Did you play Crest? That gorgeous but rather abstract Swedish affair that you’d swear was a Molyneux tulpa? No? Your sins are forgiven, because as is often the case with indie titles that don’t hit the ground running, Eat Create Sleep have relaunched their tribal papercraft terrarium, with new elements, overhauls and tweaks. Additions that will entice the agnostic and convert the disbeliever.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • There are a lot of games that, upon release, are less than stellar and only achieve greatness after patches or expansions release down the road. Diablo 3 was like that, as was Civ V. A mobile entry on that list has to be Perchang‘s reentry into the grim world of Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times. When it was released the general consensus was it failed to live up to the glory that was the original Warhammer Quest. Several patches and additional content, however, have elevated it to be a worthy successor. Come January, PC and Mac gamers will get to experience the full Warhammer Quest 2 experience without having to slog through all that drama. You can thank us mobile gamers later.
PC • If you aren’t familiar with the tabletop card/board game Mystic Vale from AEG, then the title of this post might be confusing. Obviously, the idiot in charge of headlines [Dave is that idiot -ed.] screwed up and should have written “deck-builder” because card-builder sounds more like a craft project than a game. Well, thanks to the wonders of plastic, Mystic Vale IS a card-builder in which transparent sleeves and cards blend to make new cards every time you play. I first stumbled on Mystic Vale when it released at Gen Con a few years ago and was struck by the gorgeous artwork and the unique crafting concept but never got the chance to actually sit and play it. That makes today’s news even more exciting, as I’ll finally get to give Mystic Vale a go. What news, you ask? Mystic Vale is now available to play via Steam Early Access.
PC I recently waffled in a Scrye about INSOMNIA: The Ark, written calmly henceforth as Insomnia. It’s quite the thing, especially if you go in blind. Given that you’re reading this, I suspect there’s a forfeiture of surprise in your immediate future, but that doesn’t detract from Insomnia’s beguiling premise overcoming its somewhat flawed execution. Flawed, I hasten to add, in that Eastern Bloc way. An ambitious pursuit of atmosphere; a journey through time and space, anchored to a colossal star city, where dimensions appear to be a lot less demarcated than first thought.
PC • If there’s one thing missing from today’s high-tech landscape of centrifuge-killing viruses, hacking, long-game defense projects designed surreptitiously in conjunction with Silicon Valley, it’s the warm glow of a NORAD CRT. Fear not, for Terminal Conflict is here to return you to the good old days of mutually-assured destruction.
PC • Here’s a bold prediction. Kerberos Studios‘ Pit of Doom will be a runaway hit. And not just one of those cult sleepers, name-dropped for cred at gatherings of those in the know. A bona fide smash. It sounds ludicrous to predict the fortune of an unfinished game, one still slick with Early Access afterbirth, but I have that tingling sensation. Could be the creeping onset of Zuul poison, though. You never know.
PC • Though age hath wearied my nerves and reaction time isn’t what it once was, the siren song of the shooter still manages to kindle the old fascination. Eximius: Seize The Frontline is aiding and abetting this month, due to running headlong into Pandemic Studios’ luminary Ken Miller’s proposition that FPS players don’t want to think, and RTS players don’t want to die. If the idea of commanding, ahem, and conquering appeals — and why we aren’t enjoying a glut of these hybrids is one of gaming’s more mystifying vacuums — then give this a look-see.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Acram Digital made their digital name with a well done port of Steam: Rails to Riches and, later, Ryan Laukat‘s Eight-Minute Empire. Both games nailed what made their cardboard cousins so much fun and presented everything polished to a glistening shine. Even better, their releases weren’t just for mobile, but the PC/Mac/Linux crowd could get in on the fun as well via Steam. Looks like those salad days are behind us, however, as all of Acram’s titles have been removed from Steam due to the folks at Acram being naughty.
PC • At the intersection of Hornblower-Tolkien cosplay, you find Maelstrom. It’s an enticing clash of high-fantasy and fighting sail, and is exactly the twist a certain type of popular multiplayer game needs right now. Behold, Battleship Royale.
PC • Every once in a while, I’m bum-rushed by a seriously polydactyl concept, one that presses all the buttons. Tempest Citadel is this month’s most fabulous of ambushes. Science fantasy. Offworld expedition. ALIENS meets Milton. Dante’s Bespin. Aartform Games, the tiny outfit behind Spice Road, is dropping Tempest Citadel in a few hours on Steam, and it looks very, very intriguing.