iOS, Android • If you’re not aware, there are two [actually three, you dolt -ed.] different Spiel des Jahres awards each year. One for a ‘family’ game that tends to be a little lighter than I prefer, and the other is the Kennerspiel des Jahres which awards more complex titles. Considering that my tastes run in the Vital Lacerda/Martin Wallace/18xx vein, these games tend to still be on the light side for me, but I still try to at least give them a go once or twice. Two years ago the award was won by Isle of Skye and it remains one of the few KSdJ winners that I’ve never played. In fact my only contact with the game came at Gen Con in 2016 when I was working the BGG Game Room and had people returning it to the library. As a rule I would be told two things about the game: it was great and the printing was really, really small and hard to read. Well, now Digidiced and Asmodee Digital have teamed up to bring it to digital and here’s hoping they blew up that text out so even old farts like me can read it.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Digidiced is turning into quite the workhorse. Not only is their port of Isle of Skye currently in beta, but we learned last week that they’re also working on a digital port of the Stefan Feld classic, Castles of Burgundy. Today I was sent a missive of another game Digidiced has in their pocket, the chaotic stock trader, Stockpile. Even more surprising is that it’s already entering beta. Apparently Digidiced has been working on this one for a bit now in secret.
iOS Universal, Android • Released earlier this year, Hostage Negotiator from Peter Kossits and Van Ryder Games, has been a reliable go-to when looking for a solo game that I can’t possibly win. It may have been overshadowed a bit by the more recent release of One Deck Dungeon, but Hostage Negotiator remains a tense, anxiety-inducing experience AND you can play it on your phone. It’s received a lot of new content since release, and recently it received one more bad guy: Gonzalo. Not only is Gonzalo the most difficult baddie to date, he’s also the last expansion planned.
iOS Universal, Android • If you deep dive into the unpublished drafts currently chained up in the Stately Play dungeons, you’ll find a screed titled, “Board Games Suck”. It was started as a rant against the current state of the hobby which, as anyone will tell you, is going gangbusters. Unfortunately, while we’re getting thousands (literally) of new game releases each year, I’m finding my interest in about 98% of them is close to zero. This is mostly in the euro game category where every new game I hear about sounds like an excuse to rehash overdone mechanisms, paste a popular yet loose-fitting theme on it, and get it into the hands of the usual suspects so the hype train can start rolling. So, why haven’t I published the article? Well, my heart is telling me that an article with that headline isn’t a great idea on a site that covers board games. Also, #notalleuros. There are still a few new games here and there that get my blood flowing. Most of them are designed by Vital Lacerda, but one that wasn’t came out back in 2014, won the Kennerspiel des Jahres, and still gets table time. That would be Rüdiger Dorn’s Istanbul.
iPad, Android Tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Sentinels of the Multiverse was deluged with constant updates, new content, expansions, and more after its release and at a pace that would make most developers shut down from exhaustion. You’d think Handelabra would have a hard time replicating that with their latest baby, One Deck Dungeon, but it’s starting to feel like déjà vu. They’ve already added the Phoenix Den and tomorrow the roguelike card game is getting not one, but two new characters to kill with poor dice rolls: Fanatic and Caliana.
iOS, Android, PC, Switch, PS4 • We mostly know Nomad from their continuing love affair with Games Workshop’s fantasy classic, Talisman. Last week they released The Woodland expansion which, if you’re not counting, was the 7,426th* expansion released for Talisman since January. Of course they’ve done some other games as well, most notably a team up with Alderac Entertainment Group for a digital port of Smash Up. Well, they’re teaming up with AEG again, this time bringing 3 of their titles to PC, mobile, and some other platforms as well.
iOS, Android • I first heard of Tim Fowers back when Wok Star was released way back in 2010. It was a cooperative game that didn’t follow the standard Pandemic formula of “take your turn then pull a card and see what terrible stuff happens”. Instead, the game used a timer and players played simultaneously, trying to keep the restaurant running smoothly. Since then, he’s become a powerhouse designer, running his own publishing digs and putting out games that don’t fit into the standard mold set by previous titles. For example, Paperback took the well-worn mechanisms of Dominion, but put them into a word game which, somehow, made deck-building fun! What really separates him, however, is that he learned a long time ago that digital board games are pretty cool and, as of now, has released both Paperback and Burgle Bros. onto mobile. Soon we’ll get their third title on our phones and tablets, a sequel of sorts to Paperback appropriately titled, Hardback.
You might think that Avogadro’s number relates to the number of atoms in a mole, but it was actually created to give dimension to the number of IAP available in Nomad Games‘ digital version of Talisman. If this makes no sense, I’m trying to say there’s a lot of DLC for a digital board game, but that’s not to be unexpected considering the cardboard version and all its expansions have lain waste to entire forests. Today, they added yet another expansion to not just Talisman but also Talisman: Horus Heresy, albeit for a miserly price: free. If that’s not enough for you, they’re also putting the whole lot on sale.
iOS, Android • I’m anything but an expert traveler, but I feel worldly enough to share this one travel tip: when using Airbnb, double check that the apartment you’re moving into has WiFi. If you’re wondering where I’ve been this week, I basically failed to follow this rule and have been unable to post due to being in an apartment sans internet since Monday. “But there are tons of places with WiFi in Vienna!” I can hear you screaming. This is true, but I’m traveling with my father who doesn’t view writing as a “real job” and therefore has little patience for me to whip out my laptop when we’re sitting at a cafe. I’m learning he has little patience in regards to just about everything, actually. It’s been a fun couple of weeks. Anyway, there has been activity on the App Store, so I’m going to try to post something while we’re on the train to Salzburg. It may be brief because the WiFi on the train isn’t great and it’s only a 2 hour ride, but at least you know that I’m still alive. As for our WiFi-free apartment, we move out on Saturday to a new apartment and, yes, I checked that it has WiFi. Next week should be far more productive.
iOS Universal, Android • In this year of endless betas, we’ve had at least one launch that was worth talking about, the Tinder-ish roguelike, Meteorfall. I really liked the game even though — yes, you were all right about this — it’s not a substitute for Dream Quest. Is anything, though? Today Meteorfall received its first major content update since its January launch, something called the Necrodude.