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)

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News Bits: Alchemy Released, Jenga Gets Async, Free Hive, Ascension Coming

Gabe Alvaro
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• BGGer Releases Alchemy
• Jenga to get Async
• Hive Now Free!
• Ascension Coming to iOS


• Fellow BGGer Ben Stanley Releases Alchemy - Feb 10
Attorney and fellow BGGer, Ben Stanley (user: Blue Steel) has released the iOS implementation of his board game Alchemy. Ben is also the designer of the previously released (Dec 2010) Tribal Dice. Alchemy is a combinatorial game in which you play one of two dueling alchemists manipulating the elements of earth, water, air, fire, and destruction.


• Jenga for iOS to get Asynchronous Online Multiplayer - Feb 13
When I first heard that NaturalMotion Games had brought Jenga to iOS, I had to laugh. I'm certainly not a fan of the wood version. Yet the iOS implementation of this game is very well done and radiates a kind of zen-like feel to me.

Still though, I don't play it that much. Recently, however, NaturalMotion games announced that they will bring Asynchronous Online Multiplayer to their app of this widely recognized party game. I believe an async feature may give me a new reason to open this app again in the next few weeks. Now if I can only convince my iOS buddies to buy it as well.


• Hive Now Free in the App Store - Get it While it's Hot! - Feb 15
This app has never before been free in its 15 months or so of existence. It is now, so pick it up!

http://itunes.apple.com/app/hive/id335501575?uo=4&mt=8&at=10...


• Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer Coming to iOS in May 2011 - Feb 15
Gary Games has announced that its hot new deck building game will be coming to iOS in May.
Gary Games wrote:
San Diego, Ca. – February 15, 2011 – Gary Games, a top industry gaming company whose staff has over 30 years combined industry experience working with top brands, alongside Incinerator Studios, a veteran independent development studio in the video and mobile games industry, announces their partnership to bring the innovative deck-building game, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer to the digital world as an app on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

“We’re very excited to announce the collaboration with Incinerator Studios and take Ascension to a mobile platform. We’re delighted to offer Ascension as both a board game and an app in a fresh, fast and play-anywhere format,” said Gary Games CEO, Justin Gary.

Starting May 2011, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, a fast-paced game designed to be easy to learn and quick to play, will transform, courtesy of Incinerator Studios from a tabletop game to a universal digital application. Incinerator will fuse technology while maintaining the original essence of Ascension to enhance the experience with the digital ease of setup, cleanup and automatic scoring.

“This is a great opportunity for a stellar IP”, said President of Incinerator Studios, Joel Goodman. “We are looking forward to this partnership with Gary Games, and are focused on creating an exceptional mobile experience for Ascension.”
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Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:15 am
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Review: Battle of Gundabad

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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The Stats:
Compatibility: iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, iOS 3.0 and higher.
Current Price: $1.99
Developer/Publisher: Sheeta Creative Limited
Version: 1.0
Size: 11 MB
Multiplayer: None as of this version.
AI: Yes, no difficulty settings but generally pretty challenging.
Itunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/battle-of-gundabad/id41647873...


The Good:
First deck building experience on apple devices.
Challenging campaign mode.
Clear and simple interface
The Bad:
Lacks many basic features and options.
The art style will not fit all tastes.

Summary:
Battle of Gundabad is a well done deck building game, creating a portable experience that mirrors one of the highest rated games in the board game community.

Gameplay:
Battle of Gundabad is, as it claims, a deck building game. In fact, aside from a few cosmetic differences, it feels like Dominion. This is not meant as a negative remark, but to show that any player of Dominion or similar deck building games will feel right at home with this app.


In each game of Battle of Gundabad, four players begins with a small deck of cards. With these they can purchase any action cards (10 of 20 are randomly selected to form the supply of each game), more power cards (the money of the game), or victory point cards (the player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins). The game ends when three card piles are exhausted or the Castle victory point cards are gone.
Unique to Battle of Gundabad is a campaign mode. There are 14 levels with their own victory conditions, for example trying to purchase 25 action cards before the game ends. Many times your starting deck will be altered and your computer opponents will have advantages over you. Each of these levels has been challenging, and it has taken me many attempts to complete them successfully. This campaign mode gives Battle of Gundabad a unique spin and adds longevity to the play experience.

Implementation:
Battle of Gundabad brings the deck building genre to the iOS in an overall positive fashion. The interface is simple and easy to understand after viewing the brief tutorial, and it offers a great experience, the first of its kind.

A clear interface is key to the success of a board game app and Battle of Gundabad does not disappoint. The opening menu is simple and easy to navigate. The included tutorial will quickly show you what all the functions on the main game screen are and how they work. Basically, all ten supply cards are displayed in two rows of five, with the power and victory cards in a row below them. Below the supply cards, your hand is displayed. By double tapping on a card it will zoom in so you can read the text of that card. From the zoomed out view on my iPhone it is near impossible to read what each card does or the card name, however, after a few plays you will begin to recognize the art of the cards and be able to make purchases without needing to zoom each time. To play cards or buy cards you simply drag from your hand up or from the supply down to your hand. It is very clean and very simple. I have yet to make an accidental move, something that sometimes happens with less polished interfaces.

For a first build of the game, it does offer some options. You are able to control the speed of the AI players animations, which makes games go much faster. You can also mute or use sound (the background music is nothing to write home about). You can change your player name as well as the names of the four AI players. However, Battle of Gundabad still lacks many features. The lack of online multiplayer is common in many board game apps, but it seems like a pass and play feature could have been implemented easily. The AI players are challenging, I have won only one out of several games, however, there is no way to play anything other than a four-player game or edit the AI difficulty. As players of Dominion will know, the number of players changes the gameplay significantly. Another minor annoyance is that it also lacks multitasking support.

Graphically Battle of Gundabad is satisfactory. As I mentioned before, everything is generally clear and well laid out, though it does lack sharpness on my iPhone 4. It is difficult to identify some button functions but referring to the tutorial and play experience will help solve this. The art of the cards is completely original and seems to be done by the same artist. I find the art a little juvenile and not really per my taste. However, if you like a fantasy theme it should appeal to you.

Conclusion:
Battle for Gundabad is an excellent effort by Sheeta Games to bring the deck building genre to iOS. It lacks much of the polish and style of many board game apps from major publishers, but it offers solid gameplay despite the packaging. The bottom line is that if you are looking for a deck building experience on the go, Battle of Gundabad is for you.

Rating: 3/4 Good

Note:
Battle for Gundabad has no official association with Dominion or Rio Grande Games. Any relation implied by this reviewer was for the purpose of putting this Battle of Gundabad in context with similar games available on the market.
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Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:00 pm
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Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

Gabe Alvaro
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Hello. My name is Gabe Alvaro (bgg username: blindspot) and I'm the other half of this blogging team. I'm a big fan of board games and Apple's iOS platform and devices, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Brad approached me about doing this blog and since it's on a topic that I am wildly obsessed with, I was very excited by the idea! It's my hope that through our collective efforts we can regularly blog about all things related to the iOS versions of the board games we know and love.

Here's a little bit more about me. I've been on BGG since December 2005. I "discovered" it after an old friend introduced me to Settlers of Catan and told me about BGG. I then used it to begin acquiring a number of quality board games that were totally new to me at the time and to kick a nasty World of Warcraft MMORPG habit. I've never gone back to video games since...until the iPhone came out.

Like many who come to BGG, I soon began acquiring board games by the online-retailer-free-shipping-box-load. I soon sadly learned, however, that my closest friends were all too busy to get together and play board games. So in the middle of 2006 I started local public board game group out of a local FLGS. It became the Berkley Board Gamers. That effort eventually attracted many local gamers and all was well in my gaming world. The game group is still going strong and flourishing better than ever, even after I pretty much handed the reigns over to one of our great fellow organizers.

I got an iPhone in December 2007 and in June 2010 I picked up an iPad. My wife gave birth to our beautiful daughter in August 2010. While it was a tremendous and life-changing experience, our daughter's arrival in my life had the effect of severely curtailing my game group activities. Though I was somewhat disappointed, I have simply shifted my interest a bit from cardboard to iOS versions of board games. I am, however, still trying to make it out to the game group once in a while. That's my board game group in the picture to the left, toasting the birth of my daughter on a night when I was unable to attend. Awesome group!

Since picking up my iPad last year I have been discovering all of the benefits to tablet board gaming. I have a very large list of these benefits which I will perhaps share in a future blog post. It should suffice to say that I have been devoting lots of my energy toward finding and playing all kind of iOS board game apps. I have also been thinking quite a bit about that activity and how it will change not only my gaming habits, but the gaming habits of others.

And of course I did not need a blog to begin chronicling trends that I have seen in the iOS board game app entertainment space. So far I have done a few living GeekLists including a list of Multiplayer (human) iPad games, some classic games clone lists, a list of games with asynchronous multiplayer features, a list of games that would benefit from asynchronous multiplayer features, and a list of unofficial "clone" iOS implementations of popular board games. I am attempting and mostly succeeding at keeping them all up to date when new games are released.

I look forward to using this blog as a central place to write about those trends and many more topics related to iOS board games. I'm excited to work with Brad and together share our observations and read the observations of others who are enthusiastic about iOS board games. So without further ado, let's get blogging!
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Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:14 pm
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Welcome to iOS Board Games

Brad Cummings
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The aim of iOS Board Games is to bring you news and information about board games for iOS devices such as iPads, iPhones and iPods. We will provide you with reviews on the latest releases as well as the large backlog of games already released, along with previews of the up and coming titles. We will seek out and present interviews with the leading developers and designers.

We are avid board game lovers and enjoy playing games in groups, at game nights, and with our friends and families. Like many people, however, we are also opting for digital versions of board games for reasons of both preference and circumstance when a playing a physical board game is an otherwise challenging proposition. Web- and Java-client options like Brettspielwelt have existed for years and offer options for those with computers to play at home, but now things are going mobile.

Recently, Apple’s iOS devices have been embraced in an unprecedented way by developers and board game publishers alike, bringing us quality portable reproductions of our favorite board games as well as original board game titles released directly to iOS. We hope to present a picture of the growing iOS board game landscape and to discuss features that these apps have in common such as multiplayer capabilities, AI, online play (realtime and async), cloning, and much more.

If you are interested in board gaming on your iOS device please subscribe to our blog through BGG or RSS feed. We will be your center for news and information about board games on your Apple iOS device.
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Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:00 pm
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Coming soon!

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Watch this space. Next update on 2/14...
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Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:46 am
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