Out Now: No Preference Edition21 Apr 2017 1
Congratulations, you've survived the work week. Time to treat yourself to a game or two, you've earned it. We have a bevy of options for your perusal of all different genres. You can cast spells, grow a forest, guard the galaxy, become a pirate, or terraform your way to victory in one of the most popular board games ever made.
Ms. Spell (iOS)
This week's one-dollar special is a little roguelike named Ms. Spell. In this game there are foes, foes, wherever one goes. The world is full of dire rats, skeletons, bandits, and considerably worse—all of which are looking to devour Ms. Spell. Her best defense is probably obvious: spells. Scrolls are littered about the world like your neighbor's old newspapers on a super windy recycling day. Spells are one-use only and have a variety of effects like freezing one or all enemies, blasting all foes around you with fire, or swapping place with an enemy. Ms. Spell is a fun little game and a solid option for fans of the genre. If you don't like roguelikes, well, you probably moved on after the first sentence anyway.
Evergrow: Paper Forest (iOS)
Evergrow: Paper Forest is a choose-the-path puzzler where you direct a hopping bunny around a many-tiled game board. Where the bunny passes grass grows, for some reason, and your goal is to fill in all of the tiles with grass so the entire level can bloom. Certain tiles are obstacles, which means the bunny either cannot, or should not, enter them. Later, the game throws in special tiles that mix up the rules in different ways. All this is set against the backdrop of a larger story. The game takes place in a child's room and as you progress through levels the child ages and the room changes. Evergrow: Paper Forest is not an easy game and requires quite a bit of trial-and-error to work through many of the levels (there are 50 in all). Puzzle aficionados in search of a challenge need look no further.
Take to the seas as captain of your own ship, hire a crew of misfits and ne'er-do-wells, board and rob merchant vessels, battle and destroy rival captains, and raid shore-based settlements in Tempest. The game puts you in the boots of a pirate attempting to become an ever-greater fish in the sea. There are a bunch of quests to take part in, over one hundred in total. Oh, and naturally there's a kraken. Tempest is an RPG…you have quests, including a central storyline, but the world is fairly open. You hire and manage your crew, customize and upgrade your ship, and level up your captain's abilities. The graphics are attractive and the user interface works well enough. Combat is in real time and can be a bit confusing, however. It will take some practice for most players to get used to it. Tempest also features a player-versus-player option for those interested in testing their mettle against other human pirates, though I didn't give it a go. Check out this rock-and-rollin' trailer for a look at the graphics and gameplay.
Card Thief (Android)
It's not quite out at the time of writing, but Card Thief is sneaking onto the Google Play Store sometime today. Michael gave this one five stars and loved it so much he wrote a gameplay guide as well, and it's a safe bet Card Thief will be a contender for some game-of-the-year honors. The game has done quite well on the App Store, thanks in large part to Apple's support, and it'll be interesting to see if the buzz carries over to Android.
The Star Lord and his plucky gang of heroes (yes, plucky and heroes are both a bit loose here) are back, in video game form, and ready to take on a new challenge. A distress call puts the team on the trail of universal big-bad Thanos himself, and they track him to a Kree planet. It ain't gonna be easy, but what else is new? Like any TellTale series your choices steer the story to some degree. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get our hands on a review copy of the game, so I have no early impressions to share.
Boardgame enthusiasts rejoice, Terra Mystica has launched for iOS and Android. Terra Mystica is super popular in cardboard form and a fixture in the top-5 of BoardGameGeek's rankings. Digidiced—known for bringing Agricola, Patchwork, and Le Havre to digital life—has been hard at work on Terra Mystica for quite some time. The game is deep and complex, with a myriad of rules to understand, strategies to work through, and tactical considerations to ponder and none of that goes away with the digital version. There's a steep learning curve here, no doubt about it, and that's by design. The digital implementation if Terra Mystica is solid. The graphics look great and do a good job capturing the board game feel and the UI is clean and polished, no small feat given how much is going on. The tutorial does a good job going over the basics of what is a very complex game. There are a few different ways to play Terra Mystica. You can play solo against the AI and attempt to master its three levels of difficulty. There's local pass-and-play versus some combination of human and AI opponents. Finally, there's online multiplayer where you can take on either friends or opponents of similar skill level in ranked games. Online play is asynchronous with some optional rules to speed up the back-and-forth in certain circumstances.
Seen any other games you think people should know about? Tried out anything from the list above? Let us know in the comments! Enjoy your weekend!