digital games

Three small game studios – Underground Games, Auroch Digital and Bos Taurus Diceworkshave announced a partnership to work together on board games.

The three companies originally met through digital game development but all three had a passion for board games and realized that there was much more to be gained by working together than working apart. Between the three companies, there is a wealth of design experience, artistic talent and production skills – however, each time one of them encountered a challenge, they had to deal with it on their own. Together they plan to share best practices to solve the inevitable challenges more efficiently.

This cooperation is also an attempt to buck the current trend in the games industry of larger companies gobbling up indie developers while the remaining indies compete for an ever smaller part of the revenue. Instead of competition, these three companies choose to cooperate based on shared values and ways to run a business.

Meet the indies

Underground Games is responsible for the both Jagged Alliance: The Board Game and Castle von Loghan, two games originally launched via Kickstarter.

Auroch Digital is currently running a Kickstarter campaign titled Mars Horizon: Blast Off in which each player leads a major space agency from the dawn of the space age through humanity’s journey to Mars.

Bos Taurus Diceworks is new to the industry and is currently working on an as-yet unannounced major IP title.

Underground Games is located in Germany, while Auroch Digital & Bos Taurus Diceworks are both in the UK. The three companies also have called on other independent developers to join their cooperation and push the envelope on how games can be created and brought to players.

Dire Wolf Digital recently announced the plan to make Raiders of the North Sea into a digital app game, but that’s not the only board game to digital game happening from the company.

They are also partnering with Whiz Kids for Mage Knight the Board Game. Root, an asymmetrical war game will also get the digital treatment, as well as Sagrada, the stained glass dice drafting game. Yellow and Yangtze, the tile based combat game and the World War I and II aviation game Wings of Glory are also to be featured.

Read more at Dire Wolf’s website here.

A digital version of Raiders of the North Sea, the popular worker placement game, is coming soon to iOS and Android phones.

Renegade Game Studios, Dire Wolf Digital and Garphill Games have all teamed up for the release, which is expected in the first quarter of 2019.

The game is set in the Viking Age, with players acting as Viking warriors trying to raid unsuspecting settlements. The players will assemble a crew, collect provisions and plunder to collect the most victory points. The game ends when 1 fortress remains, all Valkyrie are removed or all Offerings are made.

The digital game is for 1-4 players with solo play, pass-and-play and online multiplayer options.

Renegade and Dire Wolfe have also recently released Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure and the digital versions of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival and Lotus as well as the Renegade Games Companion.

More information on the game can be found here.


Horrible Games are making moves on the digital marketplace with two announcements. The first is Dragon Castle, which will be making it’s app debut next year. Now the tense, tactical, tile picking-and-placing game will be available on the go or PC and is sure to have some exciting multiplayer features. This is amazing news, as Dragon Castle is an excellent game that deserves the digital treatment and the exposure that comes with it.

“We’re doing it again! We’re happy to announce that we’re going to publish a digital version of Dragon Castle! The app version is now in development, and is planned for release in 2019. Originally developed by the terrific trio Lorenzo Silva / Hjalmar Hach / Luca Ricciand illustrated by Cinyee Chiu, the game will be converted to the digital format by Studio Clangore, the same development team behind the Potion Explosion app.”

The second announcement involves Potion Explosion, which already exists as an app, having it’s first expansion – The Fifth Ingredient – available for download today. It can be bought as DLC inside the app, and it’ll unlock all the great features added by the physical version. Now you can play with the titular fifth ingredient, the wild ectoplasm, along with the new professors, their scolding and reward tokens, and the new potion types as well. Horrible Games also boasts that the addition includes some new animations an updated soundtrack, and an interactive tutorial! If you’re interested in learning more about these announcements, be sure to check out Horrible Games’ website for further releases and updates.

Hot on the heels of Asmodee Digital’s announcement to bring popular board game titles to the Nintendo Switch™, Nomad Games announced they had acquired the rights to bring more of your favorite board games to the digital world.

Exclusive digital rights to Mystic Vale, Cat Lady and Space Base were acquired from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), in an effort to increase the number of games they’ll offer on a digital platform.While no dates were provided as to when you can start downloading these titles, they’ll join Smash Up (AEG), Talisman: Digital Edition (Games Workshop), and Fighting Fantasy Legends (Livingston & Jackson) for development on PC, mobile devices, and consoles including Nintendo Switch™ & and PlayStation® 4.

Nomad Managing Director, Don Whiteford:

“ This is an exciting year for us, building on the success of our established titles, and it’s a key point in our plan to bring together the growing worlds of cardboard and digital gaming. We are fortunate to have found excellent partners who share our vision. As well as classic franchises like. Fighting Fantasy and Talisman, we will be working with new cutting-edge game designs that are breaking new ground in the tabletop world. ”

For more information, head over to Nomad’s website.

Acram Digital has announced they are looking for beta testers for the digital port of the board game Istanbul. Acram has teased that the game is coming in Q2 2018 and is seeking beta testers now. Those interested can find more information on how to join the playtest here.

The game is currently in development for PC/Mac/Linux, Android and iOS systems. Digital features of the game will include:

  • official, digital version of Istanbul board game
  • optimized for PC, smartphones and tablets
  • play with AI, with friends or both
  • pass and play mode
  • online multiplayer with asynchronous mode option
  • modular board
  • official rules plus extra additions
When the app is released players will no longer have to gather around the same table to enjoy the merchant life, but instead will be thrust into the usual day in this city market via their favorite digital device.
Hustle and bustle in the bazaar district of Istanbul: merchants and their assistants are hurrying through the narrow alleys attempting to be more successful than their competitors. Good organization is key: wheelbarrows have to be filled with goods at the warehouses and then swiftly transported by the assistants to the various destinations. The goal of the merchants is to be the first to collect a certain amount of rubies.

In the game players will take on the role of merchants with their four assistants roaming through the 16 bazaar locations. Each location allows players to leave an assistant behind to take a specific action, returning later to pick up the assistant. When a merchant has finally collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow all players will complete the round to end the game. If the player who ended the game has completed their goal they will be declared the winner, otherwise ties will be broken by money still in hand.

The original board game, released in 2014, was the winner of numerous awards including the coveted Kennerspiel des Jahres. Awards included:
Acram Digital studio is a independent developer based in Poland. They are the developer of the digital ports of Steam: Rails to Riches and Eight Minute Empire. Acram Digital was established in 2014 by two board game enthusiasts enthusiasts focused on porting board games to digital platforms including  tablets, smartphones, PCs using iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

The biggest push in bringing board gaming to mobile devices and PCs has no doubt come from Asmodee, or specifically Asmodee Digital. We’ve written about this quite a few times on this site, and in fact one of my very first articles I wrote for Dice Tower News was about Asmodee doing really cool things to bring good games to a broader market. While we do have to rely on their analysis and apparent drive to see how effective their efforts have been, the spread of board gaming to virtual platforms is undoubtedly healthy for the community and industry as a whole if only for exposure reasons. This is why it’s such big news that Asmodee has partnered with Kingnet to bring their titles to the Chinese market. As announced by Asmodee:

 “Asmodee, a leading global games publisher and distributor, today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Kingnet, a preeminent Chinese mobile games development studio and internet content and services provider. Founded in 2008, Kingnet operates many popular games including Skyscraper, Shushan Legend and MU Miracle. Through this partnership, Kingnet will license select Asmodee content and develop and distribute original mobile games for the growing Chinese user base.”

This is no small matter, as that kind of exposure to that large of a market is bound to grow interest in strategy and social gaming, and can also inspire those players towards new designs. Despite how crazy Asmodee’s outreach and growth may seem over the past few years, we have to congratulate them and Kingnet for seeking new horizons like this. My curiosity is now poised on what effect, if any, this push will have on the counterfeit board games issue. While Asmodee’s partnership with Kingnet is unrelated, that particular industry could change as more and more games gain outreach. We’ll have to wait and see!

Muquo Games has started a Kickstarter campaign for Adrana Project, a social deduction game heavily dependant on smartphones, social media and the internet. Players represent agents of either the World Federation, looking to maintain order out of the chaos, or the Neoluddites, who believe technology has gone too far in taking away the world’s humanity. 4-12 players are trying to deduce who is on each team and to fulfill their agenda towards domination, all in real time with no turns and no moderator. Adrana Project comes with the Adrana Core, a small physical piece, which uses beacon technology, detecting phones which move close to the Core. Players can use this technology to steal virtual cards, which give clues or actions, or the Neoluddites can use the Core to install viruses in the Adrana Server during their mission.

Adrana Project, the new “phygital” social deduction game will continue its campaign through December 5, and the game should be available June 2018. Additionally, here are pledge options allowing immediate beta tester access.

gmt logo

GMT Games, publisher of Twilight Struggle, released their April update. The update starts off by mentioning their digital port of four of their games. The four games mentioned are: Dominant Species, Twilight Struggle, Space Empires, and NightFighter. All four of the games are in their playable form and their order mentioned is their intended order of release. The Twilight Struggle port should be out this summer, with Dominant Species expected release by end of May 2015.

dominant species

With Dominant Species so close to releasing, GMT Games shared some more detailed information. They start off by mentioning that multiplayer will not be available upon release, but that it will be soon after the release. Also, if you owned the previous version of the digital game, this version will be a free update. The new version will sell for $6.99, but you can still buy the original app for $4.99, so if you know you want to play the upcoming updated version go ahead and purchase the original now.

If you have been wondering what the status is for the Twilight Struggle Collector’s Edition Kickstarter, GMT shared a picture of it. They will be making an announcement in about a month that they will have “x copies available” on a first-come, first-served pre-order basis. So, between these copies and the ones for their Kickstarter backers, these are the only copies GMT will sell of the Collector’s Edition.

You can check out the rest of the April update here.

world of yo ho

IELLO has partnered with Volumique to bring their latest creation out.  World of Yo Ho is another game that is blurring the lines between board game and video game.  This seems to be a pretty interesting idea because they are basically allowing you to do such fun things as programmed movement and simulated battles that have a bit more realism to them even if what you see is animated.

As you might have gathered from the name this is a pirate game and you will be using your phone to control your ship and to keep track of loot and other consumables in the game and will be placing it on a large board which your phone knows its position on to be able to depict what is happening in regards to your particular unit on the map.  While it appears to require an app this one does not seem like in the ned you would absolutely have to have the app but rather that the app makes for a richer experience as opposed to something like X-Com where the app seems to be a complete necessity.

world of yo ho concept

Considering that IELLO had one game that was majorly delayed on Kickstarter previously it was important for them to acknowledge that issue.  They talk very specifically about not wanting to repeat the mistakes of the last campaign and a major part of that is partnering with Volumique who they are confident will be able to finish this project in the time frame that has been promised.  It appears that the outstanding working on this project is more on the content side than app creation which should mean that this project is very doable in the time frame allotted by them.

As with all Kickstarters there are obviously factors that are somewhat out of the control of the project creator including manufacturing delays, art delays, and customs holdups.

For the full details on this campaign head over to their Kickstarter page here.