Tabletop Remember those math puzzles your friends would quiz you with when you were a kid? They’d always begin by asking for your birth year, adding the day you were born, subtracting the hour, dividing by the number of eggs you had for breakfast and, viola, the answer would reveal, correctly, how many pet otters you’ve owned since the age of six. Having that answer always pop up correctly, no matter who you tried it with, was like a small miracle. It was like opening a portal to universe where magic existed and everything fit into a specific place. As I grew older and submerged myself in math, the magic was replaced with the cold dissection of numbers and seeing the trick for what it was: a simple math equation. Enter Black Sonata from Side Room Games, which feels like the most complicated math puzzle I’ve ever been dealt. The cool thing is, I can’t see the math and, even if I could, I don’t think I’d be able to suss out how the trick works. The only explanation that makes any sense: Black Sonata is magic. Real magic.
iOS Universal, Android • Onirim was one of our favorite solo time-wasters last year which was impressive for two reasons. First, it was a really good year for games and, secondly, what the hell is Onirim? It wasn’t one of Asmodee Digital‘s highly touted releases and just kind of showed up one day in its nearly perfect form. Since its release Onirim only got better, adding new expansions and going free to download with no pesky F2P shenanigans on the side. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any news on the Onirim front, however. Yesterday Asmodee let everyone know that updates are on the way. Not only that, but they’re looking for testers to help get the updates out the door.
Tabletop • I recently got an itch to play Sails of Glory, a game which wonderfully illustrates the joys which games, especially historical games, offer outside of the game itself. Sails of Glory puts each player in charge of one or two warships from the age of sail (late 1700s/early 1800s). Turns out, there are an embarrassing array of ways to commit to it, and it was with an eye toward justifying myself that I thought of writing an article on the topic.
iOS Universal, Android • This is a weird way to start a review, but I think I’ll probably just keep beating this dead horse all through the post if I don’t do this up front. I’m talking about the theme of Hostage Negotiator and the fact that it’s dark; dark enough that it turns me off a bit. It’s a fairly hypocritical stance, I know. After all, I have no issue with assassinating William Shakespeare in Through the Ages or laying waste to a horde of redcoats in Liberty or Death. Hostage Negotiator feels a little more personal, however. Whether the bad guy is a terrorist or a rogue teacher, the number at the top of the screen represents helpless humans that are going to, very likely, shuffle off their digital coils before you’re done. I’m not saying Hostage Negotiator is a bad game–you’ll have to read past the break to see how I actually feel–but I felt that I’d keep bringing the theme up at every turn and didn’t want it to bog the whole thing down. There, that’s the last you’ll hear of it. Now let’s talk about the game itself.
PC/Mac/Linux • I know it has already been a rather silly day on Steam what with Subset Games launching their first title since FTL took the world by storm and Handelabra unleashing a new, very un-Sentinels-like card game. Brace yourselves. Those aren’t the only two cool looking games to land on Steam today. Thanks to BitGamerX we also learned about Space Tyrant which looks like a sci-fi 4x designed by chaos-loving aliens. To be fair, we don’t yet know for certain that Blue Wizard Digital isn’t comprised of chaos-loving aliens. We’re working on it.
PC/Mac/Linux (now in EA), Mobile (coming later) • I know everyone’s busy playing Into the Breach today, but I’d like to ask you to stop for just one moment. Please. C’mon, you can pull yourself away for a little bit. No? Okay, then just listen to me drone on in the background. Into the Breach isn’t the only bit of coolness to land on Steam today. Our friends at Handelabra have also pushed out an Early Access build of the card-based dungeon crawler, One Deck Dungeon for PC/Mac/Linux which is two more platforms than you’ll find for Into the Breach. Take that, Subset!
iOS Universal, Android • Our old friend Peter Kossits went quiet for a bit after he released Baseball Highlights 2045 in 2016, following that up with a slew of updates including new content and an AI. Understandable, as he’s a one-man show whose main gig isn’t writing games in Unity not to mention having to put up with flack from yahoos over at BGG picking apart everything as if he were Blizzard or Firaxis. Well, Peter is back on the App Store with a new release. This time its a solo card game that I’d only heard about because it might have one of the most interesting themes in all of gamedom. That game is Hostage Negotiator.
PC/Mac • When you think of fantastically themed solitaire card games your mind should instantly head to mobile with games like Solitairica, Card Crawl, and Miracle Merchant. Fun, quick games like this are a staple on your phone, less so on Steam where you expect a bit more under the hood. A new solitaire card game, Shadowhand, was released yesterday and while it seems like mobile would be a perfect fit, you’ll only find it available for PC/Mac. As expected, there’s a little more under the hood.
Tabletop • In our effort to speed things up with our ongoing Liberty or Death session report, I’ve managed to somehow combine six (6!!!) turns into one post. Unfortunately, this means I’m already broke my promise to report on at least one non-board game per day by not covering anything yesterday, but I did report on two non-board games Wednesday, so I’m calling it even. Without further ado, let’s see what’s happening in the colonies.
Tabletop • We’re back with our parade through (alternate) history via GMT Games‘ brilliant COIN title, Liberty or Death. I’m getting the sense that you, the Stately Players [I’m really trying to get him to stop. This will be the last time, I swear -ed.], are losing interest in these turn-by-turn walkthroughs, so I’m going to really try and wrap the whole thing up before Thanksgiving so we can move on to a different game. When I started the affair, I had it in my head that I would spend 5-6 hours playing the game and then chop it into a week’s worth of material. When I saw how much information had to be relayed while writing up the first turn, I realized I may have bitten off more than I could chew and moved to the one-two turns per day format. That works well for me, but it needs to work well for you as well. I’m new at this, and still learning. Stick with me. We’ll wrap up LoD as quick as possible and then throw something else on the table.