iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • “What game had you up so late last night,” my wife asked. I had been up until 1 AM or so, a rare thing is the age of the barbarian-monkey children, aka our seven-year old twin boys. “Predynastic Egypt,” I replied and was quickly greeted with a look of confusion. I explained it was a game set in Egypt, but well before the pyramids. It was a strategy simulation covering two millennia of ancient Egyptian history where you play as a nomadic tribe and grow that tribe, turn by turn, from humble origins toward the ultimate goal of unifying Egypt under your control within 220 turns. “Oooh, I want to play it,” was her immediate response. [Nick’s wife is cooler than my wife. Mine just elbowed me in the back and called me an idiot. -ed.]
iOS • The original Warhammer Quest has a special place in Stately Play‘s heart. Until the day he vanished, it remained Owen’s top game on mobile, and there wasn’t anything that the developer, Rodeo Games, could do wrong. Now we know that Warhammer Quest 2 is on the way with a different developer, Perchang, but we also know that Perchang is basically the new iteration of Rodeo Games, so I’m sure Owen would approve. Then he’d look at this new trailer and his head would explode.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Yesterday morning I got into a minivan with my family, drove for several hours, and am now trapped in the northern woods of Wisconsin with three unappreciative and sunburnt children. Yay, vacation! Luckily, I found a weak wi-fi signal to log in because today is the day Nomad Games dropped they long awaited gamebook/top-down RPG, Fighting Fantasy Legends. Yes, if you’ve always really wanted to play through the classic gamebook, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, with fancy graphics you’ve been able to do so for quite awhile. Now, you can do it in another app! Just kidding. FFL doesn’t replicate the genius of Tin Man, instead Fighting Fantasy Legends is, to quote John Cleese, something completely different.
iOS, Android • Dave has given me the impression that HexWar are the Lucy van Pelt to our Charlie Brown, repeatedly advertising wonderful games and delivering troubled ones once we get our hopes up. I assume that, once the running gag had been established, the challenge for Charles Schultz was to find a way to create interest in a joke with a predictable ending. With Lightning: D-Day, HexWar did it by translating to app from a well-regarded, unusually simple WWII card game famous for its poorly-written rules. I had hoped that the combination of a lower degree of difficulty than their ambitious past games mixed with an easily addressed problem in the cardboard version made this a superb candidate for an unqualified HexWar success. Then again, we all know how this joke ends.
iOS, PC/Mac • It’s been a long time since I’ve played a true RPG on my iPad. Sure, there are a ton of games with RPG elements in them–Pathfinder Adventures immediately come to mind–but nothing with the joy of building your characters from scratch and watching them level up while working your way through a well-told story. Thus, I’m pretty excited for West of Loathing. Not only is it a “real” RPG, but it offers a graphic style that sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen on the App Store.
iOS, Android, PC • When Onirim launched earlier this year, it was a fun little diversion, a perfect way to kill some time while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. Apparently, Asmodee wants us to think of it as more than a diversion and, as such, keeps adding more and more content to the game, pushing it closer and closer to GOTY material. Today, not only did Onirim receive a major expansion, but it also spread its wings and is now playable on your PC.
iOS, Android • When December finally rolls around, I think it’s safe to say that Tinytouchtales will have two contenders for Game of the Year. Back in March they released Card Thief, a complex stealth-based card game about looting castles and avoiding the guards tasked with protecting said loot. Next week they’re releasing GOTY contender #2, Miracle Merchant, a card game whose complexity is more akin to their previous GOTY winner, Card Crawl.
PC/Mac (mobile version coming soon) • When Antihero launched for PC/Mac last week I assumed that, like any board game, I would get 3-5 plays in and be ready to put quill to parchment and regale you with opinions so clear and well thought out that they’d bring a tear to your eye. While Antihero is definitely a board game, I found that 3-5 plays simply wasn’t enough to see everything it has to offer. I’ve worked my way up through the campaign and several skirmish games, and even an online game or two and I think that I finally have Antihero’s nuances all sorted out. I can’t promise that my florid prose will bring a tear to your eyes, but I can promise you that Antihero doesn’t disappoint and is a well designed and intriguing board game.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • All the big news coming out of the Nomad Games‘ camp the last few months has revolved around their gamebook/RPG mashup, Fighting Fantasy Legends. We’re so jacked for the FFL release next week, that it’s hard to remember that Nomad makes a few other pretty great games for your touchscreen or desktop, namely that old standby, Talisman. This weekend Games Workshop is having a “Skulls for the Skull Throne” feature on Steam which features all of GW’s titles on sale from 25-90% off. You can find those here, but we’re going to focus on what this means for our favorite roll-and-move board games, Talisman and Talisman: Horus Heresy.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Earlier this year, 2016’s best mobile title made its way to our desktops and laptops when Pathfinder Adventures was launched on Steam. While more platforms isn’t a terrible thing, most of us were far more interested in what was going on content-wise with Pathfinder, which hadn’t seen any major content additions since the Rise of the Runelords campaign came to an end last year. We had heard, from Pathfinder’s new publisher, Asmodee, that more content was coming, but what and when was in left up in the air. That all changed this morning.