In which Tom S escapes from Strategy Game Prison, smuggling out tales of Cities: Skylines and Magicka 2, and hitting the Tartar sauce in Total War: Atilla. Tom F hacks 868 Hack and Marsh goes all Gardeners’ Question Time in Grow Home.

Plus! The asymmetry of fate in Life Is Strange, why birds aren’t particle effects, our favourite podcasts about medieval holocausts, whether random chance is worth a roll of the die and the resurgence of arena shooters we are now too old and decrepit to play.

“Look at my mirrorballs!”

Show notes:

  • Cities: Skylines is the game SimCity should have been.
  • Magicka 2 is a promising sequel to the slapstick wizard slaughter classic.
  • Magicka 2 is indeed made by another developer than that of the first game: Pieces Interactive have taken the reins, while Magicka’s dev, Arrowhead Games, have gone on to make (or, more accurately, remake) the really rather good and under-appreciated Gauntlet.
  • A video explaining Supreme Commander 2’s flowfield pathfinding system.
  • Cyanide’s Game of Thrones RPG wasn’t very good but it did have a dog that looked like a bollock with a face.
  • Crusader Kings 2 remains the best Game of Thrones game even though it isn’t one.
  • Paradox’s mighty ruler, Fred Wester, is worth following on the Twits.
  • 868 Hack is a sort of score-attack roguelike by Michael Brough and is very good, if hideous.
  • Brough also made Vertex Dispenser and Corrypt.
  • Life Is Strange is a sweet game about time reversal powers, callow youth, and the woeful rendering of starlings.
  • Grow Home is an extremely zen game in which a robot rides thrusting penis plants to impregnate floating islands.
  • It’s made by Reflections, Ubisoft’s Newcastle-based studio which made the criminally overlooked Driver: San Francisco.
  • Total War: Attila is the muddy, murky expandalone to empire-building strategy and real-time warfare game Total War: Rome 2.
  • Total War: Rome 2 Rome – Rubicon Drift is not a game. Yet.
  • At The Gates is a strategy game by Civ V designer Jon Schafer, which pits you as a barbarian leader, presiding over the fall of Rome.
  • Hardcore History: Wrath of Khans is Dan Carlin’s truly excellent podcast series about the Mongols.
  • Tom F will teach you how to use Gamemaker with the power of video!
  • Heart of Thorns is Guild Wars 2’s expansion. Tom S thinks it’s the best MMO.
  • There is an XCOM boardgame, dontchaknow?
  • Twilight Struggle is apparently the best boardgame of all time.
  • Solium Infernum is a game about feuding lords of Hell and feels like a boardgame, but isn’t.
  • Toxikk and Reflex are just two of a new wave of arena FPS games, channeling Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 respectively.
  • Unreal Tournament also channels Unreal Tournament, unsurprisingly, bringing the series back with a community-driven open development.

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Tom Senior
Tom Francis
Marsh Davies
Chris Thursten
Graham Smith

Our intro music is by The Mandibles from their track Clambake. Many of the band members now tour as Count Bobo And The Bullion.