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App News: Santorini released, Eight-Minute Empire heading to Switch, Columbia block games heading to PC/Mac

David Neumann
United States
Whitefish Bay
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In life you have to do a lot of things you don't f*cking want to do. Many times, that's what the f*ck life is... one vile f*cking task after another.
App News

From gallery of Neumannium

Santorini arrives for iOS/Android
The folks at Roxley have made the transition from cardboard-only to publishing digital versions of their games on iOS/Android. Their first digital release is the Greek god building extravaganza, Santorini.

Now, I have no idea what the hell I'm supposed to be doing in Santorini because the in-app tutorials are nothing but links to videos showing you what's up. I guess this might be okay unless you're trying to learn the game while lying in bed and can't turn the volume up or you'll get an elbow in your ribs. Thus, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing, so I'm going to blurb this out for your viewing pleasure:

Roxley wrote:
Santorini is a highly accessible pure strategy game where you build your way to victory!

How to play:
1) MOVE one of your Workers. You can move up a maximum of one level.
2) BUILD a block with your moved Worker. Build domes on the third level.
3) WIN if your Worker reaches the third level!

• Game altering variable player powers completely change how you play, bringing massive replayability.
• Beautifully rendered 3D play area
• Adventure through the land of Santorini in the single-player Odyssey mode
• Play with a friend in pass-and-play or online game modes
• Already own the boardgame? Use the "Helper" to select gods to play in the physical board game, and log your matches
• Dare to challenge the insanely skilled "Godlike" AI level
• Watch tutorials on all the god powers!
• Fully orchestrated sound track
So there.

The current online implementation appears to be synchronous, or at least you seem to be unable to leave the lobby until your games are joined. Again, I haven't yet played, but I'm going off of reports I'm hearing over at Stately Play.

The app is $5, which gets you a lot of material, but there are also a slew of other gods you can purchase via IAP. You can buy them in packs of 5 each or save some money and for $8 just buy everything in one fell swoop.

- Santorini for iOS Universal, $5
- Santorini for Android, $5

From gallery of Neumannium

Eight-Minute Empire coming to Switch
After a short hiatus last year (or was it two years ago?) the folks at Acram Digital have been killing it. Their port of Istanbul: Digital Edition is one of the best board game ports out there, and they surprised us all earlier this year when it arrived for Switch.

Now they're bringing one of their older titles to Nintendo's handheld as well. It's Ryan Laukat's tiny area-control gem, Eight-Minute Empire and it's arriving on August 27.

Acram wrote:
Eight-Minute Empire, by Ryan Laukat, is a quick Civilization/Exploration game using card-driven area control.

In Eight-Minute Empire, 2-5 players take turns selecting a card from the six displayed. This card gives the player a resource and also has an action which the player takes immediately. Actions help players take over the map, but the resources are worth points at the end of the game, so players have to balance the two aspects. Players spread across the map in order to collect points at the end of the game by having majority control in regions and continents.

• Recruit troops to strengthen your army
• Command your forces to acquire new provinces
• Challenge your friends all over the world
• Sail across the seas & build castles to expand your empire
• Eliminate enemy troops to weaken your adversaries
• Collect goods to increase your advantage
The game is well done on iOS/Android already, and the Switch version will be more of the same, albeit with some changes to multiplayer to bring it into line with the more robust Istanbul. It will offer both sync and async online modes, and online games can be cross-platform with their mobile brethren.

Look for the Switch version of Eight-Minute Empire to arrive in late August. You can always nab it now for your phone at the links below, or check out the Nintendo Switch page (link also below).

- Eight-Minute Empire for iOS Universal, $5
- Eight-Minute Empire for Android, $5
- Eight-Minute Empire for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $6
- Eight-Minute Empire for Switch, $15 (available on Aug 27)

Board Game: Richard III: The Wars of the Roses

Columbia block game, Richard III, coming to PC/Mac
This one's still at the Kickstarter phase, but Avalon Digital is planning to bring the block games from Columbia Games to our laptops starting with Richard III: The Wars of the Roses.

While still in Kickstarter, the app has been fully funded and is currently looking for stretch goals to open up more content. They're also relatively far along with an expected release date of October 2019 which is only 3+ months away.

The Kickstarter talks up the AI quite a bit but doesn't mention any online traits, making me think that Richard III will be a solo vs. AI-only affair. Perhaps online multiplayer is something that can be added down the road. We'll find out, I guess.

If you're a fan of the block games series, there's even more good news. Avalon intends to release other block games such as Hammer of the Scots, Julius Caesar: Caesar, Pompey, and the Roman Civil War, and Crusader Rex. Each will be via a new Kickstarter, so head to Avalon Digita's page and sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of when they might be launching.

So, go check out their Kickstarter (found at the link below). You can even download a demo of the game and check it out for yourself right now.

- Blocks: Richard III for PC/Mac, Kickstarter page
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