iOS, Android • I first heard of Tim Fowers back when Wok Star was released way back in 2010. It was a cooperative game that didn’t follow the standard Pandemic formula of “take your turn then pull a card and see what terrible stuff happens”. Instead, the game used a timer and players played simultaneously, trying to keep the restaurant running smoothly. Since then, he’s become a powerhouse designer, running his own publishing digs and putting out games that don’t fit into the standard mold set by previous titles. For example, Paperback took the well-worn mechanisms of Dominion, but put them into a word game which, somehow, made deck-building fun! What really separates him, however, is that he learned a long time ago that digital board games are pretty cool and, as of now, has released both Paperback and Burgle Bros. onto mobile. Soon we’ll get their third title on our phones and tablets, a sequel of sorts to Paperback appropriately titled, Hardback.
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 • Shakespeare once said, “…brevity is the soul of wit,” but he did so in the middle of 30,000 words in what would be his longest play. In other words, Shakespeare has been trolling the shit out of high school sophomores who have been reading Hamlet since 1609. That said, he was definitely on to something, which is why I try to keep all my posts as short as possible. LOOK AT ALL THIS WIT! When it comes to games, however, it’s commonly thought that brevity sucks. Wordwich would beg to differ as it’s the shortest damn game I’ve ever played. It’s not the wittiest, but it does manage to be somewhat addictive.
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 • Word games are usually not my go-to, but every now and then one will get under my skin and become an obsession. The last was Tim Fowers’ board game port, Paperback, but Zach Gage’s latest, TypeShift is the newest word game keeping me up at night.
Tabletop • When it comes to word games on tabletop, there’s Paperback and then there’s everything else. Designer Tim Fowers somehow managed to take a rather stuffy genre and make it interesting by crossing it with everyone’s favorite and most overused mechanism, deckbuilding. Yes, I’m not a huge fan of either word games or deckbuilding, but put together it’s near perfection. Today, Tim Fowers announced a new game in the series: Hardback.
Everyone hates words games. It’s true. Well, almost everyone. Your grandma still loves Scrabble, and so does that one tool who’s memorized every two-letter word that begins with “Q”. Do we want to game with those people? Hell, no! (Grandma excluded. It’s fun to game with grandma!) What if I were to tell you that there was a word game that didn’t suck? What if we took one of the most popular games of the past 10 years and mixed it with word games? How would that work? Let’s take a look at Paperback.