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App News: Aeon's End now on tablets, Cutthroat Caverns heading to mobile, Dire Wolf strikes with Yellow & Yangtze and more...

David Neumann
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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.
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App News




Aeon's End Comes to Steam and tablets
It's been a while since we posted so I'm a bit behind. As such, here's some news you probably already know. The next digital time sink from Handelabra Games Inc. has arrived! It's a port of the cooperative card game, Aeon's End and it's fantastic.

The game puts you in the boots of a handful of mages tasked with saving the town from a big bad monster and his minions. It's all done with cards and like Handelabra's other big card game port, Sentinels of the Multiverse, seems like it would be too complex to truly enjoy playing in physical form. In digital form, however, it shines.

It's a deck builder at heart, but it has some twists that separate it from the usual formula. Yes, you play cards to earn currency to buy other cards, but turn order is randomly generated each round and, instead of shuffling your deck, cards are played in the order they were discarded adding a whole new layer of strategy and a smart way to set yourself up for big combos a turn or two down the road.

Handelabra wrote:
Aeon’s End is a deck-building game where you create a team of up to 4 mages who will fight cooperatively to defeat whichever Nameless nemesis has come through the breach today. You begin with a starting deck of 10 cards, with 5 in hand. Each turn you play gems to gain aether, which is used to buy new gems and relics, learn new spells, and increase your casting potential by opening additional breaches. You can also play relics to give yourself or your allies a boost. Then prep spells to your opened or focused breaches to be ready to cast them on your subsequent turns.

What makes Aeon’s End unique is how it uses randomness. Unlike other deck-building games, players do not shuffle their deck when it runs out. The order in which you discard is preserved, so plan your discards carefully to set yourself up for subsequent turns.

Instead, randomness in Aeon’s End comes in the order of turns. At the start of each round, the turn order deck is shuffled to determine the order of play. Will the nemesis go twice in a row, pushing back the mages’ defense? Will the mages get 4 turns in a row to set up for the coming onslaught? It can be hard to know what’s coming next when you are deep in the melee!

Finally, there’s the city of Gravehold. The breach mages of Aeon’s End are not just fighting for their own survival, but the survival of all of humanity, and the Nameless know it. If Gravehold is ever reduced to 0 life, the mages have lost and humanity is but a memory.

Aeon's End arrived on Steam back in the middle of September, but just arrived for iPad and Android tablets this past Monday. You can pick it up right now for 10% off as well.

- Aeon's End for iPad, $9
- Aeon's End for Android, $9
- Aeon's End for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $20





Cutthroat Caverns coming to mobile
Cutthroat Caverns from Smirk & Dagger Games was probably the first semi-cooperative game I ever played. That is, one where you have to work with your opponents to succeed, but only one of you will come out on top. That was back in 2007 but a new version of the game is coming to an FLGS near you next week and, accompanying it, will be a brand new solitaire version of the game for your phone as well.

The digital version will be for iOS and Android devices and...well, here's the skinny directly from Smirk & Dagger head honcho, Curt Covert:

Players must work together to escape with their lives - but as this is a game about 'kill-stealing,' only the player who has killed the most Encounters and earned their prestige will win the game. You jockey for position to land the killing blow and if I have to trip you or edge someone out to get my blow in, instead of theirs, I may well do it. But if we mess with each other too much, creatures live longer, do more damage and we all get closer to death. "Without Teamwork, You'll Never Survive. Without Betrayal, You'll Never Win."

Because the card game has so many opportunities to interrupt and spoil other's plans, having networked play would have created an unsatisfying amount of lag. So instead, the Cutthroat Caverns app is a solo play experience vs 3 AI opponents. But each of the 6 possible AI opponents has been uniquely programmed to mirror the various play styles we see at the gaming table, to simulate the human element as best as possible. For example, one character just hates you, period (as though a friendly grudge match always earns you their wrath). Another targets player based on who last did them wrong. There is a peace maker, who spreads it out as best they can, etc. Character on-screen e-motes drives the feeling of rancor that develops between players.

The app features the updated content from the new Anniversary Edition of the game, including the new graphic art and illustrations, enhanced power of Encounters, and updated keyword usage.

Players can adjust the difficulty, the length of game from 3, 6 and the traditional 9 Encounters, and either have a dungeon randomly selected from the 26 available Encounters - or select a pool of Encounters to face. If you select more than your game length dictates, the game will select at random from the pool you have chosen, though you will never know the order. There are also some fun Achievements to unlock, as well as a bonus Encounter. The bonus Encounter is one of the new creatures from the Anniversary edition and can be unlocked with a code found in the rules of the base game.


Yellow & Yangtze now on Steam Early Access, mobile coming
One of the biggest stories this year was the planned mega-expansion of Dire Wolf Digital into the board game realm. Previously we've gotten smaller games like Lanterns: The Harvest Festival and Lotus, but now they're tackling bigger fare like Mage Knight Board Game and Yellow & Yangtze. They've already released Raiders of the North Sea, and it appears that Yellow & Yangtze will be their next as it's available now via Steam Early Access.

From what I gather, Y&Y is a follow-up to the Reiner Knizia classic, Tigris & Euphrates.

Dire Wolf wrote:
Found an Empire
Lead your dynasty to victory in the Warring States period of ancient China in the new digital adaptation of the acclaimed board game from Tigris & Euphrates designer Reiner Knizia.

Build & Conquer
Conflict is inevitable as your influence expands. Wage war upon neighboring states to slow their growth, and build spectacular pagodas to increase your own prestige. How will your reign be remembered?

Balance in All Things
Expand your civilization by placing tiles that represent the five facets of a thriving kingdom:
-Governors - Keep the peace and quell revolts with a strong civic leadership!
-Soldiers - Defend your growing empire -- or wage war upon your neighbors!
-Farmers - Cultivate the banks of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers!
-Traders - Acquire the resources your people need to prosper!
-Artisans - Shape the culture of your dynasty and inspire your citizens!
Your legacy will be judged by your weakest category, so a wise leader must maintain harmony to achieve victory!

Dire Wolf has also stated that we can expect an iOS/Android version of Yellow & Yangtze to arrive in the next few weeks, so that would seem to hint that its status as "Early Access" will be short lived. Maybe?

- Yellow & Yangtze for PC/Mac via Steam Early Access, $12 (on sale)





Gloomhaven adds new class, the Tinkerer
Of all the apps in Asmodee Digital's fire, the most anticipated is probably the fantasy behemoth, Gloomhaven.

Gloomhaven released via Steam Early Access for Windows PC this summer and the developers have been hard at work tweaking and adding new content. The biggest update yet happened last week when the game saw not only a slew of bug fixes, but new content as well. The biggest of these is a new character class, the Tinkerer. Not to be overlooked, however, is the addition of a much needed tutorial as well. There's a ton more that you can read about in the patch notes.

Asmodee wrote:
Gloomhaven's fifth mercenary is now available, including all of his level 1, and 3 of his X cards, as well as 10 cards to unlock while leveling up. Featuring a distinctive gameplay as a support-orientated mercenary, the Tinkerer provides new options and synergies when combined with the rest of the roster.

Tinkerers are a fairly common class of Quatryls, with an innate affinity to engineering and machinery, the Tinkerer is an expert in crafting all manner of gadgets and elixirs. His buffs and debuffs, combined with strong mobility and decent damage makes it a valuable addition to many rosters.



They've also updated their roadmap, indicating that we can expect another new class, the Mindthief, before the end of the year. Launch for the full game is still targeted for 2020. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

- Gloomhaven for PC via Steam Early Access, $25


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