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Review: Start Player

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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From gallery of thequietpunk
The Stats:
Compatibility: iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Current Price: $0.99
Developer/Publisher: Steve Blanding/House full of Games
Version: 1.0
Size: 5.5MB
Multiplayer: NA
AI: NA
Itunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/start-player/id404273753?mt=8



From gallery of thequietpunk
The Good:
It is the card game in app form. A perfect reproduction.
The Bad:
The graphic style is not my cup of tea.

Summary:
Buying Start Player as an app is a no-brainer. If you play games in groups and need a tool this app is great and combines several options into one location. Seriously, you are getting a $7 product for $1.

Gameplay:
Start Player is a game tool used to determine which player will start a game. Though not necessary, it provides a random way to choose a start player when the rules do not specify a method.

Unlike the physical card game, the app includes 4 methods for choosing a starting player. First, players can use a spinner and whichever color the spinner stops on that player is the first player. The second is a list of all the players which is randomly sorted to put one of the players on top. The third has each player place a finger on the device on one of the game pieces represented, then the device randomly selects one of the players (this is my favorite of the random methods.

Lastly, the app includes the deck of cards seen in the physical game. A card from the deck is flipped stating a condition such as, “The player who has most recently eaten chocolate is the start player.” This works well and there seem to be a large amount of cards to choose from.

Implementation:
Start Player is a great replacement for the physical game. Unless you really want to shuffle a deck of cards I see no reason to use the physical version (unless you do not have a device…obviously). I also like the inclusion of the other player choosing options. They essentially all boil down to just a random pick but I like their variety. My favorite is the one that has each player place a finger on one of the game pieces and then one of those is selected. It has a “pick the right pony” feeling to it.

This a great example of a board game tool that can be integrated directly into your smartphone, that you usually have with you anyway. I look forward to trying out more of these as they appear in the app store, because yes, we do occasionally get around to playing physical board games.


My only complaint about the app is that aesthetic and that is a minor complaint. It basically boils down to
From gallery of thequietpunk
the fact that the art style and talking game pieces are just not my favorite (but they do sometimes say funny things). This again is only a minor complaint and I do not think it effects the marketability of the app seeing as it is being targeted directly at gamers, rather than attempting to draw in a wider audience.

Conclusion:
Start Player is a must buy for your board game group. It has the full features (plus some) of the physical game at a fraction of the cost.

Rating: 3/4 Good
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Subscribe sub options Fri Jun 3, 2011 5:44 pm
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