iOS, PC Since the day I picked up a Atari 2600 joystick, I’ve never played anything like DUNKYPUNG, the latest game from Missile Cards developer Nathan Meunier. That’s not to say it’s entirely unique or there’s never been another game like DUNKYPUNG, it’s just that these are the type of games I’ve always avoided like the plague. Games which serve up a difficulty that’s so severe only the inhuman can compete just have no allure (with the sole exception of Defender). Yet, for some reason, DUNKYPUNG has its claws in me and has become my time waster of choice.
PC I recently waffled in a Scrye about INSOMNIA: The Ark, written calmly henceforth as Insomnia. It’s quite the thing, especially if you go in blind. Given that you’re reading this, I suspect there’s a forfeiture of surprise in your immediate future, but that doesn’t detract from Insomnia’s beguiling premise overcoming its somewhat flawed execution. Flawed, I hasten to add, in that Eastern Bloc way. An ambitious pursuit of atmosphere; a journey through time and space, anchored to a colossal star city, where dimensions appear to be a lot less demarcated than first thought.
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.
iOS, Android • I didn’t pay much attention to the Spiel des Jahres this year, so I’m a little behind on telling my Azuls from my Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburgs. Yes, that last one is a real game and it actually won the Kennerspiel des Jahres. Thus I was unaware of another nominee vying for “complex game of the year”, Ganz Schön Clever. A quiet release of a digital version has allowed me to give the game a go, however, and I’ve determined that the English translation of Ganz Schön Clever is “what the hell have I stumbled on?”
Switch • Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! DX is the second game on the Switch in as many months from Infinite State Games, following the excellent Rogue Aces in April. And, like Rogue Aces, DD,MR!DX (Yes, I will be abbreviating the title.) is a fantastic pick up and play arcade game that is well worth a spot on your Switch.
Tabletop • I’ve been pondering whether or not to review Journal 29 from the moment I cracked its first truly difficult puzzle. You see, it’s not the usual fare here at Stately Play, and I wasn’t sure if our readers wanted to live the dread of English teachers everywhere, having to read a poorly written book report. Yes, a book report. You see, Journal 29 is an actual book made out of dead trees without a battery to recharge or screen to tap. It’s like the 80’s, with the exception that I’m not listening to Spandau Ballet [for the record, Dave is totally still listening to Spandau Ballet -ed.].
PS4, PS Vita, Switch • Biggles Defends The Arcade – by Captain W.E. Johns and Infinite State Games. If you’re rocking one of those Switchy things, or a PS4, or the Mark Hensby of Sony handhelds, you’re in for a treat. Especially if the Brewster Buffalo appeals. Rogue Aces has landed.
PC • Nothing turns the alternator of mid-life assessment more than realising you’re no longer at the top of your game-game. Nerves withering like sun-dried kelp. Reaction time raising smirks and eyebrows in the Galapagos paddock. The abyss, it looms. But then along comes the invigorating cordite suppository known as SYNTHETIK. Sometimes, you just need a little help to feel the old magic.
PC • You are a mercenary in the deep recesses of space. You take difficult, dangerous, and often downright foolhardy jobs in exchange for that most generic of space currency: credits. You infiltrate unfriendly spacecraft, sometimes leaving with something or someone. Sometimes you leave somebody (or a whole lot of somebodies) dead in your wake. You equip yourself with the best weapons and technology that latinum can buy. These are the tools of your trade, your toys. Using your guns, gear, and skill you make daring and improbable moves to get the job done. Malcom Reynolds, Star Lord, and 007 wish they were you.
iOS, Android, Kindle • While those of us in the US were spending Friday sleeping off hangovers, the rest of the world was still hard at work making things. One of those things is of interest to us, a digital port of the board game Metro from Queen Games. While it sells itself as a train-builder circa 1900, don’t be fooled. Metro is about as abstract a title as you can get and bears little resemblance to the Metro that currently runs under the streets of Paris. Still, if you like Tsuro but thought it was a bit too simple, Metro should be right up your alley.