GEEK Digital Board Games

Regular coverage of board game experiences on mobile, PC/MAC, Console and more.

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News Bits: Neuroshima Hex Puzzle, Magnifico for iPad, New iOS Site, Small World Award, iPad 2, iOS 4.3, Army of Frogs, Disc Drivin' Tournament

Gabe Alvaro
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Seems we missed on posting a bit of news (big stuff you no doubt read elsewhere) and some more that happened this past week. Apologies for the tardiness. When I finally checked the fishing nets here's what I found:

• Neuroshima Hex Puzzle Coming
• iPad Version of Magnifico
• New iOS Board Game Web Site
• Small World Wins PocketGamer Award
• New iPad 2 Announced
• iOS 4.3 Released to Developers
• Army of Frogs in Pre-Alpha
• VGG Disc Drivin' Tournament



• Neuroshima Hex Puzzle Coming in March - 2/18
Big Daddy's Creation, the folks who brought you the excellent Neuroshima Hex! for iOS are getting ready to release Neuroshima Hex Puzzle, a solo play app focused on 100 different strategic situation puzzles one could encounter in the board game. The release is set for some time in March 2011, that's this month! They've presented these before on their web site in the form of contests. I think it's a pretty unique approach in the world of board games. Reminds me of the old Chess section in the newspaper that would present a Chess problem for its readers to figure out. Good stuff.


• iPad edition of Magnifico Being Worked On - 2/27
Board Game: Magnifico

I don't know much about this "Risk-like" board game that somehow involves the fantastical creations of Leonardo Da Vinci. Evidently, its creators are working on an iPad version.


• (Another) iOS Board Game Web Site - 2/27
Add this new web site to a growing list of web sites featuring iOS board games.

http://iboardgame.wordpress.com/


• Small World Wins PocketGamer Award - 3/1
The folks at Pocket Gamer have awarded Small World 2 its 2011 Best Strategy/Simulation Game for iPad award.


• New iPad 2 Announced - 3/2
In case you have been hiding under a rock, Apple announced its new iPad 2, which will be available on March 11. Basically it's thinner, lighter and has new (cameras now) and faster (2x) chips, but same price structure and memory configurations as previous iPad.


• iOS 4.3 Released to Developers - 3/2
Along with iPad 2, Apple announced and released v4.3 of iOS to developers. Nothing much that will help iOS board games, just some improvements to AirPlay, faster Safari (which might help with web games), better WiFi stuff like iTunes home sharing, reclamation of the side switch (you can get your hardware orientation lock back!), and hotspot WiFi tethering.

I guess it would be kind of cool if the makers of a game like Disc Drivin' gave the game AirPlay capability so you could watch flicks on your big-ass HD TV, but I won't hold my breath.


• Army of Frogs for iOS in Pre-alpha - 3/2
Łukasz of Big Daddy's Creations posted some screen shots of the upcoming iOS version of Army of Frogs on their web site. The game is now in pre-alpha and is scheduled to release in May 2011.


Video Game: Disc Drivin'
• VGG Disc Drivin' Tournament - 3/4
Newly appointed VGG admin,

Joe Wasserman
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I don't think he would like that.
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has already hosted one very well-run and fun tournament for the PitchCar-inspired Disc Drivin'. He's just opened signups for the 2nd tournament. This one will feature team-play! So check out all the details here.

Second VGG Disc Drivin' Tournament - Dual Meet - Information and Discussion Thread
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Sat Mar 5, 2011 8:01 pm
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Review: Tricky Chicken

Brad Cummings
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From gallery of thequietpunk
The Stats:
Compatibility: iPad(2x), iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Current Price: $2.99
Developer/Publisher: Tech20 Group, Inc. (Designed by Michael Schacht)
Version: 1.0.1
Size: 5.7 MB
Multiplayer: None.
AI: Yes. Quite challenging with varied play styles.
Itunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tricky-chicken/id394279847?mt...



The Good:
A challenging AI that creates a great solitaire experience.
The Bad:
A simple game with a simple purpose. Don’t expect more than that.
The price m

Summary:
From gallery of thequietpunk
Tricky Chicken is an excellent solitaire version of the Michael Schacht game known as Crazy Chicen or Drive. It does lack pass and play functionality, but it is a great game that can offer a quick solo diversion.

Gameplay:
I must be honest. Before playing Tricky Chicken, I had never heard of Drive or Crazy Chicken, I guess they were a little before my “time” per se. This being said, I am grateful Tech 20 Group has taken the time to bring such an interesting rummy style game to iOS.

In Tricky Chicken there are 9 suits of cards with the number of cards in those suits ranging from 20 to 6. The number of cards in each suit is equal to the amount of points it is worth at game end. Players start with 3 cards. They draw two cards each turn from either of the two draw piles or the two discard piles. Each turn a player must either play a set of cards or discard one card. Play ends when all nine sets have been player or a single player plays six sets. The tricky part is that once a player has played a set of one suit, their opponent can play set of the same suit if they have a larger set. This creates a great twist and adds an element of press your luck to the game.

Implementation:
Tricky Chicken feels like an effort that was built for iOS from the ground up. The presentation and controls feel natural and fluid. The cards of the deck are displayed as squares to allow a bigger size. The entire playing area fits nicely on the screen. Playing cards is as easy as taping and sliding.

From gallery of thequietpunk
As I mentioned above, there is no pass and play feature in Tricky Chicken. It is strictly a solitaire affair, and as far as I can tell, this is what it was intended to be. When you lose, it says “The Chicken wins” implying that you are in fact trying to outsmart said tricky chicken. I like this thematic touch as it gives me the feeling I am playing a form of solitaire rummy against a challenging AI rather than a game that was intended to be played multiplayer. The solo play also allows games to go fast, the average lasting around 5 minutes. It is optimized for quick plays.

The graphic design of Tricky Chicken is an area which could be improved. It is true that all functions are clear and the game works brilliantly, but I would love to see the graphic design improved to give it less of a home-brewed feel. It is important that apps look their best, since often a consumer may only see the icon and a few screenshots before they make a decision to purchase or not.

Conclusion:
Tricky Chicken offers a great solitaire experience. Like Solitaire it is addicting and quick to play, but it does lack the meat of some heavier game available on iOS. Sometimes light is what we are looking for, therefore despite its home-brewed look Tricky Chicken offers a great game on the go.

Rating: 3/4 Good
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Wed Mar 2, 2011 2:00 pm
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Unofficial iOS Implementations of Our Favorite Board Games

Gabe Alvaro
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I Want My iOS...
I love board games. I love iOS. I love playing board games on iOS. In a perfect world, every print board game (where it makes sense) I own would have been developed for iOS by someone authorized by the game's original designer or publisher and would be the officially licensed iOS version of that game.

That is not the world we live in.

While it is true that more and more games are coming out on iOS, very few of our favorite games have iOS versions. We are beginning to see more partnerships between game designers/publishers and iOS developers but many games are just not there yet.


Send in the Clones
In the Wild West-like land rush of apps to iOS, we are also beginning to see a few developers release unofficial versions of our favorite board games for iOS devices. Whether this is good, bad, fortunate or unfortunate depends a lot on what you value, how you view and where you stand in the board game industry and the iOS game app industry.

If you are not familiar with which board games have received unofficial implementations, have a look at these forums and GeekLists.

BGG Threads and GeekLists
GeekLists
GeekList - Attack of the Clones: iOS Board Game App Clones
GeekList - Great Boardgames - Digital Ripoffs

Threads
Forum Thread - Attack of the Clones: What is Going on With Unofficial iOS versions of Board Games?
Forum Thread - Is it OK to make your own copy of a game?


Infringement Or Not?
Let us make one thing clear first. No developer, to the best of my knowledge, has unofficially implemented a board game onto iOS that brazenly uses original art, written rules, labels or any of the original copyrightable material from an original print board game. The developers who have written unofficial app implementations of board games have in all cases replaced art, relabeled mechanics, and rewritten rule text. Only the mechanics and gameplay resemblances have been brought through.

Whether they realize it or not, the fact is that a game's ideas, mechanics, and gameplay of a board game, are not copyrightable and thus not subject to infringement. It seems obvious to me, however, that these iOS developers do know exactly what they are doing. Though I would hesitate to mark them as devious thieves, many of these developers would honestly tell you that they cribbed a particular board game's idea and mechanics and are well within their legal rights to do so.

It is essentially no different than when companies of various types make unofficial versions of the hugely popular game of Monopoly. You have no doubt seen one of these knockoffs which share some of the same playing features, but also incorporate changes so as not to infringe on copyrights. Such implementations of Monopoly have been done for smaller cities, sometimes as charity fundraisers, and some have been created for college and university campuses. Others have non-geographical themes such as Wine-opoly and Chocolate-opoly and there is not a damn thing Hasbro can do about it if their copyrights are not violated. You or I might despise or be completely oblivious to Monopoly and its knockoffs, and could probably not give two breaths to vilifying those who crib from it.


The Train is Leaving the Station. Who is On It? Where is it Going?
I am here to tell you that, like it or not, your favorite board game is no different. It can be rethemed, relabeled, reskinned, and presented again with new art by anyone with the skill and enterprise enough to do so. As far as I know, no one has done anything like this going from printed game to printed game. It is happening, however, as games go from printed to pixels.

Though obviously these developers are inspired by the games themselves, I am not certain that these developers share the same awareness of the relatively close-knit designer-board game industry. Though they may have heard of Reiner Knizia, I am not so sure if they have ever heard of the Alan Moons, Jay Tummelsons, Martin Wallaces, Wolfgang Kramers, Uwe Rosenbergs, Friedemann Frieses, those luminaries of the designer-board game world and its relatively short history. That is also to say that not only may they not be members of the "BGG Community", they may also not be members of the larger "board gaming community" if one can even be said to exist.


But Wait They Can't Do That...Can They?
I bring up this point and these names because many designers, would-be designers, publishers and those who would share their views on print board game design and publishing are here at this site and no doubt watching what is starting to happen in their industry. Whenever one of these unofficial board game adaptations gets released, it is invariably those on the "producer-side" of this print industry who object the strongest to the presence of these unofficial versions of popular printed board games, calling them brazen "rip-offs", accusing them of thievery of ideas and charging them (usually incorrectly) with copyright infringement.

I have already pointed out what is and what is not copyright infringement. To those who understand it, there is not much to discuss when it comes to board games. If you are unsure please have a look at what the US Government Copyright Office has to say about games. About the only thing a rights holding designer or publisher can do to protect the mechanics and gameplay of their game from being "borrowed" is to get a patent on their game. It is not easy, nor is it cheap, and will probably be unsuccessful. Most game publishers in the designer-board game industry probably don't have a war chest big enough to make the business case to go down that path.


What's a Rightsholder to Do?
So what is a designer or publisher of a successful printed game to do when an app developer creates an unofficial iOS version of their game under a different title using different art, written rules, and labels?

The Big Take Down
They can take advantage of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act's "Take Down" provision by sending out a DMCA take down notice to the site that is hosting content which they believe infringes their copyright. Right or wrong, taking this action usually results in a site like the Apple App Store or Android Market removing the offending material in order to protect against liability. That's all it takes and usually that's the end of the story if an accused developer backs down because they are in fact wrong or because they have been bullied and are not aware of the legal standing of their activity.

Hey Put That Back!
But it is not the end of the story for a developer who believes and knows that they have published their app well within their legal rights. For the DMCA also contains a "Put Back" provision as well. When a Take Down notice is sent by a rights holder, the developer is notified by the App Store, as is required by law, that their material has been taken down. If the developer believes and knows their app to be legally viable, they can send a counter notice to the App Store. It then becomes the obligation of the copyright holder to file suit. If the rights holder does sue, then the App Store can leave the material off. If they do not file suit, then the App Store MUST replace the material on the site.

Here is an example from Wikipedia's entry on OCILLA (Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act)

Wikipedia wrote:

Take down and Put Back provisions

Takedown example
Here's an example of how the takedown procedures would work:
1. Alice puts a copy of Bob's song on her AOL-hosted website.
2. Bob, searching the Internet, finds Alice's copy.
3. Charlie, Bob's lawyer, sends a letter to AOL's designated agent
(registered with the Copyright Office) including:
a. contact information
b. the name of the song that was copied
c. the address of the copied song
d. a statement that he has a good faith belief that use of the
material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the
copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
e. a statement that the information in the notification is accurate
f. a statement that, under penalty of perjury, Charlie is authorized
to act for the copyright holder
g. his signature
4. AOL takes the song down.
5. AOL tells Alice that they have taken the song down.
6. Alice now has the option of sending a counter-notice to AOL, if she
feels the song was taken down unfairly. The notice includes
a. contact information
b. identification of the removed song
c. a statement under penalty of perjury that Alice has a good faith
belief the material was mistakenly taken down
d. a statement consenting to the jurisdiction of Alice's local US
Federal District Court, or, if outside the US, to a US Federal
District Court in any jurisdiction in which AOL is found.
e. her signature
7. If Alice does file a valid counter-notice, AOL notifies Bob, then
waits 10-14 business days for a lawsuit to be filed by Bob.
8. If Bob does not file a lawsuit, then AOL must put the material back
up.

You see, the DMCA is there to protect the legal rights of all parties with its provisions and procedures. If a copyright holder has a valid claim and is willing to fight for it, the DMCA protects their interest. If a developer is accused but not sued, then the DMCA protects the developer. Bystanders like us can stand on the sidelines and kibitz about who stole what, but only a court can make the determination and only if suit is filed.


Taking Responsibility and Getting Out in Front

Do It Yourself or Hire Someone
The other thing that a rights holding designer or publisher can do about it is to get out in front of the issue and take responsibility and action so that any app that uses the mechanics and gameplay of their game should only appear in the App Store through their blessing and official licensing. This could be by developing their own app, either in-house or, probably more commonly done, by working with a 3rd party app developer and letting their prospective customers know that what's coming and when.

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em
If an unofficial app version of their game is already released, then perhaps it would make sense for a rights holder to request a meeting with a developer and try to work out a deal. Any such deal could and should be worked out to benefit all parties involved so that the app is officially supported, branded and maintains its integrity of game play established in the print version.

Go Toe to Toe
Alternatively, the publisher could take the previously mentioned route and still opt to produce their own official app despite the presence of a competitor app. Such a move would no doubt garner the respect and support of such ardent fans of a printed game from a site like BGG. It would remain to be seen, however, if the user base beyond BGG would be so eager to support. It is the opinion of this blogger that most users would probably opt for the better app, regardless of developer, with a small minority possibly also purchasing both apps.

So Get On It!
I cannot say enough about how much I think that the rights holders to our favorite board games should get out in front of the iOS board game trend and begin testing the waters with their customers. That may not mean plunking down a chunk of change to have a 3rd party develop an app in 3 months, but it might mean transparently communicating to their prospective customer base openly (perhaps even here on BGG/VGG) about where they stand in regard to whether the future holds an official iOS app of their game.
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Tue Mar 1, 2011 1:00 pm
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The Future of Party Games...

Brad Cummings
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Hello Readers,

This is not quite news and not quite a review. I guess I am trying to alert you to and give my opinion on a new trend in iOS board games. That trend is the increasing amount of party games being made available for iOS. There are several already available and hopefully they are the first of many to come.

Games, especially party games are meant to be played face to face. Bringing some party games to iOS allows us to have them in a cheaper and more portable version. Due to their nature converting them to iOS is very simple. Most consist of just a deck of cards, a pad of paper, and perhaps a timer. Transforming all of this into an app does not change the way we play but instead innovates the way these games are made and enjoyed.

One great example of this is the Reverse Charades app which was released recently. It includes the entire play experience of the recently released board game. Rather than carrying a game box, you can just bring your phone or ipad to your next get-together. It also allows for more options than the physical version. Through the use of in-app purchases you can buy additional decks to add to the game. This offers the consumer more control, allowing them to purchase more of the game as they need it. This also offers the designers the option to quickly introduce new expansions to the game. For this type of game, an app seems like the perfect model.

I do not believe that digitalization will ever be the complete future of board games. However, it may be the future of party games. So many of them could be converted into this portable form. This is an area where I feel board game publishers and app developers must focus. This is a piece of innovation that cannot be ignored. The gaming industry must move forward with technology.

Of course this is just my opinion. Please chime in with your thoughts below.

Thanks,

Brad

Below are a few party games I have found while snooping around the app store. I am sure there are many more that I have missed, but you get the idea.

Reverse Charades - A licensed iOS conversion of the card game from last year. This game has received praise from podcasts like the Dice Tower.

Party Games - A combination of several basic party games like charades and catch phrase. From a brief look it seems very well laid out.

Word Party - This is a Taboo clone. Seems very well done.

Kwingle - A strange game that seems similar to Apples to Apples or Dixit. You read a word and everyone writes a word associated with it. The group then votes on the one they like best. Feels a little half baked.

Family Feud - A conversion of the TV show. Works well in large groups.

Would you choose... - Would You Rather clone. This includes online connectivity that adds another element to the game.

in Reverse - This seems like a very interesting game from Rusia. One teams sings a song, the second team hears it in reverse and tries to guess the song. If they can’t then they try to mimic the reverse sound and it is then played forwards for them, they then try to guess again. This is a good example of using all the capabilities of the iOS device.

Phrase Party - A Catch Phrase clone. It seems to try to mimic the electronic Catch phrase device.
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Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:00 pm
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News Bit: Yahtzee HD (iPad) Free

Gabe Alvaro
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• Yahtzee HD Free!

Yahtzee HD Free for the first time ever!
Ok, I know it's just Yahtzee and it's only for the iPad (sorry iPhone peeps). It's the first time it's ever been free in the 17 months since releasing at $4.99. Plus, it was developed by EA, a major game company that spares no expense when it comes to slick User Interfaces. Yahtzee HD has a very slick UI.

Besides a free game, it's kind of a small bit of news that EA would begin to make any of their games free. I don't expect Yahtzee HD was one of their best sellers because I've been seeing it go down for a while. If they've done it before, I'd love to know which game. Could it be a small sign of things to come?

http://itunes.apple.com/app/yahtzee-hd/id389191032?mt=8
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Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:59 pm
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News Bits: Battleline Update, Mana HD Update, Blokus HD Pricedrop, Boggle Free

Gabe Alvaro
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• Battleline Updated to Version 1.4
• Mana HD Updated to Version 1.1
• Blokus HD Price Dropped
• Boggle Free!


Reiner Knizia's Battleline Updated to Version 1.4 - Feb 23
Quote:
What's new

Improved support for devices running older versions of iOS.
Mana HD Updated to Version 1.1 - Feb 24
Quote:
What's new

Support for network game with Bluetooth or Game Center.
Added support for multitasking.
A new button is available to discover the game Kamon.
• Blokus HD Price Drop - Feb 24
Blokus HD has dropped in price from $2.99 to $0.99
http://itunes.apple.com/app/blokus-hd/id377471930?mt=8

• Boggle is Free Today Only! - Feb 24
http://itunes.apple.com/app/boggle/id327836363?mt=8


News note: I'm debating whether to include price changes as "news". There is not much other news right now, so I've included them. Thinking about, however, in the future only including price change news if they're historic and hit never before seen highs or lows. Thoughts?
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Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:45 pm
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Review: Zooloretto

Brad Cummings
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From gallery of thequietpunk
The Stats:
Compatibility: iPad(2x), iPhone, and iPod Touch, iOS 4.0 and higher.
Current Price: $4.99
Developer/Publisher: Spin Bottle Games/Chillingo
Version: 1.20
Size: 15.9 MB
Multiplayer: Pass and Play. Up to 5 players.
AI: Yes. No difficulty settings.
Itunes link: itunes.apple.com/us/app/zooloretto/id312840471?mt=8

The Good:
A faithful reproduction of the board game.
A solid single player experience.
The Bad:
Multiple rule breaking bugs.
Gameplay can become stale after a few plays.

Summary:
The iOS version of Zooloretto offers a satisfactory recreation of the board game, and though it lacks serious multiplayer, it can provide a fun solo diversion. However, rule bending bugs and a non-existent updates make this one title to be cautious of.

Gameplay:
Zooloretto was the Spiel des Jahres winner in 2007. If you are a fan of European board games chances are you have played and passed judgement on this game. If you are new to this genre, Zooloretto is a great family game that shares elements of Rummy and Go Fish. Its push your luck mechanic creates a tension that really drives the game.
From gallery of thequietpunk

In Zooloretto, each player is the owner of a zoo. During the course of the game players are trying to fill each of the three(or four) enclosures in their zoo. Each enclosure can only hold one type of animal. Each turn players draw a tile from the pile and put it on one of the trucks (each holds 3 tiles). These tiles can be animals, stalls (ice cream, souvenirs, etc) and coins. Instead of taking a tile, a player use their coins to expand their zoo among other things, or take one of the trucks (ending their play for the round). The game progresses until there are less than 15 tiles left in the pile. At this point players get points based on how full their enclosures are and how many animals they have that are not in enclosures.

The iOS version of Zooloretto is true to its roots. It provides a quality recreation of this great family game.

Implementation:
Zooloretto offers a clear and straight forward user interface. If you are new to Zooloretto there is a tutorial (automatically turned on when you install the app, though you can shut it off in the options menu) which can quickly explain how to use the interface and play the game. It usually functions correctly, but there have been moments when I have dropped a tile on the wrong truck because of an error in the interface. It includes a couple options that you would not have in the board game version, like being able to see how many points each player has at given time. It also displays how many tiles are left to be drawn, letting you gage how many rounds remain. One annoyance is that there is no way to skip through AI turns. You are forced to watch the animations for each player’s turn causing a game to take between 20 to 30 minutes (close to the playing time of the board game).

A unique part of the Zooloretto app is the shop. It allows you to use points you have collected by playing to buy additions to the game. They include a 4th and 5th player and “the polar bear” option which adds a new rule to the game. Though there are only a few rewards to earn, the shop gives you motivation to play your first few games.
From gallery of thequietpunk

Graphically, Zooloretto takes a safe approach. It combines traditional elements from the board game with cartoony graphical representations and animations. For example, players still draw and drag tiles from a stack onto one of the trucks, but when place in enclosures the animals become animated sprites. These childish elements are found throughout the app, even the start up screen features a cartoony zoo keeper and a random encyclopedia blurb about one of the animals featured in the game. Though the childish representation does make it feel like you are playing a “kids” game, it is fitting for the theme of the board game.

The AI in the game is easily bested. I have to admit that a adding more players increases the difficulty, but my win percentage is still over 80%. For an app that seems to be intended to be played solo, the lack of challenging AI is inexcusable. And that leads to one of my greatest complaints about Zooloretto: it lacks longevity. This game is much less variable than most euro games, and it need expansions to add the flavor and depth. Yet, the app has received little to no support by its developers, and the functionality that is there eventually becomes stale as you triumph almost every game.

A little TLC could really make an ok app great. Two bugs have been submitted by players over and over, yet there has been no remedy. One is that a computer player will sometimes play an animal of a different type to fill their enclosure. Another is that tiles may be placed on a truck that is no longer there (only human players can do this) allowing tiles to be dumped (they later appear in the next round). They, in my opinion, do not break the game nd can be overlooked. The AI is so weak, that if this bug does allow them to win, it is a rare occasion, and as for placing tiles on trucks that are not there, that should not happen unless you as a human player decide to cheat. What cannot be overlooked is the apparent disregard of the developers for their app. I guess a big publisher like Chillingo has bigger fish to fry and cannot be bothered to fix two bugs that have been brought to their attention over and over. Honestly, one of the benefits of working with apps is that they can be updated so easily, the producer can be in direct contact with their consumer. They can use feedback to quickly improve their product...but I digress (Perhaps we will explore this in a later rant...urr I mean post).
From gallery of thequietpunk

Conclusion:
Don’t get me wrong, the Zooloretto app is a very faithful and quality recreation of the board game. It offers a single player experience of Zooloretto on the go. However, it lacks the love and care that has been put into so many other great iOS board games. Zooloretto is a popular game and Chillingo is a large publisher, and, in this reviewers opinion, where much is given much is required. Therefore, despite its pedigree, Zooloretto falls short of what is expected of it.

Rating: 1/4 Needs Improvement
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Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:00 pm
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News Bits: Zombie Dice Update, Wabash Cannonball Update

Gabe Alvaro
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• Zombie Dice Updated to version 2.0
• Wabash Cannonball updated to version 1.1.0


• Zombie Dice has been updated to version 2.0 - Feb 16

http://itunes.apple.com/app/zombie-dice/id376949996?mt=8

Quote:
What's new

Universal app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
Game Center Achievements and Leader boards

• Wabash Cannonball updated to version 1.1.0 - Feb 19
Wabash Cannonball has been updated for the first time. Better AI. Better gameplay.

http://itunes.apple.com/app/wabash-cannonball/id392800625?mt...

Quote:
What's New in Version 1.1.0
* Summary View and map both accessible during auction
* User defined player names saved
* Updated AI
* Minor iOS 4 related fixes
* Previously available but I don't think anyone noticed: charts are pinch zoomable
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Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:55 pm
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Earn GeekGold by Adding These Board Game Apps to the VGG Database!

Gabe Alvaro
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We've come up with an idea that we think will help everyone involved in following iOS board game apps on this site. We hope you agree!

The Problem and the Solution
VGG has no entry for quite a number of iOS board game apps and we at iOS Board Games blog want to do our part in addressing this unfortunate situation to help both ourselves, VGG, and users who expect to find these iOS board game apps in the database. If you are short on GeekGold, here is an opportunity to earn more than you normally would for game entries. On top of the regular BGG GeekGold reward, we will pay an additional GeekGold bounty as follows:

• 2 Geekgold per database entry to the person who adds the iOS board game app from the list below to the VGG database between now and February 28, 2011.

• Additionally, we'll give an additional .25 GeekGold for uploading a representative image to the database for each game listed below between now and February 28, 2011. (We will only reward 1 image per game).


How to Take Us Up on This Offer
You must first Click here to begin adding a game. Please read the VGG Guide to Data Entry before submitting any data. IMPORTANT: VGG will only allow the game to be submitted once, so please also check the current submission queue.

Once you have successfully added the game to the VGG Database and received confirmation and GeekGold reward from the Admins (this can take a few days), simply post in the comments here a link to the game or image you have added to the database. We will give you the GeekGold upon positive verification.


Here is a list of iOS board game apps that are still missing from the VGG database
(To help you out, we've linked each game to its entry on AppShopper.com. You should be able to find your way to retrieving all necessary app information by starting there first.)
Words with Friends
Chess with Friends
Qrank
Hexalex
Aurora Feint II: Arena Daemons
Battleline
Parcours.robo
Through the Desert
Chameleon
Honey That's Mine
Werewolf: Curse of Pandora
Bang
Quoridor
Quarto
Touch Carrom 2.0
Beam Chess
Bananagrams
Scrabble
Pathology HD
World in War
StackEm
Tantrix Strategy
Pentago
Zombie Dice
Boggle
Keltis Oracle
Touch Rummy HD
Stratego
Halli Galli
Martian Chess
Taiji
Mana HD
Milliarium
Tiger & Goat HD
Risk (iOS version)
Jenga HD
Uno
Yahtzee HD
Kamon
Oski
Clara Board Game
Feast & Famine
Tribal Dice
Versus Online
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:10 am
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News Bit: Ra Update

Gabe Alvaro
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Codito Quickly Updates Reiner Knizia's Ra to Much Needed Version 1.3
Codito Development has followed up quickly with an update to Reiner Knizia's Ra board game app for iOS. To their credit, Codito apologized directly to BGG users 10 days ago for rushing version 1.2 which had introduced online multiplayer with asynchronous play, a much requested feature by users.

Ra's asynchronous multiplayer is somewhat unique at the moment in async board game apps because Codito is leveraging OpenFeint's social platform to enable the feature. OpenFeint currently only supports TWO human players in games of 2-5 total players so that

2 player games are 2 humans
3 player games are 2 humans & 1 AI
4 player games are 2 humans & 2 AI
5 player games are 2 humans & 3 AI

I expect that will change whenever OpenFeint expands their multiplayer capabilities.

Here's the new info:
App Store wrote:
What's New in Version 1.3

• Fixed blank status message in local play.

• Major overhaul and fixes for online multiplayer:
- fixed bugs with games getting out of synch
- stream-lined the setup process
- added indicators for which players are local, remote, or AI
- added "Next Game" button to game menu to allow for cycling through games that are waiting for your turn

• Various bug and crash fixes.
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Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:56 am
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