PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, Xbox • XCOM2 might just be the most evergreen video game I’ll ever have the pleasure of playing. It never gets old and, honestly, I can see myself sitting down at a laptop ten years from now and blindly rushing into ambushes and getting all my best troops slaughtered. What I’m trying to say is, XCOM2 is really good and I kind of want to marry it. Imagine my shock when, yesterday, I noticed that there was new DLC for XCOM2. NEW DLC! Are you kidding me? I contemplated quitting my day job just to stay home and try it out today but, instead, went to work so I can write posts for Stately Play on the company dime. To quote Bugs Bunny, ain’t I a stinker?
iOS, Android, Switch, Consoles, PC/Mac/Linux • My history with Stardew Valley is a tale of two extremes. I first started hearing about it on other mobile sites wondering if it would ever make the move to phones and tablets. Looking into it, I decided the cartoonish graphics weren’t my style and, other than Agricola, farming doesn’t do a lot for me. I tried to forget about it, but its immense popularity ensured it popping up in Twitch streams or YouTube reviews of people I followed. It became too big to ignore. Eventually, it came to Mac and I caved. Thus begins the second act of my experience with Stardew Valley, the phase my wife likes to call “that time you were obsessed with that one game and you didn’t talk to anyone in your family for about four months”. Yes, she’s very verbose and, unfortunately, not exaggerating much. I fell for the open-ended game pretty damn hard and loved just about everything it offered and was only saved by the fact it wasn’t available for mobile, confining my addition to a desk. That’s changing, however. Not only is has it been out for Switch for a bit (yes, I own it there, too), but it’s coming to iOS on October 24. My wife has already threatened divorce.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux, Switch (in Nov) • Last year’s surprise release of Civilization VI for iPad was big enough that I was compelled to buy a new iPad just to play it. I haven’t regretted it, with Civ VI being my most played iPad game since. Last week I received a pre-release copy of Civ VI for iPhone and, I have to say, I’m starting to regret that iPad purchase. Sure, a game as big as Civ shouldn’t work on a tiny screen, but Aspyr pulled it off. Don’t believe me? You can try it for yourself today.
iPad, Switch, Xbox, PC/Mac/Linux • I know Darkest Dungeon has both its fans and critics around these parts (I’m steadfastly in the “fan” category), but even the haters can’t deny that the more big-name PC ports we get on iPad, the better. The downside of not being the game’s primary platform, however, comes with the slow pace of getting new content. We’re all still waiting for Aspyr to release the Rise & Fall expansion for Civ VI on iPad, for example. The latest DLC for Darkest Dungeon, the Color of Madness, was unleashed on Steam back in June but those of us who play on our iPads or Switches were left in the lurch, waiting for any news of its appearance on our platform of choice. Today, that news finally broke. The Color of Madness will be coming to all platforms–iPad, console, Switch–on October 11.
iOS/Android (out now), PC/Mac/Linux (coming Friday) • There was a time, not long ago, that I dreaded any game that included a stock market mechanism. Something in my brain convinced me that games with stocks and money were the purview of the business-inclined, which I’m definitely not. [For example, look around this website and see how well he’s monetized it. -ed.] Luckily, a little game called Imperial changed my mind and, while I’m terrible at stock games, I discovered that they’re fun as hell. If you’re not aware, stock trading is a (the?) major component of the 18xx family of board games which readers will know I’m currently in love with. Stock games tend to fall into two categories: those that treat stocks fairly realistically and those that don’t. The 18xx games, for example, deal with it somewhat realistically with your stock price rising and falling based on demand and the profitability of your train company. Stockpile falls into the unrealistic camp in which stock prices are randomly in flux. Both are fun, and while I doubt we’ll ever see an 18xx game make its way to our phones, (unless Playdek ever gets around to developing 1846 from GMT) today Stockpile makes its grand entrance on the digital stage.
PC/Mac/Linux, Switch • Another interesting announcement during the Nintendo Direct that I didn’t watch came from Paradox, makers of all things epic and real-time. Turns out they’re getting in the Switch game as well and their first (and maybe only?) release is the outstanding city builder, Cities: Skylines. The best part is that it wasn’t a tease announcement. No, they were announcing that the game was out for Switch right then and now.
Mac/Linux (soon), PC (out now) • When the original Frozen Synapse appeared on the iPad it instantly became one of those “wow” games that you would show off to people who still didn’t grasp what a great game platform the iPad could be. Owen fell in love with its Tron-like graphics and tactical, WEGO turn-based strategy so hard that he finally admitted to sitting on a throne of lies. In other words, it was pretty great. That was 2013, however, and Frozen Synapse has long been relegated to the cloud rather than residing on my tablet. It’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future, but a new Frozen Synapse is going to be taking up space on my laptop’s hard drive and that’s nearly as good. If you haven’t guessed yet (or not read the headline), Mode 7 has finally released Frozen Synapse 2 for PC.
iOS & Android (soon), PC/Mac (out now) • It’s been a long while since we’ve heard from the folks at HexWar which may be because their last few releases weren’t given the warmest of receptions in the hallowed halls of Stately Manor. That said, their next project is a digital port of GMT Games‘ seminal card-driven block game, Commands & Colors: Ancients. We love the cardboard version so we’re willing to give them a little leeway and see what they can come up with. As luck would have it, today is the day we see how they did as C&C: Ancients has just been released onto Steam for PC and Mac.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • We’ve been fans of Nomad Games since the early days when their only title was a solitaire take on Talisman. Since then they’ve been the developer of Talisman: Digital Edition mainly with a few other games tossed in here and there. There was a Fighting Fantasy gamebook and, more recently, a digital version of AEG’s Smash Up. Over the past few months, however, they’re really spreading their wings and hitting the digital board game scene hard. In June they announced that digital versions of Mystic Vale, Cat Lady, and Space Base were in the works and today they dropped an even bigger, juicier morsel: AEG‘s (and now Z-Man’s) mega-hit, Love Letter, is coming to digital in October.
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.