I’ve been playing board games since the Reagan administration and, in that time, my tastes have ebbed and flowed from tabletop RPGs to euros to wargames to DOAM to…whatever. I fell in love with deckbuilding when it was the big thing, and then wouldn’t pass up a worker placement game even if the theme was exciting as toenail fungus. I bought every damn Savage Worlds and Deadlands rulebook and read them back-and-forth until I realized I’d never find anyone to play it with me and moved, instead, into engine building and resource management. I devoured every new title I could find for fear of not getting a chance to play “the next big thing”, and I relished with delight the most sought after and delectable European morsel: the Victory Point. Then I played 1889. The conversion wasn’t instantaneous, but the past five years have led me to an inexorable conclusion: 18xx is the greatest game on the planet.
iOS, Android, PC Temple Gates came out of nowhere in 2017 to rock our worlds with the, still fantastic, digital port of Race for the Galaxy. While we know they’ve been working on it’s dicey cousin, Roll for the Galaxy, we also know that they’ve hooked up with Stone Blade Entertainment and have been working on their 2-player card battler, Shards of Infinity. Looks like the latter has been getting the bulk of the attention because, today, they announced that beta signups are open.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac It’s no secret that we here at Stately Play feel that Czech Games Edition can do no wrong. First of all, they have Vlaada Chvatil designing games for them, which puts them one step away from God. Secondly, they created Galaxy Trucker back in 2014 and it reshaped how we thought about digital versions of board games. Not only did they include a lengthy, somewhat open-world campaign, but they also created entirely new rules so we could play the way digital board games were meant to be played: asynchronously. Five years later there still aren’t many apps that match it (and one of the ones that did is also from CGE: Through the Ages), and so it’s time for Galaxy Trucker to spread its wings (made of crepe paper and duct tape, I’m sure). Today it’s made the move to the big screen and released for PC/Mac on Steam.
PC BATALJ, henceforth stripped of exuberant capitalisation, has released. It features three distinct factions, WEGO combat, a crisp aesthetic and the seal of quality you’d expect from DICE alumni. It is without a doubt one hell of a game. At least. I think it could be. Possibly one of the year’s best, caught in the right light. But so far, in this online-only game, I’ve yet to find a single match.
PC/Mac If you need proof that we’re living in a Golden Age of digital board games, I offer up Mystic Vale as evidence. Releasing less than a month ago, I’m guessing many of us have already moved on to other games like Evolution or the latest darling, Castles of Burgundy. If a game with the name recognition and polish of Mystic Vale had appeared back in 2013 our heads would have exploded. To bring Mystic Vale back to our collective subconscious, today Nomad Games released its first expansion: Vale of Magic.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac Remember way back in 2015 when we’d be lucky to get 3-4 board game apps released a year (and half of them would suck)? Times have changed. Hot on the heels of Evolution from North Star comes The Castles of Burgundy from Digidiced, releasing for iOS/Android this Thursday.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac I like to poke fun at the guys from North Star Games for being the Blizzard of board game app development. After all, it took Blizz 10 years to bring us Diablo 3, whereas North Star has been working on Evolution for the last five. Of course, that’s board game years, so its roughly equivalent. Still, Blizzard games are known for their polish and sheen right out of the box, and that was North Star’s plan with this elongated dev cycle: make the board game app that all others will be (unfavorably) compared to. Well, it’s out in the wilderness now, so you can go see if they accomplished their dream.
PC/Mac Sorry for the lack of content this week, folks. Real job getting in the way of fun these days. Thus, I don’t have time for a lengthy post bemoaning the rise in viking-themed pop culture stuff and will, instead, just bring the thunder up front. Champions of Midgard is a viking-themed board game of worker placement and dice chucking and, apparently, it’s coming to digital.
I was a backer of the Kickstarter for Victory Point Games‘ recent release of Gem Rush Second Edition. I had never played (or even heard of) the first edition, but I love the “premier” stuff VPG has been putting out recently not to mention that most (all?) of their games are playable solo. Oh, and the designer is Jeremy Lennert, who I fell in love with via a previous VPG title, Darkest Night Second Edition. My copy of Gem Rush arrived before the holidays and has sat, untouched, since. Not the game’s fault, just my crappy time management. Anyway, I had forgotten (until prompted in the forums) that the Kickstarter had mentioned a digital version. With little to no fanfare, the digital version of Gem Rush was released way back when and has completely slid under our radar. Time to fix that. Gem Rush is a polished, tight app of a pretty great board game that no one is aware of. Let’s change that.
-PC/Mac I’m not sure how this happened, but suddenly I have two very good RPGs to play on my Mac. Of course, I don’t have time to play either of them, but they’re both downloaded anyway, just in case. One of them is Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire which added turn-based combat support in a patch mid-January. The other is the one right up there in the headline. Divinity: Original Sin 2 has just been released for Mac.