PC/Mac/Linux • I’ve been fascinated with the story of Jon Shafer ever since I heard about him back in the Civ IV days where he was a prolific modder catching the eye of Firaxis who hired him as an intern and, eventually, a full-time developer to help with the two Civ IV expansions. Big deal, sure, but the story took an epic turn when he was promoted and made the lead designer for the series’ next iteration, Civ V. Yep, it was his idea to move from square grid to hex and (controversially) abandon the Ultimate Stack of Doom tactic by eliminating units’ ability to stack. Oh, and he did this all before he was 25. When I was 25 I made my own beer bong from parts scavenged from my dad’s garage and Home Depot. Once again, I lose. Since then, he’s meandered around and, eventually, settled with his own dev house, Conifer Games. Their first title, At the Gates, is another epic 4X strategy title and it’s coming to PC/Mac/Linux in January, 2019.
PC (and, hopefully, other platforms a bit later) • While a new expansion for one of my favorite games would usually be a cause for excitement, I’m looking at the announcement of another full-blown expansion with a bit of sadness. After all, my favorite platform for Civ VI is my iPad and we still haven’t gotten the first expansion on there yet. Just when I thought we were catching up, Firaxis throws this at me! The nerve! In all seriousness, this new expansion looks fairly incredible adding environmental factors into a game that has largely ignored them. More info on The Gathering Storm after the break.
PC • I don’t think it’s much of a secret that Factorio has been (and still is) one of my favorite video games of all time. The open-endedness, seemingly endless research tracks, and mind-twisting efforts to crank just a little more efficiency out of what’s turned into a bowl of spaghetti are, apparently, what I’m looking for in a game as I turn into a grumpy old man. It doesn’t end with Factorio, though. I’ve always loved city-builders and simulations that allow you to create something amazing from a blank slate. Today a new challenger to the throne arrives from the one-man dev house, Codebyfire, called The Colonists.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux, Switch (in Nov) • Last year’s surprise release of Civilization VI for iPad was big enough that I was compelled to buy a new iPad just to play it. I haven’t regretted it, with Civ VI being my most played iPad game since. Last week I received a pre-release copy of Civ VI for iPhone and, I have to say, I’m starting to regret that iPad purchase. Sure, a game as big as Civ shouldn’t work on a tiny screen, but Aspyr pulled it off. Don’t believe me? You can try it for yourself today.
Oh boy! Are we going to try something dangerous? Sorry, had to work the reference in there somewhere. Blink and you’ll miss it. Or, at least, “be sick nigh unto death itself with food poisoning and ye shall not see it.” Last week, while my guts were re-staging the storming of the Bastille, Paradox showed off the first live-play session with forthcoming sci-fi 4x game, Age of Wonders: Planetfall. But wait, you say, isn’t Age of Wonders a fantasy series? Not this time, friend, though the video does show off some classic Age of Wonders / fantasy 4x mechanics adapted to sci-fi with grace and aplomb.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux, Switch • I’m not a Nintendo guy. Never have been. Even when the NES was ruling the roost back in the 80’s, we had a Sega Master System which was followed by a Genesis and, yes, even a Sega CD. Thus, when the Switch was announced I was fairly meh on the system with my interest only really piqued by its mobility. Then I watched as games I cared about–not just Marios and Zeldas–started showing up on the console. Gems like Darkest Dungeon, Hand of Fate 2, Skyrim, and, most recently, Into the Breach were hitting the Nintendo e-shop with regularity. This convinced me to pick up a Switch a while ago, but if you’re still on the fence, maybe this will push you off: Civilization VI is headed to Switch on November 16.
PC/Mac • Asmodee Digital told us at Gen Con that Scythe for our laptops would be coming out in Q3 and, well, they weren’t lying. Scythe has shed its Early Access shackles and moved onto full release today for both PC and Mac nearly 3 weeks before the third quarter of 2018 comes to an end. What are you waiting for? Details? Oh, okay, check after the jump.
PC/Mac (tomorrow), iOS/Android (later in 2018) • Tomorrow sees the long-awaited release of board game Exodus: Proxima Centauri for PC/Mac on Steam. While I haven’t played the cardboard version, I can’t help but get more and more excited for this one. First of all, it’s a 4X sci-fi game which is awesome. Secondly, it was developed by Offworld Games and the screenshots so far look really promising. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll be happy to know that Offworld released over an hour of video showing a game of Exodus: PC in action. Head past the break and take a gander just to see what we’re in for tomorrow.
PC (Coming to Early Access) • This morning I woke up and went through my morning routine: Brush teeth Shower Pray that death takes me before I wake up the kids As of this post, #3 hasn’t gotten me anything so I’m considering replacing it with “3. Search Twitter” instead. I usually don’t look at social media until after I’ve had either coffee or a Diet Pepsi (better than Coke, fight me!) and feel somewhat like a human. Today, I spotted a Tweet that included a trailer to a game I hadn’t heard about, but now can’t stop thinking about: The Colonists.
PC/Mac (Friday), iOS/Android (later this year) • Okay, so I had this story late Sunday night assuming I would post it yesterday only to suddenly realize that working a full time job really sucks when it comes to making time for a blog. I should clarify, it’s not the job that sucks, it’s the fact that I’m actually working on something that I find very interesting and, incredibly, am having a hard time pulling myself away from. I’m learning Python at work now and I’ve gotten to the point where I can actually write scripts that do things and it’s fairly mesmerizing. It’s been four years since I’ve coded with an end goal in mind (TIS-100P doesn’t count) and I’m kind of digging it. Anyway, I couldn’t stay away from the Stately Players [I thought we had stopped doing this -ed.] for long, which brings us to the board game port of the week, Exodus: Proxima Centauri.