iOS, Android, PC/Mac I like to poke fun at the guys from North Star Games for being the Blizzard of board game app development. After all, it took Blizz 10 years to bring us Diablo 3, whereas North Star has been working on Evolution for the last five. Of course, that’s board game years, so its roughly equivalent. Still, Blizzard games are known for their polish and sheen right out of the box, and that was North Star’s plan with this elongated dev cycle: make the board game app that all others will be (unfavorably) compared to. Well, it’s out in the wilderness now, so you can go see if they accomplished their dream.
PC/Mac Sorry for the lack of content this week, folks. Real job getting in the way of fun these days. Thus, I don’t have time for a lengthy post bemoaning the rise in viking-themed pop culture stuff and will, instead, just bring the thunder up front. Champions of Midgard is a viking-themed board game of worker placement and dice chucking and, apparently, it’s coming to digital.
I was a backer of the Kickstarter for Victory Point Games‘ recent release of Gem Rush Second Edition. I had never played (or even heard of) the first edition, but I love the “premier” stuff VPG has been putting out recently not to mention that most (all?) of their games are playable solo. Oh, and the designer is Jeremy Lennert, who I fell in love with via a previous VPG title, Darkest Night Second Edition. My copy of Gem Rush arrived before the holidays and has sat, untouched, since. Not the game’s fault, just my crappy time management. Anyway, I had forgotten (until prompted in the forums) that the Kickstarter had mentioned a digital version. With little to no fanfare, the digital version of Gem Rush was released way back when and has completely slid under our radar. Time to fix that. Gem Rush is a polished, tight app of a pretty great board game that no one is aware of. Let’s change that.
iOS Universal, Android At first glance, Legends of Andor may resemble other campaign-driven fantasy board games like Gloomhaven or Descent: Journeys in the Dark. There’s a fantasy map (you know it’s fantasy because there’s a castle and spooky caves), characters that fit the usual fantasy tropes, monsters, and even markets where you can buy your heroes better equipment. It may resemble those games, but Legends of Andor is nothing like those games. Not a bit. In fact, Legends of Andor isn’t a board game so much as a puzzle game wrapped in board game attire.
PC Mystic Vale from Alderac Entertainment Group and Nomad Games has been available on Early Access since late 2018. Today we learned that it’s breaking free from its beta shackles and heading out into the real world. On Thursday, January 31, Mystic Vale will have its official launch for PC on Steam.
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.
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 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.
PC/Mac • I was going to post about this last week, but realized that if there’s one board game company that doesn’t need a lot of help promoting their Kickstarters, it’s Cool Mini or Not. Their Kickstarters usually end up in the millions-of-dollars range, so an early preview of said Kickstarter campaign by us didn’t feel necessary. Today, however, that Kickstarter is live–and already funded a mere half hour–so it seemed like a good time to bring it to your attention. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the viking-themed, area control gem, Blood Rage, from Eric Lang is coming to digital next year.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • There are a lot of games that, upon release, are less than stellar and only achieve greatness after patches or expansions release down the road. Diablo 3 was like that, as was Civ V. A mobile entry on that list has to be Perchang‘s reentry into the grim world of Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times. When it was released the general consensus was it failed to live up to the glory that was the original Warhammer Quest. Several patches and additional content, however, have elevated it to be a worthy successor. Come January, PC and Mac gamers will get to experience the full Warhammer Quest 2 experience without having to slog through all that drama. You can thank us mobile gamers later.