iOS, Android, PC Temple Gates came out of nowhere in 2017 to rock our worlds with the, still fantastic, digital port of Race for the Galaxy. While we know they’ve been working on it’s dicey cousin, Roll for the Galaxy, we also know that they’ve hooked up with Stone Blade Entertainment and have been working on their 2-player card battler, Shards of Infinity. Looks like the latter has been getting the bulk of the attention because, today, they announced that beta signups are open.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac It’s no secret that we here at Stately Play feel that Czech Games Edition can do no wrong. First of all, they have Vlaada Chvatil designing games for them, which puts them one step away from God. Secondly, they created Galaxy Trucker back in 2014 and it reshaped how we thought about digital versions of board games. Not only did they include a lengthy, somewhat open-world campaign, but they also created entirely new rules so we could play the way digital board games were meant to be played: asynchronously. Five years later there still aren’t many apps that match it (and one of the ones that did is also from CGE: Through the Ages), and so it’s time for Galaxy Trucker to spread its wings (made of crepe paper and duct tape, I’m sure). Today it’s made the move to the big screen and released for PC/Mac on Steam.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac Remember way back in 2015 when we’d be lucky to get 3-4 board game apps released a year (and half of them would suck)? Times have changed. Hot on the heels of Evolution from North Star comes The Castles of Burgundy from Digidiced, releasing for iOS/Android this Thursday.
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.
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 I love pinball, be it standing in an arcade or digitally on my iPad. I’m also one of the freaks that prefers the real tables of Pinball Arcade to the fanciful, and often physics-defying, tables of Zen Pinball. Give me Star Trek: TNG and a handful of quarters and I can die happy. The problem is that Pinball Arcade’s apps are hunks of garbage compared to the polished gems that Zen puts out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to either re-purchase my ST:TNG table only to have it disappear the next time I open the app. Thus, I was super stoked when I heard that Zen has acquired the Williams license and would be bringing real-life tables into the Zen world. What more could I want? A lot, apparently. Last week, Zen Studios released Williams Pinball for iOS and I don’t think it’s possible for them to have shit the bed any worse.
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.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux We’ve loved the Trese Brothers around here since before there was an around here. Way back when, at another site that you might have heard of, they were recipients of several year-end accolades for their previous title, Templar Battleforce. Their latest, Star Traders: Frontiers, has been out for PC/Mac/Linux since last August, but, today, we learned it’s making the move to our touchscreens. Soon.
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.