Behold my creation!

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

Noted 80’s philosopher and man about town, Mike Reno, once said that everyone’s working for the weekend. Wiser words were never spoken, and we’ve decided that it’s about time all of us here at Stately Play share with you, the Stately Players [you son of a bitch -ed.], what it is we’re working for. Thus, we’ll be trying to post a little insight into what games each of us are currently playing, the games that will be getting a workout when we’re done shoveling ourselves out over the next two days.

We’ll keep this up every Friday [unless Dave forgets, which is likely -ed.], and hopefully have it posted a little earlier in the day. Enjoy and have a great weekend. See you on Monday.


Subnautica will undoubtedly dominate my PC gaming time. You’ve likely heard about it, but just in case you’re like Dave who’s only aware of 4X games on Steam, Subnautica is a game of survival, adventure, exploration, crafting, and big scary-ass fish. I bought it more for the sandbox exploration/crafting angle but find the story surprisingly compelling. Subnautica looks amazing and is very often terrifying, especially given its first-person view [blech! -ed.] and the fact that something fast and deadly could be coming right at you from behind at nearly any second.

I’m hoping to also check out Rise of Industry, a promising commercial sim available as of today on Steam early access. You play as a 20th century industrialist looking to, you know, build up your business to take over the world of commerce.

Undoubtedly, I’ll also spend at least some time leveling up a character or two in the super-hero based MMO Champions Online. Champions Online is one of my go-to MMOs since the plug got pulled on City of Heroes some years ago.

Finally, Saturday is date night, which often means my wife and I will dive into a couple two-player tableteop games. Right now our favorites are trick-taking gem The Fox in the Forest, dice-drafting beauty Sagrada, and co-operative riot Hanabi.

-Nick Vigdahl

Monster Hunter: World

It took five attempts over the course of twelve years, but I’ve finally managed to get into Monster Hunter. Unfortunately, Monster Hunter: World requires a larger time commitment per session than most games so I haven’t been able to devote as much time as I’d like. I’m hoping to squeeze in a couple more hunts this weekend when I’m not busy. Otherwise, I’ll probably keep playing Cinco Paus on my phone whenever I have a few spare minutes.

-Tanner Hendrickson

Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion

I’m playing Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion and Masquerada: of Songs and Shadows (both by Witching Hour Studios). Also, in a rare forray into games that require a reaction time under five seconds, Dandara.

-Tof Eklund

Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare

Beyond trying to weave a Fast Show reference into this fresh column, and coming unstuck on the temporal elements (This week, I mostly…for those playing along at home), it’ll be about two games in particular.

Right now, I’m all about Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare. This Early Access affair has well and truly earned its place on my most anticipated list for 2018 by following through on the lofty chimeric promise of splicing Mount & Blade into Jagged Alliance. Where I was expecting functional, if fibreless, shooting, I found a really great squad FPS.

It’s still missing parts, such as a much anticipated direct command element in the first-person mode, but I cannot deny running alongside a twenty-plus squad and getting into massive scraps at range doesn’t tickle an old Flashpoint fancy.

As well as shooting my way across off-brand Alruco, I’m also getting back into Angels Fall First. Not that I technically ever left Angels Fall First, but it was nice to see the game get such a huge boost to its player numbers in a recent Steam front page spread. For the uninitiated, this hobby project by a bunch of visionary devs is THE GAME the Star Wars Battlefront games should be.

Massive starship battles over colossal installations; each little gun pit, corridor, star fighter, hangar bay, ion turret a place for players or bots. The fight continues on the ground in equally broad illustration. It’s Planetsidian in a way, but unfettered by subscribtions or loot boxes or any of the grotesqueries of the modern gaming experience. Angels Fall First isn’t perfect, but its ambition is laudable and when all cogs are turning, it’s a Stewart Cowley symphony.

-Alex Connolly


As I was putting this feature together, it dawned on me that I might be the most boring gamer the internet has to offer. All these other writers are playing games I not only haven’t heard of, but my old-man reflexes are most likely too slow to play them well, regardless. So, if you want safe and relaxing game choices, head on down to the last entry on these weekly features. Otherwise, you can probably skip right over. Stately Play will not be responsible for anyone falling asleep while reading my entries.

Anyway, Nick turned me onto a little simulation/planning title called Factorio that I actually had in my Steam library for a long time, but never got around to sinking any time into. I’m glad he told me about it. It’s absolutely fantastic and a dream come true for gamers who love to build things. Basically, the goal is to build things, originally using your own two hands but, eventually, moving to fully automated factories that will crank out items at a frightening pace. There are so many recipes and technologies to unlock that the sheer scope of the game is awe inspiring. I’ve been playing a ton of this and there’s so much that I haven’t seen, so much I’m not even aware of. Each new log in opens up something new and I can’t wait to jump back in and tweak my creation. Oh, and there are aliens trying to rip your stuff apart. I forgot to mention that.

The other game that will occupy my time is the new Civilization VI expansion, Rise and Fall. I’ve been dabbling in it so far and I like what I see. Then again, Firaxis could do just about anything and I’d like it. Any other week and this would have been my main go-to game, but Factorio is what’s currently taking up all my gaming brain space.

-Dave Neumann


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Notable Replies

  1. I could definitely go for more “into the weekend” posts like this.

    Aside from continuing to construct my Gloomhaven broken token shelves, I’m shooting to get Oh My Goods to the table (the parts that aren’t covered in laser etched wooden pieces) to try out the solo expansion.

    Fairly certain some Slay the Spire, Meteorfall, and The Quiet Sleep will also happen.

  2. The plan is to get one up every Friday. The writers are free to jump on board or not, so some weeks might be lighter than others, but we’ll get something up each week.

    I’m fond of it too…a ton of games just in the first post that I want to look into.

  3. Kolbex says:

    If I get any game it’ll be…Persona 4, probably. I thought I was completely over this kind of game, but I decided to give it a shot and am finding it pretty enjoyable, actually. The English voice acting is top notch. I should find some time for more MGSV, too…

  4. I’ve got a potential game of Red Star Rising lined up, more Expanse, and maybe some Terraforming Mars with Venus Next.

  5. Great idea!

    Is this where I talk about my weekend addiction to Fishdom? :flushed:

    Nah, I’m alternating between trying to get anything accomplished in Dream Quest and trying to finish the first area of WQ2 since the update (I still can’t get past the final dungeon).

    At least it got me away from my Out of the Park Baseball obsession where my Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in my first year and now everybody’s overpaid and I can’t field a decent team in my 2nd year.

  6. Kolbex says:

    I have bought three $1 Humble Bundle OOTPs, and I find it totally impossible to get into any of them, even though I want to. Could have something to do with the fact that I don’t follow baseball…

  7. I’m talking about the iOS version, Baseball Manager 2017.

    It’s a lot more streamlined, with not as much of the huge amount of detail the PC version has.

  8. This “-ed.” guy is kind of a d-bag.

  9. You’re telling me.

  10. Pokémon TCG online. Getting way into it

  11. I think it is a very under appreciated game.

  12. Hadn’t played in god knows how long (noble victories exp?). Anyways, dusted off some packs updated a few decks and rocking around in legacy/expanded formats.

    Need to build an on meta standard deck, but prior to that I need to trade my way into a stockpile of resources to acquire the cards

  13. Jules says:

    Downloading Total War:Arena.
    No idea if it is any good. Wargaming is involved, so a pay2progress faster grind-fest? I dont know.

    There is an open beta period now while they are in closed beta. Use PLAYTWA at the wargaming site for some bonus goodies.

  14. athros says:
    • Monster Hunter World (XB1)
    • Civ 6, other various games iOS wise.
    • Pokken Tournament DX

    And studying to finish up a couple of certs so I can job hunt more effectively since my workplace has gone down the shitter.

  15. Is Ravenmark still playable on iOS? I was thinking of that game the other day but couldn’t remember its name. I absolutely loved it but never finished it.

    I’m spending my free time this weekend playing Cinco Paus, Gems of War, Dream Quest, and Meteorfall. Might jump back into WHQ2 and see if the update makes the game less irritating.

  16. I also enjoy seeing what folks are planning for the upcoming weekend. :+1:

    For myself, plans include

    • Exploring digital pinball with the Stately Play forum February table tour/friendly tournament/friendly high score challenge by learning the Sorcerer’s Lair table in Pinball FX3 / Zen Pinball (which I’m enjoying)

    • Gems of War with the Stately Play crew

  17. I also ended up falling prey to that ten buck Agents of Mayhem price tag on Steam. It’s pretty damn cool. Exactly the kind of pyrotechnical tomfoolery one relishes at the end of a long week.

  18. rinelk says:

    Can you sell me on it? I tried it with my kids a few years back, and found it infuriatingly badly designed in the following way: higher-level evolutions were stupendous (and thematically appealing to my kids), so the whole game seemed to revolve around them. But in order to play them, you had to draw one of at most four specific named cards for them to evolve from, and in the limited card set we had, there was virtually no ability to tutor for them or otherwise ease this restriction.

    Is this not the case with other mixes of cards, or is there some reason that dynamic doesn’t thoroughly sap the interest out of the game for you?

  19. Jules says:

    Played a few total war arena matches last night, but decided not to put more time in it. Its not worth it.
    Grindy and more MOBA then a Total War game.

  20. The dynamic interests me because it puts emphasis on strategic deck building. The game doesn’t use any of the silly automatic resource mechanics of modern digital CCGs like hearthstone so deck building requires managing your resource curve, making sure you have your evolutions, and make sure you have tutor cards (that help you search for those cards you need).

    The game isn’t as tight strategically as something like Magic and is susceptible to power creep or simply unfair elemental matchups, but matches are quick and if you’re getting punished, it’s wont be dragged out.

    Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t masterclass design, but it is a better CCG than many give it credit for because of its theme and it does have some strategic depth. Plus, the digital version is fairly generous in giving out theme decks to play with.

  21. Neep65 says:

    Probably time to re-evaluate Reno’s contribution. It saddens me that he’s remembered chiefly for his tireless work to popularise the headband, to the detriment of his cerebral insight.

  22. Tof says:

    Good question! I’m still fending off iOS 11. Missing out on Civ 6 mobile is a big deal, but otherwise I have no regrets. I’d like to keep my iPad Air 2 on iOS 10 indefinitely, it runs well on 10. Maybe the kids will let me borrow their newer, spiffier tablets to play Civ on…

  23. I wore a headband while I wrote this post in his honor.

    I have no friends.

  24. Maybe?

  25. I’m sure those two things are coincidental.

  26. Ravenmark does indeed run on iOS 11–I downloaded it to my iPad. That’s impressive for an app that hasn’t been updated in 2 years. I might keep it on my iPad and see if it’s a little easier to get through on the large screen. The last time I played it, I’m pretty sure I was using a tiny iPhone.

  27. I’ve also fallen deeply into Hitman again. That game has a ton of stuff I’ve barely touched, with Escalations that remix the environments and missions substantially. Beautiful Heath Robinson machine/game.

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