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.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • This probably won’t surprise you, but Civ VI on the iPad is still my most played title. Sure, I’m still playing Through the Ages and Twilight Struggle every day, but for those I log in and take my turns and then exit, usually to head back into Civ VI. While Aspyr has been pretty great about updating the game since its release in November, I still wonder how far they plan on taking the mobile version and if it will ever come close to the version we know (and love) on Steam. I’m going to stop worrying about that now, I think, as today Aspyr dropped yet another update, which makes it the second major addition this month! Today we get not one, but two new civilizations: Macedon and Persia.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • The only things I know about Australia I learned from Monty Python, Flight of the Concords, and Alex Connolly. In other words, everyone there is named Bruce and teaches philosophy, they like to mock New Zealanders’ accent, and [redacted due to NDA]. Obviously, this is a well-rounded and comprehensive litany of everything Australia has to offer, but Civ VI is here to fill in all the empty spaces (even if it seems there aren’t any). I can’t think of a better teacher of real-world history than Civilization (how else would I have learned that Teddy Roosevelt founded America and will colonize space in 2023?) and now that Australia has become available in the iPad version of Civ VI, I can’t wait to learn more about Vegemite and Bloomin’ Onions.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • If there’s one thing I’ve learned after doing this at 164, Owen’s old site, and here at Stately Play, it’s that big news will always drop when I’m unable to reach a keyboard. I’ve been behind the wheel of a 13 year-old minivan the last few days, so getting new news up on the site has been…challenging. Luckily, Kelsey filled in and wrote something I can only describe as “don’t miss”. Still, I failed Czech Games and my favorite title of 2017 by missing the launch of Through the Ages on Steam. So, here goes: If you haven’t heard, Through the Ages is now on Steam!
Rise and Fall available for PC/Mac/Linux • iPad version available w/o Rise & Fall expansion • Mac gamers are used to being disappointed when it comes to new games not making their way to our preferred platform. I know, it’s my own damn fault for expecting my MacBook Pro to compete with a Windows machine but, dammit, I so much prefer my Mac for doing what I’m doing right now, namely writing. So, without the resources to have both, I’m saddled with a Mac for gaming. I’m still waiting for Divinity: Original Sin 2 to come to Mac (I kickstarted it not realizing it was going to be Windows only) and have been waiting patiently for Aspyr to bring the first Civ VI expansion–which arrived on Windows in early February–to Mac. Today, I was totally surprised when I loaded up Steam and, lo and behold, there was a 2 GB update. What could it be? Yes, Rise and Fall has come to Mac.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • If you’ve been reading Stately Play for any length of time you’re aware that my favorite digital–and tabletop, for that matter–board game of all time is Through the Ages designed by Vlaada Chvátil and developed and published by Czech Games Edition. I’ve played more games of TtA online than any other game and it’s not even close. Before the app released, I played dozens of games on Boardgaming Online and, before that, I developed a VASSAL mod and played dozens of games while trying to get that up and working. Since the app released last year, I’ve had 3-5 games going at all times and I’m still not getting tired of it. On March 26 Through the Ages will arrive on Steam for PC/Mac and being able to play it on my laptop while appearing to work will make my life complete.
iOS Universal, Android • While Civilization Revolution 2 isn’t exactly the highpoint of Sid Meier’s influential Civilization series, it’s the only one we’re likely to ever get on our phones, so it will have to do. If you’ve updated to iOS 11 since its release in September, however, you’ve had to do without. Civ Rev 2 was one of the victims of the App-ocalypse, remaining 32-bit when it needed exactly twice that many bits. It took 2K Games three months to fix the problem, and today they updated Civ Rev 2 to be 64-bit complian,t meaning we can all redownload it at our leisure.
PC/Mac/Linux • 2017 has been such a great year for mobile gaming that I can’t even remember the last time I fired up Civilization VI, which was my top game of 2016. I know it’s been within the last few months, but there’s always been something else to pull me away from all that civ-building goodness [mostly the civ-building goodness of Through the Ages, I’m sure -ed.]. Looks like Civilization VI will be getting a bunch of my attention in February as Firaxis just announced that a full expansion, Rise and Fall, is coming on February 8.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Back in September, Czech Games Edition did what we’ve been waiting nearly 4 years for them to do: they released Through the Ages for iOS and Android. To say it managed to live up to the hype would be an understatement, as I still can’t get enough of picking Michelangelo even though I have no temples or wonders producing happiness. WHY DO I DO IT EVERY TIME? While the mobile version is about as polished as the underside of András Hadik’s horse, CGE did tell us that they were hoping to release on Steam, eventually, as well. It’s not out on Steam yet, but the beta is starting soon and signups are open.
iPad • There were three board game ports that seemed stuck in development hell, never to actually make an appearance on our tablets. The first was Twilight Struggle which switched developers after years of development only for Playdek to save the day, releasing one of the best board game ports on the App Store. Then there was Through the Ages which was promised back when the iPad was a novelty, died when Codito’s license expired, and finally resurrected by CGE as one of the best board game ports on the App Store. Now we have 7 Wonders, which was nearly released several years ago, been through multiple beta tests, and has finally made its way to digital but, unfortunately, isn’t one of the best board game ports on the App Store.