iOS Universal, Android • Released earlier this year, Hostage Negotiator from Peter Kossits and Van Ryder Games, has been a reliable go-to when looking for a solo game that I can’t possibly win. It may have been overshadowed a bit by the more recent release of One Deck Dungeon, but Hostage Negotiator remains a tense, anxiety-inducing experience AND you can play it on your phone. It’s received a lot of new content since release, and recently it received one more bad guy: Gonzalo. Not only is Gonzalo the most difficult baddie to date, he’s also the last expansion planned.
iOS, Android • I’m anything but an expert traveler, but I feel worldly enough to share this one travel tip: when using Airbnb, double check that the apartment you’re moving into has WiFi. If you’re wondering where I’ve been this week, I basically failed to follow this rule and have been unable to post due to being in an apartment sans internet since Monday. “But there are tons of places with WiFi in Vienna!” I can hear you screaming. This is true, but I’m traveling with my father who doesn’t view writing as a “real job” and therefore has little patience for me to whip out my laptop when we’re sitting at a cafe. I’m learning he has little patience in regards to just about everything, actually. It’s been a fun couple of weeks. Anyway, there has been activity on the App Store, so I’m going to try to post something while we’re on the train to Salzburg. It may be brief because the WiFi on the train isn’t great and it’s only a 2 hour ride, but at least you know that I’m still alive. As for our WiFi-free apartment, we move out on Saturday to a new apartment and, yes, I checked that it has WiFi. Next week should be far more productive.
iOS Universal, Android • This is a weird way to start a review, but I think I’ll probably just keep beating this dead horse all through the post if I don’t do this up front. I’m talking about the theme of Hostage Negotiator and the fact that it’s dark; dark enough that it turns me off a bit. It’s a fairly hypocritical stance, I know. After all, I have no issue with assassinating William Shakespeare in Through the Ages or laying waste to a horde of redcoats in Liberty or Death. Hostage Negotiator feels a little more personal, however. Whether the bad guy is a terrorist or a rogue teacher, the number at the top of the screen represents helpless humans that are going to, very likely, shuffle off their digital coils before you’re done. I’m not saying Hostage Negotiator is a bad game–you’ll have to read past the break to see how I actually feel–but I felt that I’d keep bringing the theme up at every turn and didn’t want it to bog the whole thing down. There, that’s the last you’ll hear of it. Now let’s talk about the game itself.
iOS Universal, Android • Our old friend Peter Kossits went quiet for a bit after he released Baseball Highlights 2045 in 2016, following that up with a slew of updates including new content and an AI. Understandable, as he’s a one-man show whose main gig isn’t writing games in Unity not to mention having to put up with flack from yahoos over at BGG picking apart everything as if he were Blizzard or Firaxis. Well, Peter is back on the App Store with a new release. This time its a solo card game that I’d only heard about because it might have one of the most interesting themes in all of gamedom. That game is Hostage Negotiator.