Shiny, happy people

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

It’s a holiday weekend and my family is spending all of Sunday in the car. Literally. We have a 19 hour drive home and are going to do it straight through, so we’re leaving very early Sunday morning and not stopping until we get home. No, kids, we’re not stopping. YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO HOLD IT!

Actually, I’m not that much of a road tyrant. In fact, I probably stop too many times stretching our 19 hour drive into a 22-24 hour trek. All this means I’m not playing much of anything this weekend, especially on Easter. Everyone else, however, is home and pulling out games. Let’s take a gander into the private lives of the writers…

Rise to Ruins

My PC gaming will be a continuation of Starbound along with Rise to Ruins, an early-access builder with Banished-style worker allocation—meaning you micro-manage the number of workers who build stuff, gather wood, grow food, and other tasks. Nighttime monster attacks add some threat and up the challenge level. Not the holy-shit-we’re-all-going-to-die threat of They Are Billions, mind you, but a more normal keep-you-honest threat. The graphics aren’t great, but the gameplay is, and that’s what matters to me, especially for that genre of game.

On the mobile side I find myself completely uninspired. 2018 has been a bit of a weak year for iOS from my perspective and not much has caught my attention for long. Hurry up Pocket City (April/May according to the dev), Bad North, and Battleheart 2!

-Nick Vigdahl

Carnage Heart

Thanks to Kelsey’s wonderful deconstruction of art and systems, I find myself dabbling once again in Carnage Heart EXA. For the uninitiated, it’s a robotics programming effort from A-train luminaries, Artdink. Wrapped in a cloying, glacially unfolding visual novel — the game’s subjective downfall — players spend their time building the operating parameters of a combat machine. Lots of loops and daisy-chaining chips. Lots of wondering why my clunker keeps turning to the left. Lots of prodigal drawing board chin-strokery.

Also a return to Angels Fall First, which continues to be Battlefront if Battlefront wasn’t put through the ringer by avaricious suits. It’s also the perfect Dadcore shooter, given the prevalence of bots.

The weekend, however, belongs to Jalopy. If my woeful online K/D ratio wasn’t a dead giveaway, I tend to play games after the brood goes to bed, and in a state of hypnagogic fatigue. Somehow, I feel Jalopy will meet me half-way. A sleepy bypass of Budapest. A snoozy sojourn to Belgrade. A game that won’t jazz your lobes like a Cottee’s-addled pre-teen. Just a gentle journey to unfurl at your leisure.

Robots, starships and the open road.

-Alex Connolly

Race for the Galaxy (and a bunch of other stuff, and maybe sawing some wood)

This weekend is the beginning of my kids’ spring break, so there’ll be some good family tabletop time in my near future. Probably that’ll include Bunny Kingdom, Smash Up, and surprisingly resurgent Isla Dorada. With my son now reading The Hobbit and my daughter on The Two Towers (parenting win!), I’m also considering reintroducing The Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. Digitally, I expect to assassinate some creeds and buy the second expansion to Race for the Galaxy. Satiety is a real problem for selling expansions to a game that good.

-Kelsey Rinella

Dungeons & Dragons

While I’ve been on vacation and haven’t had much time for gaming, I have had the chance to DM for my kids and the kids of the family we’re staying with while we’re in Florida. I’ve been running Storm King’s Thunder for them for the past few month via Roll20, so it’s fun to actually play for a bit face-to-face. I will say that the game is a lot harder to play when everything is on paper and you don’t have all the rules, dice, and stats right at your command. I don’t remember having these issues when we used to play pre-internet in the 80’s, but I also used to have the books memorized back then. Today I have a hard time remembering that the underwear goes on before the pants. Anyway, I’ll be spending tonight and tomorrow with five kids between the ages of 7 and 15, trying to scare the hell out of them via character death. I’ll probably fudge the dice to make sure no one actually visits the Raven Queen, but they don’t need to know that.

-Dave Neumann


Liked it? Take a second to support Stately Play on Patreon!

Notable Replies

  1. Bit of a haul this month, consisting of John Company, Heroes Wanted, Petrichor, Tao Long, and South China Sea, but apparently we’re not playing any of those, we’re playing Food Chain Magnate. My copy of Food Chain Magnate, to be precise. What’s strange is, I don’t remember suggesting it as an option. Bit weird, that.

    When I’m not fuming, I’m going to be playing Prey, which is still amazing, Dishonoured: DOTO, and I might try Far Cry 4.

  2. A little bit of Burnout Paradise, a little Ni No Kuni 2.

  3. No idea what I’ll be playing on the table, but electronically I’ll be continuing my Cardinals season in OOTP 19 (I’m a woeful 4-7 right now), as well as last year’s baseball game on iPad (and Solitairica along with maybe I’ll try Dream Quest again?)

  4. Ah, FCM…never have I so loved and loathed a game at the same time.

  5. I don’t mind playing it, but I do mind people suddenly having appointments to wash their pubes when I suggest playing other games. FCM seems to have brought out an ugly tendency in board gamers where they decry spending £70 on a board game that’s ‘ugly’ but have no problem playing it week in, week out.

  6. Darkest Dungeon for me, about half way through the second tier of bosses.

    And mucking around with slay the spire

  7. Jules says:

    Eternal got me hooked again and stockpiling gold for the upcoming league format.

  8. FCM… I’m in the love camp (but it’s my copy) - my group seem to be split 50/50 :wink:

  9. My ongoing 2018 adventure into flight simulation is taking a slight detour with the Easter Weekend sale of Elite: Dangerous, which caused me to pick it up.

    I’m more interested with Elite: Dangerous in experiencing the exploration, trading, and flying a starship through space aspects, more than the combat part of a space flight simulator game. Hoping that it fits in nicely with IL-2 Battle of Kuban’s “true” flight simulation and WW II piston aircraft enjoyment, with Rise of Flight on the side for early open cockpit fun.

    With an eye to moving into VR gaming in the future as both IL-2 and Elite: Dangerous are recommended VR candidates.

  10. I recently dipped into Elite Dangerous…while I like the concept I find the vehicle sections mind boggingly-boring…the 2nd or 3rd space combat tutorial bested me (so I am crap at it) and the first thing I bought was an auto-dock comp to not facehug space station landing corridor walls constantly. I still hope it drags me in…at the moment I only did some dozen courier missions and feel pretty non-hooked.

    Until now I had more fun with Rebel Galaxy…which might be because it is in another genre…while ED goes for the more realistic flight sim moveset RG goes for the Assassin Creed’s “ship combat sequences” in space…broadsides yay!

    I know Elite is a dinosaur of a franchise and comes frome ages long past (as I do myself in fact) but I am to much overwhelmed with all the micromanagment in and outside combat…

  11. Heh, heh! I had a twitch stream on the second monitor yesterday afternoon when I was evaluating Elite: Dangerous, and while I wasn’t closely monitoring the stream, I did catch him giving advice to someone in chat along the lines of doing the tutorials but not worrying about finishing the combat ones, he was saying something along the lines that nobody he knows was able to successfully complete the combat tutorials, only those who persisted in going back multiple times, eventually did, or something like that!

    I’d be interested in learning more about your auto-dock comp, one thing I’ve learned is that a lot of folks use VoiceAttack in flight simulations, especially to control wingmen (HOWTO: VOICEATTACK IN DCS WORLD), which is cool as heck! Seriously, I was enthralled at how cool it was, being an old school gamer, and with an eye to venturing into VR in the future, using VoiceAttack instead of fumbling with keys that are not visible sounds so nifty.

    I say that to say this … folks are doing amazing things with VoiceAttack in Elite: Dangerous, too, and they’ve extended the VoiceAttack functionality with the HCS Voice Packs (ELITE DANGEROUS : HCS VOICE PACKS), to include advanced scripting for automation already constructed in the voice packs, along with immersive interaction with professional voice actors, it appears.

    HCS is running a two-for-one sale this Easter weekend,, and I’m thinking of just diving in and go ahead and pick up VoiceAttack and HCS Voice Packs this weekend.

  12. Rise To Ruins looks interesting. Is it similar to RimWorld? While I have been taking a break from RimWorld, I plan to return to it, as I think it’s a great game.

    I am back to playing a lot of OverWatch recently, and despite how bad I am at it (Bronze) I really do enjoy it. I had taken a break since Fall, but am fully into it again right now.

    I am in a bunch of various leagues and tournament for Star Realms per usual.

    I am also messing around with the FTP Marvel Strike Force on mobile since yesterday. This is a multiple timer typical Free To Play, but its a nice time waster/filler for mobile at the moment.

  13. Wood League for life, baby.

  14. What’s entry level? That’s where I hung out for a year. I like to pretend it was my teammates, but hey we’re probably saying the same about me.

    My son is struggling with impulse control and has been pushing a lot in preschool, so I’ve made an effort to keep anything violent off the TV, and Overwatch hit the chopping block, even though it’s relatively mild. Perhaps I should have switched from Hog to Mercy…

  15. Time to get the little man hooked on racing games, Mire.

  16. Nick says:

    Yes, there are definite similarities. Rise to Ruins plays at a more macro level than RimWorld. You end up with considerably more villagers and while you can assign them to a particular task you don’t have the priority ranking of multiple tasks as in RimWorld. You are also directing the construction of entire buildings to grow a civilization, rather than playing architect and laying out exactly how you want a colony to look, so things progress much faster.

    You don’t get to know Rise villagers to the same degree as RimWorld colonists, with their many and varied skills and personality traits, which is obviously one of the strengths of that game. On the other hand you also don’t have to micro-manage their feelings and satisfaction so they won’t go nuts and start burning things down or the like.

    Overall, I like RimWorld better but it’s also one of my favorite games of all time, so that’s hardly surprising. Rise to Ruins is one of the better builders I’ve played, though. It’s well worth the $10 base price and is on sale for $5 several times a year which is an amazing deal for the playtime you can get out of it (I picked it up at that price during the Lunar New Year sale on Steam).

  17. Oh, he loves racing games. He wants to play Burnout Paradise all the time now. It’s hard to be a parent who likes games of all kinds but also wants to raise his kids without much screen time. I try to balance his racing games with board games and reading apps.

  18. I don’t know if Starting Positions are randomized but I got the docking computer on my second or third space station. What it does is that it automatically docks if you are in docking range and at a complete standstill. It doesn’t help with takeoff but thats easy as pie in comparison ^^

    It not only makes it easier to dock (ie not crashing) but faster as hell…no 5 min shuckling back and forth above the landingpad.

Continue the discussion