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Best of 2014 - Genres Part II (Gamebook, RPG, Card, Strategy)

David Neumann
United States
Whitefish Bay
Wisconsin
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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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The iOS Board Games best of 2014 are meant to recognize excellent strategy apps in many categories.

Today:

-Gamebook Apps
-Role Playing Games
-Card Games
-Strategy Games

Gamebook App


Gold Award
From gallery of thequietpunk


While other gamebooks let you navigate a city or a haunted house, 80 Days lets you wander around the entire world. That's not hyperbole. You can literally travel just about anywhere on the globe and visit over 150 different cities. You play as the valet of famed adventurer, and gentleman, Phileas Fogg trying to circle the globe in under 80 days in order to win a wager of £20,000. On the way you'll meet revolutionaries, travel in airships, and even find a city that can meander across the land on its own power. 80 Days is more about the journey than trying to actually win the wager. Grab your suitcase, head out on the road, and see what amazing things are out there. It's unlike any gamebook experience you've ever had. - Dave

Developer: inkle Studios
App Store Link
Google Play Link
Amazon Appstore Link
Our Review

Silver Award
From gallery of thequietpunk


Tin Man Games is a prolific purveyor of gamebooks. While enjoyable, many follow a pretty basic formula and don’t necessarily try to innovate in the way stories are told. Book 17: Appointment with F.E.A.R. changes all that. Breaking off into a new direction, Tin Man has really shown use what they are capable. The flow of the game is all done in comicbook style with large art and thematic speech bubbles. Building on what they’ve done in the past, AWF features changing endings and several paths to victory on each play. Part of the fun is replaying to try and do better than before. You also get to create your very own superhero which has an affect on your options in the game. The variety and replayability here is tremendous. AWF is certainly a reaction to inkle and others, but it still manages to provide a unique and new experience. It manages to add more game to the book than any Tin Man gamebook before it. While this was a year filled with some amazing products, Tin Man managed to hold its own and step forward with Appointment with F.E.A.R. - Brad

Developer: Tin Man Games
App Store Link
Google Play Link
Amazon Appstore Link
Our Review

Role-Playing Game


Gold Award

From gallery of thequietpunk


In the world of digital role-playing games, there are generally two titles that get mentioned as the best ones ever made. The first is Planescape: Torment and the other is Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. While we're still waiting (hoping) for a Planescape port, last January brought Baldur's Gate II to our iPads and it didn't disappoint. The new "Enhanced Edition" has more quests, NPCs, and also contains the Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal expansion. I'll admit that the iPad/Android port has a couple issues that make it inferior to the PC edition (controlling your party on the iPad works, but can be frustrating compared to using a mouse), but this is a gigantic, amazing RPG that you can carry around on your tablet. As far as tablet role-playing experiences go, they don't get any bigger or better.- Dave

Developer: Beamdog
App Store Link
Google Play Link

Silver Award
From gallery of thequietpunk


I am sad to say that I never had an opportunity to play this classic before it appeared on digital devices this year. I knew about it and had heard wild opinions on either side. In honesty, a lot of the complaints about this game are true, however, underneath is still a fun, silly experience. As an RPG it excels in creating those unique story moments. It is a game that will inspire session reports about the time a crazy combination appeared and broke the game. It will have you recounting that one time that you prevailed against all odds. It helps that the digital version is extremely well done and already jam packed with content. They’ve promise a slew of expansions and have already begun to deliver. I love Talisman digitally because I can have a social experience if I want it or I can power through a game on my own. Talisman is on this list because the digital version not only expands the reach of the game but opens it up to new play opportunities. This is one of the best role-playing experiences of the year. - Brad

Developer: Nomad Games Ltd (II)
App Store Link
Google Play Link
Amazon App Store
Our Review

Card Game


Gold Award

From gallery of thequietpunk


Do I really need to write anything here? Blizzard Entertainment did everything right with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. It's a deep, strategic CCG that is simple enough that anyone can pick it up and start playing. It's the perfect casual game and a perfect strategic game. Yes, it's free-to-play, but it works because it's actually free-to-play. Sure, you can buy cards if you want, but you can earn them in game pretty easily as well. On top of that, the game is tight enough that good players can win without the rarest of cards. With 2 expansions already in the can and more planned for the future, Hearthstone is poised to be the card game to beat for a long time coming.- Dave

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
App Store Link
Google Play Link
Amazon Appstore Link
Our Review

Silver Award
From gallery of thequietpunk


You knew this had to show up on here somewhere. Dream Quest is definitely the cult hit of the year. It seems like an unconsidered recipe for success: combine deck-building and rogue-like mechanics. What came out is a brilliant experience, despite the lackluster graphic design. That design has quickly become a shared inside joke and I feel like we are now laughing with the game rather than at it. Dream Quest impresses with a wide array of content and really challenging gameplay. Strategy is key and you really have to think through all of your deck-building choices. It is extremely high on my personal game of the year list and will continue to be a go to for months to come. The best part about Dream Quest is that there truly is nothing else like it on the app store. It is a wacky ride that needs to be experienced. - Brad

Developer: Peter M. Whalen
App Store Link
Our Review

Strategy Game


Gold Award

From gallery of thequietpunk


FTL: Faster Than Light was a fantastic game when it was released on desktops over two years ago. When Subset Games finally released it for iPad last January, it was easy to see that the iPad was the perfect platform for the game. Everything about the game just works on the tablet, thanks to the reworking of the user interface for the smaller screen. Adjusting power to different systems by swiping your fingers and tapping the enemy ship to target your guns just feels so right. It's more than just the tablet changes, though. FTL is just a fantastic game. It's incredibly difficult and absorbing, and one of the best experiences you'll ever have on an iPad.- Dave

Developer: Subset Games
App Store Link
Our Review

Silver Award
From gallery of thequietpunk


Qvadriga is a surprising gem from Slitherine Ltd.. Sure, they are the kings of long drawn out strategy and war games, but who would expect this simple simultaneous movement game. In Qvadriga you control a chariot in a race, deciding when to switch lanes, whip your horses, and even charge other riders. All players choose their actions simultaneously and then the game moves forward, showing the results. If you push your horses too hard or turn too sharp you may find yourself crashed or trampled by another player. It is a silly game with simple art, but the strategy is accessible and fun. It feels like every decision is important. While I most appreciate the short single race matches, they game does allow for deeper strategic play in the career mode. This game brings the fun of something like Robo Rally to the digital world in a big way. This is definitely the surprise strategy gem of the year. - Brad

Developer: Slitherine Ltd.
App Store Link
Google Play Link
Our Review
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