Hey everyone! You might have noticed that the forum gods have shined their light upon us and our old Discourse forums are back! That’s great news and I can’t begin to explain how happy this makes me. Of course, all is not well. We still cannot configure the email server correctly, so Discourse is currently unable to send email. As such, new users cannot currently sign up for the forum because we are unable to send the activation emails. We’re working on it and we’ll let you know when it’s all up and working as it should. Thank you for sticking with us and, newbies, thanks for trying! Don’t leave, we’ll have you sorted out in no time.
PC (and, hopefully, other platforms a bit later) • While a new expansion for one of my favorite games would usually be a cause for excitement, I’m looking at the announcement of another full-blown expansion with a bit of sadness. After all, my favorite platform for Civ VI is my iPad and we still haven’t gotten the first expansion on there yet. Just when I thought we were catching up, Firaxis throws this at me! The nerve! In all seriousness, this new expansion looks fairly incredible adding environmental factors into a game that has largely ignored them. More info on The Gathering Storm after the break.
iOS/Android (eventually), PC/Mac (Early Access now) • When Lord of the Rings LCG from Fantasy Flight Interactive launched in Early Access back in August, reviews were rather tepid and some were downright hostile. It’s a shame because the game itself is pretty good, but it’s not what fans of the physical version wanted: a direct copy of their favorite LCG to play on the go. If we look at it as a completely separate game, however, it’s pretty fun, albeit a bit limited by the growing pains associated with an Early Access game. What may have been the biggest gripe was the pricing scheme which was confusing as hell, especially compared with the simplicity of the LCG model it was attempting to emulate. Well, that’s all changing as free-to-play is going out the window. More on that later, but for now you need to know that Asmodee and FFG just added a new mission to the game that can be had for the low, low price of free.
iOS, Android • I realize that mushrooms are merely the sexy parts of a gigantic microscopic decomposer spreading for miles under the forest floor, slowly digesting any and everything dead, but they’re so damn tasty. Seriously, I love the things and would put them in nearly everything if they didn’t cause all three of my kids to display their revulsion via dry heave noises. I’ve never actually gone and hunted my own from the wild because I’m ignorant and lazy [two qualities that define Dave regardless of activity -ed.]. For those of us who love the shroom, but aren’t devoted mycophiles, there’s Morels, a 2-player card game released in 2014 that’s making its way to mobile next week.
Well, this has been a hell of a week. We need to apologize for the disaster that befell our previous forums, but then ask you to put your hands together for the one, the only, Kelsey for figuring out how to piece together a solution. Thus, we have new forums. You’ll need to sign up again if you haven’t already and, please, make sure you monitor your spam folder when you’re looking for that activation email. I’m currently looking at how to get everyone’s Patreon badges working in the new space. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if it’s been a few days and your title and badge still haven’t been applied. Oh, and if you don’t have a badge because you don’t support our Patreon, why not give it a go? [nice slide into sleazy barker mode, loser -ed.] After the break you’ll spy everything that the writers and I will be playing this weekend. Or at least hope to play. It’s volleyball tryout weekend, so I’ll be driving and sitting in gyms most of the weekend meaning I’ll probably be on my Switch. I can’t wait.
Switch • So, Civilization VI arrived for Switch this morning and, because I want to make sure everyone at Firaxis can send their kids to college, I bought it. Again. This is the third, maybe fourth, time I’ve bought Civ VI now, each time at $60, not to mention all the DLC I’ve also chipped in for on each and every platform. Civ VI for Switch is fine but the entire time I was playing, I was wondering why I wasn’t just playing it on my iPad. The iPad screen is bigger and the touch controls are just so much more intuitive. They did a great job of reworking the UI for the Switch, but when I want to open something and it’s tied to a button on the Switch, I invariably have to search for exactly what key is where. My fingers don’t know where the Y key is versus the X key, for example, and I find myself opening and closing menus or selecting this when I wanted to select that, that my 15 minutes with Civ VI felt like a chore. That brings me to Diablo 3 which launched last week for Switch and, I assumed, would be a perfect fit for the handheld. Oh, boy.
Just so everyone’s aware, our forums are down right now. Something went wrong with a Discourse update and everything went kaplooey, but we’re (Kelsey) is working on it and should, hopefully, have things back to normal in no time. I’m going to refrain from posting any news/reviews articles until Discourse is back up and running as anything posting now will have no comment capability, and what’s the fun in that? See you soon.
PC/Mac • I went into Return of the Obra Dinn with high expectations, stemming from its designer, Lucas Pope. You might know Mr. Pope as the creator of the thought-provoking and terrifying Papers, Please, a game that crawled into your skull and stuck with you well after you closed your laptop. Return of the Obra Dinn does the same, and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had on my laptop in a long time.
Tabletop • As someone who’s spent much of their life in Wisconsin, I’ve been taught to react with revulsion to anything that comes from south of the border, the Wisconsin/Illinois border, to be exact. It’s just not cool to show any appreciation for Cubs, Bulls, or even the pristine, toll-funded freeways that turn into potholed monstrosities as you meander north. Now, having a wife that lived for many years in Chicago (and living there myself for a period) has made me a tad more appreciative of what other Wisconsonites call FIBs. It’s with this more accepting eye that I peered at a new board game on Kickstarter set in the City of Big Shoulders called, appropriately, City of the Big Shoulders. It looks and sounds like Automobile and Arkwright had a baby, and I’m more than okay with that.
PC/Mac/Linux • Since the release of Sentinels of the Multiverse on iPad way back in 2014 Handelabra, has established themselves as one of the top board game devs in the biz, right up there with Playdek and Czech Games. While I get that Sentinels, Bottom of the 9th, and One Deck Dungeon aren’t in everyone’s wheelhouse, you can’t deny that everything they touch is polished to a blinding sheen. Thus, when they announce a new project or, as is the case today, launch a new Kickstarter, we listen. We already knew they’re working on digital versions of both Spirit Island and Aeon’s End, and it’s the latter that is now available on everyone’s favorite crowdfunder.