Ah, the day after Christmas, the day when the Lords of Avarice settle down for their year-long slumber. Oh, wait, I forgot about the Steam Winter Sale. Perhaps we can keep the door to the Vaults of Greed open for a few more days. Here are the top five Stately Picks currently at a low, low price. Treat yourself, buy one for a close relative, or soften up that enemy with unsuspected magnanimity.
“Captain Drigo, sir, system VXG-0199 is now in view of our long-range sensors.” Drigo turned from yet another review of the ship’s inventory projections to face the helmsman. “Visuals if you please, Mr. Gupta.” A three-dimensional image of a star appeared before Drigo. It was a type-G, a yellow dwarf, as promised. Drigo let out an inaudible sigh of relief. That was one anxiety laid to rest. “There she is, sir. A beauty, is she not?”
Back when I was a kid and mom would put on the same Christmas music we listened to every year, I took great offense at the line, “Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” Hey, Bing, why don’t you go straight to hell you old child abusing asshole. Now that I have three kids of my own, I feel that Bing was actually a little soft. “Mom and Dad are only one more whine away from murder*,” would be a more appropriate lyric. Unfortunately it doesn’t rhyme, so we’re stuck with the original. Anyway, today is my kids’ last day of school before we enter into two full weeks of familial bliss. It’s not even a full day, they get out of school at 11:30. Kids these days, amirite? What this means for you, dear reader, is that I’ll be up to my armpits in teenagers with one ungrateful first grader thrown into the mix. Getting content up on the site is going to be a hit or miss proposition from 11:30 going forward. I can’t promise I’ll have a lot of time to write, but I will try to get content up nonetheless. How is that possible? Read on.
I love me some Martin Wallace and Steam: Rails to Riches is one of his finest contributions to game shelves everywhere. A digital version was released last year from Acram Digital and it was polished and shiny with one glaring exception: no online multiplayer. Today, that’s been remedied. It’s just been updated to include asynchronous play and I think someone needs to organize a tournament.
[We’d like to introduce you to the FNG at Stately Play Manor, Nick Vigdahl. You might have seen his work at another site whose name eludes me right now. Pocket something. It will come to me. Anyway, as the FNG, we threw Mario at him all the while muffling our laughter at his misfortune. Instead of pouting about having to review a rather shallow runner, Nick decided to look at Mario in a larger light. I think you’ll see why he’s a welcome addition to the site, and hope you help us in welcoming him aboard. -ed.] Following months of hype and domination of prime App Store real estate Super Mario Run was released to eager iOS gamers last week and the user reviews are, well, let’s say less than glowing. Mario has been reviewed over fifty-four-thousand times in just a few days—a staggering number—and is averaging about two-and-a-half stars. Not great. So what gives?
I’ve not kept my admittedly somewhat disturbing love for Pathfinder Adventures well hidden since its release earlier this year. Despite its bugs and garish, in-your-face pleas to spend money, I simply haven’t found a better game on mobile all year. Despite being a card game that feels awfully themeless on the tabletop, Obsidian managed to create what might be the best RPG experience currently available on an iPad when they ported Pathfinder over. The only thing holding it back was the slow leak of new content. Over the past few months, that slow drip has turned into a steady stream and yesterday we finally reached the end of the road. The sixth and final adventure deck in the Rise of the Runelords campaign has been released.
Cheaper than a bag of Perry miniatures, more bang for your buck than a Legend of the Five Rings starter deck; Warbands: Bushido is a lightning-quick slice of Early Access turn-based multiplayer tactics. And it is素晴らしい*. * bloody good gear.
Season 2 of new content for the super heroic cooperative card game, Sentinels of the Multiverse, is underway in full force with the just released mega-expansion, Vengeance, which is live on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac.
If a gaming website were to have some type of “Best of” at the end of the year (spoiler, we’re doing it the week between Xmas and New Years), I think you’d find at least one writer putting in a vote for Twilight Struggle. If not the best app of 2016, it’s near the top and yesterday we learned that it’s going to get better before 2016 ends. Playdek announced that not only is the game making its long-awaited debut on Android, but it’s bringing with it an expansion pack and more. Oh, and it all happens next Monday.
Talisman may lack deep strategic or tactical gameplay but it more than makes up for it with the fun of exploration and so much damn content. Seriously, it’s gotten to the point that I can’t keep track of all the expansions for this beast. Dungeons, Cities, something called the Highlands? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all good as every new expansion adds more unknown to each game until you never know what you’ll draw. That’s when the game gets really fun. Today, Nomad updated Talisman yet again with more content, two new characters to play with: Martial Artist and Saracen.