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

[1]  Prev «  9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13  Next »  [58]

Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Live Stream: Magic 2015 Expansion. Come watch live now!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb


Last week Magic 2015 was updated with a new expansion featuring a bunch of new cards and a host of new challenges. To celebrate, Brett Nolan from App Addict and I will be going head to head to show off some of the new content. Be sure to join us!



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the archive after the fact.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:59 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
40 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Golem Arcana Overview

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb
The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 6
Current Price: $58 on Amazon (App is Fre
Developer/Publisher: Harebrained Schemes
Amazon link: Golem Arcana


Golem Arcana is not the first time tablets and miniatures games have been mixed, but it may very well be the largest attempt. After a successful Kickstarter, the Harebrained Schemes team has been hard at work building the game and promoting it at many conventions. Since launch, several expansions have already been released with more on the way. There is even an event in-app event starting soon. Golem Arcana seems to be well supported with both physical and digital products. So, the question is: should you jump in?

While using an app for rules management and tracking, Golem Arcana is a miniatures game at heart. The starter set comes with 6 pre-painted miniatures, 6 large, thick, tiles, and a stylus to connect with your digital device. Like any miniatures game you will be moving your figures and issuing attacks, the difference is that all of this is being tracked by the included app. The app also provides Golem Arcana with rules and features that would not have been possible (or easy to pull off) with physical pieces.



Each unit in Golem Arcana is…a Golem with a pilot. They’re basically giant anime robots with a twist. Each Golem has specific attacks (ranged or melee) that they can pull off. Each pilot also provides an ability which can help in certain battle situations. On top of these there are also gods that can invoke blessings on the game, often marking a space on the board to give bonuses or hurt units inside. While many scenarios have preset builds, once you’ve learned they game, you can actually construct your own army using different pilots, golems and gods. Learning how different abilities work together is half the fun.

In this you go-I go system, each unit receives a number of action points to spend. These can be used for movement, combat, and special abilities. The map tiles are marked by a 3 by 3 grid used for both movement and combat. Movement is pretty straightforward, with players moving units a number of grids according to their movement value. One caveat is the flying movement action which works in a similar way while consuming magic to do so. This allows units to ignore any rough terrain or other units that may slow them down. Combat comes in both melee and ranged options, depending on the unit. For melee, the units must be in the same grid space, while ranged depends on the attack. The line of site rules are pretty basic, and the app also tells you who you can hit. Both combat and movement are effected by terrain on the board with bonuses for high ground or rough terrain depending on the situation.



The best part about all of this is that the app keeps track of everything. What grid spaces can you move to now? Just tap the move action on your miniature (or the provided card) and the app instantly shows you where you can go. The same is true with combat. Do you forget what effect a certain terrain will have on your team? Just tap on the tiles and the app will bring up all the pertinent information. Admittedly, tapping on a figure to do actions is a bit tedious and challenging, but the provided cards are a huge help.

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical going in about the necessity of the stylus and the whole digital apparatus. Too be honest, the game might be playable without it in its base form (with a whole raft of components), but I was wrong to discount the influence of the digital interaction. First of all, the game is extremely easy to play and requires little explanation when intruding new players. On top of that, the amount of variety available in the base game in terms of pilots, gods, and more is really astounding and is made possible as digital components. Lastly the addition of game wide events and new scenarios made possible by digital distribution are really going to make the game unique.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that there isn’t a certain amount of abstraction associated with playing on the tablet. There were times where I neglected to move a piece that I had moved digitally and had to fix the mistake later on. This abstraction is removed somewhat by the tactile shared experience of playing the miniatures game. While a single player experience can be engrossing in a video game, the tabletop components provide a grounded reality for both players.



The game design itself seems pretty standard in terms of miniatures games. Honestly, my experience with squad based miniatures games is pretty basic but it seems pretty in-line with other turn based strategy games I have played. Because you are playing with fairly small armies it is generally a straight up slugfest. The game does feature interesting mechanic such as each action having a cool down that can be ignored if you are willing to spend more action points to do the action. This really makes for some interesting decisions.

While the base set comes with enough for two players to play (and customize to a certain extent), Golem Arcana is a system. There are already several expansions released with more planned in the future. This is at its heart a miniatures game and as those typically do, it demands a large amount of commitment in both time and tender. I have enjoyed my time with the base set, but, as a gamer, I am already itching for further customization. This is not a game to step into lightly.

Golem Arcana is a great value. The miniatures are good quality and the gameplay features some interesting mechanics. The connection to the digital device can be tedious at times, but, in the end, it pays off. Golem Arcana is abundantly easy to teach and introduce to new players, and it is easy to pick up after a lapse. There is really not a lot to complain about here.

Your enjoyment of Golem Arcana is going to come down to whether you are ready for a system. As a stand alone game, it is fun, but limited. The real fun will be in customizing and competing. So are you ready to embark on this journey?
Twitter Facebook
49 Comments
Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Weekly Stream: Magic 2015 Expansion. Join Us Thursday 11/13 at 9:00pm EST.

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb


Last week Magic 2015 was updated with a new expansion featuring a bunch of new cards and a host of new challenges. To celebrate, Brett Nolan from App Addict and I will be going head to head to show off some of the new content. Be sure to join us!

Here are the details:

When: Thursday, November 13th, 9:00pm EST
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Brett Nolan of App Addict and I.


If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the archive after the fact.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:34 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Live Stream: Hearthstone. Come watch and enter to win a free booster pack!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb


BlizzCon starts Friday and it looks like we will see the announcement of some sort of goblin themed expansion. While we won’t be on site, we are going to be tuning in digitally and will share the details as soon as we have them.

To celebrate, we are going to stream some Hearthstone this week. Hearthstone was one of our first streams back and lets just say we are considerably better at the game now..haha. We’ll play a little head to head and maybe dive into the Arena to discuss some strategies. We’ll even discuss our thoughts on what the big announcement will be, based on the rumors floating out in the nether.


Here are the details:



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the archive after the fact.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Fri Nov 7, 2014 1:58 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
37 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf - iOS Review

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb
The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 6
Current Price: Free (with IAP)
Version: 1.0.2
App Size: 474 MB
Developer/Publisher: Herocraft Ltd.
Multiplayer: No.
AI: Yes.
Itunes link: Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf


We tablet and phone gamers have been rather spoiled by games from the Warhammer license. We have excellent experiences like Space Hulk, Warhammer Quest, and Talisman. Of course there have also been titles like Warhammer 40k: Carnage and Warhammer 40k: Storm of Vengeance, which are much less flattering. Seemingly out of nowhere we now have a a card based TBS game that is free-to-play on top of everything else. Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is an anomaly.

Space Wolf feels like a mashup of Space Hulk, Warhammer Quest, and Card Hunter. This is a turn based strategy game about positioning and line of site rather than one about cover. Your space marines lumber slowly forward taking action points just to turn facing. All actions in the game are carried out by cards. Cards range from movement, to weapons, to equipment that can have ongoing effects. You have the option to play up to two cards a turn, but that is not all. Each card features an effort number to use it, generally the better the card, the more effort it takes. Turn order is determined by this effort number, so if you choose to do fewer actions on a turn, your next turn will likely come sooner.



You will eventually have a full squad of space marines at your command. They come in several basic classes that you can customize further with deck building. There are also new classes such as the Scout and Terminator to unlock via IAP. Deck building is key and becomes crucial as the game becomes more difficult. All booster packs are purchased with in-game currency but you can, of course, spend real world money to get more currency. The game also features one of those card evolution mechanics which I detest: you can combine copies of the same card to create a new stronger card. There is a lot to customize but your options will depend heavily on how much you are willing to spend.

The game is graphically impressive especially considering the cost of entry. Cutscenes provide story beats and really fit the 40k universe. The gameplay animations are pretty great and often the camera will zoom in to show off a big attack. The maps are also fairly diverse with new custom elements showing up in each mission.



The game is split into a series of missions where you will go head to head with enemy forces. Each mission features different primary and secondary objectives. Secondary objectives generally require some risk but provide added benefits. You will face off against a variety of enemies including cultists and space marines. The AI can be pretty sneaky really forcing you to plan each move. Luckily the maps are usually setup to give you clear choke points and cover if you use them correctly. That being said, it is challenging to takedown an enemy without taking some damage yourself. Because you basically have identical range, you are always fighting a war of attrition.

This leads to the dark reality of the game. Free-to-play games need to nudge you to spend money, and I can’t begrudge them of that, however, Space Wolf is extremely on the nose and blocks you in the worst ways. There are missions when your team of 3-5 must take on 25 enemies. Again, you are stronger than them, but you are basically always taking a hit. Missions like this require you to really upgrade your cards and decks in order to succeed, which will require some real world cash. You can level up your team and earn currency by grinding, but it is going to be a long road. On top of this, the game requires a constant online connection, greatly hindering portable play. These two features really sully an otherwise extremely competent strategy game.



It is important to remember that this is a pretty well designed strategy game made by a team that seems to love and respect the source material. They have already released an update to the game and are promising a multiplayer update soon. They are listening to the community, so we may see an alleviation of this pretty terrible F2P design in the near future. F2P can work, it just has to be done right.

So, what is it Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf? It is an interesting card based strategy game with quality graphics, and great Warhammer mythology. It is also free-to-play in the worst sense of the word, hitting you with obvious pay walls and complex (read confusing) leveling and upgrade systems. Your enjoyment of this game is going to depend on how you can reconcile these two identities. For me, while I enjoyed my time with the game, I could not overcome the lack of concrete progression in the IAP system.

A game of two minds.

Poll
How do you rate Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf?
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      71 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk
Twitter Facebook
24 Comments
Wed Nov 5, 2014 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Weekly Stream: Hearthstone BlizzCon Special. Join Us Thursday 11/6 at 9:00pm EST.

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb


BlizzCon starts Friday and it looks like we will see the announcement of some sort of goblin themed expansion. While we won’t be on site, we are going to be tuning in digitally and will share the details as soon as we have them.

To celebrate, we are going to stream some Hearthstone this week. Hearthstone was one of our first streams back and lets just say we are considerably better at the game now..haha. We’ll play a little head to head and maybe dive into the Arena to discuss some strategies. We’ll even discuss our thoughts on what the big announcement will be, based on the rumors floating out in the nether.


Here are the details:

When: Thursday, November 6th, 9:00pm EST
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Gray and I.


If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the archive after the fact.
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Tue Nov 4, 2014 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Halloween Special: Ghost Blitz Review

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb
The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iphone 6
Current Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0.6
App Size: 75.2 MB
Developer/Publisher: Terra Infinity
Multiplayer: Yes.
AI: Yes.
Itunes link: Ghost Blitz
Google Play link: Ghost Blitz


Do you ever feel a game is psychoanalyzing you? Ghost Blitz is that sort of game for me. This is ostensibly a children’s game about acting as quickly as you can. Because of this it can find a place with both children and adults, playing differently in each situation. The game actually fits really well on digital platforms and gains new ways to play in the translation.



In Ghost Blitz there are five objects: a grey mouse, a blue book, a red chair, a white ghost, and a green bottle. The game is played by flipping the top card from a deck, each card referring to one of the five objects, and then grabbing that object as quickly as possible. The trick is that the cards are in code. Sometimes the card shows and object in it’s correct color. If that is shown, then grab that object! In other cases objects are show in the wrong colors, These color and object combinations should eliminate four of the objects, leaving the one that is correct for you to grab. The goal is to try and figure out what the card is telling you as quickly as possible. The winner is the person who grabs the most objects correctly.

On iOS the game is played in real time. You can play a solo mode where you go for a high score or against AI or human players. Admittedly, this game is not great against AI as it is hard to not feel like it is either letting you win or cheating. Online play is pretty fun, and it is easy to get into a private game (using a password). Dave and I did notice some odd score keeping errors in our test games. We had one game where it told me I won on my end and that he won on his end. It was a bit odd.

One of the coolest game modes is an online challenge mode. Basically you play against all players worldwide, but not directly. You compete in a solo game, answering as many cards correctly as you can within a time limit. Your score is then sent to the global leaderboard where you can see how you compare with other players worldwide. These competitions reset every few minutes, so you can always try to climb higher the next time around. Admittedly, this feature is a bit empty right now, but with the right critical mass it could be a lot of fun.



Visually the game is great for kids who like spooky things. A friendly ghost appears on the screen periodically and the objects are large and easy to tell apart. The UI is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate. Iconography is used which makes it a fit for younger children as little to no reading is required.

This is a short review, I know, but Ghost Blitz is a game of quick decisions. This is not an iOS title that you will play all the time, but it is a great fit for a quick brain exercise. If you have kids, this is really a know brainer as it is a faithful translation of this hard to find game. I recommend picking this one up for some Halloween fun this weekend.

A fitting port of this spooky game.

Poll
How do you rate Ghost Blitz?
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      19 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:38 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Live Stream: Ghost Stories and Ghost Blitz. Join Us Live!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb


Happy Halloween! To celebrate Dave and I will be playing two spooky games. The first will be Ghost Stories, a great implementation that seems to be overlooked sometimes. Additionally we will be checking out Ghost Blitz which was released recently. It is a pretty light game, even a kids game, but it has some pretty cool online features.



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the archive after the fact.
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:00 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
35 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front - iOS Review

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb
The Stats:
Compatibility: iPad
Reviewed On: iPad Air
Current Price: $19.99
Version: 1.2
App Size: 302 MB
Developer/Publisher: Slitherine
Multiplayer: Yes.
AI: Yes.
Itunes link: Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front

Battle Academy was a revelation on iPad for several reasons. It was, at that point, one of the deepest and most complex games on the platform. The breadth of content and amount of playtime available was outstanding. It also carried a price tag to match it’s depth. Now Slitherine is back with Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front. It promises more depth and a whole new campaign. Can it reach the already high standards set by the first game?

For those new to the series, Battle Academy is a turn based strategy game set in WW2 (although the engine will be used for several different time periods in the future). Each unit in the game represents either a group of 1-5 soldiers or a single tank, truck, or armored vehicle. The system is you go/I go, you attack and move with all of your forces and then the enemy takes their turn. The game is played in a series of missions within campaigns, and each mission has different primary and secondary objectives. Generally these involve capturing and holding victory point locations. The AI, even on easy levels, will do things to surprise you, launching counterattacks and more.



The series has a few wrinkles that really set it apart from the pack. Spotting and line of sight is a key mechanic of the game. Enemy units can wait in ambush in forests or buildings, and you often won’t see them until you stumble into the space next to them. There are scout units that can reveal enemies within their range, and most units can lay down suppressing fire on a space if you suspect enemy forces may be there. You as the player can use the same tactics, ordering units to hold fire until the enemy is in the perfect spot for an ambush. Battle Academy 2 adds smoke which allows you to actually create your own line of sight blockers and get into position.

The amount of rules can be daunting at first and sometimes the number of units you command can be downright tedious, but nothing on iOS really compares with this game in terms of scope and size (ok, maybe XCOM). Battle Academy 2 features four campaigns with an average of eight missions each. Any given mission lasts about an hour, so we are talking 30+ hours of content for a single play-through. Combine that with online play and the new skirmish mode with randomly generated maps, and you have an amazing amount of content.



Most of what I have said so far could be said of either Battle Academy or Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front. If you are new to the series be sure to read my original review of Battle Academy for more thoughts on the system itself (Disclaimer: I am much more of a wargamer now than when I played the original, so take my complaints about rule complexity with a grain of salt).

Let’s get in to what is new in Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front, for those that enjoyed the first one. First things first, for those expecting a new design, a new UI, and a breadth of new features, you are looking in the wrong place. BA2 is more of a sequel in a content sense than an entire new game. That being said, there is a massive amount of new content and features here that should not be scoffed at.

One criticism of Battle Academy was the comic book style that felt a little too cartoony and a little light for the tone of war. BA2 has taken that style and matured it a bit. Things are presented in darker tones and everything has added grit. Admittedly, I’ve found the new style does make it challenging to pick out units in trees and other cover (especially on the night maps). However, it does seem fitting not only for the game but for the tone of the Eastern Front. It was a very different war.

The Eastern Front also brings new units and abilities. A whole new slew of soviet units is available as well as new abilities for existing units. As mentioned earlier, throwing smoke is a new feature and provides a new layer of strategy. The ability to basically create your own cover opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The game also features an army designer which gives you options to customize your army with the units you prefer. You’ll be leading these units on very different terrain as well. Winter tiles sets and night time battles join the mix of possible scenarios.



By far, the coolest new feature is the skirmish mode. This mode allows you to setup random scenarios to play against the AI or online. We checked this out in our live stream and it was quite fun. The random nature keeps you on your toes and provides basically endless play. If you like the BA2 system, this is going to bring you hours of fun. Another feature I am dying to try more of is the online co-op mode. I loved teaming up in games of Starcraft as a kid and being able to do that turn based with a strategy game seems awesome. I look forward to getting more into this mode.

While the merit of these new missions and features can be debated, for me the best new features are under the hood. BA2 was designed with iPad in mind and the controls feel responsive and clear. While similar in UI design to the previous game, I felt like everything was much more polished here. The game feels natural on a tablet.

The game still carries its PC DNA which can be a blessing and a curse. As with the original, modding is available (on PC) and has been expanded in this version. Expect player created content to download soon. The PC baggage carries some clunky UI elements with it. They have streamlined some, but often times icons still feel entirely too small.



If you've never tried Battle Academy, this sequel is the place to start. It takes what made the original a hit and adds in new features. The skirmish mode and new online multiplayer modes have opened up hours of gameplay. If you fall in love with the system, the possibilities are endless.

For existing fans, this feels a lot like an expansion. There are improvements and new features across the board, more than come in the original game’s $25 expansion, so the value seems on track. If you love Battle Academy and want more content, dive right in. If you were on the fence about the game, the sequel will do little to change your mind.

Battle Academy is a step forward, not a leap. The same barriers that blocked it before still exist, such as a PC feeling UI and an odd save system. However, there is also a lot to love here and a raft of new features to keep fans busy. Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front is hands down one of the best and largest wargames on iOS. It is a must have for any digital grognard.

Battle Academy 2 is the wargame to beat on iPad.

Poll
How would you rate Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front?
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
      22 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk
Twitter Facebook
8 Comments
Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Weekly Stream: Halloween Special - Ghost Stories and Ghost Blitz. Join us Thursday 10/30 at 9pm EDT!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
mbmbmbmbmb


Happy Halloween! To celebrate Dave and I will be playing two spooky games. The first will be Ghost Stories, a great implementation that seems to be overlooked sometimes. Additionally we will be checking out Ghost Blitz which was released recently. It is a pretty light game, even a kids game, but it has some pretty cool online features.

Here are the details:

When: Thursday, October 30th, 9:00pm EDT
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Dave and I


If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the archive after the fact.
Twitter Facebook
9 Comments
Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

[1]  Prev «  9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13  Next »  [58]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.