Master of Magic Classic

Master of Magic Classic

The best game of my life came to Steam.

I’ve been playing Master of Magic since it first came out in ‘94. I was in middle school back then, I think my dad mail ordered the game for me and my brother as a gift. I played it over and over. I played it even after I got the Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, PS 2, 3, 4, signed up for WoW classic, BC, FT, got the Elder Scrolls series, and until last year, after I learned about the Caster of Magic mod.

I’ll just say that it fundamentally changed my life. I’ve developed a strong preference for fantasy themed games, novels and even board games and strategy games. I’ve read many fantasy novels and light novels, even wrote some, and went on to play fantasy-themed RPG’s and simulations like HOMM series and Baldur’s Gate series. But still, even after literally 25 years of challenge, Master of Magic is still the best game ever for me.

Real player with 425.1 hrs in game

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Unfortunately there have been severe changes to the base game. I will detail the changes I think are not in keeping with the spirit of the original game.

  1. Very little reward from claiming towers etc. Now all you get is mainly mana, money and some rubbish item.

  2. The AI can see everything and exploits that advantage whereas the player has to actually scout the terrain. The AI uses its unfair sight advantage to hunt down your units that it couldn’t possibly be able to see if it wasn’t cheating.

Real player with 330.0 hrs in game

Master of Magic Classic on Steam

Space Tyrant

Space Tyrant

I really like this game and it totally deserves to be as popular as games like Slay the Spire. I got both this and Slay the Spire during the summer sale and ended up refunding Spire because this one enthralled me so much. You might be wondering how the two games are comparable at all, but you must keep in mind that Space Tyrant is as much a roguelite as it is a 4x, and it very much conforms to the idea of losing horribly and repeatedly but having fun in the process as you gradually build up your deck and learn the game. In many ways it scratches the same itch as games like Spire, but something about the colorful aesthetic, humorous themes, and creative genre-mashing put the drab Spire to shame, at least for me.

Real player with 119.5 hrs in game

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TL/DR: 6/10. Great idea, beautiful game, but harsh game design. Expect hardcore RNG roguelike play that detracts from wonderful 3x/4x design and a fun narrative. Also, the devs seem to be onto bigger and better things.

For a game about being a tyrant, you sure are stuck with specific game rules and no options to revolt against the oppressive developer-made campaigns. I really enjoy the idea of this game, and it did many things right…however, some design choices left a sour taste in my mouth. It’s like eating chocolate only to find that someone laced it with lemon juice. I’ve played tons of 4x games (love the genre!), and as much as this game is thought of as a “light” beer and pretzels version, it’s actually way more punishing, and your strategy, no matter how good, might not be enough due to insane RNG and hardcore random campaign rules. I get plenty of that in real life. I want to enjoy the games I play.

Real player with 83.7 hrs in game

Space Tyrant on Steam

Haulin’ Oats

Haulin' Oats

This is a game about truck driving, the US highways, and oatmeal. During your time as a truck driver for the Starkham Oatmeal company, you will be tasked with delivering crates of delicious oats to the local grocery store. The roads are fraught with dangers, as well as delights, so be sure to take along a trusty co-pilot and / or pet.

Arranged as a digital board game, you will encounter a wide variety of characters and obstacles ranging from drug cartels, bike gangs, random maniacs, pop stars, police, serial killers, and the few folk that aren’t completely crazy. Make your way around the board and collect your wages every time you complete a delivery then return to the warehouse. Use it to buy spare parts for your truck, the favor of lot lizards, or sometimes bribe your way out of trouble.

When you start a game, each player will get to choose one of eight different drivers; with three locked by default. Each has two strengths and weaknesses, like bonuses to truck ramming checks or penalties to dealing with the law. Mix and match the different drivers with co-pilots and pets to get the upper hand against your opponents.

Just like the drivers, each co-pilot and pet has one different benefit and disadvantage. If you get a bad Incident card draw, you might just accidentally leave ‘em at a truck stop somewhere for an opponent to scoop up. If none suit your play style, you can choose to play without one if you want.

Special guest characters (drivers, co-pilots, and pets) can be unlocked through different quests or by doing certain things a bunch.

Old friends from our previous games make surprise appearances. One cannot go through Starkham without seeing familiar faces like Bill Finnigan or Aloysius. They are sometimes found in Encounter or Incident decks. Depending on who you find, they may have a mission for you or an item to barter.

There are a lot of other characters as well. Scattered throughout the Incident, Encounter, and Resource decks various characters await you, either to rob you blind or give you mini-quests to complete. Heck, some might just need something as simple as a ride down the highway a bit or a wee bit of your money.

A quick and dirty list of features, for those of you who like bullet-lists:

  • Music by Azucar, Yoshua Shafer, and El Castor

  • All hand-drawn art

  • 36 squares all filled with adventure

  • 8 different drivers, 8 different co-pilots, and, of course, 8 different pets (including special guests)

  • 50 different cards per Encounter, Incident, and Resources deck

  • Play with others in online or LAN multiplayer

  • The usual breakdown of statistics and leaderboards to measure yourself against

  • Achievements that actually unlock stuff

Whether your driving record is spotless or you’ve played one of our games before, get some quicker in-game unlocks with the Mileage Club! For each of our previous games that you’ve owned or played (demo, family share, or free weekend), you will unlock guest characters or table accoutrements.

Haven’t done so or don’t got ‘em? Don’t worry, you can get all the same characters and bonuses by just playing the game. And with a little elbow grease.

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Haulin' Oats on Steam