Catan, one of the pillars of the board game hobby, made the jump to digital form some time ago, and has been available on most platforms. The notable exception has been the Nintendo Switch, but given the Switch’s immense popularity, it was only a matter of time. Asmodee Digital has announced that Catan will be available on the Nintendo Switch on June 20, 2019.
Asmodee Digital’s announcement did not contain many details on this version of the game, only that “The game will be showcased with all the benefits of the Nintendo Switch system…” A page for Catan is up on Ninentdo’s website, but it doesn’t provide any additional information at this time.
The hybrid nature of the Switch seems like a natural fit for the digital version of Catan.
Sometimes games are released to very little fanfare, even if they deserve it, and it’s those times that we here at Dice Tower News are probably doing our best work at spreading the word. That’s the case right now with Onitama, which just recently launched on iOS and Android. This popular 2-player game from Arcane Wonders and Asmodee Digital can now be played on the go and against players from all over the world! This is great for fans of the game, as now there’s plenty of ways to challenge yourself against human and AI opponents and it’ll broaden the appeal for the design and the modern tabletop gaming world. If you’re ready to test your mettle on mobile, you can download the app right now on the iTunes and Google Play stores.
“Immerse yourself in an ancient Japanese setting and discover Onitama, an exciting, fast-paced strategy game! Onitama is somewhat reminiscent of chess and rather addictive with its dynamic game mechanic in which warriors face off so their master may win the game. Concentration and luck are the only weapons you’ll have at your disposal! You’ll need to fully master mind and body to defeat your opponents.”
“Deep in the darkest dungeon, amongst the clinking chains and screams of their victims, Flaming Fowl and Asmodee Digital have teamed up to make you once again live through the epic journey of Gloomhaven… digitally!
Our development minions are working days and nights so that you can discover or rediscover this one of a kind tactical, turn-based RPG.
In this rogue-like dungeon-crawling adaptation of the famous board game, you will journey through terrifying randomly generated dungeons, fight against increasingly horrific and powerful foes…or die trying.” [source]
The digital adaption of Isaac Childres‘ critically acclaimed board game will play out in a turn-based, rogue-like game with tactical gameplay. No longer do you need to imagine the world of Gloomhaven, as the dungeons and monsters are rendered in stunning 3D graphics.
It’s not clear if the mystery of unlocking the heroes and locations will follow the same system as the board game but it appears that they will all be available. The minimum PC requirements indicates that the game will only work on Windows PC and not Mac computers, though the hardware requirements are fairly minimal. See the Steam product web page for more details.
Now, you can play Scythe on the PC. In association with the Stonemaier Games and Asmodee Digital, The Knights of Unity have developed Scythe Digital Edition. Early access is available now on Steam. Scythe Digital Edition features the same great gameplay and art as the tabletop boardgame. The accompanying soundtrack for each faction in the digital game is as unique as the factions and wonderfully consistent the 1920 alternative history beautifully illustrated by Jakub Rozalski.
While the game is in early access, users may provide feedback to the developer to improve gameplay and features of the game in Steam forums and reviews. The game is expected to remain in early access for the next two to four months. However, the game is fully functional with single-player and local multi-player modes. The game also includes a tutorial and different visual themes. The game is supported in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Polish.
Currently, the Digital Edition features only the base game and does not include any of the expansions. iOS, Android, and other formats planned for later. Go to Steam to learn more about Scythe Digital Edition.
Nintendo Switch is not currently a haven for playing modern board games, with available options topping out with titles like Othello and Monopoly. Yet, the hybridization of being able to play both at home and on the go with a Nintendo Switch could be a game changer with the right titles…
Enter Carcassonne – Asmodee Digital announced that it will be bring the fan-favorite Klaus-Jürgen Wrede game Carcassonne to the Switch platform during the winter quarter of this year, and while Carcassonne is already available digitally, the Switch platform has advantages that many gamers will find appealing over a phone app or Steam-based computer game. For one thing, the Switch screen is much bigger than an average cell phone, and physical Switch physical games are easy to trade or share. Also, players on the whole are more likely to play local couch co-op on a TV screen via a console, rather than on PC.
For those unfamiliar with the game from 2000 that started all of this excitement, check out its BGG page, but here is the quickest summation: Carcassonne is an easy to play, hard to master tile-laying game for 2-5 players in which over the course of 30 minutes or so you will be making decisions on to best control and influence the outcomes of different areas of tiles. Placing on the road as a robber, or cloistered away as a monk are two of the roles players can assign their people (called meeples) to in order to score the most points across the southern France landscape and claim victory!
But the Nintendo Switch and designer board game pairing likely does not start and end with Carcassonne…
“Carcassonne is the first Asmodee Digital title of many to follow on Nintendo’s platforms.”
Thus leading one to believe that Asmodee Digital would likely bring over the other titles that have already been crafted digitally on other platforms, such as: fellow gateway game Ticket to Ride, award-winning Terraforming Mars, and recent mega-hit Scythe. With these titles stemming from a single developer, it would already be a solid foothold for modern board games on a current generation video game console, and it would be easy to envision makers of other digital board game implementations also porting over their creations, such as: Alhambra, Kingdom Builder, Splendor, or Small World.
As a fan of digital board gaming, watching the video on Paste Magazine’s article got my meeple heart beating hard to lay down some farmers for the win.
Asmodee Digital have released Xenoshyft 2.0 which includes the expansion, Xenoshyft: Dreadmire, as an in-app purchasable DLC.
“The military team for the NorTec Corporation are no strangers to battles with hostile alien forces. In the pursuit of the valuable resource Xenosathem, they have set up shop on another planet’s surface in XenoShyft: Dreadmire. They knew it would be only a matter of time before the local inhabitants, the Brood, took notice and launched an attack on the base. However, there are more dangers on this planet than the vicious Brood. The NorTec team also have to deal with unstable climate conditions that provide cover for the aliens and make defending the base that much harder. It’s an all-out battle for survival, and only the brave, or maybe the lucky, will get off this rock and get home to be paid.”[source]
The digital app is based on the Xenoshyft: Onslaught board game and it’s expansion, Xenoshyft: Dreadmire published by CMON. Xenoshyft is a co-operative deckbuilder in which you have to manage limited resources in the form of weapons, troops, scientific research, base defenses, and formidable vehicles to survive the increasingly difficult waves of alien hordes descending upon you.
“The year is 1926. In a once sleepy town, evil is stirring. The town is plagued by murders, disappearances, and impossible claims of creatures spotted in the shadows that defy explanation. You are one of Arkham’s leading investigators, tasked with getting to the bottom of these strange occurrences by exploring the desolate halls and dark alleyways. And now, a new doorway to the mythos has opened before you. Do you dare to enter?” [source]
Mansions of Madness: Mother’s Embrace is developed by LuckyHammers (who are also developing the Terraforming Mars digital game) and published by Asmodee Digital. Players will be able to play as a team of investigators which include Jenny Barnes, Roland Banks, and Harvey Walters. The investigators will explore the mansion and uncover its dark secrets while also battling eldritch forces, traps, and horrors which threaten the sanity, and lives, of the team.
Mansions of Madness: Mother’s Embrace is expected to release on Steam in the first Quarter of 2019 and will only be available for the PC. For more information check out the Steam and Fantasy Flight websites.
First on the list of news in the board game app world is that Zombie Dice on iOS, after being dormant for nearly 7 years, has reanimated and been updated for modern devices. Now if you are running the latest version of the iOS on your phone or tablet, you will be able to have some fun rolling virtual dice as a zombie now. You can head over to the App Store now and download the new version for free.
Next a new expansion was announced to the popular Terra Mystica app, and this expansion brings in all the goodies from the Fire and Ice expansion of the board game into the app realm. This means you will be able to play with all six of the factions in the expansion, from the powerful Yetis to the rule breaking Shapeshifters. Also being included in this expansion will be a new level of AI, hard level, giving experienced players new challenges in the game. Expected release for the expansion is the first quarter of 2018, so expect to see it available in the app soon. You can download Terra Mystica and preview the new factions on the DigiDiced website.
Last, and by no means least, an old series of gamebooks is being converted into an app called Fighting Fantasy Legends. The book series was called Fighting Fantasy, and was a creation of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone that was published in the 80s. The books themselves were a mix of choose your own adventure and role playing where you would be choosing the path you would go, but would also be rolling dice for things like combat. The books were very popular and although they have gone through several publishing companies, they are still available today. Now, however, Nomad Games has decided to adapt some of these books, City of Thieves, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Citadel of Chaos, into an app. In the game you will exploring the different areas and using cards and dice to perform actions and do battle while deciding who you will help. As you level up you will improve your dice making you stronger, and with tons of choices to be made in a single game, each play to be different than the last. So if you were a fan of the original books, check out the Youtube trailer and then head on over to the Days of Wonder blog for links to purchase the game in your preferred app store.
Catan fans can rejoice as there’s a lot of fun announcements for the most deservedly-lauded board games of our era. All of this news comes courtesy of the Catan Newsletter which was chock-full of everything Catan-related that one could possibly imagine. So without further ado, let’s talk about the exciting stuff!
As far as news goes for the Catan line of standalone games – Game of Thrones Catan had quickly sold out and is being reprinted with an estimated street date of November 2018. There is also a new game in the Catan Histories line, Rise of the Inkas, which is slated to arrive this summer and so far it sounds really cool. In addition to the standard rules of play, each player will have to decline their settlements twice over the course of the game, with the first player to rebuild their third era civilization being the winner. Old, retired settlements will do nothing more than provide resources for you, but they can also be built over by opponents only, so long-term planning is a must! As described via the press release:
“The strategic choices you face in Catan are even more nuanced in Rise of the Inkas. As you approach the pinnacle of a tribe’s development, your opponents look for ways to take advantage of your settlements in decline and try to take the best locations for their own! Deciding when to advance your tribe is something that you must carefully consider, for simply rushing to advance can put you in a compromised position as the resources you relied on can be claimed by your opponents.”
On the digital front, there’s Catan Universe – an online ecosystem for the base game and it’s first two expansions that can be played between all supported devices (Android, iOS, Steam, and any web browser). Now it’s easier than ever to trade and steal sheep with whoever you want, wherever you want! There’s also Catan Stories: Legend of the Sea Robbers. Players control a raven who accompanies three heroes in a choose-your-own-adventure style experience as they face conflicts that shape the future of the island.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s more Catan-themed merchandise in the shop, including Chocolate Catan and socks! There’s a lot of fun things to find in there, especially gift ideas for a board-gamer in your life. So if ever there was a time when more hexagonal-based strategy goodness was needed in your life, there’s a lot to indulge in now. If you’re interested in more Catan-related products and news, be sure to check out their website for more information and announcements!
The multiple-award winning game by FryxGames, Terraforming Mars, will soon make its digital debut on Steam, Android, and iOS platforms according to Asmodee Digital. The story takes place in the 2400s where humans are beginning to die out because earth is overpopulated, and natural resources are running out. Humans have no other choice but to colonize planet Mars to ensure their survival.
“Play as a corporation sponsored by the World Government with the mission of terraformingMars. Increasing the temperature and oxygen levels, creating oceans and forests and building infrastructure will all play a part in your mission. Compete with rival corporations to contribute the most towards making Mars habitable and triumph. Because, while the Red Planet may be the ideal candidate, it doesn’t have everything that is needed to support life. The terraforming race has begun!”
Early Access for Terraforming Mars, digital edition, will soon be available on Steam for the PC and will run on Windows 7, 8, and 10. No mention of Mac support on the Steam website yet. To join the early access, make sure to add the game to your wishlist.
The game will support several modes including:
Full single-player like the original game
Single-player against the AI
Pass-and-play local multiplayer
More content is expected to be released after launch. The digital version is developed by LuckyHammers and published by Asmodee Digital. Expect the game to be release in Q2 of 2018.