Reviews cu

IMG 2517
Review

Star Realms follow-up Cthulhu Realms brings a zany take on dark summonings and evil magic to the deck-building genre. It's not exactly chocolate and peanut butter, but if pineapple and ham pizza can be good, so can this.

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chaos spawn
Review

I’ve always felt that chaos gets a bad rap in Fantasy, where it is often used as a synonym for “evil.” It’s a central conceit of Games’ Workshops Warhammer 40,000 (40k) setting that the Chaos Gods are the greatest evil in the universe, making the brutal totalitarianism of the Imperium of Man and the cult of the Emperor “good” by comparison. It wouldn’t be grimdark if the good guys weren’t almost as bad as the bad guys.

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IMG 2425
Review

Bézier Games know some things about the landscape of gaming. In the tabletop world, the majority of their releases end up quite popular and spawn expansions: One Night Ultimate Werewolf is their much-loved entry in the social deduction genre, and Suburbia and Castles of Mad King Ludwig have pleased fans of tile-laying games looking for something meatier than Carcassonne. Suburbia put them on our radar on the digital side, and was quite a good version of an excellent boardgame. Now, they've released another tile-layer which I find even more satisfying, but their approach is interestingly different from what we usually see. Board game enthusiasts clearly like to play with others, but Bézier noted that they rarely did so with the Suburbia app, and they've put their game design where their analytics are: Castles has an even larger, more varied campaign, and hot-seat multiplayer, but no online option.

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IMG 2394
Review

Sometimes, circumstances are stacked against you, and there just isn't the time or resources to do a good job. If you procrastinated your way through college, as I did, you probably put yourself in the position to completely half-ass an assignment many times. Cadwallon: City of Thieves was released in 2012 with neither AI nor online multiplayer, which limited its appeal enough that we didn't bother to review it in these pages (admittedly, Pocket Tactics was smaller, then--this was before even I was brought on). Four years is a college-length extension on the assignment, and Cyanide Studio have used the generous extra time to add a minimally competent AI and otherwise leave the app in its startlingly unpolished state.

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IMG 3427
Review

Review: Imbroglio

19 May 2016 8
  • iOS

I'm sure most of us have at some point encountered the cliché anecdote of someone missing a stop on public transit because they were too absorbed in whatever mobile/handheld game they were playing. I always chalked it up to hyperbole. “I’m too neurotic about missing my stop and getting to places on time for that to happen to me,” I thought. I was wrong. Last week, I blew past my L stop on the way home from my day job because I was engrossed in Michael Brough’s latest game, Imbroglio.

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IMG 2314
Review

I have often said of my wife, who met me long before I was fit company: it's not that she meets my standard of beauty, rather, she helped define the standard by which I judge beautiful things. I first played a digital version of Ticket to Ride on the Xbox 360, before iPads existed and only a year after the iPhone was first introduced. TtR helped create my desire for board games on a larger-format iPhone-like device, and shaped my expectations for what that experience could be like. While Pocket Tactics has never had a review before simply because we weren't in business when the game was released, it has now reached a mature state, with a wide array of expansions available for purchase on the now-universal app. I've written myself into a corner in which the natural flow of the paragraph would lead me to compare how well it has aged to how well my wife has, and I'm thinking I should have started this paragraph differently. Because Ticket to Ride is still really good, even if it doesn't fare well in that comparison! [Good save. - ed.]

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IMG 5067
Review

Fallen London. Ah, yes. I was there when London was stolen by bats into the cavernous ‘Neath, the Fifth City barted to the ancient Echo Bazaar and its petty, proud, enigmatic Masters. ...wasn’t I? Perhaps I descended later, drawn by the lure of prisoner’s honey, which bodily transports one into dreams, or drawn down from the surface in pursuit of an all-consuming vengeance. No, wait, I remember now, I came to play the Marvelous, that mythic game of luck and skill said to be played with the coins that bought Christ as ante, and one’s fondest desires as the prize.

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INKS image002
Review

Review: INKS.

12 May 2016 3
  • iOS

When I come home on leave from the trenches, all shell-shocked and dazed, or upon returning from a particularly gruelling dungeon crawl, my back aching from all the loot and my fingers charred from casting fireballs, I sometimes need to unwind and do something completely different. I usually go down to the local arcade hall for a game of pinball or two, or I clear my troubled mind by putting the brush to the canvas. From now on, I can combine the two and fire up INKS, the latest game of State of Play Games, who you’ll remember as the creators of the miniature world of Lumino City.

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IMG 2356
Review

Pathfinder Adventures has arrived on our tablets at long last, and it's wonderful. For those with an interest in genealogy, Obsidian Entertainment has delivered to us a digital evolution of a card game based on a tabletop roleplaying game which forked the Dungeons & Dragons community, preserving the more classic pencil-and-paper feel of D&D 3.5 over the more video-gamey D&D 4.0. So Pathfinder, which wouldn't even exist but for opposition to the influence of video games, is now a video game. Would you all prefer a reference to Sophocles or The Godfather III? I thought about combining them, but "Just when I thought I wasn't going to kill my father and marry my mother, I killed my father and married my mother" is a bit lacking in the prose styling department. Thwarting the fates has a bad reputation, is my point.

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IMG 0132
Review

There’s a sequence in the back half of Tormentum: Dark Sorrow that so perfectly encapsulates the experience of playing it that I can’t tell whether it’s an intentional joke on the developer’s part or not. Your nameless character encounters a mad, blind old painter living in an abandoned cathedral. The walls are entirely covered with dozens of his disturbing (and honestly, pretty cool) paintings. Your task in this segment: look at thirty of the paintings and restore them, or look for five specific paintings to destroy. Either way, you get the sword blueprint you were looking for. That’s Tormentum in a nutshell: cool, dark art; easy, if tedious, puzzles and a black-and-white morality system that is ultimately pointless.

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