Gabe AlvaroUnited States
• Imperial Released
• Anno Released
• Apple's "Let's Talk iPhone" Event
• Steve Jobs Dies
• Double Across - Crossword Puzzle Game Updated
• Minor Updates to Various Apps
• Ravensburger Sees Big Potential in Tablet Board Games
• 3-Card Brigade Poker Updated
• Imperial Released - September 30, October 6
As we reported late following last week's post, Javelin Apps has released Mac Gerdts's Imperial for the iPad and priced it at $9.99. The launch was somewhat of a mistake apparently, as the developer was immediately posting in the Imperial forums that the app would be fixed soon.
True to his word, the app was updated to version 1.1 in about a week. Here's what it includes:Quote:What's new
- AI is now operational
- New investor payout screen
- Improved taxation display
- Changed start screen and save / load
- Added "How to play"
- Fixed some gameplay that didn't follow board game rules
- Lots of bugfixes
We were quite surprised to hear about this app. The print board game is one of my personal favorites. It's great to see the more complex heavy Euros getting implemented to iOS. That said, these kind of games are among the more challenging to develop and expectations tend to run high, especially when an app is priced on the higher end of price scale.
• Anno Released - October 4
This was described to us as a historical card game. And here's more from developer Pilsen Labs:Quote:Anno challenges your knowledge of historical events of all kinds. Take randomly presented events and construct a timeline of the moments that have shaped our world. Which came first: The Black Plague or Columbus reaching America? Did Plato write The Republic before or after Mt. Vesuvius buried Pompeii? Every time you add an event the challenge grows! How big a timeline can you build? From pop culture to the space race, Anno creates a puzzle out of time. Both entertaining and enlightening, Anno will teach you something new every time you play it.
• Apple's "Let's Talk iPhone" Event - October 4
- 250 million iOS devices
- 67 million Game Center accounts
– iOS 5 goes live October 12
- iPod Touch #1 portable gaming device
- iPhone 4S introduced
- Mike Capps from Epic shows off Infinity Blade 2 which will be one of the first games to have Game Center Multiplayer in iOS 5.
- AirPlay Mirroring
There was certainly more, but I think each of these listed has a bearing on iOS board gaming in some way. The one about Infinity Blade I include because we've learned that it will be one of the first big titles to have online multiplayer using iOS 5 Game Center.
This past week another developer who will be ready out of the gate on October 12 gave us a brief run down of iOS 5 Game Center'Online Multiplayer capabilities. Here's a snippet from the conversation we had with him:Quote:iOSBG: Has Game Center support for turn-based games been available for devs to test out during iOS 5 Beta?
Dev: Yes, for months now, in all the betas since WWDC. I've been sitting on this update for a long while.
iOSBG: Have you been able to see it work asynchronously?
Dev: Yes, we've had betas for a while now...and it works pretty well. Golden Master was released on Tuesday after the big event.
iOSBG: Are you satisfied? Do you think users will be satisified?
Dev: It's going to be great. You know the advantages of async multiplayer, but this just makes it easy for a hobbyist developer with a day-job to easily add it to their app.
We get automatic support for anonymous matchmaking, friend invites, push notifications(!), and a nice listing of all of your games in three groups: your turn, other player's turn, and game over.
These UIs are in standard Game Center style, just like leader boards and achievements. Developers with more time on their hands can create custom versions and most probably will.
From a boardgaming perspective, I don't think there's a single boardgame-inspired app out there that should not be using this.
• Steve Jobs Dies - October 5
Like many, I received the fitting notification of Steve Jobs's death earlier this past week via a notification from one of the news apps on my iPhone. There are of course many talented individuals in Cupertino who will carry the torch of this mobile operating system and gaming platform, but we here at iOS Board Games must pay our respects to one of the most important technologists of our time.
Of all the tributes to Steve, we liked Gamezebo's "The Gaming Legacy of Steve Jobs", in which Joel Brodie praises Steve for (1) making everyone into a gamer by sneaking a high-end gaming platform into the one device we all use, the phone and (2) enabling anyone to be a game developer through innovating the development and distribution of games (not unlike FaceBook or Steam).
Rest in peace Steve and thanks for all the fun joyous devices.
• Double Across - Crossword Puzzle Game Updated for iOS 5 - October 5
Developer, Sol Robots, has updated their literary crossword board game app known as Double Across - Crossword Puzzle Game to version 2.0. It's for iPad and for now priced at 3.99. Sol Robots is one of the first developers to have updated their app with Game Center support in iOS 5 and will use it for their asynchronous online multiplayer capability. So if you are eager to test that out on October 12 and you already have Double Across, this update should be a welcome addition. Here's what else has been cooked into this update:Quote:What's New in Version 2.0
- Added support for Game Center's turn based multiplayer (1-6 players). Play up to 15 simultaneous games with anyone around the world that has an iPad (this feature requires iOS 5).
- Added 6 additional leaderboards, for a total of 15.
- You can now get to your Game Center stats (leaderboards and achievements) outside of the currently active game.
- Viewing a leaderboard from within a game now shows the currently active leaderboard.
- The rotate control now only shows in games within more than 1 human player.
- It is no longer necessary to confirm a tile delete when removing a tile in tiles mode.
- It is now easier to touch the close X on tiles.
- Buying a letter in tiles mode, automatically turns off the buy mode, to avoid accidentally buying more than one letter.
- Double Across now remembers from one turn to the next as to what mode (tiles or not) you were in for your last move and restores you to that mode on your next turn (currently doesn't work in online games).
- When dragging tiles in tiles mode, the player's letter counts update at the start of the drag, instead of after the drop.
- Fixed problems with closing the chat bubbles.
- Includes various cosmetic improvements.
• Minor Updates to Various Apps - October 3-8:
Rather than list them separately, we've decided to run these together in a single section this week:
- Abble Dabble to version 1.96 - October 3Quote:- Sound now works after returning app from background.
- Added turn confirmation switch to Game Options menu. Turn ON to avoid taking accidental turns.
- Rematch now allows you to change the bonus pattern and movement options of the game.
- Removed duplicate and erroneous words occasionally appearing in Tray mode on Word Lookup screen
- Replaced Volume slider on Game Options screen with Sound Effects ON/OFF switch.
- Main menu should no longer appear to be logged out when returning from background.
- Fixed incorrect image for Static board selection in New Game menu. (Vamped iPhone version)
- Added words: chai(s), meds, mirin(s), merkin(s)
- Necronomicon to version 1.2.1 - October 4Quote:- faster loading "Main Menu->New Game"
- if you win a game session, all remaining heros' scores will be added to total mythos points
- if you lose a game session, all remaining monsters' scores will be cut from total mythos points value
- organ music on achievement unlocking screen
- small bugs with cards handling fixed
- bug with clicking "done" or "erase" button on virtual keyboard (when upperCase enabled) fixed
- displaying str/san labels like "+ random 0-n" fixed
- if you won a game session - your "victories x 200" points will be added to total mythos points
- if you lose a game session - your "defeats x 200" points will cut from total mythos points value
- "," sign is used now for displaying large numbers on highscores screen
- balance adjustments (more scores for relic cards and some other adjustments)
- added 12 achievements
- Battle Planes to version 2.0 - October 5Quote:- 6 New Battle Planes. Total 16 Battle Planes.
- New Army Style Ranking and Experience Point feature allow player to level up and earn promotions.
- More planes are allowed to be setup on normal and big size board.
- Quick Play to start the game instantly.
- Randomize button to set up plane automatically.
- Samurai Bloodshow to version 1.2.3 - October 5Quote:Fixed numerous bugs.
- Storylines to version 1.01 - October 5Quote:- Fixed a bug with availability of finished Pass-n-Play chains when wireless is not available.
- Made scrolling in menus smoother.
- Corrected some typos.
- Frantic Frankfurt to version 1.1 - October 8Quote:• improved tutor
• training ends at level 20
• OpenFeint GameFeed
• news system
• improved iPod music support
• bug fixes
• better performance on any device
- Full Deck Hold'Em to version 2.0 - October 8Quote:- By popular demand!! You can now create, view, and select public tables. It's a whole new way of playing people online and finding games is easier than ever before. No more "searching for players"!
- AI fixes
- All new icons
- All new daily spin
• Ravensburger Sees Big Potential in Tablets - October 6
This past week we played a half game of Puerto Rico HD with reps from Ravensburger and none other than Andreas Seyfarth himself. While playing we group-Skyped and heard Thomas Bleyer from Ravensburger talk about the big potential for tablet games. Jim Squires from Gamezebo was in on the game and was able to fire off a blog post soon after the call.
• 3-Card Brigade Poker Updated for iOS 5 - October 6
Michael Powers has released a fresh update for his 3-Card Brigade which includes, among other things, support for Game Center turn-based multiplayer which requires iOS 5. Here's the rest:Quote:What's new
* Game Center Turn-Based Multiplayer! (REQUIRES iOS5, OCT 12) This is a new feature so we may need to work out some of the kinks in an update; please send any problems to our support email address. Otherwise, have some asynchronous fun!
* New "Most Conquests" leaderboard. Your score is the number of unique opponents you have defeated in multiplayer. Remember: you need 13 chips to win a match.
* Rule Change!: Due to popular demand, Flushes now beat Straights. We had been using conventional 3-Card Poker scoring but that just confused people and was statistically off using six suits. All better.