It’s about time I come clean with all of you with why I enjoy writing about games so much. Sure, the money and fame are great, but what really gets me going is being able to boss around a bunch of writers and then not pay them. Yeah, it’s as great as it sounds. The other nice thing is getting to know people in the biz. Devs are pretty great, and when I put out a call for Christmas help this year, a bunch were happy to comply. Today’s generous donor of codes is Nomad Games of Talisman fame.
Like most sites, we were going to wrap up 2016 with a list of top games by category but a few issues sprung up. First of all, our star chamber is still under construction, so we have nowhere to hold the voting. Secondly, we’re all [actually, just Dave -ed.] extremely lazy and the thought of organizing the whole thing was bringing everyone [again, just Dave -ed.] down. Thus, our year-end wrap up is going to be a little different [Dave is forcing us to do it this way -ed.] Instead of categories, each of us selected our top five digital games of the year. We didn’t care if they were mobile, desktop, 3DS, console, or VR. Actually, I told the writers we didn’t care about platform, but I do care, and forced everyone to focus on mobile and desktop (except Tanner, damn him). Each day we’ll run down one of our top games, starting with #5 today, until we get to the #1 games of 2016 on Friday. Will this be how things work every year? Probably not. This year, however, this is how it’s going down. Let us know how much you hate this format in the comments! [or you could, you know, be nice -ed.]
Back when I was a kid and mom would put on the same Christmas music we listened to every year, I took great offense at the line, “Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” Hey, Bing, why don’t you go straight to hell you old child abusing asshole. Now that I have three kids of my own, I feel that Bing was actually a little soft. “Mom and Dad are only one more whine away from murder*,” would be a more appropriate lyric. Unfortunately it doesn’t rhyme, so we’re stuck with the original. Anyway, today is my kids’ last day of school before we enter into two full weeks of familial bliss. It’s not even a full day, they get out of school at 11:30. Kids these days, amirite? What this means for you, dear reader, is that I’ll be up to my armpits in teenagers with one ungrateful first grader thrown into the mix. Getting content up on the site is going to be a hit or miss proposition from 11:30 going forward. I can’t promise I’ll have a lot of time to write, but I will try to get content up nonetheless. How is that possible? Read on.
I love me some Martin Wallace and Steam: Rails to Riches is one of his finest contributions to game shelves everywhere. A digital version was released last year from Acram Digital and it was polished and shiny with one glaring exception: no online multiplayer. Today, that’s been remedied. It’s just been updated to include asynchronous play and I think someone needs to organize a tournament.
I’ve not kept my admittedly somewhat disturbing love for Pathfinder Adventures well hidden since its release earlier this year. Despite its bugs and garish, in-your-face pleas to spend money, I simply haven’t found a better game on mobile all year. Despite being a card game that feels awfully themeless on the tabletop, Obsidian managed to create what might be the best RPG experience currently available on an iPad when they ported Pathfinder over. The only thing holding it back was the slow leak of new content. Over the past few months, that slow drip has turned into a steady stream and yesterday we finally reached the end of the road. The sixth and final adventure deck in the Rise of the Runelords campaign has been released.
Season 2 of new content for the super heroic cooperative card game, Sentinels of the Multiverse, is underway in full force with the just released mega-expansion, Vengeance, which is live on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac.
If a gaming website were to have some type of “Best of” at the end of the year (spoiler, we’re doing it the week between Xmas and New Years), I think you’d find at least one writer putting in a vote for Twilight Struggle. If not the best app of 2016, it’s near the top and yesterday we learned that it’s going to get better before 2016 ends. Playdek announced that not only is the game making its long-awaited debut on Android, but it’s bringing with it an expansion pack and more. Oh, and it all happens next Monday.
Talisman may lack deep strategic or tactical gameplay but it more than makes up for it with the fun of exploration and so much damn content. Seriously, it’s gotten to the point that I can’t keep track of all the expansions for this beast. Dungeons, Cities, something called the Highlands? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all good as every new expansion adds more unknown to each game until you never know what you’ll draw. That’s when the game gets really fun. Today, Nomad updated Talisman yet again with more content, two new characters to play with: Martial Artist and Saracen.
Carrier Battles of Guadalcanal is the best war game on the App Store that involves carrier battles in the Pacific that have Guadalcanal in their title. I joke, but it’s actually a pretty amazing little war game with a ton of depth and character which belies its one-man development team. It’s also updated with new content so regularly that when a new update hits, it’s barely news. Last week the latest update arrived and it’s a doozy.
I know this is click-baity as hell, but look at this. Seriously, just look at this. You’re not clicking? Fine, let me tell you what’s behind the break. Remember Tin Man Games? Earlier this year they released a new version of the classic Fighting Fantasy book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain except it wasn’t a book. You moved minis around, combat was on a grid and tactical, and there were about a billion [not an official number -ed.] of new characters to unlock and play with. Well, guess what. It’s coming to mobile in early 2017! That’s what’s after the break. I guess you don’t have to click now. I’m really bad at this click bait crap. Let me try one more time. We have a picture of Warlock of Firetop Mountain running on an iPhone and the results will shock you!