iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux My top mobile game of 2018 was Handelabra‘s masterful port of the Little Card Game That Could, One Deck Dungeon. It was a perfect blend of quick, roguelike play and oodles of dice-chucking madness. Yes, bad dice rolls can nip you in the backside, but that’s the point of the game: building up your hero(es) to mitigate dicey disaster. I played the hell out of it on my iPad and even sank too much time delving on my laptop. It was nearly as perfect as could be, with one exception: it wasn’t also on my phone. This Thursday, that changes.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux Coming out of nowhere last year was Handelabra‘s port of the Little Card Game That Could, One Deck Dungeon. No other board game port received nearly as much playtime and, let me remind you, you could only play it on iPad or your laptop. Luckily, it’s less of an addiction now because it’s coming to phones in May which would have killed me had it happened last year.
It’s been a crazy few months at Stately Play HQ. Work, family, and life in general have been putting up huge detour signs whenever I’d sit down to pen a poorly written screed about the latest Big Thing. You may have noticed. I’m on vacation this week (my kids are on spring break, which seemed as good of an excuse as any) so I’m hoping to have a little more time. I’m hoping this extra time stretches into the future even when I’m not sitting outside in 72 degree weather with a lovely ocean breeze to keep me cool. Work should be dying down a bit and the end of club volleyball is in sight. We’ll see, but I’m hoping for a more energetic front page in the coming weeks and months. A lot of stuff in Gameland has been happening and, instead of forcing you to read one dreck filled post of mine after another, I thought I’d pile all the dreck into one easy-to-digest morsel. See what’s been happening after the break.
PC/Mac/Linux • Since the release of Sentinels of the Multiverse on iPad way back in 2014 Handelabra, has established themselves as one of the top board game devs in the biz, right up there with Playdek and Czech Games. While I get that Sentinels, Bottom of the 9th, and One Deck Dungeon aren’t in everyone’s wheelhouse, you can’t deny that everything they touch is polished to a blinding sheen. Thus, when they announce a new project or, as is the case today, launch a new Kickstarter, we listen. We already knew they’re working on digital versions of both Spirit Island and Aeon’s End, and it’s the latter that is now available on everyone’s favorite crowdfunder.
Welcome to what may become a regular SP Sunday-night feature, if you’re in the US (more like second breakfast or elevensies time in NZ). I’ve always fancied myself a decidedly non-prime hours horror host, in the vein of Vampira, Elvira, and Commander USA. Don’t remember Commander USA? Just imagine Watchmen’s The Comedian unconvincingly faking enthusiasm for El Santo movies and “drawing on” his hand with his cigar. I asked editorial for a wardrobe budget, but all I got back was a series of farty noises, so just imagine me in a LBD and a smoking jacket, wearing a wig stolen from a community theatre production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, sitting in a ridiculously oversized Gothic armchair next to a roaring fireplace (burning official strategy guides and AOL diskettes, ‘natch) and cradling a coffee mug bigger than my head in my arms with a degree of tenderness usually reserved for newborn babies and Alpha Edition Magic: the Gathering cards. Got it? Good, let’s go.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Fresh off the success of One Deck Dungeon you’d think the folks at Handelabra would rest on their laurels and, perhaps, slow down and enjoy the, I’m sure, millions of dollars that come along with being a successful indie developer of niche board games. As you can probably guess from the headline, however, that’s not the case. Instead, Handelabra have announced two new ports that will be heading our way in 2019, Indie Boards & Cards‘ Aeon’s End and Greater Than Games‘ Spirit Island.
iPad, Android Tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • One thing I look forward to every year is a Jeremy Handel sighting at Gen Con. He’s incredibly hard to find, but when you do you won’t be disappointed because he’ll be dressed as someone else. Sure, there’s a lot of cosplay at Gen Con, but not many people cosplay as characters from Sentinels of the Multiverse. This year, my son and I ended up getting sick on Saturday and our time in the convention center was nil from Saturday morning on, so I didn’t get a chance to find Jeremy this year [for the record, we did meet up with Jean-Marc Giffin of Handelabra who was affable as always -ed.], but I did get a chance to play a ton of his latest game, One Deck Dungeon. That’s because Handelabra released the major expansion, Forest of Shadows, the Wednesday night before the Con opened.
iPad, Android tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Considering that Handelabra‘s digital port of One Deck Dungeon is so damn good, it only stood to reason that we’d eventually be seeing the stand-alone expansion, Forest of Shadows, make its way into the app. Earlier this morning we got a confirmation of the digital expansion from none other than the designer and head of Asmadi himself, Chris Cieslik. Not only that, but he sent us our first image of the expansion in action. Well, almost in action. It’s the selection screen, but it’s still cool.
iPad, Android Tablet, PC/Mac/Linux • I love Handelabra as much as the next guy, but the amount of One Deck Dungeon news is starting to get annoying. I mean, I haven’t even tried a dungeon with Caliana, their last DLC hero and now they’ve gone and added another? Not just that, but I still have problem getting through the 1-star-difficulty Dragon and now they’ve added a 4-star deathtrap? Geez, it’s almost like I’m just going to have to just keep playing and playing One Deck Dungeon for the foreseeable future. Woe is me.
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.