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iOS Board Games

Among the best things in life is playing printed games in person with family and close friends. When those are not convenient we like iOS Board Games. News, reviews, previews, and opinions about board gaming on iPhones, iPads, iPods and even Android devices. (iPhone board games, iPad board games, iPod board games, Android board games)

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App News: Action Cards Coming to Heroes of Normandie and Eric Lang's Duelyst Arrives on PC/Mac

David Neumann
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Action Cards Coming to Heroes of Normandie
There are only a few things in life that are guaranteed. We all know about death, taxes, and Morgansilver letting us know how long we've been waiting for 7 Wonders. There's actually a fourth, however, and that's people complaining about the lack of Action Cards in the digital version of Heroes of Normandie whenever we post about the game.

No more!

On May 4th, the Action Cards are coming to the PC version via a major update. Why do we care about a PC game? Because it's coming to iPad in July, and the Action Cards will be in the mobile version when it launches as well.

That's not all that's coming in next week's update:

Slitherine wrote:
Heroes of Normandie gets a major free update with the addition of the Action Cards. These cards significantly alter the gameplay and add a new layer of depth to the game. There will be 29 cards for Germany and 32 for the US, all of them tested and balanced through months of beta testing! They are accompanied by a patch including many bug-fixes, balance changes and five new multiplayer missions.


You can pick up Heroes of Normandie on Steam for $30, or wait until it arrives on our iPad in July.





New CCG and Tactical Combat Hybrid, Duelyst, Arrives on PC/Mac
There are a lot of digital CCGs on the market, but only one that I know of that was created by board game designer extraordinaire, Eric M. Lang. That one is called DUELYST and it's been in beta for a quite a while but was released for PC/Mac yesterday.

I see a lot of you leaving at the mention of another CCG, but hold on a minute. I've been playing it since yesterday, and Duelyst is really something. Not only is there a CCG layer (similar to Magic or Hearthstone), but everything plays out on a grid map and it feels like the great battles from Heroes of Might and Magic. It sounds corny, but it's actually a ton of fun, which is something you'd expect from an Eric Lang design.

The big question is how much does it all cost. It's free to download (of course) and the deck pricing is pretty similar to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Actually, it's a bit of a better deal than Hearthstone according to a few folks who have broken down the numbers.

Upset that it's only for PC/Mac? Well, the developers have stated that they'd like to bring it to mobile in the future. I haven't heard an official release window, but TouchArcade is reporting that it should be on mobile in 2016.


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Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:16 pm
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App News: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Released for iPad and Android Tablets and Nordic Countries Comes to Ticket to Ride

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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Released
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has been near the top of our "most-anticpated" list for nearly the past two years. First announced back at Gen Con 2014, we thought we might see it released at last year's Con, but it was later scheduled for a March 2016 release. That release date was pushed back to this Tuesday, and that release date was pushed back until today. They didn't push it back again. That's right, Pathfinder Adventures is alive and kicking on an App Store near you courtesy of Obsidian Entertainment and Paizo Publishing.

Pathfinder Adventures is an incredibly faithful recreation of the cardboard version, specifically Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set and its expansions. If it does well, I'm sure we can expect Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles – Base Set and Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous – Base Set to follow.

The game is free to download and comes with the Perils of the Lost Coast mini-adventure. The first two adventures in the Rise of the Runelords path are available via IAP, with the other expansions coming shortly. You can also purchase, as a separate IAP, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Character Add-On Deck. You can use real cash money to buy them separately or as a $25 season pass, or you can use in-game gold which you earn by completing quests and killing monsters. It will be quite a grind to save enough to unlock new material for nothing, but the app gives you a lot to do, so you won't feel like you're doing the same thing over and over.

For example, each adventure has three difficulty levels and there is also a Quest Mode you unlock after finishing the second part of Perils of the Lost Coast. Quest Mode is basically a random game generator. It will create new location decks for you to explore, with no two adventures ever being the same. It's pretty slick, and a nice way to rack up some GPs.

There is no online multiplayer, only pass-and-play and solo play. It's not a problem, actually, as playing 4-6 characters by yourself is incredibly easy to do when the CPU is keeping track of all the numbers and rules. There is an online requirement, but it's only to keep track of any gold you've earned. If you don't care about earning gold (like, if you purchased the Season Pass), then you can play offline as much as you like.

The game is beautiful and they've added short cutscenes to make what is a rather thin theme in the cardboard version really stand out. Suddenly, PACG feels like a real RPG.

Pathfinder Adventures is available for iPad here and Android tablets here.





Nordic Countries Comes to Ticket to Ride
Last year, Days of Wonder revamped and re-released their venerable digital port of Ticket to Ride. On Apple, it went from two separate apps into one Universal app and the entire thing was updated with asynchronous play and vertical maps, the first one being Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland. Late last week it received its second vertical map via a major update. Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is now available in Ticket to Ride via IAP.

Nordic Countries is a 2-3 player map that favors "interaction". Or, as we call it at our house, "playing like a butthead". That is, blocking and getting in everyone's way. I just want to build trains, dammit! For some (my game group falls into this category) they'd rather play while cutting out your heart, so this map will be right up their alley.

That's not the only improvement the update brought. Blurb time:

Days of Wonder wrote:
• New content: the Nordic Countries board is now available as an in-app purchase. And it’s a vertical map. More maps to come in 2016!
• New Achievements are available: be the first one to accomplish them!
• Bug fix: Achievements are now saved properly. Don’t hesitate to re-accomplish them!
• Various other bug fixes and user interface enhancements.


Ticket to Ride is available for everything: iOS Universal, Android, Kindle, PC/Mac. The game is $7 on mobile devices and $10 on PC/Mac. The Nordic Countries map is a $3 download.
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Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:00 pm
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First Look: Hearthstone: Whispers of the Old Gods

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Hearthstone: Whispers of the Old Gods
Availability: iOS, Android
Store Links: iTunes, Google Play

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Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:34 pm
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App News: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Delayed Again and Ortus Regni Released for iPad

David Neumann
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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Delayed (Again)
In a perfect world we would have been playing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game at the end of March, but Obsidian Entertainment needed a little more time to polish it up. Therefore, the release date was pushed to this coming Tuesday, April 26. Looks like they need a little more time as we just found out it's been delayed again, this time to April 28.

That's only two days, I hear you saying. You're correct, but that's also a tentative date. Will it actually be on our iPads by the end of next week? We'll have to wait and see. The most important thing to come from this announcement is that 7 Wonders has at least two extra days to beat PACG to market. C'mon 7 Wonders, we know you can do it!



Ortus Regni Arrives for iPad
We heard that medieval card game Ortus Regni would be coming to iPad at last year's Gen Con. What we didn't know was when. Turns out it was this week as Ortus Regni landed on the App Store on Monday.

Ortus Regni is a 2-4 player card game with impeccable production quality that seems to have translated over to the digital version. The app allows for games up to 4 players either online or versus AI, or you can have a combination of the two. Online games include a lobby for matchmaking as well an in-game chat. The game has been around since last year on PC/Mac/Linux and games are cross-platform, and you can even log in on any system to continue your asynchronous games. Here's a blurb for you:

Ortus Regni wrote:
New features added:

-Free account creation for online multiplayer.
-Full 4 player games are free for all accounts.
-Ladders (and top 10 charts) for duels, 3 player and 4 player games added to matchmaking.
-Revised Friends interface.
-Chat message threads between Friends.
-In-game chat functionality.
-Game lobby chat functionality in Challenge Friends.
-More in-game Tweets to send to other Earls in-game.
-The AIs will now send Tweets in-game, when they wish (in Battle AI & Challenge Friends).
-Optional mail notification system added for asynchronous gameplay in Challenge Friends.
-Tournament Rules fully implemented, “two turns, two Towers”.
Several other changes, visible and invisible, like a retouched Viking bag.


Oh, and did I mention it's free. Not free with exceptions, completely free. There is no IAP and no paywall. Crazy.

You can get it now for iPad or PC/Mac/Linux. No matter which flavor you buy, it's still free. You can pick up iPad here and PC/Mac/Linux here.
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Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:16 am
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App News Bits: Sentinels Season 2 Kickstarter, PACG and Whispers of the Old Gods Coming Next Week, and more

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Sentinels of Multiverse Season 2 Kickstarter
Last week, Dave let us know about the latest expansion release for Sentinels Digital. Hot on the heels of that, the Kickstarter for the second season of the game is now live. If you’ve been enjoying the game so far, this is a good opportunity to pitch in to see more expansions.


Fallen London Arrives on iOS
This classic interactive story as gone on to inspire strategy games and more. This alternate take on Victorian London has captured many. It’s now available on iOS so you can try it out, for free no less.


Hearthstone’s Whispers of Old Gods Coming April 26th
Hearthstone is on its way to big things next week. With the new standard mode comes a new expansion that seems to change up a lot of classic elements of the games. Get ready for next Tuesday!


Reminder: PACG arrives April 26th
Just a quick reminder, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is coming next Tuesday. We’ll be checking out the game soon and a review up the day of launch.


Acquisition Incorporated Comes to Card Hunter
The PAX folks have teamed with the Card Hunter team to bring a new expansion to the game based on the Acquisitions Incorporated D&D campaigns. If you are a fan, you are not going to want to miss this.
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Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:00 pm
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Preview: Twilight Struggle

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Twilight Struggle
Availability: Currently PC/Mac, coming to Android and iOS
Store Links: Steam

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Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:56 pm
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(Not) App News: Twilight Struggle Released

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Playdek Releases Twilight Struggle for PC/Mac
It's been a long time coming, but Twilight Struggle has arrived on a PC/Mac near you. You might have already known this and, like me, been playing it for a day or so now. Before you start complaining that this isn't "iOS News", let me remind you that it is coming shortly to our iPads and Android tablets, and its release on PC/Mac is a good indicator that we don't have that much longer to wait.

GMT Games and Playdek haven't set a firm date for the mobile release yet, but when we reported the release date last month, the iOS/Android version was listed as about a month behind the PC/Mac release. I'm hoping that means we can expect it mid-May.



As it is, the game offers asynchronous online multiplayer using Playdek's own network. That means that games will be cross-platform when the mobile version does arrive. It also has an AI for solo play and it's not nearly as bad as Playdek has been selling in their past couple updates. Sure, if you're a TS veteran you'll probably have an easy row to hoe, but for us mere mortals and newbies, it seems to be fine.

The game has been polished to a fine shine over the past week or so, with a great tutorial and in-game help avaialble as well as music and ambient sounds such as audio quotes of Truman, Eisenhower, Stalin, and other members of the Cold War's who's who. It's the real deal, people.

I'm guessing Brad will be reviewing it at some point, so I'll stop there.

The game is also currently on sale for 20% off, meaning you can pick it up for PC/Mac for only $12.


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Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:02 pm
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App News: Wrath of the Cosmos Arrives for Sentinels and Kamisado Now on Mobile

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Wrath of the Cosmos Expansion Now Live in Sentinels of the Multiverse
Sentinels of the Multiverse isn't one of the best ports on our tablets just because it happens to be a really fun game. It's also due to the fact that developer Handelabra Games have figured out a way to never sleep. That's the only way I can imagine them having enough time to keep adding all this content to Sentinels. The latest example, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Wrath of the Cosmos is now live!

Wrath of the Cosmos is a big box expansion that includes two new heroes, four new villains, and two new environments. They've also included a variant card for one of the villains, Infinitor, that you'll have to unlock. Somehow.

Handelabra has also revealed that Season 2 is coming, but they'll need our help with some Kickstarter funds to get it off the ground. We don't know much about the Kickstarter details, but it will cover Season 2 which will include Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Villains of the Multiverse, Sentinels of the Multiverse: OblivAeon, and more. Basically, it's bringing everything that wasn't covered in Season 1 to the digital version, making it just like its cardboard cousin.

The Kickstarter begins on Monday, April 18 and we'll let you know more about it next week. If you want to give Sentinels a try now, it's available for iPad, Android tablets, Kindle, and PC/Mac. Handelabra just lowered the price of the PC/Mac version, meaning that it's $10 on all platforms now.





Two-player Abstract, Kamisado, Arrives on iOS and Android
A few weeks ago a humble little abstract made its way onto the App Store and Google Play, but I was too busy playing XCOM 2 to notice. Shame on me because Kamisado from HUCH! & friends is a brilliant little app that I've been having a lot of fun with.

Kamisado has been around in cardboard form for a bit and this digital version contains everything that the tabletop version has. The game board is 8x8 like chess, but each square is one of eight different colors. Each player has eight pawns, one of each of these colors. The gimmick here is that you can move your pawns forward (either straight or diagonal) any number of spaces, but then your opponent is forced to move their pawn of the color you landed on. The first person to land a pawn in their opponent's back rank wins.



It's incredibly simple, and forcing your opponent to move is just kind of fun. There's also an advanced version in which you play multiple rounds and the pawn that reaches the back rank is promoted to a "sumo". In later rounds, it can push the opponent's pawns one step backward.

The game has five levels of AI and online, asynchronous multiplayer. You can pick up Kamisado for iOS Universal or Android. It's currently on sale for 50% off, so the iOS version costs $2 and the Android version is just under $2.
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Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:39 pm
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Preview: Tabletopia

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To start out, for those that are not familiar, Tabletopia is not a collection of digital board games, rather it is a tool to play board games digitally. This is an important distinction. Like its predecessor Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia does not feature per-game rules enforcement or any other features we’ve come to expect from digital board games such as AI players, tutorials, animations, etc. Unlike Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia features licensed games that you will recognize as well as some light turn and game setup logic built in with hobby board games in mind. Tabletopia lies in a space between Vassal and the digital board gaming singularity. Last week, Dave and I tried a game on Tabletopia and what follows is a report on the results.



The Games
At this early access stage of Tabletopia there is already a good crop of recognizable games. I won’t list them all here but some that stood at to me were: Zooloretto, Scythe, Village, Viticulture, Imperial Settlers, Terra Mystica, Alien Frontiers, Mage Wars Academy, Keyflower, Tigris and Euphrates, Eight Minute Empires, Keltis, and Samurai. They currently boast 223 games though some of those are card or traditional games. It is an impressive list.

Diving in to play last week, Dave and I soon discovered that the games we were familiar with fell into two camps: older games we were familiar with but had not played in a while and newer games that we had heard of but did not know how to play. Since to play we had to know the rules, this provided quite the dilemma for us. Ultimately we decided on Nations the Dice Game and used the included rulebook link to refresh ourselves on the rules.



Gameplay
The game launched after a brief loading process with the first round already prepped. That meant that tiles for the first round were laid out and we each had our dice and tokens. Since we did not discover the forced round rules until later on(it locks the game to you expect when it is your turn), our game started a bit slowly. We decided that I would go first and we figured out to roll dice by right clicking. In fact, right clicking on any object will pop up a wheel of possible actions.

Playing the game worked much like a tabletop board game. We rolled dice, acquired tiles, scored points, and cleared the board. Everything was free and accessible so we had to follow the rules ourselves. Luckily we are friends and familiar with each other, so there was no one cheating or just throwing pieces around (which you can do). Tabletopia is playable with random players, but I fear that you may run across some bad apples.



The End
Things started slow but by the end we felt like true experts. Initially I thought I’d never play like this again, but by the end I was confident I could do this again with friends (still wary about you randos). It really was a total 180 in attitude.

One weird thing about the end of the game is there was no fanfare, I guess like a real tabletop game. We finished, counted out VP and just sort of sat there. Actually, as far as we could tell, there was no official way to close the game after you finish.

The Future
Tabletopia seems to be shaping up well and the game list is quite large. While only on PC and Mac for now, it is planned for tablets. We will for sure keep an eye out on this game as it develops.
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Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:00 pm
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App News: Twilight Struggle Coming Wednesday (to PC), Trapdoor Technologies is Back, and Heroes of Normandie Release Date

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Twilight Struggle Coming to PC/Mac This Week
Before there was 7 Wonders, there was Twilight Struggle. I'm not talking about chronologically, but by how long we've had to wait for the game to be ported (don't even get me started on Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization). The difference between the two games is that Twilight Struggle was in development hell for years before it was re-conceived via a Kickstarter by Playdek and GMT Games. If we drop the first couple years before Playdek came on board, we're looking at less than 2 years of a wait when Twilight Struggle arrives on PC/Mac this Wednesday. That's not bad when you consider that 7 Wonders was initially announced back in 2011.

In a Kickstarter update over the weekend we learned that the game will be hitting desktops and laptops this week and should be coming to iOS and Android shortly.

Playdek wrote:
Along with further developing the AI, our next major milestone will be the iOS and Android releases, with other platforms to follow after...We will be starting with a beta build on these platforms, so the build may not be as stable as the retail release. But having additional play testing on this build will help us polish the game for these platforms much quicker than without.


What's that about further developing the AI? Yep, Playdek admits that the AI can get better, and that's actually the plan. By releasing it to a larger pool of players, they'll have more data to "teach" the AI.

Playdek wrote:
Our focus for the game after this release will be our continued effort to implement AI. By releasing the game to a larger player-base soon, we will be able to generate more game data to use for AI training.


Besides playing against the AI, the game will also feature asynchronous multiplayer that uses Playdek's own servers. That means that online games will be completely cross-platform when the mobile version launches. It also means you'll have to create an account with Playdek to play, but if you've played Agricola, Summoner Wars, or any of the other Playdek games you already have an account, so it's no big deal.

We'll be bugging the crap out of Playdek until the mobile version is ready to go, so keep your eyes here and watch for any other Twilight Struggle news in the next few weeks.



Heroes of Normandie Coming to iPad in July
Last October, Cat Rabbit released the digital version of Heroes of Normandie for PC. I use a Mac, so I was willing to wait until the promised iOS version arrived. Six months later, we were still waiting with no word from the devs on when it might arrive. Lucky for us, Touch Arcade has real journalists and they tracked down the release date for us. Looks like Heroes of Normandie is going to land on our touchscreens this July.

Don't know why you should care? Watch the video and begin salivating. I know that this is one that Brad's been really wanting to put through its paces, so look for him to have a review up as soon as it arrives on his iPad.

If you don't want to wait until July (and don't have a Mac), you can get Heroes of Normandie right now on Steam for $30.





Trapdoor Technologies Bringing Pathfinder RPG to iPad
Ah, Trapdoor. We met with Trapdoor back at Gen Con in 2014 where they showed us a package called Dungeonscape that would be a DM/PC aid for use at the table while playing Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition). Wizards of the Coast killed that project, so Trapdoor picked up their toys and went home.

Lucky for us it doesn't appear they stopped playing with their toys as Paizo Publishing has just announced an official partnership with Trapdoor in which they will create a Playbook app for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

The Playbook app will combine everything from Pathfinder you'll need to run a campaign. It's not just a character creator, although it does have that capability. It will also have all the books, tools, and whatever else a GM needs to create a run a campaign solely from their tablet.

Trapdoor already has a free Playbook app on the App Store, but this new Paizo-backed version will contain the complete rule set, artwork, connection with the Pathfinder Society, and an extensive library of Pathfinder adventures.

Look for Playbook to launch in Q2 of this year, and for more adventures to be released throughout the rest of 2016.


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Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:23 pm
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