I’ve been playing a trio of games that have kept me glued to my PC and away from my consoles and watching TV.
First, I reviewed Maneater, the “shark RPG” from Tripwire Interactive. It proved to be the balm I needed as I struggled with the second month of California’s shelter-in-place order. While I usually work from home and spend a lot of time here, I’m still not used to everything being closed or my wife and children being around all the time
. Throw in the powerlessness of watching so many people lose their jobs and die from the coronavirus, and I’m struggling. Maneater helped with this. I found cruising around the Gulf to be silly fun, and I found myself enjoying it for hours at a time. Read my review for more details
Next up is Monster Train
and its clever twist on deckbuilding roguelites. You’re on a train from hell, fighting off angels and their goodly minions. You build a deck of defenders, and you fight in lanes that are actually stories on this train. The fourth story holds your “Ember,” basically your base. If it takes enough damage, your run ends. The goal is to defend it with units (demons, awakened plants, and golems) and spells. Along the way, you make stops at stores and other locales that improve your deck. The “lanes” add a strategic layer that most other deckbuilding roguelites don’t have. It’s an evolution of Slay the Spire. It’s now on Steam.
And I’ve started playing another digital card game – Kards: The WWII Card Game
. It’s one of Steam’s top releases for April
, and it provides a nice break from the fantasy settings of games like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering – Arena. It has cards representing France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. You build decks of one main nation and an ally (you can mix-and-match the Axis and Allies). Like most CCGs, you play against constructed decks and can build a deck in a card draft. I’m enjoying it – playing cards representing historical military units is neat. Yet it has the same drawbacks as most card games – you’re losing to more experienced players with bigger decks, and if you don’t spend on cards, you feel underpowered.
These games are helping me get through this extended shelter-in-place order. What’s helping you?
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor