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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App News: Imperial Assault Companion App Imminent and Mysterium Starts Telling Secrets & Lies

David Neumann
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In life you have to do a lot of things you don't f*cking want to do. Many times, that's what the f*ck life is... one vile f*cking task after another.
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Imperial Assault Companion App, Legends of the Alliance, On the Way
Ever since Fantasy Flight Games launched their automated GM app for Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition), Road to Legend, people have been clamoring for news of a similar app for FFG's Star Wars based dungeon crawler, Star Wars: Imperial Assault. We knew it was being worked on, but that was about it until yesterday when FFG revealed that the app would be called Legends of the Alliance and that it will be coming very soon.

The app is similar to the Road to Legend app in that it removes the need for a GM, so all players can play cooperatively on the same side. It will tell you what tiles to lay, where to place baddies, and even control the bad guys when it's their turn. It can even track your characters through a campaign, keeping track of their earned abilities and equipment from session to session. That last part will be necessary because the app will also come with a new five mission campaign that begins right after the first Death Star goes kaboom at the end of A New Hope (spoilers!).

Much like the Descent and Mansions of Madness: Second Edition apps before it, Legends of the Alliance will scale based on which physical sets you own. The more cardboard you own, the more missions unlock. That said, you can play the new five mission campaign using only the materials found in the base game of Imperial Assault.

No word on when Legends of the Alliance will actually land on the App Store, but we have been told we can expect it for iOS, Android, and Steam very soon. We'll let you know when it hits.



Mysterium Expands With Secrets & Lies
Of all the digital board games published in the last year by Asmodee Digital, the weirdest choice was probably Mysterium (2017 / Mobile). A cooperative, real-time game that relies on player communication and discussion just seemed like an odd fit for mobile. That said, it ended up working pretty well and the multiplayer experience is actually quite fun. Last night Mysterium became an even bigger draw when the Mysterium: Secrets & Lies expansion arrived.

Secrets and Lies adds a bunch of new cards including 18 new "story" cards which let the investigators search for a Why the ghost was offed in addition to the Where and Who.

Asmodee Digital wrote:
- New expansion "Secrets & Lies" available:
Discover 6 new suspects (including Count Warwick himself), 6 new locations and 6 new items. And for the first time, experience a brand new game mode, thanks to the 19 story cards which are able to replace items for ever more mystery-filled games!
- AI improvements based on analytics of users decisions
- Tweaking psychic AI in story mode when the player is the ghost
- Various Bug fixes


The new expansion is available now on iOS, Android, and Steam and costs $2 via IAP.

- Mysterium for iOS Universal, $5
- Mysterium for Android, $5
- Mysterium for PC, $10
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Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:05 pm
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App News: Catan Universe Arrives on Mobile, Carrier Battles For Guadalcanal Gets Another Update and more...

David Neumann
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Catan Universe Released on iOS and Android
There's been a digital version of Catan (2007) for so long, I'm not sure Brad was even born when it was released (he's really young...like 12 or something). Last week, for some reason, a new version of Catan (2017 / Mobile) was unleashed onto mobile called Catan Universe. No, it's not a space-themed Catan, it's just a new way to play the same game of Catan we always used to play. Weird.

Catan Universe is a free-to-play version of Catan that lets you play, for free, against two other humans. I think it also has solo play, because nothing is more fun than trading with a computer. I'm not really sure what's going on, but I do know that there's an in-game currency which, I'm guessing you can earn by playing or via credit card, and that you'll use that to unlock new modes like Seafarers or Knights & Cities.

Due to my ignorance [and laziness -ed.] I'm going to blurb a bunch here:

Go on a journey to the Catan universe, and enter into exciting duels against players from all over the world. The board game classic and the Catan card game bring a real table top feeling to your screen, with brand new graphics.

Play the basic board game in multi-player mode, and the introductory game of “Catan – The Duel” free of charge. You can also master the free “Arrival on Catan”, to permanently unlock the single player and custom match mode for the “Arrival on Catan” scenario, to play against the AI or with your friends.

For even more variety, unlock the complete basic game, and the expansions “Cities & Knights” and “Seafarers” as in-app purchases, defend yourself against barbarian invasions, journey to new shores, and compete against cunning computer opponents.

Play with your Catan Universe account on the device of your choice: You can use your login on numerous desktop and mobile platforms! Become part of the huge worldwide Catan community, and compete against players from all over the world, and on all supported platforms!

Features:

- Settle - trade - build - become ruler of Catan!
- Play on all your devices with one account
- Faithful reconstruction of the board game “Catan” and the card game “Catan – The Duel”
- Design your own avatar
- Chat with other players
- Form guilds
- Play numerous achievements and unlocks
- Get additional expansions and play modes as in-app purchases
- Start very easily with the comprehensive tutorial

Features in development:

- Fight tournaments as guilds or for your own glory.
- Prove yourself in numerous additional expansions.

Free-to-play content:

- Basic game free matches against two other human players
- “Arrival on Catan” – permanently unlock single-player and custom-match modes against friends, or against the AI
- Introductory game free matches: Catan duel
- Registration bonus of 100 gold and 2 scrolls – unlock expansions and complete access to auto match, single player and custom matches with scrolls for a limited time
- Further scrolls by leveling up


Now that, my friends, is how you blurb it.

Want to give this new version of Catan a go? It won't cost you a penny. At least not right away.

- Catan Universe for iOS Universal, free
- Catan Universe for Android, free
- Catan Universe for Kindle, free
- Catan Universe for PC via Steam, free



Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal Updates Again
In these rather news-free times of the year, we can always count on one thing: our favorite iOS war game getting an update. That's because Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal is always getting updated. Seriously, I don't think its designer, Cyril Jarnot, has taken a day off since it released a few years back. Go take a nap, Cyril!

Anyway, the new update brings CBfG to version 2.2.1 and includes the following:

Cyril Jarnot wrote:
The 2.2 brings a new scenario occuring early 1942
The US carriers were raiding Japanese position everywhere to avenge Pear Harbor

The 2.1 has mainly concentrated on naval forces
They are now smaller (12 ships) which requires careful composition and open new tactical opportunities
The naval torpedo system has been reworked with limited ammunition and reduced power. This is balancing surface battles although the Imperial Japanese Navy remains a dangerous opponent


Not as major an update as some in the past, but consider the 2.0 update included adding multiplayer, I think we can give Cyril a pass.

If you're a grognard looking for some good hex & counter action on your iPad, look no further. This is the best you'll find on the App Store.

- Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal for iPad, $5



Pathfinder Adventures Gets an Update
It's been a while since I've talked about my favorite mobile game of 2016, Pathfinder Adventures. That's not because I love it any less, simply because 2017 has been so crazy with other great releases I haven't had a lot of time to spend flinging cards at Goblins.

Sadly, the world doesn't revolve around me and the developers at Obsidian Entertainment keep working on the game even when I'm not playing it. Strange, I know. This week they released a big patch that didn't add any new content, but did target a bunch of niggling bugs and other community issues which sounds like the perfect intro for a blurb:

Obsidian wrote:
New Feature

A new set of dice! The Asmodee Magma Dice are in. This dice set is free to all users who create an Asmodee account or have an existing Asmodee account linked to their device. Once you have the dice you can assign them to a character like you would any other dice.

Top Community Issue

Unicode Support for character nicknames. Characters will no longer become unavailable and will properly display their nicknames throughout the game.

Other Fixes

Progression Break
-Post act events were sometimes stuck in the roll state because the state was not advanced
-Game sometimes crashed when evaluating a card filter

Card
-Card power effect boost was not deactivating so the effect was never removed when canceling a card. We're looking at you Orbs!
-Damage reduction effects were not applied during global damage iterators
-Before You Act damage which skipped the player had dice applied twice (double damage)
-Map move ignoring move restrictions only worked when multiple targets were involved
-Card power examine sometimes ran its callbacks multiple times
-Clear all the card type marks after the ambush phase finishes
-When using Vicious Trident against Leng Spider, check now refreshes correctly to Combat
-Fixed Mokmurian so it won't continually apply -1 to your check even if you cancel using Orb of firestorm
-Fixed BYA and AYA damage failing to be mitigated when discarding Blue Warder to explore the location in All Areas.
-Fixed when the BYA deals 2 damage instead of 1 damage to the first off-turn character when the active character encounters Jaagrath Kreeg in All Areas.
-Fixed when using the Blessing of Nethys, if used to encounter a monster with BYA, encountering the monster twice
-Fixed bonus die being granted from power remains if player cancels discarding a Polearm weapon
-Fixed If you use an item to mitigate BYA damage, you cannot use an item to mitigate combat damage
-Fixed when using stride and moving another person into a bar table, the moved character does not take damage
-Fixed Sunwrought Kyra being unable to learn Enemy Lore: Outsider
-Fixed Summon Monster not activating Ezren's Expanded Spellbook

Character
-Recharge/discard character power was not marked active so it was never disabled

Other
-When boosting a combat check, sometimes the dice/check was not refreshed
-Fixed mobile keyboards displaying password on the autocomplete bar when inputting Asmodee login information


Go ahead and update if you're a longtime player. If you haven't checked out Pathfinder Adventures yet, what's the matter? It was the best game released in 2016, and it's free to download. Sure, all the extra content is going to cost you, but it's worth it.

- Pathfinder Adventures for iOS Universal, free
- Pathfinder Adventures for Android, free
- Pathfinder Adventures for PC/Mac via Steam, $15



Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game on Steam is Good
This is just a reminder in case you've forgotten: The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game from Evil Hat Productions is going digital. Wait, change that. It HAS gone digital. The fine folks at Hidden Achievement have already brought it to Steam for PC/Mac and it should be coming to iOS and Android soon.

The reason I'm brining this up is because we've posted a review at my other site, Stately Play. Head over there to read the whole thing, but know that our reviewer, Nick, liked the digital port quite a bit. I usually wouldn't cross-post like this, but I know there are a lot of you interested in the digital version of Dresden Files and I wanted to make sure you knew it was out on Steam and coming to iOS/Android.

That's all the shameless self-promotion I can handle for one day. Whew.

- Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game for PC/Mac via Steam, $20


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Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:38 pm
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App News: Asmodee Takes over Talisman, Mansions of Mansions Updates, Zach Gage Is An Evil Genius and more...

David Neumann
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Talisman Is Now Being Published By Asmodee Digital
Once we learned that Asmodee Digital was publishing the Nomad Games Ltd (II) developed Smash Up, we should have known it was only a matter of time before Talisman: Digital Edition fell under their domain as well. Earlier today, Talisman became an Asmodee published title.

We've heard of Asmodee Digital publishing games for non-Asmodee titles before, even coming in and taking over publishing duties after the game has already been released, so it doesn't seem like this will affect us, the players, too much other than it will give Nomad some capital and the ability to pump out more content, although how much more they can possibly fit into Talisman remains to be seen.

They're going to try, however, as Asmodee has announced that a new expansions will be released by the end of 2017, Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Harbinger Expansion. This will include 75 Harbinger Cards, 10 new Spell Cards, 10 Terrain Cards, 32 Omen Cards, 2 Alternative Endings, 3 new characters and the Harbinger, a mysterious figure warning of the apocalypse to come. Spooky! It's good news because, unlike a lot of games, Talisman gets better the more stuff you throw at it.

We'll keep an eye out for the Harbinger expansion, and also see if we can poke around in Asmodee's brain to see what else this new collaboration might lead to. Stay tuned.

- Talisman: Digital Edition for iOS Universal, $4
- Talisman: Digital Edition for Android, $4
- Talisman: Digital Edition for Kindle, $3
- Talisman: Digital Edition for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $8



Mansions of Madness App Updates to Include Streets of Arkham
One of the best (if not the best) uses of electronics in a board game comes from Fantasy Flight Games's Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. It's a truly wonderful gaming experience, so when more content lands, we feel it's worth a mention. Last Thursday the latest physical expansion, Mansions of Madness: Second Edition – Streets of Arkham, landed in your FLGS and, on the same day, the app was updated to include the new expansion's material.

The update includes new investigators, monsters, cards, and everything you'd expect a new expansion to have. It also has a bunch of new tiles and three new scenarios with all new locations to hang out in. One of the new scenarios is a "mystery" in which you have to deduce which artifact is causing all the problems at the museum. They even mention you should have pen and paper along to write down clues. Color me intrigued. Wondering if the artifact changes each go around, making the scenario replayable over and over? It will be a while before I get a chance to give it a go, so if anyone's played it, let us know in the comments.

Besides all the new content, the app was also updated with Czech and Chinese localization of the core scenarios and the ever-present bug fixes.

- Mansions of Madness Companion for iOS Universal, free
- Mansions of Madness Companion for Android, free
- Mansions of Madness for Kindle, free
- Mansions of Madness Companion for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, free



Zach Gage's latest, Flipflop Solitaire, Released
You might not of heard of Zach Gage, but you've probably played (or at least heard of) some of his games. He's incredibly prolific, and just about everything he's released has been critically praised. Games like Ridiculous Fishing, SpellTower, Sage Solitaire, and Really Bad Chess just to name a few. He released his latest title, Flipflop Solitaire, last week and it's just as mind-boggling and addictive as his other titles. Maybe more so.

Flipflop Solitaire takes the Klondike solitaire we all know and either love or hate, and turns it on its head by throwing out all the rules. Cards can be placed onto columns of any other color with the only restriction being that columns of different colors can't be moved whole cloth. Also, the sequence of cards can be either ascending or descending or both. So, you could play a 8 then a 7 then an 8 then a 9 and then an 8 all in the same column. The changes don't seem like much, but they make a game in which winning is predetermined by how the deck was shuffled into a game of skill and tactics where 99% of deals have a solution.

It's tons of fun, and it's free to download with ads. You can unlock the full game via a $3 IAP which I did and haven't regretted a bit. The game has different modes consisting of single-suit games (super easy) all the way up to 5 suit games (impossible) with full recording of win-loss stats and a bunch of other numbers so you can compare how you're doing against the world.

Flipflop Solitaire is available right now for iOS Universal. No word on an Android release.

- Flipflop Solitaire for iOS Universal, free





7 Wonders Coming Tomorrow
In case you forgot.
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Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:19 pm
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App News: Sad News Regarding 7 Wonders

David Neumann
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Next Week the 7 Wonders Jokes Must Cease
Jokes about the never-imminent release of Antoine Bauza's SdJ winner, 7 Wonders have been a part of iOS Board Games lore for so long that I'm really going to be sad to see them go away. Why are they leaving? Because 7 Wonders is finally, really, for sure arriving on iPad next week on November 14.

Today, Repos Production posted in their latest TestFlight update for beta testers that the beta is ending next week followed by the iPad release on the 14 with the Android version coming on December 20th.

Repos wrote:
November 14th is the official release date of the application in the Apple Store. The Android version will be available December 20.

This last version is the realisation of long months of work, of testing, of listening to your feedbacks and we hope it will fulfil your expectations.

With your collaboration, we ran more than 37,500 games during more than 5000 hours.


I don't really have a lot more to say. Other than it's a sad, sad day for fans of 7 Wonders-related humor. Great day for fans of 7 Wonders, sure, but I'll be in the corner weeping.
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Wed Nov 8, 2017 6:03 pm
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App News: One Deck Dungeon Digital Heads to Kickstarter, Cottage Garden Arrives on Steam, Isle of Skye Coming in 2018 and more...

David Neumann
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Handelabra Launches Kickstarter for Digital One Deck Dungeon
One Deck Dungeon from Chris Cieslik and Asmadi Games has been on my radar for a long time, mainly because it's a game you can play solo and it's a roguelike. I've even been interested enough to put my money behind the game when it was on Kickstarter earlier this year. Now, I'm putting my money behind another One Deck Dungeon Kickstarter, this time to bring it to my laptop.

Handelabra Games has launched their latest Kickstarter with the goal of bringing a digital version of One Deck Dungeon to PC/Mac/Linux via Steam. Wondering where the iOS/Android version is? Well, they're not dealing with that in this Kickstarter due to the issues involved with getting iOS/Android copies into the hands of backers. They are planning on doing a tablet version, however, as long as the Kickstarter does well. Look for it to be an upcoming stretch goal.

Other than that, the Kickstarter has given us a ton of new info about what we can expect if the digital version does come to life:

Handelabra wrote:
The first retail release of One Deck Dungeon will be $10 (USD) and will include all the content from the base tabletop game. The rules and card effects will be carefully adapted and thoroughly tested by expert players, including the designer, Chris Cieslik.

-Includes 5 heroes, 5 dungeons, and 44 encounter cards
-Solo play with 1 or 2 heroes
-Local co-op play with 2 heroes
-Campaign mode allows you to build up a hero’s power over multiple plays
-Choose your hero & dungeon, or face a randomized challenge
-Learn the game while you play with an interactive tutorial
-Original music for each dungeon by Beatscribe (some tracks adapted from the tabletop soundtrack, others brand new)
-Compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux (system requirements)
-Steam Achievements
-Steam Cloud Saves


Of course, there are different pledge levels with different rewards as well as stretch goals that require you to head over to the Kickstarter to parse for yourself.

The Kickstarter opened yesterday and they're already nearly 60% of the way to their $20K goal. Of course, if we want that mobile version, we'll have to do better than $20K. Head on over to the Kickstarter and see about pledging, remembering that this is Handelabra we're talking about. You know, the makers of some great polished and well-done tabletop conversions, so the odds of this one not being worth the $10 they're asking are slim.

You can find the Kickstarter here. Only 29 days left to go.





Cottage Garden Spreads to Steam
Our friends over at Digidiced UG can't seem to stay out of the news (check out the next news item for an example). Last week they released Cottage Garden for iOS and Android devices and, only a week later, they have released the app now for PC/Mac/Linux on Steam.

Cottage Garden is a...oh, what am I doing? Blurb time!

Digidiced wrote:
Goal of the Game - In Cottage Garden, you compete in the art of gardening. Plant two Flowerbeds with different flowers. Score each Flowerbed when there are no more free spaces visible on it, then exchange it for a new, unplanted one. You receive points for all visible Flower Pots and Garden Cloches on the completed Flowerbed, and you may also receive Flower Pots and Cats that will help you with your gardening. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Features

• True digital conversion of Uwe Rosenbergs famous board game
• 2-4 players locally, online or even cross-platform
• Family friendly - non violent theme
• Worldwide ranked multiplayer and casual play with your friends
• fast real time games or asynchronous games with 24 hour time limit per turn
• Easy interactive tutorial to learn the game from scratch
• Analyze your best games or learn tricks from the best with Playback
• 3 different computer opponents
• uses the newest rules of the board game


What makes this even better is that the Steam version is currently on sale for 30% off, making the laptop version under $5 right now. Those are mobile prices on Steam, which doesn't happen too often. No idea how long the sale will last, so don't dawdle if you're looking for a copy you can play at work while your boss thinks you're working.

- Cottage Garden for iOS Universal, $5
- Cottage Garden for Android, $5
- Cottage Garden for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $5





DIGIDICED Announces Digital Port of Isle of Skye
In more DIGIDICED news, they've also announced that a digital version of the 2016 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, is coming to iOS/Android in Q1 of 2018.

There's not much to talk about at this point, with the only news coming from the intrepid Suzanne who seems to be everywhere, all the time.



As usual, we'll try to pick the DIGIDICED minds and see if we can come up with any other info. At this point, I would count on the usual polish we get in DIGIDICED apps: solo play vs. AI, online asynchronous multiplayer, etc. More info coming!



Cublo Games Bringing Among the Stars to iOS/Android
Another digital game announcement occurred earlier this week. Cublo, makers of the very nice digital version of Brass, have teamed up with Artipia Games to bring a digital version of Among the Stars to our phones and tablets.

Much like the Isle of Skye announcement above, information on this one is hard to come by. In fact, all we have is Cublo teasing it with this:



We're already bugging Cublo about it and will get back to you guys as soon as we have some more info.



Neuroshima Hex Gets Makeover from Portal
The digital version of Neuroshima Hex! was one of the first digital board games that revealed just how good digital board games could be. Developed by Big Daddy's Creations, it was extremely polished and, at least at first, was supported with more and more armies.

It looks as if BDC has gone the way of the dodo, however, and Portal Games has taken over the digital duties now. As such, they just released their first version of Neuroshima Hex as an update to the existing version.

The main addition are the graphics from the latest version of the cardboard version, bringing the app in-line with what you'd expect if you have the latest version. Other than that, however, additions seem to be slim.

Portal Games wrote:
Long awaited update, catch up with application support.
Tile graphics updated to look exactly like their board's counterpart.

New Uranopolis army available through In-App Purchase.

New bundles of armies - all armies available as a Bundle of Ten Armies (Neojungle, New York, Smart, Vegas, Steel Police, Dancer, DoomsDay Machine, Mississippi, Sharrash, Uranopolis) and the Second Bundle of Five Armies (Dancer, DoomsDay Machine, Mississippi, Sharrash, Uranopolis) to fit the previous Five Armies Bundle.


I haven't played NH in ages, not because the app is shabby but because I truly, truly suck at it. As such, I'm not familiar with any smaller changes they might have made to the app. If you're a longtime NH player who has updated to the new version, let us know in the comments if there are any other changes and how the new management seems to be doing. (FYI, the update appears to only be available for the iOS version. The Android version was last updated in 2016)

- Neuroshima Hex for iOS Universal, $5
- Neuroshima Hex for Android, $3
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Thu Nov 2, 2017 5:33 pm
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App News: Bohnanza The Duel Released, Sherlock Holmes Gets Some Help, Asmodee and Portal at Essen and more...

David Neumann
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Bohnanza The Duel Released for iOS/Android
One of the glaring omissions on my gaming-cred chart is the fact that I've never played Bohnanza. I know it's a classic and whatever, but it has just never found its way to a table that I've been sitting at. So, I'm excited about Digidiced UG's latest release for a couple reasons. First, it's DIGIDICED, and their titles are all pretty great. Secondly, it's Bohnanza: The Duel, and I'll finally have a chance to play bean farmer.

Bohnanza The Duel is a 2-player version of Bohnanza in which...aw, let me just cut/paste this one:

DIGIDICED wrote:
In the two-player-version Bohnanza – The duel, the two bean farmers offer each other gifts of beans they don‘t want for themselves, ideally ones that their opponent can‘t make use of, either. Cleverly combining the types of beans on the fields allows them to fulfil bonus tasks. The player who manages to earn the most bean dollars wins the game.

Face off against different AI opponents, or challenge hobby gardeners from all over the world! Find your place on the Bohnanza leaderboard!

Features
- True-to-the-original, digital port of the two-player-version of Uwe Rosenberg‘s popular game Bohnanza
- The easy interactive tutorial makes for a quick entry to the game
- Featuring AI opponents of various levels of difficulty
- Play platform-independent duels against the best players in the world


Bohnanza The Duel is another 2-player Uwe Rosenberg title, which seems to be DIGIDICED's wheelhouse. It's out now for iOS Universal and Android, and will be coming to Steam soon.

- Bohnanza The Duel for iOS Universal, $3
- Bohnanza The Duel for Android, $3



Companion App for Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Arrives on iOS/Android
From the "out of nowhere" files comes a little app for fans of the brilliant and beloved deduction game, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. The app is simply a collection of audio tracks for each of the cases in both Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases and Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures, so you can simply sit back and listen to each case introduction.

The app only includes the lengthy introductions for each case, so it includes no spoilers, but will allow you to sit and get your brain ready for the marathon it's about to run. It will also allow you to pour an extra glass of brandy while you ponder leads in the intro.

The app is free for both iOS and Android, so it's kind of a no brainer if you're a fan of the Sherlock games.

- SH Consulting Detective for iOS Universal, free
- SH Consulting Detective for Android, free



Asmodee Digital's Essen Announcements
From our time at Gen Con, we know what we can expect from Asmodee Digital over the next year or so. They showed off some new trailers and also revealed a title we didn't know they were working on. Let's get started.

While there are only two months left in 2017, Asmodee has a lot planned before 2018 rolls around. Still coming this year are their Android and Steam version of Carcassonne, an iOS/Android/Steam version of Abalone, and an iOS/Android/Steam version of the racing classic, Mille Bornes.

2017 will also see the release of a couple new Catan titles as well. The first is Catan Stories: The Legend of the Sea Robbers, which is an all-new text adventure set in the Catan-verse. Yep, I'm as confused as you are. Luckily, we have a trailer for this one.



We can also expect a VR version of Catan creatively called Catan VR. Being old and prone to motion sickness, VR does nothing for me. That said, if you have an Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR and want to play Catan, this is for you. Trailer for this one as well and it's pretty cool to swing the camera around. Still not sure I could play like this without heaving, though.



Next year is when things get interesting. First of all, we have Scythe coming for iOS/Android/Steam which just got a brand new teaser trailer which is about as teaser-y as you can get while still showing a few seconds of in-game graphics:



That's just the beginning, however. Bananagrams and Zombicide are both coming to iOS and Android, while a little game you might have heard of, Terraforming Mars, is coming to iOS/Android/Steam.

We've known about all that since Gen Con, but one that we didn't know about is Arcane Wonders' fantastic 2-player abstract, Onitama which is coming to iOS and Android next year.

As usual, we'll be keeping both eyes on Asmodee and will let you know when apps release or any new news pops up.



Portal Games at Essen
Portal Games has less stuff to talk about than Asmodee, but the first topic is much more time sensitive. Their cardboard/digital hybrid, First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, is out in the wild now and next week will be having a Halloween-themed event. You can log into the app and play the Probe on the Loose scenario next week and participate with Halloween goodies being spread all over Mars. Thematic!

That's not all! They're also working on a companion app for Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island which will do...things. Not a lot of details on this yet, but they did mention it will include new events and adventures. We'll keep an eye out for more info on that as it's developed.



Summoner's Fate Now on Kickstarter
I'm not much of a CCG player. Take's too much time to learn and you really need to dedicate yourself unlike any other tabletop experience. That said, I do tend to like card games with a CCG feel, especially if there's more to the game than simple card play. Something like Dream Quest comes to mind.

Summoner's Fate looks to have that same kind of feel. It's central mechanism is card play, but the game is an RPG/dungeon crawler and looks like a lot of fun. My favorite part is wondering how bad the crick in everyone's neck is going to be from starting up at the player like that. Honestly, it looks like there's a lot going on in this one.

In fact, there might be too much going on for me to accurately explain anything to you here. You might want to just jump on over to the Kickstarter and see for yourselves.

The game will be free-to-download, following a CCG model, so the Kickstarter isn't doling out copies of the game. Instead, there are a bunch of different types of loot you can snag. The game is planned for iOS, Android, as well as PC/Mac on Steam, so everyone can take a look regardless of your platform of choice.

The Kickstarter is going on now and will run for another 21 days. They're only looking for $10K and already have more than $6K in the bank, so it's not a huge leap to get this thing funded. Head over here to take a look.


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App News: Handelabra Bringing One Deck Dungeon to Steam, Through the Ages Updates, and A Quick Reminder

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Handelabra Kickstarting One Deck Dungeon for Steam
I guess it was only a matter of time before it happened, but it seems strange to talk about Handelabra Games and not a Greater Than Games' game. Instead, for their next foray into the digital board game market, Handelabra has teamed up with Asmadi Games and designer Chris Cieslik to bring One Deck Dungeon to our laptops.

We don't know much at this point other than Handelabra will be launching a Kickstarter for the PC/Mac version on November 1st. Looking for a mobile version? It's likely, especially if the Kickstarter does well.

What else do we know? The game will be single player with the ability to control 1-2 heroes. The ability to control up to four heroes will be one of the Kickstarter's stretch goals. We also know that the One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows expansion will not be included at launch and will also be one of the Kickstarter's stretch goals.

There will be a lot more information coming on this over the next few weeks, and we'll be sure to let you know when the Kickstarter goes live in a couple weeks.



Through the Ages Updates to Version 1.2.4
The digital version of Through the Ages is less of a game and more of an obsession for me. I can't even remember a time when I didn't have 3-5 games going at once, and it's not getting old. That said, last week the app was updated and it introduced a feature I didn't even know I wanted, but now that it's there I can't imagine living without it.

The feature I'm talking about is turn replay, which you can now change in the settings to be slow as molasses or instant. Instead of the flurry of tokens and cards that accompanied your opponent's turn, we now get a window clearly explaining every single action your opponent took on their turn. If you are a TtA neophyte, this is invaluable information to see exactly what that pesky AI or human player is doing when you're not watching. Even TtA veterans will appreciate the feature, however, as suddenly everything your rival does becomes crystal clear. And, if you end up not liking it, you can always just switch to "instant" and turn it off.

That wasn't the only thing they added. Age III Wonders and Events will now tell you how many points they will score you and all you opponents, so you don't have to scour each players' board to see if you should play Impact of Balance anymore. Woot!

There's more:

• Added opponent's turn replay settings (from instant to very detailed)
• Age III wonders and events include information about their potential culture gains
• End game scoring can be speed up now
• Added notification about the next event card, should the player know it
• Improved stability


If you haven't downloaded Through the Ages yet, you're missing out on one of the best (if not THE best) board game apps out there. What are you waiting for?

- Through the Ages for iOS Universal, $10
- Through the Ages for Android, $10



Quick Reminder: Tomorrow is Warhammer Quest 2 Release Day
I really have nothing to add here, I'm just really excited to finally get to play Warhammer Quest 2.
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App News: Smash Up and Cottage Garden Released, Handelabra News, Brass on Steam and more...

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Smash Up Released for iOS, Android, and PC
If you follow this blog (and if you're reading this, you must), you're already aware of today's release of Smash Up by Nomad Games Ltd (II) and published by Asmodee Digital. That's because Brad has already posted his First Look video. He's a real go-getter, that one.

Here's some blurbage:

Asmodee Digital wrote:
FEATURES

- Online Cross-platform multiplayer: 2 to 4 players
- Play with 4 players or solo against the AI
- 9 faction decks, including the base game set and more: Zombies, Aliens, Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Pirates, Robots, Tricksters, Wizards & Geeks
- Random or manual faction selection
- Fully automated scoring
- Tutorial system plus ‘Step Through’ and ‘Review' modes to help players learn
- Leader boards & Achievements
- Contains 16 Base cards to compete over
- Languages available: English, French, German


So why am I posting about it here? Because I'd feel remiss not including it in a news post somewhere! Also, it has a really cool icon. If you want to know more and/or see it in action, watch Brad's video below. Otherwise, here are the links. Have at it.

- Smash Up for iOS Universal, $5
- Smash Up for Android, $5
- Smash Up for PC via Steam, $15





Uwe Rosenberg's Cottage Garden Released by DIGIDICED
Another big release today comes from Digidiced UG. It's another Uwe Rosenberg title, Cottage Garden.

Cottage Garden pits up to 4 players in a battle to see who can plant the best garden. Seriously. There are flowers arranged at Tetris-shaped pieces, and you fill up your plots and score points. There are also cats. I haven't figured out the cats yet.

Let's blurb this thing:

DIGIDICED wrote:
Goal of the Game - In Cottage Garden, you compete in the art of gardening. Plant two Flowerbeds with different flowers. Score each Flowerbed when there are no more free spaces visible on it, then exchange it for a new, unplanted one. You receive points for all visible Flower Pots and Garden Cloches on the completed Flowerbed, and you may also receive Flower Pots and Cats that will help you with your gardening.
The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Features
• True digital conversion of Uwe Rosenbergs famous board game
• 2-4 players locally, online or even cross-platform
• Family friendly - non violent theme
• Worldwide ranked multiplayer and casual play with your friends
• fast real time games or asynchronous games with 24 hour time limit per turn
• Easy interactive tutorial to learn the game from scratch
• Analyze your best games or learn tricks from the best with Playback
• 3 different computer opponents
• uses the newest rules of the board game


See, I told you there were cats in it. Cottage Garden is available for iOS and Android right now, and will be coming to PC/Mac/Linux via Steam next week.

- Cottage Garden for iOS Universal, $5
- Cottage Garden for Android, $5





Bottom of the 9th Heads to Steam
In the first of our two Handelabra Games posts today, we talk about their latest title, Bottom of the 9th (2017). If you were hoping to have bat-swinging and base-running meeples on your laptop, you're in luck. Earlier this week, Bottom of the 9th was released for PC/Mac/Linux on Steam.

The Steam version is the same great game we've been playing on our touchscreens since August, but it's been reworked for a keyboard/mouse combo. It also includes a new single-player campaign called Manager's Challenge! Don't be upset if you own the mobile version, Manager's Challenge is also now available in the mobile version for a whopping zero dollars!

Handelabra wrote:
• Play six game solo campaigns as the home team against a revolving cast of pitchers.
• Compete in nine different game situations, including multiple inning games.
• Each campaign game is played using one of six effect cards that change the feel of the game.
• The Manager's Challenge can be played in Classic Mode (using a Pitcher's Deck of stare-down cards) or against any level of CPU opponent.
• Four increasing levels of difficulty will put your management and batting skills to the test!
• Earn up to 11 new achievements and compete with others on 8 new leaderboards for the solo campaign mode.


Not bad! Oh, and did I mention that both the Steam and mobile versions are on sale? They are! Why am I so excited? I DON'T KNOW, I JUST LOVE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!

Ahem. Sorry. You can pick Bottom of the 9th up at the links below, with the sale price in effect through the end of the week.

- Bottom of the 9th for iOS Universal, $4
- Bottom of the 9th for Android, $4
- Bottom of the 9th for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $6



Sentinels of the Multiverse Turns Three
That's not all the Handelabra news today. Today is the birthday of their flagship title, Sentinels of the Multiverse, which means they have a ton of sales and events revolving around the superhero card game all weekend.

First of all, Sentinels is free-to-play this weekend on Steam. If you haven't bought Sentinels yet, you can try it out on your laptop all weekend for nada, which is pretty cool. What's even cooler is that it's 70% off on Steam if you want to buy it, and you most likely will after giving it a free spin.

There's stuff for us mobile fans, too! The base game is only $1 on iOS, Android, and Kindle all weekend. Already have the base game? Expansions are on the cheap too! You can get the Season 1 pass for $15, down from its normal price of $25. Want to buy expansions standalone instead of in a Season Pass? They're all $1 off if you go that route!

Season Pass 2 is still its regular price, but Handelabra is donating $1 from every Season Pass sold (both 1 and 2) to the Cystinosis Research Foundation, so everyone wins.

The free-to-play promotion on Steam only lasts until Sunday, while the sale prices won't be around much longer than that. Go pick up what you're missing now before the sale goes away.

- Sentinels of the Multiverse for iOS Universal, $1
- Sentinels of the Multiverse for Android, $1
- Sentinels of the Multiverse for Kindle, $1
- Sentinels of the Multiverse for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $3





Martin Wallace's Brass Moves to Steam
It's the week for board games going to Steam, apparently. We also learned this week that Cublo has brought their stellar port of Martin Wallace's Brass to Steam for PC/Mac/Linux.

There's not a lot to say that hasn't already been said about the mobile version of Brass...the Steam version is nearly identical. They did alter the UI a bit and make it keyboard/mouse friendly and added email notifications so it works quite well on a laptop and isn't just a slapdash port.

If you want to play Brass while sitting at your desk, now you can. The Steam version is $10 and can be nabbed at the link below.

- Brass for iOS Universal, $6
- Brass for Android, $7
- Brass for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $10



Age of Rivals Gets More Content via Conflict of Faith Expansion
Age of Rivals is a gem of a card game from Roboto Games that mashes up card drafting and civilization building in a much thinkier way than The Game That Shall Not Be Named.

It's seriously one of our GOTY contenders, and it just got better with the release of a free update that adds new expansion content, including 18 new cards.

Roboto Games wrote:
Conflict of Faith Campaign
The second campaign includes 6 new story/challenge levels vs. custom decks for Ziana, Theophilos and Nairi. Beating these levels will unlock 3 of the new cards.

The remaining 15 new cards can be obtained by spending coins. All 18 new cards:
-Barduk’s Bonewall - You bring the bodies and Barduk will build you the wall.
-Royal Academy - See the Moneylender for a student loan.
-Standard Bearer - Don’t mess with the mascot.
-Martyr - Sometimes death is only the beginning.
-Martial Law - Culture smulture...just attack!
-Acid Spitters - The sworn enemies of The Undying.
-Exotic Trinkets - Shells, beads, and the occasional dragon egg.
-Princess of Thieves - Her leadership will bring the underworld out of the shadows.
-The Sentinels - No shenanigans on their watch.
-Eternal Gardens - A whole grove of giving trees.
-Faithless Bannermen - Your earliest allies are not always your most reliable allies.
-Exotic Expedition - Riches beyond compare...if they ever make it back.
-Smoke and Mirrors - It’s not a trick..it’s an illusion!
-Monolith - A mysterious construction for anyone confused by the damage splitting rules.
-Stone Table - Broken - When the table cracks, death itself begins working backwards.
-Scavengers - Waste not, want not.
-Sacred Relic - An artifact that should never have been uncovered.
-Open Borders - Keep the big door open...everyone will come around.

Card Rebalancing
-Graverobber Baron can now only steal a maximum of 2 coins per turn instead of 2 coins per Ruins drawn
-Sun’s Sisters now gives bonus culture based on ruined card’s attack, and cost increased by 1
-War Drums ability reprogrammed to work more reliably
-Myrmidons cost reduced by 1
-Conquistadors attack increased by 1
-Assacani attack reduced by 1

Gameplay Changes
-Both players are guaranteed to draw at least one Economic card during every draft in Round 1
-Guaranteed cards will no longer ever show up in the very first draft
-Early phase guaranteed cards may now draw during any draft in Round 1 (instead of just the first 2 drafts)


Did I mention all this is free? Don't let the mention of coins needed to unlock cards scare you off. There is no IAP in the game whatsoever. You'll earn cards as you play, and unlock cards as you go along.

- Age of Rivals for iOS Universal, $2
- Age of Rivals for Android, $4
- Age of Rivals for PC/Mac/Linux, $10
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Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:34 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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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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