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App News: The latest on Aeon's End, Fluxx, Legends of Andor, Talisman: Origins, Evolution, and much 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



We've been gone for a long time, so it's time for an info dump. Here's all the news fit to print from the past 3-4 weeks or so. We'll try to stay more up to date in the future, but can't make any promises! Thanks for reading!


Lord of the Rings LCG launching on August 8
While my excitement for the digital The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has dropped a bit after realizing we're not getting a carbon copy of the paper version, my time with the Early Access version has still been a good one. It's a fun game that hews close to the tabletop version, but splits away and does some stuff that you can only do in the digital realm. Would I have preferred an exact replica of the cardboard version? Of course! That doesn't, however, mean that what we're getting isn't worth a look.

Speaking of taking a look, we'll all be able to do just that when the game releases for real on August 8. What's really cool about the launch isn't the date, however, it's the list of platforms. While we assumed it would be coming only via Steam, we now know that it will also be available for Xbox, PS4 and, this is the big one, Switch. I mentioned that my excitement wasn't as high, but that was sitting at my desk. Getting to play this on the go via the Switch sounds like the perfect fit.

Facts & figures
-More than 150 cards to play with.
-20 planned heroes to combine in your fellowship.
-3 campaigns for +35 hours of gameplay.
-Additional campaigns to be released post-launch.
-2 Free Encounters available and additional Encounters to be released post-launch.

If you don't want to wait for August 8th, you can hop on the PC/Mac version right now via Steam Early Access. Link below:

- LOTR: Adventure Card Game for PC/Mac via Steam Early Access, $19







Aeon's End now available via Steam Early Access
If you're looking for high-quality, polished cooperative games, smart folks look to Handelabra Games Inc.. With their amazing ports of Sentinels of the Multiverse and One Deck Dungeon they've proven themselves to be the cooperative card game masters. Thus, you should be excited about their next release, the cooperative card game Aeon's End. If you're feeling the excitement (and you should be), you can play an Early Access version of the game right now for PC/Mac/Linux over on Steam.

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, 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!

The Early Access version is version 0.5 which means it lacks some features we can expect in the final release. Of course, getting in early will allow you to see new features as they're added and also give feedback to Handelabra regarding features you'd like to see.

Handelabra wrote:
This first Early Access release of the game will be version 0.5, and it will include the following content from the core game:

-All 8 playable mages: Adelheim, Brama, Jian, Kadir, Lash, Mist, Phaedraxa, and Xaxos
-Support for teams of 1 to 4 mages
-All player cards used to construct the supply
-2 Nemeses, and all general and unique nemesis cards required to play against them: Crooked Mask and Rageborne
-4 difficulty levels ranging from "Beginner" to "Extinction"
-Multiple ways to randomize your team, the supply, and your opponent

The Early Access version of Aeon's End is available right now at the link below:

- Aeon's End for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam Early Access, $18





Talisman: Origins gets new story
If you're not aware, Talisman: Origins isn't Talisman. Instead it's a single-player puzzle game set in the Talisman universe. It uses many of the same mechanisms as its multiplayer forebear, but this game is all about working through the stories that make up Talisman history.

While being a relatively new release, Nomad Games Ltd (II) has already added new content. Called Beyond the Veil, this new content details the background of our old friend, the Grim Reaper.

Nomad wrote:
Beyond the Veil adds a new book to Talisman: Origins, with 5 exciting chapters to play through. The expansion introduces a never before playable character, the Grim Reaper. Previously a very powerful
NPC in Talisman, players can now take on the role of deciding who lives and who dies. Death is no longer the end, as this DLC also brings back the ability to traverse the lands of the dead from the Realm of Souls expansion for Talisman: Digital Edition. This expansion features 5-10 hours of new content, with new challenges and achievements in which you have to find creative ways to kill your foes.

This new content is available right now on all platforms and will run you between $2-$4 depending on your platform of choice.

- Talisman: Origins for iOS Universal, $4
- Talisman: Origins for Android, $3.50
- Talisman: Origins for PC/Mac via Steam, $5.59 (on sale)



Playdek resurrects Fluxx
Back when Playdek was popping out new card games every couple months, one of their most unlikely creations was a port of the rather unserious game from Looney Labs, Fluxx. It then died in the 64-bit App-ocalypse which accompanies iOS11, but last week Playdek announced its rebirth.

Coming on July 18th, this new version of Fluxx isn't just the same app with a 64-bit backend. For example, it will now be available on both iOS and Android with PC/Mac version planned for later in 2019.

Playdek wrote:
Fluxx fuses its chaotic and fun game play with offline and online features that fans have come to love in Playdek
games!
• Offline and Online play for 2-4 players
• Human and AI opponents
• Pass-and-play Multiplayer
• Full asynchronous support for multiplayer online games
• Invite friends to online games
• Online player stats
• Localized for English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch
• Tutorial

Fluxx will be $3 on iOS/Android when it releases on the 18th. No word on whether this is an entirely new app for iOS users or a re-release of the older app. Thus, we're not sure if iOS users will have to re-buy the game or not. We also don't have pricing for the upcoming PC/Mac release.



Legends of Andor gets some improvements
The release of Legends of Andor earlier this year came as a total surprise. What was even more surprising was just how much United Soft Media (USM) knocked it out of the park. The digital version of LoA was fairly brilliant.

So, what's new? Well, it's not more content, unfortunately. Instead we're getting some changes to the UI that should make our lives in Andor a little simpler.

USM wrote:
-We now have an undo button in the pause menu that allows players to undo their last move.
-We added a glow to quest items laying on the map to make them more visible.
-The game now supports automatic cloud saves.
-After finishing the game, it can be re-played with Orfen in legends 2 to 5.

If you haven't played LoA in a bit, now might be a good time to jump back in. If you haven't downloaded it at all, you need to fix that.

- Legends of Andor for iOS Universal, $5
- Legends of Andor for Android, $6



Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal gets (another) update
Our favorite iOS hex-and-counter war game, Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal, has received a massive update. If you're familiar with CB4G, this shouldn't be a surprise. It's always getting updates, and they're always massive. Let's look at what this latest one brings to the table:

Cyril wrote:

All scenarios have been reworked:
- multiplayer for Operation Ke and Rabaul
- Play against US AI
- Number of air units closer to reality
- Reduced hangar capacity for most Japanese CV
Surface ships
- Heavily damaged surface ships must withdraw with a small escort
- Naval bombardment has less effects on airfields
- Surface battles are more disrupting and should be less frequent

Fog of War:
- Weather has more effects on detection
- Concealed names, cargo and has bombarded status
- Just display the original value of enemy ships' AA, life, damage control, torpedoes, surface factors, radars, seaplane capability

In the air:
- Air units have less chance to be destroyed and may abort when hit
- Crash on landing has a chance to yield only to damage rather than sheer destruction
- Less chance to get light storm
- Clouds are moving twice as fast as before
- Ability to keep armed aircraft on deck for a fast launch
- Missions may be planned at dawn at 04:00
- Airfields take longer to get repaired

If you're a grognard and haven't downloaded CB4G yet, what are you waiting for?

- Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal for iOS Universal, $7



Le Havre gets update including expansion
One of the first devs to realize the potential of the iPad when it comes to board games was a little one-man shop called Codito Development. They made some of the best board game ports ever and even though they went 'out of business' several years ago, they're still surprising us every now and then. Case in point, their 2012 masterpiece Le Havre (The Harbor) recently received a major update that we just stumbled upon thanks to some friendly forum chatter over at Stately Play.

The update (actually two separate updates) bring the expansion, Le Havre: Le Grand Hameau to life as well as giving some other options as well:

Codito wrote:


At long last, the wait is over! The original expansion (Le Grande Hameau - The Big Hamlet) is now available as an In-App Purchase!

Le Grande Hameau adds a new deck of 30 more Special buildings which can
be used alone or mixed with the base set.

You can now create a custom deck of Special cards from your entire collection!

Works with the base set and the "Le Grande Hameau" expansion (available now!)

Choose your favourites or try something new - the app will remember your choices for your next game!

If you haven't played the digital version of Le Havre and are a fan of the cardboard version, you really need to download this. Personally, I think it was Codito's crowning achievement and their best port and it stands right up there with ports being released 7 years later.

- Le Havre for iOS Universal, $5



Gloomhaven gets first official trailer
Way back when we mentioned that we can expect Asmodee Digital's port of Gloomhaven to hit Steam Early Access on July 17. To celebrate, last week they released the first official full trailer for the port of the current #1 game here on BGG.

The Early Access version will be here in less than 2 weeks for PC and you can nab it at the link below when it goes live. For now, go ahead and watch the trailer.

- Gloomhaven for PC via Steam Early Access, releases July 17





CATAN makes its way onto Switch
The latest trend in digital board games seems to be adding a new mobile platform to the mix: the Switch. We've already seen games like Istanbul: Digital Edition and the aforementioned LotR: Adventure Card Game target the device. Last week we also saw one of the giants of tabletop gaming, Catan (2017 / Mobile) also make its way onto the Nintendo console.

You get the full CATAN experience either docked on your TV or on the go, and it even comes with a few extras:

Asmodee wrote:
The Seafarers Expansion is included in the base game, allowing players to set sail to explore the magnificent islands of CATAN. Uncharted lands await the most intrepid settlers while new gameplay elements, such as building ships and the addition of pirates, offer new opportunities to explore.


The Cities & Knights Expansion, aimed at advanced players, is available now as a separate purchase, bringing the golden age of trade and prosperity to CATAN. The wealth of the region has attracted barbarians, and the knights of CATAN will be needed to repel the invader. Players must unite and defend the island of CATAN against a common enemy, while simultaneously competing for the control of cities and metropolises.


* Nintendo Switch Online membership and Nintendo Account required for online play.

The base game runs $20 with the Cities & Knights expansion running an extra $6. (the versions listed for other platforms are 'CATAN Universe' which is why they're free to download)

- CATAN for iOS Universal, free
- CATAN for Android, free
- CATAN for PC/Mac via Steam, free
- CATAN for Switch, $20





Evolution gets pass-and-play
We're still waiting for the digital version of Evolution (2019) from North Star Games to get asynchronous play, but their latest update is a step in the right direction. They've included pass-and-play now which allows for up to 4 players to play on the same device.

North Star wrote:
Pass And Play mode!

-Up to four players can play a local multiplayer game on the same device.
-Rotate the device between players for trait play.
-All players Feed at the same time, even from the side and top positions.
-(You can even use Intelligence from the side positions)
-Unfinished Pass And Play games are now saved

The only thing missing now is async online play which will push Evolution into top tier of board game ports. Not much longer now, hopefully!

- Evolution for iOS Universal, free
- Evolution for Android, free
- Evolution for PC/Mac via Steam, $10.50



Noch Mal gets update
Not a huge news story, but fun roll-and-write game Noch mal! has received a small update. You can now purchase and download score pads 4-6 for the game.

So, more Noch Mal! fun is available for the low, low price of $1.

- Noch Mal! for iOS Universal, $3
- Noch Mal! for Android, $4
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