Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

December 14, 2018 David Neumann 10

It’s a late, late night version of our look into our gaming future this week. Sorry for the delayed post! I’d try to write something witty [and, undoubtedly fail-ed.], but I know it’s late and we should just get down to business. Onward, Players!

Book of Demons turns the page and emerges from Early Access

December 14, 2018 David Neumann 0

PC/Mac • Book of Demons is a weird one. Part Action-RPG, part roguelike, part card game, and with a graphic style that I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before. It appears to be an homage to the original Diablo, complete with a Deckard Cain-alike and an ominous cathedral whose depths you’ll be exploring for loot and glory. There’s also a big, red demon sitting at the bottom waiting for you. So, it’s a lot like Diablo, except when it isn’t, which is most of the time. Confused? Stay awhile and listen!

Crest Almighty – Deistic God Sim Sees Second Coming

December 14, 2018 Alex Connolly 1

Did you play Crest? That gorgeous but rather abstract Swedish affair that you’d swear was a Molyneux tulpa? No? Your sins are forgiven, because as is often the case with indie titles that don’t hit the ground running, Eat Create Sleep have relaunched their tribal papercraft terrarium, with new elements, overhauls and tweaks. Additions that will entice the agnostic and convert the disbeliever.

The Stately Players’ Game of the Year

December 12, 2018 David Neumann 45

Ah, December, that time of the year when sites everywhere fill their click-meters with posts pointing out the highs and lows of the past 12 months. As much as I’d like to say we’re different, we’re not. In fact, you can expect our favorite games of the year to start counting down next week and wrapping up with our number one games on Christmas Eve (otherwise known as December 24). Of course, what we thought was 2018’s hay might be your chaff, so we’re opening the doors to you, the Stately Players, to let us know what your favorite digital game of the year was. Let’s talk about rules after the jump.

Review: Morels

December 11, 2018 David Neumann 14

iOS, Android • While my gaming desires tend to lean toward heavier fare such as Through the Ages or Twilight Struggle, there’s a warm place in my heart for simple, quick card games. Games that, while sitting at your child’s Holiday Concert and you spot another dad from your game group, can be played without dedicating all your attention, thus lowering the chances of your wife catching you sneaking turns. This is an entirely hypothetical situation, by the way. I’d never play games…who am I kidding? Lost Cities was our School Concert/Play/Sports game of choice but it has been surpassed by a little game that, until November, none of us had played, Morels. [Whoa, big reveal! It’s in the title of the piece you dink -ed.]

Jon Shafer once again drinking from the 4X well with his upcoming At the Gates

December 11, 2018 David Neumann 1

PC/Mac/Linux • I’ve been fascinated with the story of Jon Shafer ever since I heard about him back in the Civ IV days where he was a prolific modder catching the eye of Firaxis who hired him as an intern and, eventually, a full-time developer to help with the two Civ IV expansions. Big deal, sure, but the story took an epic turn when he was promoted and made the lead designer for the series’ next iteration, Civ V. Yep, it was his idea to move from square grid to hex and (controversially) abandon the Ultimate Stack of Doom tactic by eliminating units’ ability to stack. Oh, and he did this all before he was 25. When I was 25 I made my own beer bong from parts scavenged from my dad’s garage and Home Depot. Once again, I lose. Since then, he’s meandered around and, eventually, settled with his own dev house, Conifer Games. Their first title, At the Gates, is another epic 4X strategy title and it’s coming to PC/Mac/Linux in January, 2019.

Tomorrow Corporation is back on the App Store with 7 Billion Humans

December 7, 2018 David Neumann 1

iOS, Switch, PC/Mac/Linux • My kids think it’s weird that I enjoy programming games like TIS-100 from Zachtronics (or any Zachtronics game, actually), or Human Resource Machine from Tomorrow Corporation. This is because they think I sit at work all day and write code which is most definitely not what I do. In fact, my “writing code” to “writing boring documentation” ratio is so horrifically skewed to the latter that it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’d leap at the chance to do a little coding without all that legal overhead. 7 Billion Humans is Tomorrow Corporation’s follow-up to the aforementioned Human Resource Machine and it’s been out on Steam and Switch for a couple months. Yesterday, however, it arrived for iOS and now it can be played the way it was meant to be: on a tablet.

Twinfold mashes several well worn mechanisms into a unique new experience

December 7, 2018 David Neumann 13

iOS, Android, PC/Mac • So, all the voices in my head the last couple days have been talking about one thing, the new game from indie dev Kenny Sun, Twinfold. “Wait, what voices?” you’re probably asking. To that I say, Sandwiches! [we’re not sure when Dave fell and hit his head, but we’re all guessing it was somewhere around the age of 7 -ed.]

Review: Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics

December 7, 2018 Kelsey Rinella 0

PS4, Xbox, PC • I imagine the right way to open the review of a Lovecraft-riffing game is dark foreshadowing of looming evil, so, uh–don’t look behind you. [Well done. Now clean out your desk. -ed.] Ripstone’s Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (henceforth ACT) aims at an experience much like XCOM. Not XCOM as it would be now, because you’ve probably already played that. Instead, it has all the pieces needed to give you the experience of playing XCOM for the first time, again. That is, it’s mechanically distinct enough to play quite differently, facilitating the joy of discovery. The setting is almost perfect for this purpose–while I feel the pull of legitimate concerns about continuing to use Lovecraft’s work (starkly put by Michael Barnes here), ACT’s melding of techno-über-Nazis with Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos offers players mostly familiar, immediately comprehensible weapons and soldier roles to build from, with such a variety of possible ways of adding strangeness that you never know what might emerge from the shadows.

Counterpoint: The new Command & Conquer and Star Trek mobile games are shit

December 5, 2018 David Neumann 40

After hearing several positive takes (including one from a site that, at least in the past, was always wary of F2P junk) for the new mobile Command & Conquer title, Command & Conquer: Rivals, I decided to take a look for myself. Within seconds after finishing the tutorial, I clicked on a unit to upgrade and was sent to the screen you see at the top of the post. Deleted. I had ignored C&C: Rivals completely, assuming it was nothing more than the usual cash grab wrapped inside a pretty Skinner box. I’m here to tell you that my initial assumptions were correct. It’s shit.

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