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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First Look: Smash Up

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Smash Up
Availability: iOS, Android, Steam
Price: $4.99
Store Links: iOS, Android, Steam

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Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:08 pm
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App News: Thunderbox Talks About Tsuro AR, Ogre Comes to PC, and Smash Up Set to Release Next Week

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Thunderbox Entertainment Talks About AR and Tsuro
As you might have gleaned from Brad's video this morning, Thunderbox Entertainment has released an update for Tsuro which adds the ability to play via Augmented Reality.

I managed to talk to Dan Taylor at Thunderbox last night about AR and what he sees as the future of AR in regards to board game ports. Here goes:

iOS Board Games: With iOS 11 Apple is making a big deal about AR. Can you explain AR and why it's going to be a big deal.

Dan Taylor wrote:
A good AR experience is like having a personal window to a mirror dimension that's much like ours... but where magic exists! Everyone who tried our early AR demo for Tsuro would, without fail, try and touch the game peices even though they knew they weren't really there. When players believe that the game is taking place in the real world, it suddenly becomes that bit more immersive and compelling, allowing us to deliver a little more on our original promise of recreating the tactile experience of board gaming.


iOS Board Games: Playing Tsuro in AR is fairly incredible. To see the whole board, I got up and walked around the table and it kind of blew my mind. As a developer, how difficult is it to convert an existing game to AR? Is this something you could see other board games taking advantage of?

Dan Taylor wrote:
Thanks very much - that's wonderful to hear! Making an AR game is like the blackest of magics - many chickens were sacrificed to trap Tsuro to the AR dimension. I'm kidding - implementing basic AR is actually pretty easy. We are using the Unity game engine, which provides a plug-in for AR that does most of the heavy lifting, so we had a very basic demo working in about an hour. Of course, it helped that our game was already in high-res 3D! Having said that, delivering a polished and compelling AR experience was a totally different challenge, especially as the tech is new, so there aren't that many design standards set yet - we spent a considerable amount of time just trying to come up with a decent icon for AR! A week or two later, when we had Tsuro fully playable in AR, we started to notice unexpected things, like how the experience would change if you had your iPad in a stand, or if you were using a phone with a much smaller "window" on the game, or if you only had a small coffee table (or dog) to play on... so there was a bit of experimentation to find a good balance between allowing the player to do some fantastical things (like scaling the board up and down) and staying rooted in reality, while keeping the set-up simple enough for everyone to enjoy.


iOS Board Games: In your upcoming port of Roll For It!, are you thinking of using AR as well?

Dan Taylor wrote:
The thought had crossed our mind... With Tsuro, the paths make it a very physical game, where being able to inspect the board using the power of AR is a genuine advantage. We're not sure Roll For It would get a similar benefit from AR, and we wouldn't want to use a flashy new technology just because we could. But who knows... the dice in Roll For It certainly do look and feel real enough to exist in the mirror dimension of AR!


Thanks to Dan Taylor at Thunderbox for giving us some of his time! Now, go try AR mode in Tsuro and impress your friends.

- Tsuro for iOS Universal, $3
- Tsuro for Android, $1



Steve Jackson's Classic Tank Battler, Ogre, Now on Steam
If you're unfamiliar with Ogre from Steve Jackson Games then it might surprise you to learn it's been around in edition or another since way back in 1977. The latest edition, the sixth, was released last year and accompanying that was a digital version which just released yesterday for PC on Steam.

The PC version is from Auroch Digital, makers of the fine Chainsaw Warrior digital ports. This one is a full-blown tactical wargame, however, complete with infantry, marines, tanks, and bigger tanks called Ogres. There are hexes as far as the eye can see, and it's enough to make you want to don some field goggles and jump into an half-track.

The current version is for PC only, and it appears that other platforms aren't in the works. Still, it offers both single-player and multi-player options and more:

Auroch wrote:
-Time-Tested, Compelling Gameplay: The Ogre tabletop game has withstood the test of time, captivating gamers for over forty years. This new release is the definitive digital edition of Ogre - including expanded G.E.V. rules for even more variety - and is the first digital adaptation since 1986.
-Meticulously Crafted Adaptation of the Original Game: Ogre veterans will be instantly be at home with this adaptation, while new players will find a deeply rewarding, turn-based strategy game.
-All-New Campaign: Engage in brand-new missions created in partnership with Steve Jackson Games.
-Multiplayer Capability: Test your skill against other players with online turn-based multiplayer gameplay with ranking and matchmaking, plus local "hotseat" multiplayer.
-Single Player Skirmish and Tutorial Modes: Completely new to the world of Ogre? Learn to play with our in-depth tutorial, then set up a custom game of Ogre and fight against devious AI opponents.
-Wide Variety of Units and Factions: Build out your faction with Light, Heavy, Superheavy, and Missile Tanks, G.E.V.s, Infantry, Marines, Howitzers, and Ogres (Mark I - Mark VI), while utilizing Trains and Command Posts as you see fit. Choose to play as either the North American Combine or the Paneuropean Federation.
-Varied Maps Offer Strategic Decisions: Roll through many types of terrain, across bodies of water, and make use of defensive areas to shield your units from attack.
-Playable Again and Again: Multiple game modes (including single player and multiplayer) plus achievements provide hundreds of hours of entertainment.


You can pick up Ogre from the link below:

- Ogre for PC via Steam, $25





Smash Up Coming to Mobile and Steam Next Week
We haven't mentioned Asmodee Digital in a week, so we're way overdue. While they didn't unleash any releases on us this week, next week we're getting a biggie: Smash Up.

Smash Up comes with 9 decks, each a different faction. Play entails picking two of these factions, mashing them together, and then playing something like alien-pirates, robot-ninjas, or dinosaur-zombies with the ultimate goal of beating everyone else up. I think. I haven't played the physical version, so I'm really looking forward to giving the digital version a whirl.

Smash Up was developed by Talisman: Digital Edition gurus, Nomad Games Ltd (II), so you know it's going to be high-quality and super polished. It also probably means that asynchronous play is out the window as both Nomad and Asmodee aren't really big on async. You never know, though. They could surprise us. I'm not sure if Smash Up's gameplay would be a good fit for asynchronous, either. Are there interrupts or ways to play cards on other player's turns? If so, then async is usually not a good idea.

Nomad wrote:
-Play with 4 players or solo against the AI
-Online play against opponents from across the globe
-Add-on faction decks, including the base game set and more
-Random or manual faction selection
-Save game function for storing progress on the go
-Fully automated scoring
-Tutorial system plus ‘Step Through’ and 'Review' modes to help players learn
-Leader-boards and Achievements
-Nine playable factions


We don't know exactly what day Smash Up is coming, only that it will be on the App Store, Google Play, and Steam by this time next week. We'll try to have links ready to go as soon as it goes live.


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Fri Oct 6, 2017 8:36 pm
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First Look: Tsuro AR

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Tsuro AR
Availability: iOS, Android
Price: $2.99
Store Links: iOS, Android

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Fri Oct 6, 2017 3:05 pm
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First Look: Harald

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Harald
Availability: iOS, Android, Steam
Price: $1.99 ($4.99 Steam)
Store Links: iOS, Android, Steam

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Tue Oct 3, 2017 3:00 pm
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App News: Cahoots! Goes Free and Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal Goes Online

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Cahoots! Goes Free
A week or two ago we talked to you about a rather great trick-taking card game whose physical version was getting a facelift via Mayday Games. The game was Cahoots, and the big news was that the iOS version was getting updated with the same artwork as its tabletop forebear.

Cahoots is back in the news this week because it's gone free-to-play. That's right, you can get a great card game for zero dollars right now. The promotion will last all through October while the Kickstarter for the physical version runs. The Kickstarter doesn't appear to be live, yet, but the game is free so we all win!

If you haven't picked up Cahoots, now's the time. Well, at least sometime in October. Don't wait too long.

- Cahoots for iOS Universal, free



Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal Releases Version 2.0
The little wargame that could, Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal, has done it again. This one-man project is already one of the best (if not THE best) war games on the App Store, with the only issue being a lack of multiplayer. In the latest mega-update to the game, that's been amended.

Version 2.0 of CBfG addresses multiplayer and introduces online play for 2-players, with one player taking the role of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the other the US Pacific Fleet. As usual, there's a lot more in this update than just the attention grabber:

Cyril Jarnot wrote:
The 2-player game is on !
- Play against other players over internet
- This is the perfect occasion to play the Imperial Japanese Navy
- It starts with 5 scenarios and a lot of enhacement is planned to the multi-player mode, do not hesitate to post feedback

Scenarios:
- Most of the scenarios offer a historical set-up for task forces composition, a more random set-up being available as option
- Guadalcanal: the cargo capacity of Japanese TRS has been reduced to 4 to reflect history
- Santa Cruz: the Tokyo Express convoys were starting a bit too far

Miscellaneous:
- Improvement of warnings when planning air strikes
- Japanese AI should also respect the limit of 20 ships per TF
- iOS 11 compatibility
- Slight change of the weather effects
- The Japanese launches only 2 torpedoes per ship
- DD MacFarland has no seaplanes
- CVE LongIsland: hangar capacity increased to 7 and starts with a mix of F4F and SBD


Despite CBfG being a one-man show and being a touchscreen title, don't sell it short. This is a real hex & counter wargame with all the minutiae and steep learning curve that you'd expect. It's the real deal, and if you're a tabletop grognard looking for something to play on the go, you can't go wrong with this one.

- Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal for iPad, $5


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Mon Oct 2, 2017 8:35 pm
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App News: Asmodee Has Another Busy Week

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Asmodee Releases Not One, But Two, Apps This Week
We all knew that Asmodee Digital was going to be releasing Ticket to Ride: First Journey (U.S.) this week because I told you they were back on Tuesday. I know you all read it, don't try to play dumb with me! No matter how hard you try to can't sink to my levels of stupidity!

So, First Journey arrived like clockwork and I decided to not post about it because Brad was quick to get his First Look video up. I mean, we talked to Asmodee at Gen Con and know what they're planning on releasing for the next year or so...wait a minute!

On the same day that First Journey arrived in the App Store, Brad spotted another title curiously published by none other than Asmodee Digital. But it's not a title we heard of before, not even when talking about all their future plans at Gen Con. The game is Harald and is all about a little boy with a magical purple crayon. Oh, wait, no, it's actually about sexy, hot furries anthropomorphic animals who are vying for the king's influence.

Harald is a 2-4 player card game, that until this week I'd never heard of. As such, I'm not really a good one to explain it to you. I'll blurb it, and hope someone who's played it can give more explanation in the comments below.

Asmodee Digital wrote:
BE THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PLAYER TO WIN THE KING'S FAVOR:
Harald is a card game of influence and majority. As the head of a village, each player will try to charm the most influential character of the realm to be noticed by the King and win his favor. But to win you will need to think and wisely use the abilities of each character.

LEARN HOW TO USE THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR POWERS!
Each turn, players execute three actions in order:
- play one card in the King's council
- play one card in the player's village
- draw cards to replenish your hand
There are six different characters, each with a different function and power. Discover the Wolf/scout, the Lynx/merchant, the Fox/bard, the Bear/warrior, the Goat/seafarer; the Boar/blacksmith. Discover each character's ability and use them in order to overtake your opponents!
Each animal will give you the ability to make a move at the end of your turn: you can steal cards from your adversary, try to exchange his or your cards with the council in order to play in your favor, return cards to erase their points or just place a good card on the top of the pile! Whatever you choose, decide wisely how to make the most of every move!

SCORE AS MANY POINTS AS YOU CAN!
The goal is simple: get the maximum number of points! In order to win, you need to pay attention to the cards' associations and put together the ones that work best.
At the end of the game, each card in the village of a player counts as many points as the number of times the same card appears in the King’s council. Play smartly in both your village and the council and don't forget to keep an eye on your opponents' villages in order to win.

EXPERIENCE MORE STRATEGY WITH THE BADGER/SCHOLAR!
Discover an exclusive card, which introduces a new character, the Badger/Scholar. This card offers you the possibility of protecting a series of characters in your own village. It makes the game harder for your opponents because if they want to destroy those cards, they will have to attack the Badger/Scholar first if he is present!

FEATURES:
• Solo mode
• Online multiplayer mode: includes a mini chat to share emoticons while playing
• Unlock beautifully illustrated cards based on the original card game


It sounds cool, and comes with all the polish you expect from Asmodee. It also comes with something we don't expect from Asmodee: asynchronous online multiplayer! Yep, this is the first (I think?) Asmodee title to come with asynchronous play, which bodes well for future Asmodee titles such as Scythe. Of course, there is also solo play vs. AI and other things to discover as you explore the app.

It also seems to be on sale right now for launch? We can't really tell, but I'm going to run with it anyway.

- Harald: A Game of Influence for iOS Universal, $2
- Harald: A Game of Influence for Android, $2
- Harald: A Game of Influence for PC/Mac via Steam, $5


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Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:01 pm
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First Look: Ticket to Ride: First Journey

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Ticket to Ride: First Journey
Availability: iOS, Android, Steam
Price: $1.99 ($4.99 Steam)
Store Links: iOS, Android, Steam

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Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:05 pm
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App News: Pathfinder Adventures Expands, Ticket to Ride First Journey Imminent, Doomtrooper CCG Now on Kickstarter, and Cahoots! Is Getting Pretty

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It's been over a week since we last chatted. Sorry, but Through the Ages has taken over most of my waking moments. Well, that and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. I think they've even taken over some of my non-waking moments, as I'm pretty sure I had a dream that Michelangelo was taking cover behind the Hanging Gardens at one point. <shudder>

Anyway, we're back. Don't worry, there hasn't been much news transpiring over the past week (another reason for our absence), so you're not out of the loop. Let's get to it.


Pathfinder Adventures Adds "A Fighter's Tale" and Lowers Prices
We were surprised last night by a sneaky update to one of our favorites, Pathfinder Adventures. Obsidian Entertainment and Asmodee Digital have updated the app to include new content, bug fixes, and have even shaken up the IAP. Let's take a look.

The new content is called "A Fighter's Tale" and involves a side quest you can take if Valeros is in your party during the Rise of the Runelords campaign. The side quest has 5 new scenarios, new henchman, villains, and a bunch of new loot. It also comes with a new character, a gnome fighter.

The bug fixes are legion, but we're used to that in Pathfinder Adventures. Get over it.

As for the price changes, this might be the most interesting part. They've lowered the prices of just about everything in the IAP store for the mobile version, and in some cases removed the option to pay for new content with in-game gold. Why? Because this.

Here's a list of all the changes:



The app is still free to download on mobile, with the Steam version coming in at a crisp $25. Then again, the PC/Mac version comes with the entire Rise of the Runelords campaign in tow.

- Pathfinder Adventures for iOS Universal, free
- Pathfinder Adventures for Android, free
- Pathfinder Adventures for PC/Mac via Steam, $25



Ticket to Ride: First Journey Release Imminent
Not a lot to talk about with this one, other than the fact that we've learned we can expect it to arrive later this week.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey (U.S.) simplifies the basic game of Ticket to Ride so even the youngest players can play. Instead of choosing between face up cards and the draw deck, you just draw 2 cards each turn. Cities are marked with 3D images instead of names, so kids don't need to read, and you simply get 1 VP for each completed ticket with the winner being the first to get 10. The game is colorful and the city icons are all displayed in 3D and jump around as links are made. Kids should love it. Adults, go play the original TtR.

The app has both a US and Europe map, but doesn't include online play. You can mix/match humans and AI for pass-and-play, but that's it.

We're not sure how much the app will cost when it launches, but it's another title from Asmodee Digital, and their apps all seem to be in that $3-5 range.

Watch for it to land on iOS, Android, and Steam later this week.



Doomtrooper CCG Heads to Kickstarter
Doomtrooper is another one of those games that appears to have a following, yet I haven't heard of. Not surprising in this case, as it appears to have been one of the slew of CCGs launched in the mid-90s trying to cash in on Magic: The Gathering's magic.

Sounds like Doomtrooper was one of the good ones, however. A fan of the game, Justin Reynard, just happens to have himself a development studio and has taken it upon himself to get a digital version of this classic CCG onto our screens.

The Kickstarter is for the PC/Mac versions so there will be no pesky iOS code shenanigans if you plan on backing. That said, mobile platforms are part of their stretch goals, so if you want to see Doomtrooper on your iOS or Android device, give them some money.

They're looking for $15K to get the project rolling and have already pulled in over $12K in one day, so I don't think we have to worry too hard about this one succeeding.

Head over to the Doomtrooper Kickstarter page and take a look at what the game is about and what their campaign has to offer. You can also head over here and sign up for beta access, which is planned to still happen in 2017.



Cahoots! Getting Updated With New Art
Cahoots is a pretty great trick taking game in which has been on the App Store since 2014, but you might only now be hearing about. Why? Because the physical version is getting a facelift courtesy of Mayday Games and an upcoming Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter will be for the physical version of Cahoots, but Josh Edwards, the developer of the iOS version, will also have access to the new artwork, giving him the chance to make the app as shiny as possible.

If the new artwork is like the new cover (and it is), then Cahoots is going to be one pretty card game.



Still not convinced? Take it from our own Brad, who's quoted on the iTunes page as saying, "This is currently my favorite trick taking game, digital or tabletop." What a pull quote! There are a lot more, and the app is currently sporting 4.5 stars on the App Store, which isn't anything to sneeze at.

- Cahoots for iOS Universal, $2
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Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:34 pm
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Overview: Burgle Bros.

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Burgle Bros.
Availability: iOS, Android
Price: $4.99
Store Links: iOS, Android

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Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:00 pm
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App Release: Through the Ages (yes, it's on iOS now!)

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Through the Ages Released


The Stats:

Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Current Price: $10
Developer/Publisher: Czech Games Edition
Version: 1.0.60
Download Size: 119 MB (iOS)
Multiplayer: Online asynchronous and pass-and-play
AI: Yes, 3 levels
iTunes Link: Through the Ages
Android Link: Through the Ages
BGG Entry: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
VGG Entry: Through the Ages


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Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:56 am
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