Brad CummingsUnited States
The Week In Review
Here are some highlights and comments on some apps I have been playing this week. I had the chance to play many iOS titles this week:Ascension: Storm of Souls
It is more than likely that most of you are already enjoying Storm of Souls on your iOS devices. This recently added in-app purchase for Ascension: Chronicles of the God Slayer is a great addition and provides an alternative way to play Ascension. Along with this expansion, the latest update to the app also adds a promo pack expansion and several welcome add-ons. Some of these include a next game button in online play and fast app switching.
I think this update is a must have for any fan of Ascension. The added expansions really add a lot of variety to the game and increase the number of ways you can customize the experience. I really enjoy no longer having to load the game each time I go in to play, though the connection to Game Center does seem to take a while (this could be my device). The new cards are interesting to check out and really open up new strategies. The next game button is amazing and has done a lot to ease playing multiple games at a time. The IAP system is actually set up well and restoring purchases is fairly easy. I would check this out if you have not already. You can check the game out here.
Casino by Zeniz
Casino games are not something I often try out. I had a stint of really enjoying Texas Hold Em when I was in high school, but not much since then. Casino by Zeniz is basically an online portal to play slots and poker. The poker interface is pretty well done and offers several levels of play. It is easy to hop in and out of a game. The slots, beyond the basic slot game, are somewhat beyond my understanding. It does seem like strong poker simulator and you do start out with credits, so there is no initial investment. I am not sure it is exactly my cup of tea, but if you are up for Texa Hold Em on your iPad it is a well designed option. You can check it out here.Neuroshima Hex Online
The latest update for Neuroshima Hex is just around the corner. I was able to take a look at the update this week and have been quite impressed. The online system is a large improvement over Caylus and Army of Frogs. You start by creating a simple log in and password, it is sad that it is not straight Game Center, but it is not a long process. You can login in to see games that are available to join or start one of your own. Games can be async or real time if both players are online at the same time. There are also are neat options, like the ability to fast forward through the battle scenes like in a single player game. There is also in game chat. This seems like a laundry list of features, but really it is just to show that Neuroshima Hex online appears to be full featured. It really seems like this can be a new async go to. I hope that you all will check out the app when the update launches. I am very pleased.
You can check it out here.
This week Scotland Yard was released from Ravensburger Digital. I have had a chance to play around with it and it is quite well done. You can play with up to six players with local and AI players. There is also online play real time through Game Center. The interface is very well done and captures the game quite well. I will be doing a full review of this next week, but for now it looks like a great game, especially for families.
You can check it out here.
City of Secrets: Pipes
City of Secrets seems to be becoming something of a franchise and Reiner Knizia appears to be an essential part of it. Much like the previously released Skyline, Pipes is a puzzle game. Each round a series of pipes will be given to you and your task is to connect them to sockets around the edge of a grid in the optimal way. Pipes have large and small connectors. If you connect a larger connector to the outside sockets you score double the point shown, but if you connect a small connector you only score the points shown. You can also score bonus points if you have a chain of large pipes from the center (starting point) to an outside socket. It is a game that rewards preplanning and a little luck (as you don’t which pipes will come when). If you are a fan of these Knizia puzzle games this one is well done.
You can get it for $.99 right now.
Draw Something Pics of the Week
One picture to post this week from user katamarimanatee, who posted his excellent Monopoly pic a few weeks ago. As always, if you want to share your drawing please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your BGG username, and you may see them show up here.
Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition
Here is a video review I made this week of Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition:
You can check it out here.
Thought of the Week
It seems like more and more “old” video game and board game franchises are being redone or reprinted. A prime example is Diablo III which was released this week. Sometimes these sequels and reboots are improvements but at other times these rehashes can disappoint.
So my question of the week: Should board game and video game companies continue to reprint or sequelize old releases or should they focus on creating new content that learns from the past but is not directly connected to it?