From Dominion, to Marvel Legendary, to Paperback, the deck-building genre of tabletop games is one of my favourites. Through the process of building your deck with new cards, you dramatically improve your ability to complete the task at hand, whether it’s to build a kingdom, defeat super villains, or write your next great novel.
In recent times, the deck-building mechanic has melded with video game design in ways that push both forward. For example, SteamWorld Quest is in most respects is a cookie-cutter JRPG. But with deck-building as the foundation for its combat, you get an insane amount of control over how you spec out each character and approach each fight.
Enter Slay the Spire. In many ways, it stays very close to its Roguelike roots. Your goal is to fight through the dungeon and make it out alive in one go. If you die, you have to start the whole thing from the beginning. However, the introduction of deck-building takes it to a fresh and exciting new place.
From Altered Beast, to Golden Axe, to Comix Zone, Sega was once deeply invested in the beat-em-up genre. Of all their efforts, none were more highly regarded than the Streets of Rage series. Its success in the nineties carried across three entries on the Genesis.
While the genre has long since fallen out of favour due to its simplicity among many other factors, Streets of Rage isn’t exactly down for the count. We just got the critically-acclaimed Streets of Rage 4, which seems like a great modern take on the genre. Does the 90s fan-fave still hold up?
Does the world need another Clubhouse Games?
Before the advent of smartphones, Clubhouse Games on the Nintendo DS was quite the novelty. Compilations of these classic games that could be played on-the-go didn’t exist at the time. Though I only played a bit of it, my mom bought her own DS so she could play it to her heart’s content without having to bug my brother or I for our handhelds.
Not long after, smartphones, app stores, and free-to-play games emerged to the forefront. Most of the classic games contained in Clubhouse Games were the first to make the transition. Heck, some of the games within the new Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics already have cheap alternatives on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Do you really need to pay a premium for Nintendo’s versions of these games?
When it comes to video game golf, I tend to prefer games that are a bit more fantastical rather than realistic. However, I do have my limits. Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64 finds my perfect blend of realism vs. fantasy, but its sequel on the GameCube was completely off-putting for its overly fantastical courses and power shots.
What the Golf? pushes the fantastical elements so far into the realm of silly that it’s only a golf game in the broadest of senses. Though the game bills itself as being a golf game for those that like golf, does it have any appeal for those that do?
Off the strength of two stellar SteamWorld Dig games and the excellent SteamWorld Heist, Image & Form have proven themselves as a developer worthy of my attention. I’m willing to give them a chance on whatever they put out.
Put that line of thinking to the test when I finally got around to SteamWorld Quest. This time, the talented studio tries their hand at creating a turn-based JRPG with a card battling system. Does Image & Form continue its hot streak?
Settlers of Catan – or just Catan as it’s known these days – is still a giant in the world of tabletop gaming. Originally released in 1995, the game has since sold over 22 million copies and is often cited as the spark that ignited the modern wave of tabletop gaming.
Though I’ve been a tabletop gaming enthusiast for a number of years now – and have an unopened copy of Settlers of Catan sitting on my shelf – my wife and I never found the right time to play. At last, thanks to our friends Brendan and Matt, we’ve finally crossed Catan off of our bucket list. Many years after the fact, is the island of Catan still worth settling?
Simple to learn, difficult to master, and providing a unique challenge every time, Carcassonne is a tabletop gaming classic. It’s no stranger to the world of video games either, as it’s made some fantastic appearances on mobile and the Xbox 360.
It goes without question then that the much newer Nintendo Switch version should provide a better experience then, or at least one comparable to those older iterations. Right?
I can barely contain my excitement as we partake in a series of thrilling online matches throughout this Guilty Gear -Strive- closed beta live stream! Cannot wait to play the final version on release! For now, enjoy what might be your first look at the game!
The flagship franchise of Arc System Works’ ever-growing portfolio of anime fighting games returns in striking fashion. Guilty Gear -Strive- takes their 3D anime visuals to the next level while massively overhauling its gameplay with greater accessibility in mind. Set for release later this year, I got a chance to play in the closed beta. After a few hours of play against the computer and online opponents, there was much to unpack.
How do you revitalize Animal Crossing? Many may argue that this question is built on a false premise and that’s fine. For me, every gimmick they’ve bolted onto each subsequent release couldn’t mask the fact that I’m still catching fish, talking to villagers, and paying down a mountain of debt in the same ways that I did on the GameCube decades ago.
Much of what’s defined the franchise still persists in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, right down to how annoying it can be to cast your lure at the exact angle. Even so, I find myself completely enamoured with this Switch iteration thanks to a host of quality-of-life improvements.