The hardest part of traveling is trying to get back into a normal routine once you get home. I’ve been home since last Saturday afternoon and still don’t quite have the usual rhythms down. For example, this morning I nodded off while trying to write this story and the small catnap turned into a 3 hour tour of dreamtown. The worst part: I still feel tired as hell. Anyway, sorry for the lack of content the last couple days. My malaise and confusion mixed with a huge job interview I had yesterday have made it hard to get back on the SP horse. We’re going to keep trying, however, and today’s attempt concerns RPG masters Spiderweb Software. They have an entirely new RPG world they’re itching to create, and have taken off for Kickstarter to get it done.
My long European adventure is nearly at an end. As I write this, I’m about 12 hours from boarding a plane and heading back to the midwest, far away from phenomenal mass transit. I admit that I am looking forward to driving a car again, but I’m really going to miss being able to just walk a few blocks down the street, walk down some stairs, and be able to get anywhere in the city. I’m sure that none of you give two bits about my wanderings and wonderings, so let’s get back to business. I’ve not been able to get a scrying article out the past few weeks, but today we’re back. Sit back, read what we’re playing, and wish you were us.
iOS Universal • Earlier today we mentioned App Store guru Michael Brough and Cinco Paus arriving for PC/Mac. Let’s talk about the other App Store genius who always seems to hit the nail on the head, Zach Gage. Zach Gage takes the commonplace and turns it on his head. Not only did he tackle that old excuse to drink beer in a boat, fishing, with Ridiculous Fishing, but two examples of applying this mantra to games are Really Bad Chess and FlipFlop Solitaire. The former replaced chess’ rigid rules with utter randomness, while the latter took a dull card game a spiced it up by adding one minor tweak. This week Zach Gage tackled another common game and updated it for the mobile scene, pool. Pocket Run Pool is the result and, like all of Zach Gage’s games, you wonder how no one thought of this before.
PC/Mac/Linux • One of the unheralded gems of 2017 was a little historical title with a terrible title, Predynastic Egypt from Clarus Victoria. We liked the hell out of it with the exception that it ended when the 1st Kingdom began which is kind of when all the really cool stuff in Ancient Egypt started rolling. Yes, I’m talking about the pyramids. No pyramids in Predynastic Egypt, but in the follow-up, Egypt: Old Kingdom, which was released on Steam yesterday, we’ve got pyramids aplenty.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • Michael Brough‘s latest gem on the App Store is a strange one, Cinco Paus. The strangeness comes from the fact that the entire game is in Portuguese with no options to translate it to any other language. At first we weren’t sure what to think. Did this mistakenly show-up on the US App Store? Is there another version being released? The answer to both was “no”. Instead, it slowly dawned on everyone who downloaded it that the Portuguese was part of the puzzle or, as Kelsey puts it, part of the joy of discovery. Unfortunately, only those on with Apple devices have been able to explore this bit of the Brough-verse until today when it became available for PC/Mac.
Switch • Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! DX is the second game on the Switch in as many months from Infinite State Games, following the excellent Rogue Aces in April. And, like Rogue Aces, DD,MR!DX (Yes, I will be abbreviating the title.) is a fantastic pick up and play arcade game that is well worth a spot on your Switch.
Not a lot of time today, so I’m going to just touch on a little nibble that I found last week but haven’t been able to coerce a certain forum member into divulging any details. Yet. It all stems from a tiny little blurb in last month’s GMT Games newsletter.
iPad, Android tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Last Thursday I stopped by Steam several times to see if Handelabra‘s port of One Deck Dungeon was live. One of these trips — for no good reason — I scrolled down to read current Steam reviews. Negative reviews weren’t hard to spot, all complaining that this game uses too much “RNG” which is, apparently, a cool thing all the kids are saying. It means random number generation and if you’re complaining about randomness in a game that has you chucking literal handfuls of dice each turn then maybe you’re playing the wrong game. One Deck Dungeon is nothing but randomly generated numbers and, if you’re into that kind of game –other ports I can think of are Elder Sign and Roll for It! — then you’re in for a treat.
PC • Though age hath wearied my nerves and reaction time isn’t what it once was, the siren song of the shooter still manages to kindle the old fascination. Eximius: Seize The Frontline is aiding and abetting this month, due to running headlong into Pandemic Studios’ luminary Ken Miller’s proposition that FPS players don’t want to think, and RTS players don’t want to die. If the idea of commanding, ahem, and conquering appeals — and why we aren’t enjoying a glut of these hybrids is one of gaming’s more mystifying vacuums — then give this a look-see.
Tabletop • Before I left for Europe I was asked if I wanted to attend PDXCON, Paradox‘s annual navel gaze, in Stockholm. Of course I said yes, but before you think I’m a lucky bastard, I should tell you that I didn’t go. I’m traveling with my dad and deviating from our itinerary nearly put him in the cardiac ward, so I had to crawl back and turn them down. Luckily, there’s this thing called the internet and you can pretty much be there without actually, you know, being there. It’s been a big week of announcements thus far: Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Imperator: Rome, and more. That said, the biggest announcement (in my board game centric eyes) was made today. Paradox is bringing some of their biggest franchises to the tabletop.