Out Now: You Must Build a Deck Edition

By Tof Eklund 30 Sep 2016 10

It’s a banner week here here at Pocket Tactics, with the mobile release of Stoic’s sequel to their much anticipated and lauded 2014 story-strategy game. But Banner Saga 2’s not the only game in town today, as games like Concrete Jungle and Paperback promise deck-building strategy in unusual settings, and Burly Men at Sea is the cutest tale about bearded sailors we’ve ever seen.

Banner Saga 2

Mead: check. Chickens: check. Horn-polish: check. 50-foot red pennant: check. Okay, we’re all set to cycle back and forth between fight and flight instincts while losing beloved companions to the White Walkers Dredge. Alex judged the original Banner Saga to be beautifully animated, well-told, and strong-enough on strategy. It was a runner-up for our Strategy game of the year that year, as it had to go head-to-head with FTL and XCOM: Enemy Within. Can Alette live up to her father’s legacy? (or, if you’re a real jerk, can Rook keep fighting on after his daughter’s death?)

The bell’s tolling: bring out your Dredge on iOS or Android.

Paperback: The Game

Reviewing games is a steady job, but I wanna be a paperback writer. Paperback is something I’ve never heard of before: a deck-building word game. You’re “finishing” all kinds of different pulpy novels: crime, romance, weird fiction, etc, while building your deck out of letter cards, many of which have special effects.

If you’ve ever wanted to be part of a stable of hacks, you can sign up on iOS… and Paperback is coming to Android “soon.”

Concrete Jungle

No this one isn’t based on Straight Outta Compton, nor is it an investigation of the meat-packing industry: it’s a city-builder that’s also a deck-builder. That’s right, you add new building/construction cards to your deck, and try to reduce your opponent to zero HP expand, upgrade and gentrify your growing city. Hmm, maybe there’s room for a NWA soundtrack here after all… think that would that work in a mixtape with Joni Mitchell and The Pretenders?

Concrete Jungle came in like a wrecking ball on iOS and Android.

Burly Men at Sea

This game reminds me of just how cute bears are. Whenever I see them parading downtown or singing karaoke, I just want to give them all a big “bear” hug. But this game’s not about bears, at least not explicitly. It’s about three fishermen who go on a life-changing adventure together as they have memorable encounters with a range of creatures from nordic mythology. They even have names like “Steady Beard” and “Brave Beard.” D’aww.

Bear(d)s are for everyone - Burly Men at Sea is out on iOS and Android.

Kingdom: New Lands

Kingdom struck a chord on PC for it’s unlikely combination of side-scrolling exploration, city-building, and not-quite tower defense. Now the expanded “New Lands” version is available… on Android. This one’s not a Shield exclusive, but NVIDIA’s pushing it and it seems like the main target here is Android TV, so iOS users might actually be out of luck (since only seven Apple TVs sold nationwide, two of them to Tim Cook’s mom). Unlike Pavilion, a controller doesn’t seem to be mandatory for this one.

Witness the rise and fall of your kingdoms on Android (only!).


Perpetual-winter survival deck-building game Frost came out on Android last week, and now it’s available on iOS as well. With the right cards, maybe you can bring your party of ragged survivors through the Frost to a possibly-imaginary place called Refuge (named after famous composer Alexander re Fuge, of course).

You really can’t stay… so go get Frost on iOS or Android.

Legend of the Skyfish

Okay, so Legend of the Skyfish is kind-of a Zelda hookshot game, with a plot drawn from Shadow Over Innsmouth, but an aesthetic more like Harvest Moon, and with Little Red Riding Hood for a protagonist.

Well, whatever it is, it’s now available on Android as well as iOS.



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