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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)

Archive for Bradley Cummings, Editor

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PAX East 2015 Part 3: Robot Entertainment Updates, Stoneblade Entertainment, the latest from Witching Hour Studio, and more...

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Last week I had the chance to head to PAX East and catchup with the latest happenings in board and digital gaming. Tune in all week for updates on several upcoming games.

Robot Entertainment Updates[/b[
Robot Entertainment, makers of Hero Academy, were at PAX in a big way showing off Orcs Must Die: Unchained and a board game based on the game.

I had a chance to speak with the team about the future of Hero Academy among other things. Check out the video for more details on this great strategy game.




[b]Solforge and Ascension Updates

I had the chance to chat with Brian Kibler at PAX and get an update on their digital properties. With Solforge he was touting the newly released campaign modes which offer some fun single player challenges. Ascension is also going strong and is currently caught up to the physical game in terms of content (pretty impressive!).

Check out the full interview for more details:




Masquerada from Witching Hour Studio
Much to my surprise, Witching Hour Studio was back at PAX East this year with a new title, Masquerada: Songs and Shadows. This is an RPG inspired by the likes of Baldur’s Gate (real time with the ability to pause and issue commands). Set in a world where magic is controlled by wearing masks, the game looks to bring the visual style and depth we expect from this team.

Check out the video for more on the game:




Krosmaster Arena
At the show, Ankama was showing off Krosmaster Arena on iPad. The game seems to be a pretty faithful port. The team mentioned that it should be coming soon and will feature the ability to upload any Krosmaster figures you already own. If you are a fan of this minis game, be sure to be on the look out.




Thoughtshelter Games
While at PAX, I had the chance to check out this interesting digital board game. A Druid’s Duel is a very Go or Chess like game of board control. The goal is eliminate enemy druids and claim any ground they have marked. There are several types of druids and each has an animal form. Each druid is eliminated in one hit, so the game is about positioning and planning. It really seems like an interesting evolution of some classic abstract games.

Check out the game in this video:

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Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:00 pm
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PAX East 2015 Part 2: SOTM Rook City Expansion, Cinelinx, Highlands, and more…

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Last week I had the chance to head to PAX East and catchup with the latest happenings in board and digital gaming. Tune in all week for updates on several upcoming games.


Sentinels of the Multiverse Rook City Expansion
Sentinels of the Multiverse the Video Game was one of the biggest titles of last year. At PAX, I had the chance to catch up with John Arnold and Christopher Badell to learn more about the Rook City expansion, coming very soon.

We even had a chance to see the expansion in action on a device so be sure to check out the video to see that:





Asmadi Games
I had the chance to sit with Chris Cieslik of Asmadi games and talk about perennial topic: Consequential. This game was touting board game/digital integration before it was cool. It’s been a few years in development but looks like all that will pay off. The game will be Kickstarter later this year and then on to production.

Consequential is a story telling game that combines board game mechanics with digital story beats. It is an ambitious project that is attempting to redefine that way story based board games work. I am excited to see what materializes after all these years.




Highlands
This interested area control game was a surprise to us at PAX. Set in a Miyazaki inspired world, Highlands is all about controlling key locations. You control a team of warriors each with special skills. Aside from your standard fighters, you also have engineers that can build up the defenses of location. The enemies you face move forward in very deliberate patterns, which gives it a very board game feeling.

The game is available to preorder now and should be live soon:




Cinelinx Coming to Digital Platforms
In the Indie Tabletop Area of the Indie Megabooth, I got the chance to check out Cinelinx, an interesting mashup of dominoes and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Each card in the deck lists an actor, director, film, or genre. You start with a hand of ten cards and a genre card in the middle. The goal is to empty your hand by placing cards in a positions that works. I’ve tried the game myself and it is, in a word, challenging. It will push your movie knowledge to the limits. Luckily, the game allows you to use up to three connections to link a card, which is much easier than a one to one link and prevents you from getting stuck as often.

Cinelinx will be coming to digital platforms later this year.




World of Tanks Generals
Have you played the world’s great game? That’s World of Tanks Blitz, if you weren’t aware. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the same company is bringing out a new card game called World of Tanks Generals, coming to web and mobile.

Dave and I have both given the game a try, and, while it is early, there do seem to be some interesting things going on. Interestingly, it is uses a sort of Living Card Game model rather than bling buying, so perfect for those that want low cost gaming.

Check out more details here:

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Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:00 pm
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PAX East 2015 Part 1: Hearthstone hands-on, Magic Origins, Pleasant Dreams, and Necropolis

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Last week I had the chance to head to PAX East and catchup with the latest happenings in board and digital gaming. Tune in all week for updates on several upcoming games.

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain Adventure
Thanks to Dave for getting a post up with all known details while I was stil at the show. In case you’re curious, I’ve got a video here of the full panel presentation (apologies for the camera work at times, I was being bumped).

At PAX East I was actually able to go hands on with the first boss in the Blackrock Mountain expansion, the Grim Guzzler. As mentioned in the previews, this boss’s hero power pulls random minions from both decks and puts them onto the board. At the demo stations they had 3 preset decks chock full of legendaries. The strategy here is to hope that you can trade at a 2:1 ratio. One card that helps with this is the Grim Patron. Every time this card takes damage, a new Grim Patron pops out.

We were able to take the normal level quite easily and after a few attempts, the heroic version was bested. So far the expansions seems to add some great new additions, and the board had some fun click-ables.

Here’s the full video:



Magic Duels Origins
Again, Dave was on the ball here and has already shared a lot about Magic Duels Origins. The big takeaways are that they are ditching the annual model and ever card can be earned by playing. This will also be the first time Planeswalkers will be in a Duels products.

Check out the full video for more details:



Pleasant Dreams Coming to iOS
Last year I first met Aerjen of Aerjen games showing off his Kickstarter title Pleasant Dreams. I was intrigued, not only by the art, but also by the interesting bluffing gameplay. The goal of the game is to stay asleep by avoiding nightmare cards that will start to wake you. The news this year is that it is coming to digital platforms this year.

Check out the video for more details:



Necropolis from Harebrained Schemes
While not as much a strategy title as Shadowrun Returns or Golem Arcana, HBS was at the show presenting a new game that seems right up our alley. It is a third person action rogue-like. The design seems really well done and the gameplay was a great mix of strategy and dexterity.

I had a chance to go hands on and really enjoyed it. The combat is reminiscent of something like Dark Souls, where timing and dodging are important. The game also features cool interactions between the monsters in the dungeon. At one point I was kiting along some sort of giant shark monster who then starting eating some of the other monsters. It was a cool effect and nice to see more than just a straight action game. This studio has yet to disappoint, so be sure to look for more in the near future.

Check out the game in this video:
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Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:00 pm
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Live Stream: Sid Meier's Starships. Come watch now!

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An original strategy title for iPad from one of the greats of the industry? Sign me up! Few games have us as excited as Starships. Set in the Beyond Earth universe, this game promises to deliver a lot of what we love about the Civ franchise with the added bonus of spaceship battles!

Released just this week, we will be taking a first look into the game. If you are curious about how it plays, be sure to join us live as we give our early thoughts and impressions of the game. This is not one to miss!

Here are the details:



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:00 am
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Weekly Stream: Sid Meier’s Starships. Watch Live Thursday 3/12 at 9pm EST

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An original strategy title for iPad from one of the greats of the industry? Sign me up! Few games have us as excited as Starships. Set in the Beyond Earth universe, this game promises to deliver a lot of what we love about the Civ franchise with the added bonus of spaceship battles!

Released just this week, we will be taking a first look into the game. If you are curious about how it plays, be sure to join us live as we give our early thoughts and impressions of the game. This is not one to miss!

Here are the details:

When: Thursday, March 12th, 9:00pm EST
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Dave and I


If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:49 pm
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Live Stream: World of Tanks: Generals. Watch for chance to win a Beta code!

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I have been wanting to stream World of Tanks Blitz, one of my favorite games of last year, for a while now. This week the new World of Tanks Generals card game has entered beta, and we have a handful of codes to give away.

World of Tanks is a pretty fun and respectful wargame series, albeit buried beneath of mountain of abrasive PR. This card game is a new world of mystery. Is it more than just a Hearthstone gold rush cash in? Come watch live to find out.



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Thu Mar 5, 2015 2:00 am
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Wargame Review Roundup: Ultimate General: Gettysburg, Pike and Shot, and Hell: Fight for Gilrand

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Grognards unite! The last few weeks have played host to the release of several new wargames for digital devices. The settings vary from the American Civil War to a ghoulish fantasy realm. As I am very behind on my reviewing schedule, lets take a quick look at each.



Ultimate General: Gettysburg
Availability: iPad
Price: $7.99
App Store Links: App Store

This game has been tempting us with its beautiful design for more than a year. Ultimate General: Gettysburg is slow-paced RTS based on the famous battle. For an RTS, it really sticks to the history and provides the same challenges and lines you expect. On iOS the battle is split into different scenarios which cover a set number of hours. You are free to play both sides. While it is limited to the one battle, there is a fair number of scenarios and variety.

Units are controlled in real time but take quite a while to respond and move, this is not a twitch based affair. Units have some basic controls such as run, charge, fortify, and retreat. The use of these commands is key to success. There are also general units which an exert influence and increase morale. As you command your units you will see soldiers fall and lines form up. It is all presented in a beautiful way. This is hands down one of the pretties wargames I have played on iOS.

Ultimate General Gettysburg is difficult. I wouldn’t call myself an expert but I have played a few wargames in my day. With this one, however, I lose repeatedly. The biggest issue is I am not sure what to fix. While the game features an excellent tutorial, I feel like the first mission is directly into the fire. That being said, those wiser than I will not have issue, but for a more casual wargamer it is almost impossible to breach.

I really admire this game for its presentation, UI, and controls. They are literally some of the best on the platform. For me personally I found the game too crunchy and impossible to comprehend form a casual point of view. Your strategy game chops will really be the guiding light here. If you consider yourself a strong strategy gamer, this is not one to miss.



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How would you rate Ultimate General: Gettysburg?
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
      59 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk





Hell: Fight for Gilrand
Availability: iPad
Price: $12.99
App Store Links: App Store

Back at Slitherine’s press convention in 2014, we learned about a fantasy wargame built in the BA2 engine by Hunted Cow. That game was Hell and last week it was summoned onto iOS. In Hell you command an army of fantasy units through a campaign fighting demons and other monsters. Much like Battle Academy 2, the game is all about using terrain to your advantage and properly flanking/supporting troops.

The main difference here is the fantasy world. instead of tanks and artillery, you have knights, wizards, and paladins. Each mission features a different mix of units and using each type of units wisely is key. The games features two lengthy campaigns and a well done tutorial. It is great to see the presentation of Hunted Cow improved through the Battle Academy engine.

If I have one complaint about Hell, it is that is too similar to Battle Academy. In many ways it feels like a quick re-skin. Many of the attributes and mechanics from BA2 are carried right over. This is not necessarily a problem as the BA series is very well done, however, it often does feel to dwell with the setting. Because it stays so close to its roots, battles feel slow and cautious. This made sense for WW2, you need to set up positions and attack the enemy. With a fantasy world, I expect more boldness and recklessness, but the system just doesn’t allow it. You are always on even power level with the enemy and need to use any advantage to get the upper hand. It feels disjointed.

It is great to see the Battle Academy engine branch out but here I think more could have been done. Hell is a fine strategic wargame but does not seem to bring much new to the table compared to the series it stems from.



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How would you rate Hell: Fight for Gilrand?
5 Stars
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3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      21 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk





Pike and Shot
Availability: iPad
Price: $19.99
App Store Links: App Store

Pike & Shot is another title built in the Battle Academy 2 engine. Unlike Hell, however, the game feels fresh, different, and entirely unique. Some mechanics remain, but the core gameplay is very different.

In Pike & Shot war is a formal affair. On a given battlefield, you can get a clear view of all units on the board. Fitting in with the time period, this game is more about assessing the situation and finding a way to break your opponents. Each of your units has a very clear use that is explained beautifully by the game’s tutorial. Your goal is to correctly match up these advantages and hopefully cause the enemy unit to break. Most units have the ability to attack at range, but also the ability to charge. This ability is key as it is the main way you will set up fronts and push enemy units back. Charge also has its tradeoffs as it locks units in combats and prevents ranged attacks.

Much like Ultimate General: Gettysburg, this is game is all about setting up lines and knowing when to charge. Making these calls is the key to victory. The game features a tutorial along with two campaigns. They do seem lengthy and battles quickly escalate to a very large scale. There is a ton of wargaming goodness in this package.

I’ve really enjoyed Pike & Shot. It is a refreshing take on wargaming for iOS and shows great potential in what the Battle Academy engine can do. I really recommend checking this one out.



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How would you rate Pike and Shot?
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Poll created by thequietpunk
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Wed Mar 4, 2015 3:00 pm
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Weekly Stream: World of Tanks Blitz and World of Tanks Generals. Come win a beta code! Wednesday 3/4 9pm EST

Brad Cummings
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I have been wanting to stream World of Tanks Blitz, one of my favorite games of last year for a while now. This week the new World of Tanks Generals card game has entered beta and we have a handful of codes to give away.

World of Tanks is a pretty fun and respectful wargame series, albeit buried beneath of mountain of abrasive PR. This card game is a new world of mystery. Is it more than just a Hearthstone gold rush cash in? Come watch live to find out.

Here are the details:

When: Wednesday, March 4th, 9:00pm EST
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Dave and I


If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Tue Mar 3, 2015 3:00 pm
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Review Roundup: Capitalism Quest, Auro, Sopio, and Trouble with Robots

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I am ashamed. I have been playing many great things, but PAX and Toy Fair have made it hard to find solid review writing time. As a glorious cop out, I present a series of quick hit reviews.




Capitalism Quest
Availability: iOS Universal
Price: Free
App Store Links: App Store

This game is a mystery. It is a free to play (no IAP) timer based game that has me totally hooked. Capitalism Quest is all about building resource producing buildings, collecting those resources, and building more buildings. Each time you exploit a natural resource your charity level goes down, but can go back up by planting forests. All this is done on a shared world with other players. You can build houses that you can eventually sell (and other players can buy) as well as establish markets to sell excess resources.

The gameplay is fairly simple but great for dropping in every couple of days. While timer based, there is no need to constantly be checking in. The developer has said he intended most people to check in about once a week. The real hook here for me is the persistent, shared world. In my few weeks of playing, I have seen new players come into the game and suddenly start building up around me. The players even teamed up to build a road that runs down the vertical and horizontal middles of the current map. Imagine Sim City lite in a shared world.

Capitalism Quest is an interesting social experiment. Much like Peter Moleyneux’s Curiosity app, this game keeps you coming back to see what they community is doing. I highly recommend it.



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How do you rate Capitalism Quest?
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4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      22 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk





Auro
Availability: iOS Universal, Android
Price: $2.99
App Store Links: App Store, Google Play

Keith Burgun is back again with another weird, bizarre, brilliant game. In Auro you are trying to bump all enemy monsters off the board with the titular character Auro. You have a series of spells and abilities to help you in this task, but it will also require a healthy amount of brain power. Auro is a deep, challenging puzzle game.

The game features a pretty lengthy tutorial which walks you through all the monster types you will encounter and the spells needed to defeat the. Some monsters are “heavy” and cannot be bumped without using a spell, others can only be bumped once they are frozen. You will want to do a good portion of the tutorial as the main game will expect you to have the majority of the knowledge contained within.

The main gameplay is a series of “dungeon runs” where you are trying to make it to the end of the dungeon and bump monsters off the board. Bumping monsters earns points towards a target score for that run. As you complete goals, you will level up which will unlock more challenging boards. The game is not afraid to throw almost anything at you. If you are a puzzle lover, you are going to find perfect gameplay here.

Auro features a beautiful animation style with sprites reminiscent of the SNES era. That being said, the monsters can be just plain weird, but that is part of the fun. Auro is a challenging game but a rewarding one. It makes you think and lets you celebrate your victories. This is a strategy puzzle game that should not be missed.



Poll
How do you rate Auro?
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      27 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk





Sopio
Availability: iOS Universal
Price: $1.99
App Store Links: App Store

Imagine, if you will, that Fluxx and Munchkin were designed from the ground up to fit perfectly on mobile devices. Both have a lot going on the table that really hinders mobile play (while the Fluxx app is a noble effort). Sopio is a game in the same genre (you lose because I played a card, haha) as the above, but is an digital original. Because of this the gameplay fits perfectly on mobile. This is by far its greatest strength.

In Sopio, your goal is to reach 1000 points. This is done by playing cards on yourself or others. Any card in your hand can be played on any player. You play one card each turn and draw one additional card each turn. Some cards give you points while others take them away. Additionally there are several cards that provide special actions like reversing the flow play or forcing a player to discard cards. Games go until either one player reaches 1000 points or a the deck runs out and ever card has been played. Generally it is the latter. It becomes this push your luck game of holding on to certain so your last play puts you in the lead.

Sopio is the best fit of this type of game on iOS. The flow is easy to follow and gameplay is quick. However, overall the game just didn’t grab me. This gameplay is fun in the right setting but solo against AI on mobile is not really it. It is a well done app, but a lackluster game.



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How do you rate Sopio?
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      16 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk





Trouble With Robots
Availability: iOS Universal, Android
Price: Free with IAP
App Store Links: App Store, Google Play

Don’t we all love a good defense game from time to time? Trouble With Robots takes the defense formula and mixes it with deck building. You are a fantasy army trying to stop an onslaught of robotic invaders. Accompanying your battles is a silly story with moments of humor.

Before each battle you select a deck of five to seven cards. These are then dealt to you in random order during the battle. Each card will either producer a certain type of unit such as peasants, elves, dwarves, and more, or a card may represent a spell. Unlock many defense games, the goal is to build up a larger and larger army throughout the battle. You even received rewards for not losing a unit during a wave. Healing is key and one of the main strategic choices in the game.

The game features half a dozen missions to try and then additional chapters via IAP. While not reinventing the genre, the deck and hand management does add a welcome twist to the defense gameplay. Definitely give this one a try.



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How do you rate Trouble with Robots?
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      35 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk
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Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:49 pm
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Live Stream: Ultimate General Gettysburg. Watch now!

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Ulimate General Gettysburg deployed on the app store over the weekend, coming from a successful stint on Steam. This is a modern take on traditional wargames. It is sort of RTS but the action is much slower and ponderous than your typical game of that genre. This is not a twitch based affair.

The Battle of Gettysburg holds a special place in my heart, and this game is an interesting and beautiful take on it. Tune in live and watch I try to convince you that this RTS is perfect for turn-based wargamers.

Here are the details:



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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