iOS • Plague, Inc. was one of the early App Store success stories, eventually pulling in over 100 million downloads. Thus, creator Ndemic Creations is responsible for the wholesale slaughter of trillions of digital humans. They’re basically the Earth equivalent of the people on Eminiar VII. [Deep cut, nerd. Also, the people on Eminiar VII and Vendikar were disintegrated after the computer simulation. Gah, why do I even bother with this guy? -ed.] Having destroyed humanity so many times, Ndemic has shifted their focus. Instead of a global lens, their new game, Rebel, Inc., focuses on a single country and all the fun that comes along with counter insurgency. Yep, it’s a war game, of sorts. There aren’t hexes or counters, but the point of Rebel, Inc. is to quell a post-war insurgency by winning over the hearts and minds of the people.
PC/Mac • I was going to post about this last week, but realized that if there’s one board game company that doesn’t need a lot of help promoting their Kickstarters, it’s Cool Mini or Not. Their Kickstarters usually end up in the millions-of-dollars range, so an early preview of said Kickstarter campaign by us didn’t feel necessary. Today, however, that Kickstarter is live–and already funded a mere half hour–so it seemed like a good time to bring it to your attention. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the viking-themed, area control gem, Blood Rage, from Eric Lang is coming to digital next year.
Another weekend is upon us, and it brings with it the first day of December. Why is that important? Because I’m going to be spreading holiday cheer on Stately Play starting tomorrow. I’m not even that big a fan of Xmas, but I think I need to do it just to get under OhBollox’s skin. That’s tomorrow, however. Today we gaze into the crystal ball and see what we hope to play this weekend. Let us know what you have on your gaming plate for the weekend in the comments!
iOS, Android, PC • I’m not a huge fan of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, but that has more to do with bloat than the game itself. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but when a game keeps adding cards and rules and mechanisms, eventually my brain shuts down and I can’t handle it. Sure, I could play Ascension without the expansions, but then the same part of my brain will keep telling me that I’m missing out on “the big picture”. It’s a sickness. That said, I know a lot of you love Ascension, so you’ll be happy to hear that its follow-up, Shards of Infinity from Stoneblade Entertainment, is coming to digital next year. You’ll also be happy to hear who’s behind the port. No, it’s not the Ascension-crafting Playdek. Instead we have Race for the Galaxy upstart, Temple Gates, taking the helm.
iOS/Android (coming in 2019), PC/Mac/Linux (available now) • Artifact, if you’re not aware, is the latest digital CCG to hit the market, this time from streaming bigwig, Valve. While playing Civ VI on my laptop, I was inundated with ads for the game [there was one, and it was only when he logged in -ed.] and, [being a simpleton -ed.] couldn’t resist. After playing through the two tutorial matches I can only say one thing for certain: I’m not a huge fan of CCGs.
PC/Mac • Deemed the great moral challenge of our time and discussed at length during summits the world over; the lack of modern mech-based tactics games is reaching a tipping point. The last true Front Mission was released in the mid-Oughts. Do people even remember CyberStorm? I’d love to count the Super Robot Wars titles, but they’re niche and chibi and aesthetically repugnant. Don’t @ me, friends. I’m being cruel to be kind. There is an undeniable, intractable vacuum. Warborn, however, is stepping up.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • There are a lot of games that, upon release, are less than stellar and only achieve greatness after patches or expansions release down the road. Diablo 3 was like that, as was Civ V. A mobile entry on that list has to be Perchang‘s reentry into the grim world of Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times. When it was released the general consensus was it failed to live up to the glory that was the original Warhammer Quest. Several patches and additional content, however, have elevated it to be a worthy successor. Come January, PC and Mac gamers will get to experience the full Warhammer Quest 2 experience without having to slog through all that drama. You can thank us mobile gamers later.
PC • If you aren’t familiar with the tabletop card/board game Mystic Vale from AEG, then the title of this post might be confusing. Obviously, the idiot in charge of headlines [Dave is that idiot -ed.] screwed up and should have written “deck-builder” because card-builder sounds more like a craft project than a game. Well, thanks to the wonders of plastic, Mystic Vale IS a card-builder in which transparent sleeves and cards blend to make new cards every time you play. I first stumbled on Mystic Vale when it released at Gen Con a few years ago and was struck by the gorgeous artwork and the unique crafting concept but never got the chance to actually sit and play it. That makes today’s news even more exciting, as I’ll finally get to give Mystic Vale a go. What news, you ask? Mystic Vale is now available to play via Steam Early Access.
I’m not really a shmup guy. I mean, I dig so much about the genre, but my atrophied synaptic responses would make Bell 101 owners think they were living in the fast lane. That is, until I played Morfeo’s Furious Angels. A mouse-based frisson of physics-heavy turning, burning and gunning. A papercraft aesthetic, accommodating responsiveness and simple controls coalesced to form one of 2017’s top games. Play it if you haven’t. A convert’s testament. Turns out, we’re getting a follow-up, and deliciously soon.
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.