16 episodes

Bite-sized summaries of the best games you've never heard of.

Game Diplomat Josh Augustine

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

Bite-sized summaries of the best games you've never heard of.

    Dungeon Rushers

    Dungeon Rushers

    Do you dream of finding treasure in dungeons? Of slaying goblins in dungeons? Of building your own dungeons for other adventurers to do such things in?

    Dungeon Rushers is all about that turn-based RPG pastime of slaying monsters inside dangerous and confined spaces — and letting you get creative with your own dungeon-building.

    Listen to the Podcast:

    Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | RSS



    Watch Me Play Dungeon Rushers



    How to Play Dungeon Rushers



    * When you enter a dungeon you see just the room you’re standing in, and can see the directions you can travel in.

    * So you choose one and step into it, hoping it’s not filled with horrible monsters, traps, or cursed idols.

    * Your adventurers have some special abilities to deal with problems like that — disarm traps or peek around corners to see what lies ahead, for example.

    * But, at some point, you’re going to have to bash the evil skeletons or whatever other ghouls you come across.

    * Combat is simple turn-based RPG stuff, where you take turns choosing one of three abilities to use on each character and try to whittle down the enemy.

    * As you clear through the dungeon, you’ll eventually find the key or whatever it is you need to snag that big treasure chest at the end, and then you hop out!

    * But that’s just one battle! Like any good RPG, you’re upgrading your characters, crafting items, buying from vendors, and completing quests as you go, to level up and make your team stronger to take on the next set of challenges!





    Reasons to Play Dungeon Rushers Right Now

    (Each of these points is discussed in detail on the podcast. Listen to it!)



    * Trap Other Players in Your Dungeon!

    * It’s Not All Scary PVP

    * The Campaign is Light-Hearted Fun

    * Heroic Mode Makes it Fun to Replay Levels

    * Epic Castles!





    Get It Now!



    * Costs $3-15 (Mobile version is cheaper)

    * Steam, iOS, Android

    * Official Site

    * Trivia Question: Which is NOT an Exploration Ability? Accountant’s Flair, Saboteur, Lullaby, Blood Frenzy, Ambidexterity



    Contact Us



    * SUPPORT the show with your contributions of time or money!

    * SUBSCRIBE to The Game Diplomat podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or RSS

    * SAY HI on Twitter, email, or Discord!

    • 17 min
    Night in the Woods

    Night in the Woods

    You can’t go home again… OR CAN YOU?

    Mae, the college dropout kitty that stars in the thoughtful and witty Night in the Woods is doing her darnedest to prove Thomas Wolfe wrong. Night in the Woods is a straightforward adventure game that lets puzzles take the backseat to story and one-off minigames. Its got all the telltale signs of an indie game — you can feel the personal history, nostalgia, and singular humor in every second of this delightful story.

    Oh, and there’s something spooky happening out in the woods. Brace yourself — the game didn’t get the tagline “At the end of everything, hold onto anything” for nothing.

    Listen to the Podcast:

    Subscribe: iTunes | Google Play | RSS



    Watch Me Play Night in the Woods



    How to Play Night in the Woods



    * You move and you click things. It’s really quite simple. This is not a game that’s going to test your reflexes at all. It lets you focus entirely on the characters, the story, the puzzles.

    * For all practical purposes, you can think of Night in the Woods as an adventure game — more Telltale than Space Quest.

    * For the most part, you’re exploring 2D worlds like you would in a side scroller or platformer. There are often ledges or wires to jump on, people to talk with, things to interact with. And you’ll probabyl want a controller — at least I prefer it with one.

    * You’re Mae — a college dropout who’s just returned to her small hometown, filled with humanoid animal people that love to talk, sell snacks, and play music.

    * So you go around your hometown, talking with old friends, old enemies, getting lost or stuck in subway stations and finding your way out. Eventually you begin to uncover a big mystery and surprise, it involves the WOODS!

    * You occasionally run into puzzles that you’ll have to think through, and plenty of minigames along the way — but that’s the core of it. You’re playing through Mae’s experience of returning to her hometown, and finding that some things have changed a lot, and some things never do.

    * Oh yeah, and then a big mystery in the woods. I’m sure it’s spooky.





    7 Reasons to Drop Everything and Immediately Play Night in the Woods

    (Each of these points is discussed in detail on the podcast. Listen to it!)



    * Heart-Felt Mad Libs!

    * Mini Games!

    * The Giggles!

    * The Thinks!

    * Unbroken Brains!

    * Cat-like Exploration!

    * Wonderful Nostalgia!





    Get It Now!



    * Costs $20

    * Steam, Itchio, Humble Store, Good Old Games

    * Official Site



    Contact Us



    * SUPPORT the show with your contributions of time or money!

    * SUBSCRIBE to The Game Diplomat podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or RSS

    * SAY HI on Twitter, a href="mailto:gamediplomat@gmail.

    Mini Metro

    Mini Metro

    I never knew urban planning was so relaxing! Mini Metro puts your in charge of designing, building, and growing the train lines for a rapidly growing city. New stations pop up constantly, passengers never stop rolling in, and you’ve got to work with limited resources. The super simple interface and soothing music keeps it chill while you solve everyone’s problems, one subway station at a time.

    Listen to the Podcast:

    Subscribe: iTunes | Google Music | RSS



    Watch Me Play Mini Metro



    How to Play Mini Metro



    * The game does everything to minimize UI, so it can be a little confusing at first — you’re immediately thrown into what appears to be a 2D map with super simplified graphics.

    * You typically can see a river running through the middle of the screen. And there are 2-3 shapes scattered around: a triangle and a circle for example.

    * You click one of them and a colored line starts following your cursor (or finger if you’re on mobile). You drag it over to the other shape and suddenly a colored line appears between them. A little train car appears on it and starts moving between the two shapes.

    * Then you realize: Those shapes represent subway stations — and you just connected them with a subway line that has one train going on it.

    * Tiny symbols start stacking up at each subway station and when the train arrives, they hop on board it and ride it. These are the people you’re serving, and seeing them stack up next to subway stations helps you understand what you need to do to make the subway system work better for the needs of the city.

    * You’re feeling good about this. You’ve got a simple subway going and everyone is taken care of. Then suddenly you spot a small dot on on the other side of the river you don’t remember seeing before. It’s growing… what’s happening. Is this bad?

    * It’s a new subway station and people are already filling into it. You’ve got to find a way to connect it to your existing lines.

    * But there’s no convenient way to hook into your existing lines without causing huge delays for your existing, already-too-busy stations. How are you going to redraw the existing subway lines, add new lines, or use infrastructure upgrades to alleviate the current issues and solve this new problem?

    Better figure it out, because the people are waiting!

    * Eventually you are going to get overwhelmed and “lose” when too many people are not able to get where they need to go.

    At which point you can keep playing for fun, replay in that city, or try a new city (which you unlock by reaching certain thresholds in earlier cities).

    * It’s not a tycoon game or even simulation game (although Extreme Mode gets close to simulation). At it’s heart, it’s a strategy game. It’s about thinking on the fly and solving a puzzle that constantly changes and evolves.





    7 Reasons to Drop Everything and Immediately Play Mini Metro

    (Each of these points is discussed in detail on the podcast. Listen to it!)



    * Soothing Relaxation!

    * Frequent Traveler Rewards!

    * Choose Your Own Adventure… Or Choose Your Own Infrastructure!

    * 3 Modes!

    * Daily Challenge!

    * Hidden Depth!

    * CHRONOMANCY!





    Get It Now!



    * Costs $10

    * Steam, Humble Store, a href="https://www.gog.

    • 21 min
    Hero Generations

    Hero Generations

    It takes a village to raise a child. And it takes 10 generations of a village to raise a hero, apparently. This week, we jump into Hero Generations: Regen, a turn-based RPG where every action takes a year off your life. You’re tasked with taking on monumental challenges and must do your part before you die and pass on the torch to your child, who will carry on the family legacy.

    NOTE: There are two versions of this game for sale on Steam — “Hero Generations” and “Hero Generations: ReGen”. ONLY buy the ReGen version (it’s a straight upgrade). When in doubt, use the links at the bottom of this post to make sure you’re buying the right one.

    Listen to the Podcast:

    Subscribe: iTunes | Google Music | RSS



    Watch Me Play Hero Generations



    How to Play Hero Generations



    * You start with a random dude with nothing to his name and a need for violence, treasure, and procreation.

    * You’re looking at a top-down, grid-based world and everything is covered in fog. Like a typical downtown San Francisco day, but instead of bums and million-dollar studio apartments, you’re surrounded by monsters, trees, and cool sites to explore.

    * So you set out into the fog, with dreams of loot and glory. You cut down trees, battle monsters, and recover artifacts to get resources.

    * Each action you take is a day of your life — and you can see the sands of time slipping away as you adventure.

    * Combat is a simple dice roll, where your maximum roll is determined by your stats and gear. You don’t have a health bar or anything like that. Instead, damage directly affects your remaining days.

    * You can also build buildings, upgrade towns, and invest in other infrastructure that will outlast your own life.

    * You eventually have to get back to a town. Because towns have other people — and you need to find one to settle down with and have a child with. If you die before you can procreate, your game ends and you have to start again.

    * Thankfully, you’re spared the nuances of child-rearing, and it’s many potential pitfalls. Instead, the game fast forwards 16 years and you pilot your child immediately.

    * You step out into the world (which has changed, but you’ll see the longterm changes and buildings that your father or mother had built on the land before you. And then you go out and try to carry on your family legacy!





    7 Reasons to Drop Everything and Immediately Play Hero Generations

    (Each of these points is discussed in detail on the podcast. Listen to it!)



    * The aging process forces you to plan your peaks!

    * Your best strategies cross multiple generations!

    * Doomsday approaches!

    * Zone sweepers give you smaller doomsdays to avert!

    * There’s a lot to explore!

    * Get quests in each zone!

    * Build your legacy!





    Get It Now!



    * Costs $15

    * Steam, Humble Store, iOS, Android

    * Official Site

    * Trivia Question: Which of these is not a trait your child can be born with? Greedy, Farmer, Titan, Vampire,

    Hex

    Hex

    Four years after players first got access, the most ambitious card game ever published is ready for you to jump in. Hex has been on a slow development road, but with the latest release of its second PVE adventure zone, I’m ready to wholeheartedly recommend it.

    To me, this is a solo-player card game with more customization, progression, and deck-building options than you’ll ever have time to try out. It’s a deckbuilder’s dream. I’ve already poured hundreds of hours into tinkering with decks and testing them out in PVE dungeons — and if you enjoy that sort of thing at all, you’ll love this too.

    (Note: Hex is an online game with multiplayer, and other online functionality. It has an expansive PVP side, but I’m more interested in the PVE side and am recommending it for that — so that’ll be our focus on the show and livestream. The devs have also promised to add a lot of social and co-op features in the future, but those are not implemented yet.)

    Listen to the Podcast:

    Subscribe: iTunes | Google Music | RSS



    Watch Me Play Hex



    How to Play Hex



    * At it’s core, Hex is a card game. If you’re familiar with Magic or Hearthstone, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how to play the game.

    * You build a deck of cards — spells, troops, weapons — all the usual stuff — and take that deck into battle against AI in a PVE campaign or against other players in PVP.

    * In the match, you’ll build up resources to spend on playing spells and troops other tools of war. And you’ll use those combat your opponent and hopefully defeat them.

    * There are a ton of different modes to play in, like Gauntlet (which is similar to drafting in Magic or Arena in Hearthstone), ranked ladder, and huge weekend tournaments.

    * Two of the major big-picture differences in mechanics are that most card buffs/debuffs are permanent (even after death), and less-strict resource requirements that make it easier to play multi-shard decks.





    7 Reasons to Drop Everything and Immediately Play Hex

    (Each of these points is discussed in detail on the podcast. Listen to it!)



    * The gameplay is familiar and easy to pick up for card game veterans!

    * The devs are mad scientists!

    * You have MMO-level customization!

    * The solo campaigns are long, unique, and fun!

    * You can farm dungeons for gold!

    * Everything can be bought or sold on the Auction House!

    * So. Many. Holidays!





    Get It Now!



    * Costs $0 (It’s free, with cash shop in-game)

    * Steam

    * Official Site

    * Trivia Question: Which race does not exist in Entrath? Shroomkin, Shin’hare, Pippit, Swizzel, Yak



    Contact Us



    * SUPPORT the show with your contributions of time or money!

    * SUBSCRIBE to The Game Diplomat podcast on iTunes, Google Music, or this RSS feed

    * SAY HI to me on Twitter or email me.

    • 33 min
    Subnautica

    Subnautica

    One part peaceful tropical vacation, one part crafting and exploration simulator, one part horror survival game. Subnautica is unique and beautiful. And its colorful, exotic underwater world is finally ready for visitors!

    After several years in open development, Subnautica is now complete enough and stable enough that I’m happy to recommend it to everyone. Explore a wild ocean filled with alien life, and find the resources and knowledge needed to survive and thrive among the crazy creatures of the deep!

    Listen to the Podcast:

    Subscribe: iTunes | Google Music | RSS



    Watch Me Play Subnautica



    Note: My graphics card died, and I’m using a VERY old backup card until I can afford a new one. It can’t run modern 3D games, so I recorded an intro with my face and voice, but the gameplay segment is just game audio (played on the PC at my office, where I can’t use webcam or mic. Future livestreams should have full audio!

    How to Play Subnautica



    * You’re an awesome spaceman, traveling the cosmos in your awesome spaceship. And then you crash-land on an entirely aquatic alien planet.

    * You eject in an escape pod and smash into the water. You can see the burning husk of your ship sinking into the ocean in the distance, and debris has scattered all around.

    * But all you have access to at the start is that tiny escape pod, which has some simple storage and (thankfully) a fancy 3D-printer thing that can be used to craft tools, food, etc.

    * Your escape pod floats on the surface, and you have to swim out and dive down below the surface to find anything.

    * So you head out and explore this wild new, untamed world of crazy sealife.

    * You catch fish, harvest plantlife, collect ore, gel, and other resources.

    * And you use those resources back at your escape pod to create the tools and food/drink you need to survive and improve your situation.

    * Oh, and there are lots of things trying to eat you. Did I forget to mention that? This is a SURVIVAL game — and you’ve got a lot bigger and scarier things than thirst and hunger to worry about!

    * Like most survival games, there’s not really an ending that you try to get to and “win” the game. You’re just trying to survive as long as you can, build up your base and tools, and when you die you start again and try to do better, using the information you learned.





    7 Reasons to Drop Everything and Immediately Play Subnautica

    (Each of these points is discussed in detail on the podcast. Listen to it!)



    * You don’t have to Survive.

    * The daytime is a peaceful and soothing tropical vacation.

    * The nighttime is a Lovecraftian nightmare of glowing eyes, freakish beasts, and inevitable death.

    * You can craft for days! And weeks.. And months… and years…

    * The devs give frequent free updates with lots of content.

    * There’s a lot to learn in the world.

    * It’s exactly like Pokemon! (Not really.)





    Get It Now!



    * Costs $20

    * Steam

    * Official Site

    * Trivia Question: Which fish only has one eye? Oculus, Crabsnake, Cyclops, Eyeye, Ampeel



    Contact Us



    * SUPPORT the show with your contributions of time or money!

    * SUBSCRIBE to The Game Diplomat podcast a href="ht...

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

SnookFan ,

Very enjoyable!

I really like this podcast. They are just the right length. Lots of information without useless filler. Well done.

Wisconsin Smith ,

Great stuff

Josh is great. I just started listening, and am impressed. But needs more Age of Empires. Haha.

Matthewbeebe ,

Perfect podcast!

This podcast is a great show about awesome indie games that are super unique. I've been really interested in every game Josh discusses. I am constantly checking my phone to see when new episodes are released. If you like indie games, you'll love this podcast!

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