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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Appointment with F.E.A.R - App Video Review

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 5
Current Price: $2.99
Version: 1.04A
App Size: 107 MB
Developer/Publisher: Tin Man Games
Multiplayer: NA
AI: NA
Itunes link: Appointment with F.E.A.R
Google Playlink: Appointment with F.E.A.R




Tin Man's best yet.

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Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:00 pm
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Surprise: Our Live Stream Tonight is Galaxy Trucker! Join Us On Twitch at 9pm EDT!

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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Surprise! We are going to play Galaxy Trucker! We've got permission to show you this excellent release. The words Game of the Year are being tossed around, so don't miss this preview.

Come join us on Twitch: www.twitch.tv/iosboardgames

You can ask us questions live in the chat and we will answer them as we play. Come watch Dave and I go head to head!
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Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:31 am
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Watch us play Carcassonne Live Thursday 9/18 at 9pm EDT

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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Alright, I think we are ready to try out our new streaming system, on Twitch! To celebrate this occasion, we are going to play a classic: Carcassonne. The Twitch stream should have better latency and a comment stream you can post on live. Carcassonne is a classic and still holds up after all these years, so be sure to come check it out.

Here are the details:

When: Thursday, September 18th, 9:00pm EDT
Where: BoardGameGeek TV on Twitch
Who: Myself and Dave


This will be our first live run, so please be patient with us as we amy run into some technical difficulty. We would also love your feedback on Twitch vs. Google Hangout.

P.S. We may have some surprise new releases to show on the stream, so be sure to turn in to learn what these mystery games might be.
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Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:00 pm
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Yardmaster - iOS Review

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universa
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 5
Current Price: $3.99
Version: 1.0
App Size: 55.8 MB
Developer/Publisher: Crash Games
Multiplayer: Yes (?)
AI: Yes.
Itunes link: Yardmaster




This train game is on its way to greatness.

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Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:00 pm
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Live Stream - Yardmaster and Leaping Lemmings, Come Watch and Enter to Win a Code. Live 9pm EDT

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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Sorry for the cancellation last week. I have fully recovered and we are ready to go this week! We are going to check out two recent releases: Yardmaster and Leaping Lemmings.


Watch Here (live 9pm EDT):


We have codes for Yardmaster to give away, so drop us a question or topic to discuss.
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Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:30 am
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1st & Goal - App Video Review

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPad 2
Current Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0.1
App Size: 55.9 MB
Developer/Publisher: R&R Games
Multiplayer: Yes, pass and play
AI: Yes.
Itunes link: 1st & Goal
Google Play link: 1st & Goal



This football game is a surprise hit for me.

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Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:00 pm
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Join Us as We Play Yardmaster and Leaping Lemmings Live Thursday 9/11 at 9pm EDT

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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Sorry for the cancellation last week. I have fully recovered and we are ready to go this week! We are going to check out two recent releases: Yardmaster and Leaping Lemmings.


Here are the details:

When: Thursday, September 11th, 9:00pm EDT
Where: BGGTV Youtube Channel
Who: Myself, and TBD
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Tue Sep 9, 2014 2:00 pm
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Review Roundup: Cahoots, Letter Pix, and the Manhattan Project

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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Amidst a busy Gen Con month (and a move to a new apartment) there were many excellent releases. Sadly, I have not had time to review them all. In an attempt to make my way through some of the backlog, here is a roundup of three games that came out this month that you should check out.



Cahoots!



The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 5
Current Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0
App Size: 12.0 MB
Developer/Publisher: Josh Edwards
Multiplayer: No
AI: Yes
Itunes link: Cahoots!

Trick taking games often feel right at home on mobile as they are easy to play and generally an AI can provide an excellent challenge. This month, Cahoots joins the ranks of the likes of Tichu and Mu on mobile.

Cahoots is a trick taking game with six suits. Each player can score points on three of the suits and shares one suit with each of the other players. Each trick players will play two cards (of any number and suit) and the suit with the highest total is the winner, giving two points to each owner of that suit. The game creates and interesting dynamic as you are trying to help yourself but also need to decide which of your opponents you will benefit. At the end of each round you select one card from the trick to keep and one to discard. This step us one of the most important in the game as it gives you some control on what will be available in the future.

This design, a digital original, is excellent. One of my biggest complaints with most trick taking games is that I often feel like I have no good move or that I have nothing to participate in the current trick. Cahoots solves both of these problems; each decision is important. A trick could appear to be going to one suit after the first round of cards, but then could swing entirely during the second card drop. This is currently my favorite trick taking game, digital or tabletop.

As an app, Cahoots is a bit on the basic side, but it gets the job done. Play is limited to AI at the moment, but for me, that is all I really want to play this type of game on mobile with anyway. The game features a short tutorial that teaches you the basics and then hands you the reins. The UI overall is pretty clear and all the actions makes sense in context. It is the not the bell of the ball, but it does everything it needs to for the type of game it is.

Cahoots is an excellent trick taking game and a gem to have on mobile. If you are looking for a quick brain teaser for your commute or other travel, this is definitely a potential go to.



Letter Pix



The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 5
Current Price: Free
Version: .75
App Size: 78.6 MB
Developer/Publisher: Kaio Interactive
Multiplayer: Yes
AI: Yes
Itunes link: Letter Pix
Google Play link: Letter Pix

Michael Elliot sat down with Dave and I at Gen Con to show off his latest game. If you are not familiar with Michael, he is the designer of Quarriors, AND MORE. His latest game is a mobile original called Letter Pix and represents a new venture for him.

In Letter Pix, players are trying to find words in a word search. Each letter in the chosen word is removed from the board and a picture hidden behind the letters is partially revealed. After finding word, the player has a chance to guess what is in the picture. It’s a pretty fast game as after just a few rounds, a good portion of the picture is revealed. As the starting player has a clear advantage, the game allows the 2nd player to guess even if the puzzle has been solved, and they score equal points.

The game features AI, but I have found it most fun as a social game. You can challenge your friends and compete. This mashup of game mechanics seems to work really well. You often want to find the largest word possible, but you also need to be able to identify the photo. Also, each time you guess a word, you are also helping your opponent. It is a trade-off that makes for many interesting decisions.

The game can be played against AI or Facebook friends. It really shines in multiplayer, so I recommend getting online as soon as possible. There is a fair amount of content available upfront, but you are also able to purchase additional content as desired.

Letter Pix is a light social game, not a deep strategic experience, but don’t let that scare you away. It features a nice blend of mechanics and fills a unique place on mobile. As an added bonus, it really works with kids. I definitely recommend checking this one out. It may not be something you play all the time, but it is a unique game that is worth a look.



The Manhattan Project



The Stats:
Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Reviewed On: iPad Air, iPhone 5
Current Price: $6.99
Version: 1
App Size: 71.8 MB
Developer/Publisher: Domowicz Creative Group
Multiplayer: Yes
AI: Yes
Itunes link: The Manhattan Project
Google Play link: The Manhattan Project

This is a game you would expect a full-fledged review on, and we may have one in the future, but due to scheduling, I wanted to give you a quick rundown. The Manhattan Project digital was Kickstarted a few months back and is now available. It is basic yet complete translation of this popular strategy game.

In The Manhattan Project, players are competing to research, build, and test nuclear weapons. Each round you will assign works to different tasks, getting the resources you need to make progress. Unlike other games in this genre, you can actual attack other players to slow their progress. The game is a race to a predetermined point total based on the number of players. It does an interesting job of portraying this unique point in history.

Playing the Manhattan Project on iPad is going to take effort and heart. To start with, if you are new to the game, your only guide is an included rulebook. This is the rulebook from the tabletop game, so even after completing it you will need to adjust to the included interface. I understand this is how tabletop games work (if you are the teacher of your group) but I generally expect more from digital games. I believe a tutorial was a Kickstarter stretch goal that was missed, which explains its exclusion. Just seems a pity as it hinders new players.

The gameplay experience is very much an amalgam of the tabletop game. You pick up and drag actual workers (which can be dropped randomly around the board) and have a pile of yellow cake cubes. For those that are not a fan of the adjustments made visually with digital board games, you are going to enjoy this one. It is as close to a tabletop experience as you can get.

If you are a fan of the game, or willing to do the work to enjoy it, there is a great experience waiting. AI play allows you to get in a game any time you want, though I can’t really speak to its difficulty as I am new player. Online play will let you challenge other players worldwide. There really are some great options to play, if this is your cup of tea.

Your mileage with the Manhattan Project is going to come down to your patience. If you are a fan of the game, you will slip right in and play more than you ever have. If you are new, it is going to take some work to start enjoying yourself, so be ready for that.
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Fri Sep 5, 2014 2:00 pm
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Join Us as We Play Yardmaster and more live Thursday 9/4 at 9pm EDT (CANCELED)

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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It was a pretty packed month, both with releases and things to do. It saw Dave and I take Gen Con by storm, and we’ve focused a lot of our attention over the past two weeks on bringing you coverage from that show. In that time, a slew of great games has been released. In this week’s stream, we will take a look at a few of them including Yardmaster, 1st and Goal, and Appointment with F.E.A.R.


Here are the details:

When: Thursday, September 4th, 9:00pm EDT
Where: BGGTV Youtube Channel
Who: Myself, Dave, and Gray


What is your favorite game released during the last month? Let us know in the comments below. This has been a great month for mobile gaming and September looks to be another hit.

EDIT: Due to Brad being ill, we're not going to have a stream tonight. We'll be back next week with Yardmaster, 1st and Goal and whatever else comes out between now and then. Sorry for the short notice!
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Wed Sep 3, 2014 6:04 pm
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Gen Con Part 4: Integrating Board Games and Apps including XCOM, World of Yo Ho, Golem Arcana, and more

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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This year there seemed to be an abundance of board game tools or board games integrated with apps shown at Gen Con. While there have been great helper apps for years, these apps are becoming more essential to playing the game (even required in some instances). This development has been met with both positive and negative reactions across BGG. Wherever you stand, this is a thing that’s happening and does not look to slow anytime soon. Check out the videos below and you may see something the peaks your interest.

Alchemists
Alchemists is an Essen 2014 release that integrates digital devices into a classic deduction game. Your goal is to discover the results of combining different ingredients and then deducing other combinations before your opponents. The result of each combination needs to be different each game to increase replay value and up the difficulty level. CGE decided to tackle this problem with an app and visual recognition technology. To play you simply point your phone camera at the cards and the app picks up ingredients and spits out the result of the combination. The game could be playable without the device, but this integration seemed to speed up the game and make for easier setup. Be sure to check out this one later this fall.




Bezier Games
Ted Alspach took the time to chat with us at a very busy Gen Con. While we have mentioned it before, he wanted to give us a deeper explanation of the Ultimate Werewolf timer app. This app is more than just a count featuring different timers for reach stage as well as visual representations instead of a time clock. Honestly, this sounds like a great idea as the few games of werewolf I have played seem to drag on. Check out this and more details on Bezier’s digital plans in the video.




Consequential
Consequential feels like an old friends at this point. We first spoke to Chris about this game back in 2011 when I wandered the halls of Gen Con alone. It’s evolved and grown over the years into something pretty interesting. As you will in the video, the design is pretty far along and it looks like a unique combination of board game mechanics and storytelling. It is finally nearing Kickstarter and production, so be sure to check out the details in the video.




Dead of Winter Crossroads Card App
Dead of Winter was a stand out game from the show. It sold out in the first day, and it got a ton of play throughout the rest of the convention. All this praise is fully deserved in my opinion, this is the true successor to Battlestar Galactica. They’ve taken elements that worked there and added in many new mechanics taking the genre to new heights. On of the coolest elements are the crossroads cards. One of these cards is drawn by the player to the right of the current player and features a trigger condition. If triggered, something immediately happens on the current player’s turn. Colby let us know about a tool for building crossroads cards online and plans for an app to replace the crossroads deck. Check out the video for more details.




Golem Arcana
Harebrained Schemes is one of the coolest game companies on the face of the planet. Last year they had a small table in one of the demo halls, showing off prototypes of Golem Arcana, this year they had a massive booth on the show floor and constant crowds. Golem Arcana is an interactive miniatures game that us-0es an app to do all the bookkeeping. Check out the video for more details on the game as well as some information about the upcoming Shadowrun Returns sequel.




Shadowrun Crossfire
Ok, this game does not actually feature a helper app, but I placed it here because of the interesting marketing campaign combined with the game. Check out the video for details on the “digital run” Catalyst did to launch the game. It sounds like a cool idea, and it is fun to see ARGs being used to launched board games. Check out the video for more details.




XCOM the Board Game
We had a chance to chat with Anton of FFG about XCOM the board game. When they chose to make a digital integrated game, they wanted to ensure that digitization brought something unique, that the game really couldn’t exist without it. According to everything we’ve heard so far, this really seems to be the case. We weren’t able to get a hands on demo, but do check out Julian Murdoch’s article on PC Gamer for an excellent take. The game seems to capture what we love about XCOM and combines it with what we love about co-op games. Check out the video for more details on the app and its integration with the game.




World of Yo Ho
This game was one of the surprises of the show. A last minute addition to the IELLO roster, this fantastical pirate game looks to be an amazing digital show piece. In this game, your smart phone is your playing piece. You place it on a map with phone sized grid squares and your phone keeps track of where you are on the board. When you cover a grid of the board it becomes animated and often will reveal bonuses or hazards in that area of the map. You can also encounter other players and your phones will interact for combat. Dave and I are both a bit wary about the overall game complexity, but it is at the very least a cool show piece for game and app integration. Check out the video for more details

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Mon Sep 1, 2014 9:00 pm
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