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Subject: When is the app better than the original game? rss

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Matt Thompson
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I fell in love with board games again after discovering Ticket to Ride on my iPad a few years ago, and could not stop playing it for months. I then bought the board game and it seemed to move at a glacial pace, not nearly as fun. I've since moved on to medium-ish games, and am wondering if any other apps are better than the original games.

The Galaxy Trucker app is phenomenal, and I can't imagine the original game being better.

Ticket to Ride

Galaxy Trucker
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Bryan Thunkd
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Arguably the Ascension app. It keeps track of all the special abilities for you and does all the tedious shuffling, etc.
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Daily Grind
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And Sentinels of the Multiverse for the same reasons Bryan gave.
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Jordan S.
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Thunkd wrote:
Arguably the Ascension app. It keeps track of all the special abilities for you and does all the tedious shuffling, etc.

Yes! So much this! Having been incredibly spoiled by the app, I would never want to play the dead-tree version of Ascension again. In fact, most deck-building type games that require constant shuffling and/or remembering chains of special ability combos do really well as apps.

Personally, Magic: The Gathering is another one. Being able to build decks digitally and having the app adjudicate various rules interactions really helps it.

I also find that the apps for Lords of Waterdeep and Galaxy Trucker pretty much fired the physical games for me as well.

And although I play quite a bit of the Summoner Wars app, that's one instance where both iterations are pretty identical experiences. It's not a terribly complicated game to begin with and very little "fiddly-ness", so the app doesn't so much improve the game as simply give you another medium through which to play it (and is quite excellent).
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Cornixt
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Hey, That's My Fish! has zero set-up time on the app.

Carcassonne makes scoring so easy. I'm certain I have screwed up scoring on every physical game I have played.
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H C
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I always wanna play the physical version
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Sean Burns
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Although the AI is incredibly weak, I love Dominant Species on the iPad for the sole reason that it handles all of the bookkeeping, tracking dominance, etc. - all the things that make the physical copy a challenge to get to the table.

Ditto for Le Havre. No fiddly-ness, no tons of chits and cards everywhere, no squinting across the table trying to read cards - it's all right there.

However, there is no substitute for playing real people face-to-face. (Except the digital Twilight Struggle, which allows me to get creamed by players from all over the world)
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Larry L
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Thunkd wrote:
... and does all the tedious shuffling...


Yep.
 
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Larry L
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mmthompsonmd wrote:


I like the physical construction of the ships much better than playing the app. On the other hand the resolution as ships fly through the deck of hazards is better handled by the app, since it is all but automatic.
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Harv Veerman
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mmthompsonmd wrote:
When is the app better than the original game?


I'ld say:"Never."

Easier, yes. Better?
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Quantum Jack
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When the app includes physical, tactile bits to pick up and move around, works when the power is out, allows house rules (on the fly), and has pieces scattered across the table to analyze from various angles. Then, it may surpass a physical game.

I have no problem playing computerized versions of games, but they are a substitute, to be used when time, distance, or avaliable space makes physical play impossible or impracticle. I would not sit around a table passing a tablet around playing ticket to ride. Placing the trains on the board and hearing a sigh of relief or a groan of frustration from another player, depending on whether you took their spot is a fundamental joy of a game like that.
 
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Eric Matthews
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For me the more fidley a game is the more likely I'd like an app version (with AI).

Elder Sign is better on the app. the cardboard version really is very fiddly for what amounts to a simple dice game and players get what would be pretty expensive expansions with entire new boards for a relatively small dlc price.

I'm beginning to think the new Paperback app might kill the full game for me too; being able to arrange the cards in the app and playing it fast on solo really improves it for me. But then again the AI in paperback has got nothing on my friends' ability to make me laugh with words they come up with.

Galaxy Trucker though, is far better in person. Playing solo on the app is fine, great even.. but it has got nothing on the stress and even occasional physical interaction of that game in person.


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Dano
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Ganybyte wrote:

Eldritch Horror is better on the app, partically because for very little price we get to have entire new boards etc, and the cardboard version really is very fidley for what amounts to a simple dice game.

You mean Elder Sign?
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Eric Matthews
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Yes, fixed!

But I would feel the same but stronger if there were a good Eldritch Horror app. Especially with how FF is weighing it down with expansions exactly like they said they wouldn't. I find the whole Arkham line more fiddley than they are worth after a couple of plays... and Elder Sign on the iPad is the only one I still play with anything approaching regularity (here's hoping Mansions of Madness with the App changes this for me).

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fightcitymayor
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As much as I like Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set the app makes it so much easier to actually get up & playing.
And I never thought I would say that.
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Tony C
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Ascension is the one that comes to mind. When I first played Ascension in meatspace, it was fun, but I'd never buy it.
I got a deal on the app with most expansion and it's very fun.

Sentinels is up there, but I still enjoying playing the physical version.

I don't have a problem with Elder Sign, it has just enough fiddly to feel good (although I do have the app as well.)

I'm not sold on the Pathfinder app. First, it crashes on me very often, second, for some reason it's just not as easy to play as the physical version (though of course much easier to set up.) That said, I'm playing a physical four character game solo now, and it's a lot of upkeep.

Not sure I can come up with a rule to say "an app is better when..." other than to say an app version is better when it's on my Kindle and I'm on an airplane.
Obviously the app should be stable, as easy to read/play as the paper version, take care of the bookkeeping for you, provide a similar feel and experience to the physical version - but it can't replace the people you're playing with. I would absolutely prefer to play Sentinels or Elder Sign or virtually any live game, with people who want to play, than solo on the app. I even lean toward setting up a solo game over app games at home. It just feels more 'real'.
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Jason
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Webhead123 wrote:
Personally, Magic: The Gathering is another one. Being able to build decks digitally and having the app adjudicate various rules interactions really helps it.

That's interesting, I hate how fiddly this plays in an app. Nearly every actions results in a timer an opportunity to play a card, activate a power, etc. I feel like I spend most of the game skipping timers.
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T. Ips
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I very much like the Star Realms app cause I get to play with players from all around the world and I don't have to shuffle all the time. But the real game does give a nice feeling, but now I can't play the real version with anyone I know anymore cause I know the game way to well
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Inappropriate Andy
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Mad Math wrote:
mmthompsonmd wrote:
When is the app better than the original game?


I'ld say:"Never."

Easier, yes. Better?


My thoughts exactly - a vital part of boardgaming is the people I'm sat round the table with.
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Freelance Police
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fightcitymayor wrote:
As much as I like Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set the app makes it so much easier to actually get up & playing.
And I never thought I would say that.


The app is also *very* useful to learn PACG's unusual (but clever) rules. I've also found a few strategies that I doubt I would have learned through the dead tree game (eg. Have your cleric or paladin hang around with the monk, and give the monk blessings!).
 
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Isaac Thimbleby
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VaultBoy wrote:
Webhead123 wrote:
Personally, Magic: The Gathering is another one. Being able to build decks digitally and having the app adjudicate various rules interactions really helps it.

That's interesting, I hate how fiddly this plays in an app. Nearly every actions results in a timer an opportunity to play a card, activate a power, etc. I feel like I spend most of the game skipping timers.


The app is awesome for newer players I think. Magic has a really steep learning curve, and the app takes the vast majority of that away. Once/if you've internalised all the rules, it's easier and way faster to do it with cards.
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chris thatcher
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I just dont enjoy board/card games as apps.
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John McD
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It's always better when there is nobody to play with. But it's never better when there is someone to play with.
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Arran Boardman
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I've played a significant amount of the excellent port of Neuroshima Hex on IOS. I wouldn't really want to play a physical copy as I can't imagine the introduction of manually calculating the attacks would add anything to the experience.
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Mirko Cano
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Carcasonne app is fantastic; so good that my physical copy rarely sees the the light of day :-/
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