iOS, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch, PC/Mac/Linux • I talked last week about my recurring addiction to Stardew Valley, the overly cute and surprisingly deep farming simulator that’s been the bee’s knees since it released on PC back in 2016. We knew it was coming out for iOS today but it actually popped up on the App Store last night giving me a little time to try it out while the family slept. It’s pretty great.
PC • I don’t think it’s much of a secret that Factorio has been (and still is) one of my favorite video games of all time. The open-endedness, seemingly endless research tracks, and mind-twisting efforts to crank just a little more efficiency out of what’s turned into a bowl of spaghetti are, apparently, what I’m looking for in a game as I turn into a grumpy old man. It doesn’t end with Factorio, though. I’ve always loved city-builders and simulations that allow you to create something amazing from a blank slate. Today a new challenger to the throne arrives from the one-man dev house, Codebyfire, called The Colonists.
iPad, Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC/Mac/Linux • While it doesn’t happen very often, every now and then things turn out okay. Last Friday I mentioned that I’m leaving for a 4.5 hour plane trip with my entire family [on Spirit Airlines, no less. The only airline folks with three kids can afford -ed.] and was dreading it. Red Hook Studios was listening and, I’m sure it’s because of me, have finally released the Color of Madness DLC for Darkest Dungeon on iPad. Now I can get frustrated and angry at my tablet instead of my kids! Huzzah!
Next week I’ll be heading on vacation with the family to sunny California. I’m dreading it for a couple reasons. First of all, this involves flying and I probably wrote some of the code that’s keeping the plane in the air. As the editor will surely tell you, self-confidence isn’t my strong suit [no shit -ed.]. Secondly, I’m heading out there with three kids, one of whom is 16 years old and angry at all times. Earlier this week I got my first “fuck you” from him and I’m just super excited to sit next to him in confined quarters for 4.5 hours and then a hotel room for a week. Kill me. Before I leave, however, we have a weekend to kill and that means playing games. What, you ask, will we be playing? Come see after the break.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Last Friday we skipped our normal Scrying article to bring you a new screenshot of the upcoming Leaders & Wonders expansion for Czech Games Edition‘s magnum opus, Through the Ages. Well, my embarrassing pleas to Vlaada to be noticed and get into the beta have born fruit! I’m not helping playtest the new expansion (they’re not stupid), but I should be in the beta once it goes live. Also, they sent me a couple more screens from which we can extract completely erroneous information. Let’s put on our deerstalkers and get to work.
PC, iPad, Android Tablets • While the name Marek Pańczyk might not ring a bell, no doubt readers of Stately Play are aware of his work. One of the co-founders of Big Daddy’s Creations, they were at the forefront of bringing board games–particularly heavier euros–to digital. We’re talking gems like Neuroshima Hex and the brilliant, yet perennially undercooked, Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy. While Big Daddy’s has seemingly gone to that big compiler in the sky, Marek is alive and well and still making games. His new company is Red Zero Games and their first foray on the App Store is an original title that pokes fun of good ol’ Chris Columbus and imperialism in general. It’s called Here Be Dragons.
PC • When Terraforming Mars first hit the cardboard scene back in 2016, the hype was up there with the likes of Agricola and Dominion. You couldn’t listen to any game podcast, Twitter feed, or YouTube channel and not be overwhelmed with tales of just how good this game was. I held off as long as I could but, when I finally got Terraforming Mars to the table, I had to agree. It was a keeper. Maybe not the best game I’d ever played, but it came with enough variety and decision points hidden beneath a fairly simple facade that I could see it hanging around and being a family favorite for a long time. That was the cardboard version. Today I’m starting a new Terraforming Mars hype train, but for the digital version. It deserves it. The PC port from LuckyHammers and Asmodee Digital is nearly flawless and is easily one of the best digital board games I’ve ever played.
As the weather turns brisk it’s a busy, busy weekend here at Stately Manor. Alex is currently sweeping the chimney, Tof is putting up the storm windows, Tanner is tuning up the snowblower, and Nick is out splitting our winter supply of oak and birch. Where’s Kelsey? Making the tea, of course. What I’m getting at is that we’re all a bit on the busy side this weekend and gaming opportunities are going to be harder to nail down than those few loose shingles over on the north wing (that’s where Other Nick is, by the way). So, no glimpse into the future today, but I don’t want to leave you with nothing to talk about all weekend, thus I present a new screenshot of Through the Ages I stole found on Twitter. Part of me is incredibly excited–this is our first glimpse of the seemingly-forever-promised new Leaders & Wonders expansion. The other part of me is sad–what have I done to piss off Vlaada that I’m not in the beta for this? WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME, VLAADA?
PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, Xbox • XCOM2 might just be the most evergreen video game I’ll ever have the pleasure of playing. It never gets old and, honestly, I can see myself sitting down at a laptop ten years from now and blindly rushing into ambushes and getting all my best troops slaughtered. What I’m trying to say is, XCOM2 is really good and I kind of want to marry it. Imagine my shock when, yesterday, I noticed that there was new DLC for XCOM2. NEW DLC! Are you kidding me? I contemplated quitting my day job just to stay home and try it out today but, instead, went to work so I can write posts for Stately Play on the company dime. To quote Bugs Bunny, ain’t I a stinker?
iOS, Android, Switch, Consoles, PC/Mac/Linux • My history with Stardew Valley is a tale of two extremes. I first started hearing about it on other mobile sites wondering if it would ever make the move to phones and tablets. Looking into it, I decided the cartoonish graphics weren’t my style and, other than Agricola, farming doesn’t do a lot for me. I tried to forget about it, but its immense popularity ensured it popping up in Twitch streams or YouTube reviews of people I followed. It became too big to ignore. Eventually, it came to Mac and I caved. Thus begins the second act of my experience with Stardew Valley, the phase my wife likes to call “that time you were obsessed with that one game and you didn’t talk to anyone in your family for about four months”. Yes, she’s very verbose and, unfortunately, not exaggerating much. I fell for the open-ended game pretty damn hard and loved just about everything it offered and was only saved by the fact it wasn’t available for mobile, confining my addition to a desk. That’s changing, however. Not only is has it been out for Switch for a bit (yes, I own it there, too), but it’s coming to iOS on October 24. My wife has already threatened divorce.