THQ’s demise in 2013 left a number of game developers displaced, including Vigil Games, creators of the Darksiders series. Two studios spun out of the ashes of Vigil Games: Gunfire Games, who are making Darksiders 3, and Airship Syndicate, whose first game, Battle Chasers: Nightwar, launched last week. It’s a combination dungeon crawler and JRPG, featuring turn-based combat, randomized dungeons, and a striking art style based on a late ’90s comic series.
Over Skype I spoke with Joe Madureira, Airship Syndicate’s creative director and CEO (as well as writer and penciller of the Battle Chasers comic), and Steve Madureira, the lead designer and animator for Battle Chasers: Nightwar—two brothers who have been making comics and games since they were teenagers.
Many of my favorite games stick with me over the years not because of finely-honed combat systems or impressive visual effects. Often it’s the story and characters that remain the most memorable aspects of the those cherished gaming experiences.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows has one of the best stories I’ve experienced in years. It’s an epic tale about heroic sacrifice, forbidden love, political betrayal, and self discovery set within a richly realized world of urban renaissance and ancient mystery. Masquerada’s tactical combat is serviceable, but it’s the story and characters that demand you experience this unique RPG.
At my daughter’s preschool graduation she confidently announced that she wanted to be an artist when she grew up. She draws and colors every day. Her desk is a warzone of papers, crayons, paints, Play-Doh, and magic markers.
Like most kids she’s also in love with her iPad, an old hand-me-down. She watches videos and plays games. Nothing had prepared me for how well two of her favorite activities could intersect with the newest Dr. Panda product. Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer combines the creative joys of drawing with the magic of augmented reality to transcribe your creations into a kid-friendly digital playhouse.
The Metroid series is held in high esteem. It helped jump start an entirely new genre born out of platforming and exploration. Super Metroid (1994) is considered one of the best games ever made, yet Nintendo has been painfully quiet on any Metroid news or games over the last decade – until now.
Metroid: Samus Returns isn’t quite the new 2D Metroid game we were hoping for; it’s a remake of the second game in the series, 1991’s Metroid II: Return of Samus for the Game Boy. A lot of impressive went work into updating the old monochrome visuals into stunning 3D models and animated backgrounds, while the core gameplay of exploring a labyrinthine world full of secrets and power-ups remains just as compelling all these years later.
The Monster Hunter series has been around for over a decade, though far more popular in Japan than in the US. The world of gigantic monsters, challenging combat, and hours of grinding and crafting weapons and armor often remains impenetrable for many would-be fans.
Monster Hunter Stories refreshingly succeeds at being a more intuitive, kid-friendly spin-off game. It incorporates basic elements of Pokémon’s monster-collecting while still using the core tenets of Monster Hunter’s questing and hunting tasks to create a welcoming, yet deeply rich experience.
A press copy of Prepared 2 was provided for the purposes of this review.
Designed by: Jon Sawatsky
Published by: Kobold Press
Kobold Press’ Prepared 2: A Dozen One-Shot Adventures for 5th Edition is the follow up to last year’s Prepared: A Dozen Adventures for 5th Edition. Its premise is simple: to provide several encounters of varying levels and styles that a Game Master can slot into his or her campaign.
Not only are the encounters more interesting this time around, but the book contains some welcome organization features, role-playing notes, and virtual tabletop friendly maps to help a GM successfully run these events and mini-dungeons.
I’ll go over each of the 12 encounters before giving my overall final thoughts at the end. Obvious spoilers below! Continue reading “Tabletop Review: Prepared 2”
Welcome to another Roll20 Review, my written and video series in which I review the paid modules available for sale at Roll20. A review copy of the module was provided.
The Tomb of Horrors is one of the most infamous and difficult dungeons Gary Gygax ever designed. It was famous enough for a major plot point in Ready Player One, easily the best part of a novel I otherwise loathed. It recently appeared with a D&D Fifth Edition conversion in Tales from the Yawning Portal earlier this year (Roll20 Review coming soon!).
I was a bit surprised, though certainly not disappointed, that Acererak’s infamous dungeon would be the inspiration for Dungeon & Dragon‘s next major story campaign, Tomb of Annihilation.
The Roll20 Tomb of Annihilation module is the best work Roll20 has ever done. Tomb of Annihilation is already a very virtual tabletop-friendly campaign, and Roll20 went even further with interactive maps for puzzles and rooms, a token-filled page of random encounters, and all the written and visual content you’ll need to send your players into the dangerous jungles of Chult.
Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Tomb of Annihilation”