iOS, Switch, PC/Mac/Linux • My kids think it’s weird that I enjoy programming games like TIS-100 from Zachtronics (or any Zachtronics game, actually), or Human Resource Machine from Tomorrow Corporation. This is because they think I sit at work all day and write code which is most definitely not what I do. In fact, my “writing code” to “writing boring documentation” ratio is so horrifically skewed to the latter that it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’d leap at the chance to do a little coding without all that legal overhead. 7 Billion Humans is Tomorrow Corporation’s follow-up to the aforementioned Human Resource Machine and it’s been out on Steam and Switch for a couple months. Yesterday, however, it arrived for iOS and now it can be played the way it was meant to be: on a tablet.
Switch • So, Civilization VI arrived for Switch this morning and, because I want to make sure everyone at Firaxis can send their kids to college, I bought it. Again. This is the third, maybe fourth, time I’ve bought Civ VI now, each time at $60, not to mention all the DLC I’ve also chipped in for on each and every platform. Civ VI for Switch is fine but the entire time I was playing, I was wondering why I wasn’t just playing it on my iPad. The iPad screen is bigger and the touch controls are just so much more intuitive. They did a great job of reworking the UI for the Switch, but when I want to open something and it’s tied to a button on the Switch, I invariably have to search for exactly what key is where. My fingers don’t know where the Y key is versus the X key, for example, and I find myself opening and closing menus or selecting this when I wanted to select that, that my 15 minutes with Civ VI felt like a chore. That brings me to Diablo 3 which launched last week for Switch and, I assumed, would be a perfect fit for the handheld. Oh, boy.
I really have nothing to add here other than I’m wondering if I need an iPad anymore. That answer is looking more and more like a big, fat “no”. Then again, those new iPad Pros they announced today do look mighty shiny… [Dave was unable to finish this post due to a head wound inflicted by his wife who walked in while he was salivating over the new iPads on the Apple Store. He’ll get better. Can’t get much worse, can he? -ed.]
iOS, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch, PC/Mac/Linux • I talked last week about my recurring addiction to Stardew Valley, the overly cute and surprisingly deep farming simulator that’s been the bee’s knees since it released on PC back in 2016. We knew it was coming out for iOS today but it actually popped up on the App Store last night giving me a little time to try it out while the family slept. It’s pretty great.
iPad, Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC/Mac/Linux • While it doesn’t happen very often, every now and then things turn out okay. Last Friday I mentioned that I’m leaving for a 4.5 hour plane trip with my entire family [on Spirit Airlines, no less. The only airline folks with three kids can afford -ed.] and was dreading it. Red Hook Studios was listening and, I’m sure it’s because of me, have finally released the Color of Madness DLC for Darkest Dungeon on iPad. Now I can get frustrated and angry at my tablet instead of my kids! Huzzah!
PC/Mac, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch • You sneaky bugger. At least, that’s what you should aim to be, and Nintendo Switch owners can work on their window-smashing, wall-sliding, robot-braining, loot-grabbing, computer-hacking antics with the fresh release of a modern classic. Dan Marshall’s The Swindle has arrived.
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.
PC (now), Xbox/PS4/Switch (soon) • Back when I first got into the Savage Worlds RPG system, one of the offshoots that attracted me was the Weird Wars setting. This posited that World War II wasn’t just Allies vs. Axis, but that there was a whole lot else going on such as demons, mages, etc. Players would join the Allied version of the 1940’s X-Files and root out the supernatural wherever Nazis were to be found. A few Gen Cons ago, I picked up another RPG source book for a game called Achtung! Cthulhu which was similar, but added Lovecraftian horror to the Nazi backstory instead of the generic supernatural hocus-pocus of Weird Wars. It’s kind of a strange genre considering that the Nazis don’t really need anything added to make them more evil, but, for some reason, I eat this stuff up. The Achtung! Cthulhu brand got big enough to spawn more than just an RPG and, today, Auroch Digital released a turn-based, squad-level game set in this universe, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics.
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.
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.