GEEK Digital Board Games

Regular coverage of board game experiences on mobile, PC/MAC, Console and more.
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iOS News Bits: • Crimson • RoboHero • Summoner Wars • Octagon Theory • Caylus • Frantic Frankfurt • Scryptic • Cabals • Ancient Trader HD • Cyclades • Word Chat • Shadow Era • PicoGP Tactics • Tigris & Euphrates • Haggis • and More

Gabe Alvaro
United States
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Microbadge: iPad enthusiastMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Berkeley Board Gamers Meetup participantMicrobadge: I am a friendly face - I welcome questions from New Users!Microbadge: Disc Drivin' fan
• Crimson: Steam Pirates Tops Charts
• RoboArena Name Change and Schedule Update
• Summoner Wars Coming in October
• The Octagon Theory Coming
• Caylus Schedule Update
• King of Dragon Pass Released
• Where is EveryGame?
• Frantic Frankfurt Released
• Scryptic Updated
• Cabals Card Game Trailer
• Ancient Trader HD Released
• Cyclades iPad Coming Soon
• Word Chat Update and Free
• Snowpunch Info Update
• Shadow Era Update
• PicoGP Tactics Updated
• Tigris and Euphrates Release Date Adjusted
• Plaid Hat Podcast #18 Features Incinerator Studios
• Haggis Schedule Update

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• Crimson: Steam Pirates at Top of Charts - September 3
Just prior to our review of Crimson, it was widely reported on a number of web sites that the steam ship battle app had reached the top of the iPad charts as the most downloaded free iPad app during the week of Sep 3rd. One of the contributing reasons for this success was that Apple chose the title as the iPad game of the week. While not actually a board game, it's good to see more turn based video games like it rise to the top. Let's hear it for turn-based games!

Here is at least one article about it if you want to read more:

From gallery of blindspot

• RoboArena Name Change and Schedule Update - September 5
Bravado Waffle contacted us to let you know that their long-blogged-about upcoming app RoboArena has now been renamed to RoboHero due to trademark issues. They started their private beta at the beginning of last week and they plan to release the game this October.

They also have a new trailer video:

They are also in talks with a publisher about publishing an actual print board game based on the video game called RoboHero: The Board Game. They've posted a couple details and pictures of the upcoming board game here.

Board Game: Summoner Wars: Guild Dwarves vs Cave Goblins

• Summoner Wars Coming in October - September 6
Colby Dauch said on his podcast (Episode #17) that Summoner Wars on iOS will be released in October. He did not have a specific date but he said around Essen (Oct 20-23).

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• The Octagon Theory Coming In October - September 6
We learned about a born-digital iOS universal board game app called The Octagon Theory through a post on The app is currently in beta and is planned to be released in late October. Apparently this app comes from a developer who's bringing his mid-1980's Apple II game to iOS.

According to the developers, Dan & Ben (the TOT team):
The Octagon Theory (TOT) is a completely original Sci-fi, two-player, turn-based, strategy game that is played on an octagon-shaped board. It's completely different from but also in the style of board games like Othello (Reversi), Checkers, and Chess.
One interesting aspect of this abstract board game app is that the developers are offering to allow anybody to help write AIs for their app, with ideas for running AI vs AI contests, and ultimately including the best submitted AI's in their app. You can learn more at the Octagon Theory site.

There's also a video of the game play.

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• Caylus Schedule Update - September 7
Łukasz, of Big Daddy's Creations dropped in last week to the solicit-your-Caylus-for-iOS-ideas thread to say about the previous September released date that they would not make it for sure and that they are now targeting October/November and to apologize for the delay which is being caused by "many things not under our control".

It's not really news for an iOS board game developer to miss a target release date, it's the norm and seems to happen all the time. Still, I'm sure expectant fans of the game and platform appreciate the update and keeping potential customers in the loop.

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• King of Dragon Pass Released - September 7
It's not a board game app.
And I'll say it again, it's not a board game app.

It was pointed out to me, however, that certain retro-style qualities in developer A#'s iOS iPhone release of 1999's King of Dragon Pass could very well appeal to us of the board gaming persuasions. And I really just could not pass up the opportunity to point out something of such gamerly originality. Wikipedia describes it thusly:

Wikipedia wrote:
"The game's genre is somewhat unclassifiable and anachronistic — it has elements of strategy, construction and management simulation, and role-playing video game, even though it offers no proper alter ego." describes it as:
"a largely text-based menu-driven mash up of a Civilization game and a Choose Your Own Adventure book."
What's more, the game apparently comes with a very long built in rule book to describe some of the various mechanics in the game, a very board game-like quality for a very deep game with a price of $9.99 to match.

You can find out more about it as the KoDP Web site and there's an excellent overview of the app over at

From gallery of blindspot

• Where is EveryGame? - September 8
A month ago we posted about the ridiculous trouble Nathaniel Dirksen's EveryGame app had encountered with Apple. We learned last week from Nathaniel that the app has in fact been pulled. Nathaniel and company are still working on a solution to get the app back in the App Store and they are hopeful that something can be approved by Apple within the next couple of weeks. We're pulling for you Nathaniel. Bring back EveryGame!

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• Frantic Frankfurt Released - September 9
According to the BGG Game database Frantic Frankfurt is a:

BGG wrote:
Faced paced simultaneous action card game, somewhere between Speed and Ligretto with a touch of Halli Galli. The graphics are showing famous modern buildings and people from Frankfurt.
This game is now available for free in the form of an iOS Universal app. Apparently one viable strategy to the hectic play of the print version of this "real time" card game is to simply get rid of cards so fast, and even in violation of the game's two simple rules, that your opponent becomes flustered. An app is not going to let rule breaking of that kind happen, so this app could be promising for those looking for less slop in their "real time" card games

From gallery of blindspot
From gallery of blindspot
From gallery of blindspot

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• Scryptic Updated - September 9
Scryptic, the unique word-game-meets-strategic-combat app, from LKS Game Works has been updated to version 1.02. Here's the new stuff:
LKS Game Works wrote:
What's new

Fixed the occasional crash on Game Center login; better contrast between text and background; a switch under options to toggle between plain tiles and semi-precious stones; number of letters adjusted on a per board basis; end game conditions changed slightly.

From gallery of blindspot

• Cabals Card Game Trailer Released - September 9
The upcoming card game app from Kyy Games got a new game trailer last week.

Additionally, the app was to undergo more beta testing this week for selected devices. The game will ultimately be playable on iOS, Android, and Web browser.

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• Ancient Trader HD Released - September 10
This beautiful looking app called Ancient Trader HD was released for iPad this past weekend. It is apparently an old Xbox Live game in which you sail a ship by moving square by square across a monster infested ocean to various islands exploring, trading and fighting for treasure. Some reviews have been positive, others have been more critical. One of BGG's own iOS mavens, SJack, took the $2.99 plunge for this mysterious app and had some sobering things to say about it, which our candy-loving eyes do appreciate.

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From gallery of blindspot
From gallery of blindspot

A free version is now also available.

Board Game: Cyclades

• Cyclades iPad Coming - September 12
We learned early this week through Matagot by way of BGG News's Eric Martin that the release of Cyclades iPad will follow the release of the print version of Cyclades : Hadès in October. In addition to Cyclades, developer Stéphane Legrand, who is known for Kamon on iPhone/iPad and Trader HD on iPad, is also working on Dice Town (Matagot), Ygddrasil (Ludonaute), Timeline (Hazgaard) and Guges (Jactalea). The folks at Matagot tell us that in October we will play Cyclades on the iPad.

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• Word Chat Update and Free! - September 12
GRL Games, the developer who is determined to have you look your opponent in the eye with their video chat face-to-face game apps, has updated their video chat word game known simply as Word Chat. Here's what's new in version 1.10:

What's new

- NEW SOLO GAME! Word Solitaire is a whole new type of solo game for you to play.
- Accelerometer bubble magic.
- New achievements for Word Solitaire!
- Letter tiles slide with even more grace.
Haven't yet got to experience the "accelerometer bubble magic" but is sure sounds sexy.

And, oh yeah...they made is absolutely FREE as well. Go get it!

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• Snowpunch Info Update: Musket Smoke and Grognards - September 12
The Snowpunch dudes say that their next apps, Musket Smoke and Grognards, are experiencing slight delays "due to rewriting the core engine to support iPhone and online multiplayer first (and other undisclosed features." So in addition to not really giving dates in the first place, there will now be some delays. The closest we've been able to tell so far is within a "few months at least".

From gallery of blindspot

• Shadow Era Update - September 13
It's been two and a half months since Shadow Era got an update. The freemium CCG for iOS Universal has been updated to version 1.277. According to developer Wulven Game Studios, it's a huge update:

What's new

Another huge update is here, thanks for your support!

- 14 new allies that will change the game forever!
- Improved AI with many new missions
- Better multiplayer matching and new features
- A pretty world map with clouds, waves, and flocking birds to stare at as you plan your deck strategies
- Plus much more in this huge update!

From gallery of blindspot

• PicoGP Tactics Updated - September 13
After we checked out PicoGP Tactics a while back, we made some recommendations. And lo and behold, developer PaWaSoft addressed some of them. Now that's service! Here's a summary of fixes in version 1.2:

What's new

New features & fixes!
- InGame menu (press the timer pannel)
- New camera modes: Sky, Lock and Follow.
- GameCenter upload on qualifying laps!
- Misc bug fix
...and a solicitation for more:

Come and discuss what you want for next updates at !!!

Video Game Publisher: Sage Board Games
Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates

• Tigris and Euphrates Release Date Adjusted to October 2011 - Sep 14
Codito has again adjusted their schedule for the release of Tigris and Euphrates. Apparently it is trouble with the online multiplayer that's holding up the game. Codito doesn't think OpenFeint or current Game Center capabilities are viable options for this game. So they work on their own solution, continue to explore current Game Center and continue to watch for an iOS 5 solution. October is now the time frame. We too wait to see whether iOS 5 causes a sea change for turn-based games, or comes up short. Stay tuned!

Board Game Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
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• Plaid Hat Podcast #18 Featuring Gary Weis of Incinerator Studios - September 15
Gary Weis of Incinerator Studios joins Colby Dauch and the Plaid Hat Crew on Episode #18 of the Plaid Hat Podcast to talk about developing board games on the iOS. It's a very fascinating talk with one the best of the best iOS board game developers. Gary talks about how Playdek implementations will be getting even better that what we've seen so far in apps like Ascension. Highly recommended!

Board Game: Haggis

• Haggis Schedule Update - September 16
Scott Ruttencutter dropped in with an update this week on a thread in the computer based board gaming forum about the iOS implementation of Haggis. Base game and interfaces are done and functionality is now being migrated from iPad to iPhone version (Universal with two sets of interfaces).

The base game and interfaces are complete, and we are currently migrating all of the functionality developed for iPad over to the iPhone version of the game (it will be a universal app, but we still have to build two sets of interfaces thumbsup ). Next comes beta testing in the next couple of months. We can't wait!
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