Here I am, losing at 18xx again

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

It’s been a long, news-less week behind the scenes at Stately Play. Too much stuff to do and too little time to do it. So, I missed the launch of Banner Saga 3 and…well, that’s the biggest news bit you didn’t get from our front page. Next week is looking tough as well. I’ll be on vacation Monday and Tuesday and then heading down to Gen Con where I’ll be getting all sorts of news (I already have an interesting tidbit from CGE that I will share as soon as I’m legally able to). Will I be posting it right away? Hopefully. My plan is to write up what I saw each day and post it the next day, so you’ll get Thursday’s news on Friday and Friday-Sunday’s news early the next week. That’s the plan, at least, but you know how those go around here. If you don’t, please see my Liberty or Death or Darkest Night videos for an example.

Onward to the weekend!

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Enter the Gungeon

After two jam-packed weekends of filming, driving, and sleep-deprivation, I finally have some time to play some games.

I’ve been puzzling my way through the recent Switch port of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on my lunch breaks at work. It’s incredibly charming! I just unlocked the new set of bonus levels based on Super Mario Odyssey, and I’m excited to see what surprises those levels are hiding.

Enter the Gungeon is the other game I’ve been dipping into when I have the time. I originally purchased it on PS4 when it released a couple years ago, but bounced off of it pretty quickly. While I enjoyed the moment-to-moment arcade roguelite gameplay, I had some issues with the way progression was balanced. Long story short: the developers just released a massive free update that addressed my issues, the Switch version was discounted to celebrate, and I was going to be in the backseat of a Volkswagen Beetle for roughly half of last weekend. I still haven’t gotten over how well-suited the Switch is for these run-based indie games. I’m at the point where I’m actively avoiding purchasing games even if a Switch version hasn’t been announced, just in case. Also, where the fuck is Into the Breach?????

-Tanner Hendrickson

Dream Quest

Well, I’ve re-installed Dream Quest on my iPad, Jasra help me.

-Tof Eklund

Outcast: Second Contact (and more)

Hello there, Statelies.

Well, here we are, with a rejuvenated No Man’s Sky in our hands and many marvelous biomes to explore. Which is why I’m heading back into the world of Outcast! Yes, the most PC of PC…adventure games? RPGs? Klaazka? Vernahoo? Ignat?

Outcast got a delicious redux last year under the suffix Second Contact, and while some parts haven’t aged particularly well in the intervening years, 1999’s most intriguing science-fiction romp continues to have great dollops of lustre. It retains a very compelling alien world with relatively alien-aliens, and our hero Cutter Slade — born to heroism — enjoys his offbrand Stargate adventure as much as I do. Puttering around in the NEXT update for No Man’s Sky is good fun, but it sewed prodigal seeds in the Riss paddies, in the shadow of the Gemehar. And the Talan seemingly can’t save themselves.

Battlezone 2: Combat Commander is currently the cost of a slightly extravagant muffin on Steam, but to really whet that whistle the entire multiplayer side of the game is free to play. So, get on it. Rebellion did a bang-up job on this loving renovation of a true classic, and the multiplayer is crying out for willing anti-grav pilots to bounce around the landscape and build things. And kill things. And command things.

Finally, I’ve been playing The Council, a French take the on the Telltale model. This is an odd one to recommend, because it comes laden with caveats. But, if you can bypass things like the main character — a Frenchman — being voice-acted by an American, and relatively weakly at that, you just might have a wild old time. It’s set in the late 1700s, and a secret society meets on an island off Tintagel. Big names, big plans, whispers and murder most foul. Three of a planned five episodes have been released, and I’m currently sleuthing my way through the second this weekend. Technical shortcomings and the aforementioned voice acting aside (if you must have an American, get Rolf Saxon!), I’m rather taken with it.

Have a fine weekend!

-Alex Connolly


The guy pointing won. Again. One day I’m going to break that finger…

Today is my wife’s birthday and we’re leaving for vacation on Monday morning, so I don’t plan on getting a lot of gaming in this weekend. Luckily, I did manage to sneak in a rare mid-week game session on Wednesday where my group and I played, what else, an 18xx game. This week it was 18Mex, one of the shorter ones with an interesting National Rail mechanism that kicks in mid-way through the game and can really shake things up.

Someday I’ll write about 18xx as it seems to be the only style of game I’ve been playing lately. If you’re into heavy economic sims, I can’t recommend them enough. Just go in knowing you’re going to get slaughtered if your opponents have any experience whatsoever. In other news, I do expect the new edition of Brass to arrive very soon, I’m hoping it comes in the next day or two. I’d love to bring it along to Gen Con and teach it to my kids (who, along with my wife, are all coming along to Gen Con…it’s going to be a weird year).

-Dave Neumann

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Notable Replies

  1. I will tease you as much as needed until I can win another game of TtA. It’s been so long, I can’t recall the sweet taste of victory.

  2. js619 says:

    I’ll throw one if you whisper in my inbox that CGE is finally bringing Tash Kalar to iOS. Hell, I’ll give you two victories even!

  3. I’m going to guess the long rumoured TTA leaders and wonders expansion…

  4. The guy pointing won. Again

    It’s those t-shirts.

    SEAL Team Flix remains stubbornly unreleased. I am bereft. I play Ice Cool and dream of penguin school shootings.

    In the meantime, it’s Into the Breach now Tanner’s mentioned it again, Bomber Crew, Cultist Simulator (O God), and some Heroes Wanted. Who am I going to be tonight?

    Ah shit.
  5. I have Heroes Wanted too! Been trying to teach my kids (6/4/4). They haven’t mastered it yet.

    That said, they are starting to get good at unstable unicorns!

    This weekend I will likely play;
    WoW - trying to level a monk for BFA, only 80, not likely to get there in time.
    Marvel Strike Force - can’t believe I am still playing, but haven’t dropped it yet

  6. Tamsk says:

    I will settle for Pulsar 2849.

  7. I started Check Your 6, but man…that’s some appalling interface. Achtung! Spitfire and Flight Commander are shaking their aged heads.

  8. A couple days ago I brought my son fishing and kayaking and to the park. When my wife was putting him down and she asked what his favorite part of the day was, he said “watching Daddy play Jurassic Park.” That was a bit mortifying because I don’t want video games to be that important to him. I’ll probably refrain from playing much for a while that isn’t mobile. That said, I’ll be sneaking in some sessions of Octopath Traveller here and here when he’s not around.

  9. Like @Baelnor I am still playing Marvel Strike Force, and WoW, which I just re-subbed to after about a 9 month hiatus for the new x-pac in 2 weeks. Unlike @Baelnor I don’t have to level, as I have 4xmax level toons. But it’s been a while, so just having casual fun running around and collecting things.

  10. Hmm, I do have some max level toons, but my mates decided to change servers… so levelling a Monk!

    How’s you marvel strike force going?

    I have a super invested main team around 133k

  11. I spread myself too thin, as I kept getting new heroes and wanting to try them. I have like 15 heroes around 15k, so my highest team is 78k. And now I am running into problems with not having a strong enough Cosmic team, which I need to improve my main team.

  12. Still playing Warhammer 40k Inquisitor: Martyr…still having fun even if the game is a bit grindy…

    Also, they updated the client to implement an FPS limiter, which is truly a boon. It is also a limiter with several options (60,50,40,30,24 and 20) not like the crappy 30/60/no limit at all FPS-limiter usual lazy devs implement in their games.

    More games should have such abundant FPS limiter options…now I can play Martyr without the caged howling Grizzlyr under my desk. The slightly annoyed Rabbit is much more agreeable.

  13. Martyr still intrigued, even if it got roasted at release for a few baffling design issues. It’s a sale item, but one purchased at the first available opportunity.

  14. Against my better judgment, I ended up downloading that new Shin Megami Tensei gatcha game. It’s got more currencies than I’ve ever seen in one of these games before, but the classic SMT fusing and battle mechanics are really well-suited to this kind of game. And the production values are through the roof! As far as I can tell, all the demons are entirely new models, not ripped from Persona or another recent entry. Plays in portrait mode, too.

  15. Tamsk says:

    Is the CGE info still contraband? Or has it been posted somewhere and I’ve missed it?

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