time wasters on the App Store. In minutes you can build an empire, quash your enemies, and then realize your score is tens of thousands lower than everyone else who’s ever played the game. Hooray! Battle of Polytopia is one of only two things you can be terrible at and still have a good time. You can guess what the other one is and, yes, I’m terrible at that, too. Yesterday, Midjiwan released a major expansion for Polytopia ensuring my futility will continue for all time.
iOS Universal, (Android coming soon) • It’s not often that we post about app updates unless they include some major new features or content, but here we are prattling on about an update to the excellent Card Thief which adds neither. It’s almost as if it’s been a slow news week or something.
HexWar released 1775: Rebellion last year to much fanfare, only to have the initial release be received less than warmly. Since Matt’s review, the game has undergone several updates fixing many of the issues brought up in the review. They’re not done, either. They’re planning another major update that will not only fix bugs and improve the app, it will also introduce a brand new scenario created by the game’s original designers.
Kelsey took a look at Colt Express last week and thought it was a pretty great rendition of a board game with one huge flaw, the multiplayer system was broken. While online play existed, the ability to create or join games was enough of a mess to prevent him from playing even one multiplayer contest. It was bad enough that Asmodee decided to pull back their December releases to ensure that multiplayer hijinks wouldn’t be an issue going forward. Today, Asmodee took steps to correct what’s already out there and Colt Express has been updated to make multiplayer a little more palatable.