While I know some people can’t get enough of digital Magic: The Gathering, I can safely say that it’s not my cup of tea. Part of the issue is the gameplay of Magic in which you can interrupt your opponent’s turn, casting spells whenever you damn well please. I wish I could tell you that I prefer my turns to be clean and free of interference from others, but the truth is that I just can’t pay attention to both my cards AND what you’re doing. On the tabletop I can sit and ponder a bit, but in the digital word there are timers and hounding and screaming [I think the hounding and screaming might just be in Dave’s head -ed.] reminiscent of my freshman gym teacher when he learned I couldn’t do even one pullup. For those of you who still love Magic on your tablet, Wizards of the Coast has a surprise for you.
One of 2016’s better mobile titles was a little card battler from Righteous Hammer called Solitairica. Following in Card Crawl’s footsteps, it was a quick-playing, fast solitaire card game whose true genius was less in the game’s mechanisms and more in all the extra doodads you can unlock the better you play. Solitairica sported several different classes and special powers to unlock so, even if you failed to make it all the way to Castle Stuck, there were rewards right around the corner. The problem is, eventually, you ended up with all the doodads in your pocket with nothing left to quest for. Lucky for us, it looks like Righteous Hammer has big plans for 2017 and making Solitairica something to come back to.
You’ve crash landed on a strange planet and need a plan to survive. There’s a couple different ways you can go. There’s the Mark Watney way—eking out an existence thanks to potatoes fertilized by your own feces. Alternatively, you could build a massive, sprawling, and fully interconnected factory complex using your off-the-charts engineering know how. Which do you choose?
Another Commands & Colors game from the mind of noted designer Richard Borg has made its way to digital. No, it’s not Memoir ’44 or Command & Colors: Ancients, instead it’s his latest entry into the series, The Great War. It was released earlier today for PC/Mac with tablets coming down the road.
One of the things they don’t tell you before becoming a parent is that your kids will test the limits of your sanity. I’m not talking the sleepless nights, or worrying about them when they’re sick. I’m talking about the phase they all seem to enter around 3-4 years old called the Knock-Knock Joke Phase. “Prepare thyself for constant hilary, ma & pa!” is something that you’ll never, ever hear. In fact, I did some research and discovered that the words “knock knock” actually come from Latin and refer to a rather unfortunate form of ritual suicide. Your dinner table will be beset with knock knock jokes that, worst of all, don’t even make sense. Not one usable pun will be uttered from the back seat of your minivan following the words “who’s there?” With my youngest, I spent an entire year asking “Who’s there?” only to be answered with “baby butt”, which isn’t as funny as a 3 year-old thinks it is. Well, it’s kind of funny, but not the 4,378th time you’ve heard it.
Endless war, blah, blah, blah. It’s hard to write new stories about Warhammer 40K titles considering that they’re all pretty much about bashing your troops’ heads against other heads. Sometimes other marines, sometimes Tyranids, sometimes Orks. Regardless, the head bashing is usually a hoot, so we’re okay with Slitherine going back to the Warhammer well. Their latest title is called Sanctus Reach and it’s out today for PC.
If you’re only exposure to the Red Planet comes from visuals of Matt Damon pooping on his potatoes or mutant women with three breasts, I have some news for you. First of all, those are movies and, secondly, those weren’t real breasts. Don’t worry though, because Mars is an actual, real-life place and it’s only 140 million miles away. Best of all, according to Terraforming Mars from Stronghold Games, its surface is covered with a resource more valuable than unobtainium: Victory Points.
Wartile is an upcoming real-time strategy game that is styled like a tabletop miniature war game. [And looks a hell of a lot like Heroscape. That’s not a bad thing. -ed.] The game is currently in alpha-testing with a planned Windows release sometime in Q1 (and later releases for Mac and tablets) and I recently had a chance to give the whole thing a whirl.
Since the dawn of electronic handheld gaming, there has been conflict between mother and child. The mother wants chores or homework to be done, but there’s always “just one more level” or a high score just out of reach. At some point, the mother will resort to simply hiding the device in the hopes of boring the child into productivity. The child, of course, instead leverages their boredom into searching for their game. They inevitably find the device, and the cycle begins anew. Japanese developer hap Inc.’s free Hidden my game by mom (sic) series distills and translates this conflict into a delightfully absurd escape room puzzle game format.
In a shocking turn of events, Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the Coast, recently announced that they’re doing something. The meat is here: