iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux We’ve loved the Trese Brothers around here since before there was an around here. Way back when, at another site that you might have heard of, they were recipients of several year-end accolades for their previous title, Templar Battleforce. Their latest, Star Traders: Frontiers, has been out for PC/Mac/Linux since last August, but, today, we learned it’s making the move to our touchscreens. Soon.
PC/Mac/Linux While I love Baldur’s Gate, BG2, and all the other Infinity Engine games from the 90’s and early aughts, they did suck in one aspect: combat. Unlike the fantastic D&D Gold Box CRPGs from SSI, the Infinity Engine turned RPG combat into a real-time click-fest, which was so unlike tabletop D&D that I could never quite grok the reasoning behind the decision. Tabletop RPGs are turn-based, why not the digital versions? This bizarre choice was used again by Obsidian when they attempted to reignite the Infinity Engine style games with 2015’s Pillars of Eternity. I tried, I swear I tried multiple times, to play PoE only to discover that the game wasn’t compelling enough for me to put up with combat I despised. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, also released with the real-time curse, but today Obsidian has made amends. Today, they released an update that allows you to choose between real-time or turn-based modes. Guess what RPG I’m going to be buying and playing this weekend?
I used to own the cardboard version of Legends of Andor right when it was first released back in 2012. It intrigued me, but the gameplay wasn’t something my group would dabble in and, thus, it was sent away in an auction or trade. This was before I realized I was a friendless loser and held onto solo games like mithril. These days, it would have remained on the shelf and, perhaps, gotten some table time. I’d even considered re-purchasing LoA again just to give it another go. Today, however, saw the sneak release of LoA for mobile, so at least now I can try it on digital before I (re)take the cardboard plunge.
One of my most endearing traits [right above obnoxious, yet not entirely unwarranted, levels of self-loathing and below crippling social anxiety. Just in case you’re keeping score -ed.] is the ability to instantly give up when the going gets tough. This goes for everything, but let’s put it into a gaming perspective. Factorio, Europa Universalis, RimWorld, and Kerbal Space Program. What do all these titles have in common? Steep learning curves. How do I adjust? I simply stop playing them. I’ll get back to them, eventually. Usually. Factorio, for instance, has become, quite possibly, my favorite video game of all time. I’m slowly, but surely, getting my head around the interpersonal hooha in RimWorld. EU still eludes me, but I have started to get my Paradox feet wet with some Hearts of Iron IV. Oh, and I’ve really started digging into Kerbal Space Program the past couple weeks. Why did I wait so long?
iOS, Android, Steam When we think of the “greats” of digital board games, our minds easily think of names like Playdek, CGE, Digidiced, Acram, and even Asmodee. One name that doesn’t come to mind is Dire Wolf, but that’s more our fault than theirs. Not only have they created two extremely beautiful ports for Lanterns: The Harvest Festival and Lotus, but they’re also the digital brains behind Clank! and Clank! In Space!, bringing to life the digital companions for both of those titles as well. Not bad, but 2019 is going to launch them to near the top of that list. This isn’t hyperbole. They just announced a slew of upcoming board game adaptations that are, literally, going to be insta-buys.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac This is not even an attempt to be fair; it’s where I will put all of my hate for Twinfold so that I can return to folding twins unburdened. Let’s start at the very top, with the name, which suggests that “folding twins” ought to have been a sensible description of the main action of the game rather than a bizarre triumph of etymology over good sense. “Twinslide” would have killed you, Kenny?
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.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac I heard about a digital version of Evolution way back when I attended my first Gen Con in Indianapolis a whopping five years ago. I’ve seen it in action at every Gen Con since, and it’s always looked polished and ready for prime-time. I was wrong, apparently, as its release was repeatedly pushed back as North Star Games tried to polish Evolution into the perfect digital board game. Did they succeed? We’ll find out on February 12.
If you only look at the screenshots or trailer you might think that DUNKYPUNG isn’t something we’d normally cover at Stately Play. You’d be right. That said, the developer of DUNKYPUNG is Nathan Meunier, a chap we’ve met before when he released the rather wonderful Missile Cards. You don’t make a game like Missile Cards without a load of game-crafting creativity, so we’re happy to take a look at whatever Nathan drops on the App Store, even if it looks like it might make me mad enough to throw my phone into a wood chipper.
I’m hoping at least a few of you noticed that it’s been a bit since a new post has gone up. There are many reasons why including a dearth of newsworthy output from the App Store, the usual New Year lull of new games in general, and a soul crushing malaise brought about by lifelong mental illness. If any of that sounds like a story you want to hear, jump past the break. Otherwise–and I completely understand–wait with us until tomorrow when we’ll have some proper news regarding a February board game release that I think everyone here will be happy to see.