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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Sentinels of the Multiverse - App Review

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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The Stats:
Compatibility: iPad, Android Tablet
Reviewed On: iPad Air
Current Price: $9.99
Version: 1.0
App Size: 255 MB
Developer/Publisher: Handelabra/Greater Than Games
Multiplayer: Yes, pass and play
AI: NA
Itunes link: Sentinels of the Multiverse
Google Play link: Sentinels of the Multiverse


Few games have taken the tabletop world by storm like Sentinels of the Multiverse. This was the Super Hero card game on the market before the big guys even considered the space. It features a cast of original heroes, some pretty direct copies of existing properties, that face off against a cast of villains, each with their own plots and powers. The game’s popularity has spawned spin offs, actual comics, and more. We now have, on our iOS and Android devices, the chance to play the game that started it all.



Admittedly, this is my first time playing Sentinels of the Multiverse. Super heroes have never really appealed to me. I find most of the stories to be a predictable arms races. Does it matter that you are super when everyone you fight is also super? That foolish prejudice of mine aside, it is a cooperative game I have always wanted to try, and I am excited to have it on my iPad. It is important to now that this review is coming from someone very new to the game (Dave is a huge fan of this game and should be reviewing it on that other publication soon).

Being new to the game, I first hit the big “How To Play” button on the front menu. What I saw was a text rulebook, and my heart dropped. “Another game with no tutorial?” I thought. Luckily, nestled in the top right corner was a “Play Tutorial” button. What followed was an excellent tutorial hosted by an animated version of game designer Christopher Badell. It is a superb tutorial teaching both the rules and basic strategy.

That being said, there is still a lot to learn. Each villain and hero plays differently and has a slew of new cards. The amount of new content for each character can be daunting to new players. While the tutorial was great, I would love more ways to ease into the remaining content. In the game setup screen you can see the special abilities of each character and villain, but it would be great to get a better summary of how each character is meant to play, even a brief overview.



Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative game, and, on mobile, can be played solitaire or pass and play (no online play). Once you’ve selected your heroes, the villain, and the location, it is time to fight! The heroes’ goal is to bring the HP of the villain down to 0. Each villain can win by either defeating all the heroes or, for some villains, by another mechanic, for example Baron Blade wins by getting his discard pile to a certain number. The game is played in turns, one for each hero, one for the villain, and one for the environment. The heroes’ abilities are represented by cards ranging from one-off attacks to powers and on-going effects. Each hero can play one card from their hand and one power each turn. Powers range from dealing damage to drawing cards, it depends on the strategy of each hero. There is a wide variety of strategy and mechanics. On the villain’s turn, they follow a preprogrammed set of moves which could involve playing cards from the villain deck and dealing damage to the heroes. The environment or location also gets a turn, usually playing cards that affect both the heroes and villain, adding another wrinkle to the strategy.

All of this is presented in amazing comic book style. The locations are brought to live with well done 3D backgrounds. The heroes and villains have different artwork as they take damage or become more powerful. If you are fan of the board game’s art style, you are going to love what they have done here. The comic book feeling is carried into to the menus and the gameplay screen. Each character is given their own panel, and these panels shifts as turns change. You can tell the folks at Handelabra have a love for Sentinels of the Multiverse as well as comic books in general. I may be getting greedy, but I would loved to see them take this one step further. Currently there are no combat animations, which I think, if added, would help round out the aesthetic and give your actions more weight. However, what’s there now is excellent.



The lack of combat animations is just one part of a lack of information in some parts of the game. With so many different factors influencing each action in the game, it would be great to understand these more clearly. Admittedly, the game does this well with combat, clearly explaining why you are being hit with a certain amount of damage. These needs to be carried to other areas. For example, I would love to know how many cards the Villain will play next turn, or how close they are to their special victory conditions. This information is all available out of context on the cards themselves, but I would love to see it within the flow of the game. As a new player, there is currently a lot to keep track of. The team has tried to make identifying card abilities easier with a range of icons. This is a great first step, but still a bit overwhelming for new players.

While Sentinels of the Multiverse could give more information in some areas, it also suffers from a case of too much in other areas. Each time damage is dealt, either to your heroes or to the villain, you must decided in what order it is allocated. This is useful on some occasions, but there are many times when the choice is irrelevant. Luckily, there is a choose for me button to automate this, but I do wish it would be automated in cases where the choice truly doesn’t matter. Not only is it a bit clunky and happens often (several times a turn), as a new player I found the choice confusing. I kept picking my brain to figure out why damage order mattered in a given situation.

All of this does not tarnish the fact that Sentinels of the Multiverse is really fun to play. The amount of content available is amazing. The possible combinations of heroes, villains, and locales is staggering. There is nearly endless variety. I am excited to solve the puzzle that is each villain and learn the synergies of the different heroes. This iPad version makes gameplay quick and easy, managing all the book keeping and letting you focus on the real choices



The gameplay that has made this game a cult hit shines bright in this digital version. The tutorial makes the game welcoming to new players and is a great place to enter this renowned series. This is a must have addition to your digital board game collection.


This compelling cooperative game is so close to being super.

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Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:28 pm
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Live Stream: Sentinels of Multiverse

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Few games have been anticipated like Sentinels of Multiverse on iPad. This breakout cooperative game is now available on iOS and Android.

Dave has had his hands on this game for a while now, so we will follow his expertise as we play through a few games. Be sure to join us!

Join us:

BoardGameGeek on Twitch


Watch live on Twitch or check out the archive after the fact.
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Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:00 am
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App News: New Pathfinder Screens, Talisman Dungeon News and Screens, North Star Looking for Help, Galaxy Trucker Updated and more...

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App News




Pathfinder Adventure Card Game News and Screens
Obsidian Entertainment announced at Gen Con that they were working on a port of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set from Paizo Publishing.



I spoke with Obsidian yesterday and found out a little bit about the game as well as snagged a few new screenshots.

First of all, the game will be released for iPad and Android tablets. It should be release in Q1 of 2015, but they are still working on getting the interface right for a digital version of the game. The screenshots indicate that they are definitely trying to bring as much theme into the game as possible.



The game will be single-player and pass-and-play at release. There are a lot of interrupts in PACG, with players able to contribute to other player's turns all the time. They are working on tweaking the rules and making the app work a little differently than the physical game so that pass-and-play doesn't become a mess of always having to pass the iPad around to see if other players want to help out. Things they're looking at are automatically having players help each other, as long as the effect isn't detrimental to the helping player, and having each player suggest what they're willing to help with on other player's turns ahead of time, so they'll be no need to ask when the time comes. If successful, they're hoping that these tweaks might even make asynchronous multiplayer a possibility down the road.



The game will launch with all content through Burnt Offerings, but they aren't quite ready to talk about content past that at this point.

One thing's for sure, the game looks fantastic. Add PACG to the growing list of great games going digital in 2015.



Talisman Dungeon Submitting Next Week
Nomad Games has let us know that the upcoming Talisman (fourth edition): The Dungeon Expansion expansion for Talisman: Digital Edition is going to be submitted next week, meaning that it should only be 2-3 weeks before we get it in our grubby little fingers.

The Dungeon expansion includes a new board that wraps around the main game board as well as over 100 new cards, new spells and five new characters.



The Dungeon will appear as a $5 IAP when it launches in a couple weeks. You can pick up Talisman: Digital Edition for iOS Universal here and for Android here. Both of them are just shy of $7.





North Star Games Creating Digital Division
We mentioned in our Gen Con coverage that North Star Games, LLC was creating their own digital division, but we were short on details. Well, we're still short on details, but we do have a few more than we knew before.

The first game that the new digital division will port over will be Evolution. They are currently targeting having a beta ready by Gen Con 2015, but haven't nailed down a release for a finished version.

They are currently looking for experienced Unity or Objective C/C++ developers, so if you're qualified and looking, go ahead and contact them.



Galaxy Trucker Receives First Update
I think it's safe to say that we love the digital port of Vlaada Chvátil's Galaxy Trucker. From what I gather, however, some people don't. Particularly those with iPad 1's.

Earlier this week, Czech Games Edition released the first update for Galaxy Trucker making the game a bit more iPad 1 friendly. Here are the patch notes:

Czech Games Edition wrote:
Fixed problems with connection to server.
Fixed crashes on iPad2 and iPad mini.
Galaxy Trucker is now optimized also for iPad1!


See? iPad 1 and 2 users should be good to go after this update!

You can pick up Galaxy Trucker for iPad on the App Store for $8.



Doodle City Released
Doodle City is a new game from Aporta Games that is being released at Essen RIGHT NOW. They've also released Doodle City as an app that, helpfully, tells you of the Essen release of the game all the time.

Doodle City is a game in which each player has a grid in front of them. The grid contains different icons such as taxi stands, hotels, shops and houses. On your turn, you will roll dice indicating which rows and columns you can add roads to, in the attempt to connect these icons and collect victory points. It's really more of a multi-player solitaire puzzle than a head-to-head board game, and in fact you can play it solo just to see how high of a score you can get.

It's a very well done app, with colorful and lively graphics and, even though I didn't explain the game well, it is a pretty fun game to play.

There's no AI in the game, so if you want to play solo, you'll be playing against yourself which works really well with this game. There is also pass-and-play or asynchronous online multiplayer.

Doodle City is free until October 20th, so go pick it up on the App Store now and give it a shot!



Soqquadro Released for Android, iOS Coming
Soqquadro is a new game from Cranio Creations that appears to be a scavenger hunt. Pull a card and then run off around your house to find something that matches that description. As you find items, you move your pawn up a scoring track and the first person to reach 16 wins. The game is played in real time, but does pause every now and then when a Challenge needs to be dealt with.

It sounds like great fun, and something my kids would love to do. It's currently out for Android devices and should be released for iOS soon.

You can find it for under $3 on Google Play right now.



Titan Updated
Titan HD is one of those games that we always kind of forget is out there for iPad. It's a shame, too, because it's a really well done implementation and the developer keeps updating it, 3 years after its initial release.

It was updated earlier this week and here are the change notes:

Titan HD wrote:
* Muster Diagram can now toggle between remaining and eliminated characters
* Ratings adjustments now weight early eliminations less heavily
* Fixed UI issues on iOS 8
* Fixed an infrequent stability issue in online games
* Fixed an issue in legion history related to undoing certain moves
* Fixed a minor documentation error


You can pick up Titan HD for iPad on the App Store and it will set you back $8.
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Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:24 pm
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App Release: Sentinels of the Multiverse

David Neumann
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Sentinels of the Multiverse Released


The Stats:

Compatibility: iPad, Android Tablets
Current Price: $10
Developer/Publisher: Handelabra Games and Greater Than Games, LLC
Version: 1.0.2 (Android), 1.0 (iOS)
Download Size: 179MB (Android), 255MB (iOS)
Multiplayer: Pass and Play
AI: No. Game is cooperative so no AI necessary.
iTunes Link: Sentinels of the Multiverse
Google Play Link: Sentinels of the Multiverse
Amazon Appstore Link: Sentinels of the Multiverse
BGG Entry: Sentinels of the Multiverse


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Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:29 pm
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Weekly Stream: Sentinels of Multiverse. Join Us Thursday 10/16 at 9:00pm EDT.

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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Few games have been anticipated like Sentinels of Multiverse on iPad. This breakout cooperative game will finally be released on the App Store this Wednesday.

Dave has had his hands on this game for a while now, so we will follow his expertise as we play through a few games. Be sure to join us!

Here are the details:

When: Thursday, October 16th, 9:00pm EDT
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Myself and Dave


Join us live on Twitch or check out the archive after the fact.
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Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:00 pm
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Card Dungeon - iOS Review

Brad Cummings
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The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 6
Current Price: $1.99
Version: 1.1
App Size: 168 MB
Developer/Publisher: Playtap Games
Multiplayer: NA.
AI: Na.
Itunes link: Card Dungeon

Cloning and copying is rampant on the app store. As a part of the mobile games industry, apps like 2048 make me a bit furious. True, all video games and board games copy from one another, but the problem comes in the ease of directly copying mobile games (due to small teams and project scopes). When I first saw screens for Card Dungeon, my initial reaction was that it was an attempt to cash in on the potential success of Card Hunter (an earlier web based game with nearly an identical art style). As development continued, it became clear that Card Dungeon would beat Card Hunter to mobile, and potentially snatch the fans of the original.

Now that the game has launched, it is clear that art-wise, this is 100% the case. Everything from the level headings to the card art is extremely similar to Card Hunter. However, mechanically the game is entirely different. Gone is the brutally difficult TBS gameplay, replaced by an interesting rogue-like mechanic that has conquering a series of challenging dungeons. It really is it’s own unique game, I stand partially corrected.



Card Dungeon hinges on a simple card mechanic. At any given time, you can have three cards in your inventory. These cards each feature an attack or spell that you can use against the monsters you find in the dungeon. The trick is that each card is slowly deteriorating. The more you use it, the closer it gets to being destroyed. This is represented graphically by the card turning more and more ragged. This means you need to constantly be refreshing your available actions by picking up new cards found by slaying monsters and searching chests. Your move set is constantly shifting, which means you have to constantly be learning and perfecting new strategies.

To start a run of Card Dungeon, you select one of several dungeons, each featuring their own boss. You then choose a character as well as a perk and a weakness. With this setup, you head into the dungeon, attempting to pass all the levels of each dungeon and defeat the boss without dying.

Like many games in this genre, you can have good runs and you have bad. The selection of cards that come up as you kill monsters and open chests, will determine how far you can get. Many runs will be awesome, while others will just be frustrating. The randomness of card selection (and a pretty large variety) forces you to innovate and find new ways to solve problems. It is rewarding to discover a new way to take on a room of monsters.

The cards range from basic attacks to powerful spells that can even change the dungeon. The game excels at presenting many possible solutions to any problem. For example, when encountering the first boss, I placed a lava pit in a doorway and lured the boss into it repeatedly until he was defeated. As moving and attacking have to be done on separate turns, positioning is a huge part of the game. Many attacks will send enemies flying, while others can pull them to you. There is quite a variety here and a lot to be discovered. This is, by far, the most compelling thing about Card Dungeon; this is where the game really shines.



Card Dungeon is turn-based. Each turn you move or use a card, and then each monster in your vicinity gets a move. It’s a game about timing and planning. You want to get each monster in the right place at the right time to avoid damage and make use of your cards. The turn-based mechanic is awesome for board gamers, but also creates challenges. In combat the system is great, but once you want to explore, the turn system can really slow things down. The game features neutral monsters that will not attack unless provoked. The problem is, if they are in a room you are trying to cross, they all get a turn, meaning to move one square can take 15 to 30 seconds. It just seems unnecessarily slow in the exploration portions.

The game is presented in portrait, which led me to believe this is a phone-centric game. After trying to play standing on a train, I can tell you, it is a challenge to operate with one hand. The biggest crux is the game’s camera. it is rotated by two fingers and is necessary to really get an idea of what is in the dungeon around you. This is challenging to do even on iPad (the sensitivity it strange), and is a huge challenge while playing on an iPhone. I would love to see a feature added to allow dragging around the map with one finger. Getting a read on a dungeon room is important in the game, I just wish it was easier to execute.

Card Dungeon and I got off on the wrong foot with the art style. However, gameplay, especially combat, proves that this is it’s own game, with some neat ideas. In the end, the turn-based exploration really slows the game down, and, combined with the odd camera controls, makes it a challenge to play. Even with these challenges, it does bring some interesting ideas to the table and is worth a look if you enjoy rogue-like mechanics.

A fun rogue-like that could use a bit of polish.

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Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:00 pm
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App News: Sentinels of the Multiverse Coming Early, Now Oct. 15.

David Neumann
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Sentinels of the Multiverse Coming a Day Early
We announced awhile back that Sentinels of the Multiverse would be released on October 16th, and then, when we found out it was just recently submitted wondered if Apple's review process would be over in time for Handelabra Games to meet their announced release date.

We needn't have worried.

Apple completed the fastest review process ever, giving Handelabra a big thumbs-up already. All they need to do is polish up the Android version a bit, and therefore they're going to do a simultaneous world-wide release on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Here's their explanation of when Sentinels will be arriving in your town:

Handelabra Games wrote:
...date which will now be Wednesday the 15th, not Thursday the 16th. But here’s the broad strokes:

12 noon UCT is when we will be officially pushing the big “release now” button.
Seattle (PDT): 10/15/2014 5:00 AM
St. Louis (CDT): 10/15/2014 7:00 AM
Cleveland (EDT): 10/15/2014 8:00 AM
Halifax (ADT):10/15/2014 9:00 AM
London (BST): 10/15/2014 1:00 PM
Essen (CEST): 10/15/2014 2:00PM
Melbourne (AEDT): 10/15/2014 11:00 PM


You can extrapolate from there when it should be going live in your App Store.

Remember, too, that once they push the button, it might take a little bit before it shows up in searches of the App Store. We'll try to get the URL early and post it on the blog, so instead of waiting for it to propagate the Apple search engine, you can just click and go.

As for Android, look for it to appear at the same time. We'll try to get your Android links as well.

2 days...


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Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:33 pm
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App News: Brass Coming to iOS and Android

David Neumann
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Martin Wallace's Brass Going Digital
I just received word this morning that Martin Wallace's Brass is coming to iOS and Android. It's being developed by Cublo Games and PHALANX and should be available in autumn of 2015.

The game's logic is pretty much finished at this point, but they are just starting on creating the user interface. They will have concept art and the first screenshots, however they are still too far away from completion to have a demo or playable version of the game.

We learned back at Gen Con that Mayfair Games was developing Steam for tablets in 2015, so next year is starting to look like a big year for Martin Wallace fans.

Here's the completely uninformative teaser trailer (it looks nice, though) as well as some screenshots.



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Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:34 pm
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News Flash - Chronicle: RuneScape Legends Announced

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Wanted to drop a quick news update based on a press release we received late Friday night. JAGEX, the makers of longtime free-to-play MMORPG Runescape have announced Chronicle: RuneScape Legends for Mac/PC, tablets, and mobile devices coming in 2015.

Chronicle is set in the fantasy world of Gelinor and will feature familiar characters and enemies from Runescape. Details are still forthcoming, but here is how they have described it so far:

Quote:
Played out within the pages of a living book the game focuses on quest building, allowing players to craft their own miniature RPGs against enemies, including classic RuneScape boss monsters, before entering into tense PvP combat.




Runescape consumed a summer of my life, back in the old days, when the story was little to existent. My friend and I worked long hours to become some of the best bakers in all the land, making awesome cakes and selling them in the major city. I mention that just to highlight that this will be a great nostalgia trip for me and others.

We'll bring you more details as we get them.
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Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:33 am
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App News: Get Talisman For Cheap, Playdek Needs You and Suburbia Spreads Out

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Talisman Digital Edition and IAP Goes on Sale
Nomad Games has announced that Talisman: Digital Edition and all of its IAP are currently on sale. That's for all platforms, so if you needed any reason to pick up Talisman and all the goodies for it whether you're on Android, iOS or PC, now's the time. The sale ends on Monday, so don't delay.

On top of all that, we've also learned that Talisman (fourth edition): The Dungeon Expansion should be released for Talisman within the next 2 weeks. The Dungeon expansion will feature a whole new board, 5 new characters, and over 100 cards to add even more variety to your Talisman games.

You can pick up Talisman for iOS Universal here and for Android here. Both sites have it for less than $4 (normally, it's $7).



Playdek Looking for Tournament Playtesters
Recently, Playdek started something that it never had before: forums. If ever you wanted to talk to others about Playdek's lineup of games like Agricola or Lords of Waterdeep, this is the place to go.

Another function of the forums, however, is to recruit playtesters. We mentioned their upcoming organized play system that is currently being developed back when we visited Gen Con. Testing for the system is currently in high gear, and they're looking for a couple hundred people to help them along.



Currently the only game being tested is Summoner Wars, so if you play Summoner Wars on either iOS or Android, head over to their forums and sign up here.

The deadline for signups are October 16, so don't hesitate.



Suburbia Heads to Google Play
A while back we noted that Suburbia has left the comfy confines of Apple and spread to Android. At the time, it was only available on the Amazon Appstore.

Several readers were wondering when it would, if ever, show up on Google Play. Well, today's your lucky day, because it just landed there this morning.

The app is pretty much identical to the iPad version with the exception of not having online multiplayer. Luckily, Suburbia had a very well done single-player campaign mode, so it's still worth picking up considering it's only $4 for Android.
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Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:10 pm
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