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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Enhanced board game or crippled app game? rss

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Mark Green
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I was quite interested in this game when I heard about it, so I downloaded the free app to see what it was like.

But I was rather sad to see the app saying exactly what cards to hand out, what tiles to place, every move having to be input, blocks of text to be read, actions resolved by inputting a dice roll, etc.

And this gives me the feeling that this wasn't designed as a board game at all. It's an app game with a $80 (or $150 in the UK) dongle.

Alchemists was about right for being an enhanced board game. XCOM was at about the limit. This seems to be way over. Is this a correct perception?
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Joe Rickard
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Sounds like it might be the correct perception from your point of view, if you read some of the early reviews they seem to disagree. Also you don't have to input every move into the App. The App doesn't know investigator or monster locations.
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Ste M
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I think is the only way to handle a GM in the form of an app. It's good you don't have to input character position but just click on things
When we played descent. All the setup was already built By our friend who did the the dark. Lord and he instruct us which card or what was happening. So I don't really see any differ ces
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J P
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hyphz wrote:
I was quite interested in this game when I heard about it, so I downloaded the free app to see what it was like.

But I was rather sad to see the app saying exactly what cards to hand out, what tiles to place, every move having to be input, blocks of text to be read, actions resolved by inputting a dice roll, etc.

And this gives me the feeling that this wasn't designed as a board game at all. It's an app game with a $80 (or $150 in the UK) dongle.

Alchemists was about right for being an enhanced board game. XCOM was at about the limit. This seems to be way over. Is this a correct perception?


No. You don't input every move. Blocks of text to read is the same as (actually better than) having stacks of cards to read. Also, having cards for story beats is far more limited than doing it in the app. I'm assuming you've never played the 1st edition, because this is a vast improvement.
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Baker Odom
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My copy is still in the mail but I can tell you that you don't input movement for investigators (I've wanted to avoid spoilers so I haven't gone deep enough into the app to see how the monsters work precisely).

As far as what cards to hand out, some are still drawn at random from the deck (horror, damage, and spells for instance).

In the original game blocks of text were read from the book or the event cards. Since the app takes the place of all the keeper stuff it just makes sense to have the text on the screen now. Not to mention it allows for a more detailed story to be easily told (as opposed to referring back to the book constantly and possibly missing portions of the story).

And as far as tiles...how else did you expect the game to allow you to explore tiles rather than having the map laid out from the start like it was in 1st edition?
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Chris Ruf
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How is it that much different than one player consulting a book about every tile and story point. That player would also need to know every die roll and where everyone placed their pieces etc. Granted you don't have to enter that info "into" that player.

Plus the app can randomize things that would be difficult to otherwise, create enhanced combat, narrate for you, etc. While it could probably be a strictly "app" game, the physicality and presence of other players shouldn't be underestimated.
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trevor

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I haven't played it, but I'm confused also about how the OP thinks this is any different from a DM doing all those things......
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Enon Sci
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thebaker1983 wrote:
Since the app takes the place of all the keeper stuff it just makes sense to have the text on the screen now.


It also allows for FFG to load more of this kind of content into the experience (e.g. they could be patching in new text and flavor as I type this).

In the past, you needed to wait for them to fully design enough content to put in a box, get that box printed and shipped to a store before you could expand your game. With this, small bits of content could be added in minutes.
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Kain
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My biggest issue with the App is that, it really feels that it's about %25 away from being a straight digital version of the board game. Which in itself is a little... sad? I mean, I like boardgames and videogames, this bridge is a sensitive one. That said, I would love to have this sort of App for Eldritch Horror too. So maybe I am the target audience for this form of board game.
 
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Chris Lawson
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hyphz wrote:
And this gives me the feeling that this wasn't designed as a board game at all. It's an app game with a $80 (or $150 in the UK) dongle.

And I got my copy for under £70 (free shipping), so that's $92 at the current exchange rate.
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Chris Ruf
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Dark63 wrote:
My biggest issue with the App is that, it really feels that it's about %25 away from being a straight digital version of the board game. Which in itself is a little... sad? I mean, I like boardgames and videogames, this bridge is a sensitive one. That said, I would love to have this sort of App for Eldritch Horror too. So maybe I am the target audience for this form of board game.


This is something that is going to get discussed ad nauseum. Personally, I'd rather have this stuff handled by an app even though it starts to border on full app game. I'm still getting together physically with my friends to play. In that aspect it's similar to enjoying a movie with friends. I don't want everyone to be at home on a PC or together but all starting at their own device. So I like these app enhanced games.
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Judgement Dave
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xris wrote:
hyphz wrote:
And this gives me the feeling that this wasn't designed as a board game at all. It's an app game with a $80 (or $150 in the UK) dongle.

And I got my copy for under £70 (free shipping), so that's $92 at the current exchange rate.

Likewise. Being used to paying high conversion rates for books and games I thought this game was at a pleasant price point for UK buyers (from Chaos Cards at least).
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Jebstone Boppman
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so how is an app telling you what tiles to play and what cards to construct decks with any different than a campaign book?

It also feels like a big positive that the digital version of a campaign book has the ability to randomize the same scenario, so it's different each time you play it.
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Kain
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Legend5555 wrote:
Dark63 wrote:
My biggest issue with the App is that, it really feels that it's about %25 away from being a straight digital version of the board game. Which in itself is a little... sad? I mean, I like boardgames and videogames, this bridge is a sensitive one. That said, I would love to have this sort of App for Eldritch Horror too. So maybe I am the target audience for this form of board game.


This is something that is going to get discussed ad nauseum. Personally, I'd rather have this stuff handled by an app even though it starts to border on full app game. I'm still getting together physically with my friends to play. In that aspect it's similar to enjoying a movie with friends. I don't want everyone to be at home on a PC or together but all starting at their own device. So I like these app enhanced games.

This.
You're entirely right in this aspect.
App handles the fiddle, but you still get the "sitting at a table doing something as a group" experience. Guess off I go to blow an ungodly amount of money ;P
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Chris Ruf
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Can you imagine how long the 3-4 hour scenario in MoM2.0 would take without the app?!? gulp
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Nathan Ehlers
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I think, as we transverse from analog board games into some kind of augmented game space, there's going to be an interplay between our expectations and development. In a way, you could look at any of the games played against a video or audio clock as the first iteration of "app" games. In those, our expectation was that the extra element was controlling a time limit and maybe introducing some "random" events into the game. I still remember loving to play the Star Trek VCR game about 25 years ago.

With things like Alchemists, you have that secondary element letting you randomly set up a game state and then it holds hidden information. What it doesn't do is mutate the game state with respect to player decisions. Then you take a look at XCOM, which does exactly that. As the players do better or worse in various areas, the app modulates the game response (all be it, in very limited ways).

I don't think we're do far of from an app game that will do all of the above as well as control and respond do more subtle movements of the game system. Controlling enemy figures on the map and deciding when they attack would be a great new innovation (though much much more difficult to program than the previous systems). The Descent app creates a kind of fog of war by having you progressively create the map as you explore. I would have liked something like that to have been incorporated in the MoM game. I'm a little disappointed it didn't.

All this is to say that as this area of games becomes more sophisticated, it'll stoke the fires of our want for even more function and creative opportunity. Inevitably there will be misses along the way as our expectations aren't met. Still I think it's a very exciting innovation that I expect to change the hobby going forward.

I'm excited for the new MoM because I'm a fan of the original. If the app sucks, I'll be very disappointed as it'll be a huge missed opportunity for FFG. But I'll hold out hope till I see it in action.
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Baker Odom
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sirgalin wrote:
The Descent app creates a kind of fog of war by having you progressively create the map as you explore. I would have liked something like that to have been incorporated in the MoM game. I'm a little disappointed it didn't.


How is what this app does different than the Descent app in regards to the fog of war? You start in a small area and don't know what the rest of the map looks like until you explore it.
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that Matt
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sirgalin wrote:
I still remember loving to play the Star Trek VCR game about 25 years ago.



Never gets old.
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Nathan Ehlers
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thebaker1983 wrote:
sirgalin wrote:
The Descent app creates a kind of fog of war by having you progressively create the map as you explore. I would have liked something like that to have been incorporated in the MoM game. I'm a little disappointed it didn't.


How is what this app does different than the Descent app in regards to the fog of war? You start in a small area and don't know what the rest of the map looks like until you explore it.


Oh, I thought it had you build the whole map when you start the game (based on what previous people had said). If this is true then I'm excited again! I haven't played with it yet because I don't want to spoil myself.
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JH
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thebaker1983 wrote:
[q="sirgalin"]The Descent app creates a kind of fog of war by having you progressively create the map as you explore. I would have liked something like that to have been incorporated in the MoM game. I'm a little disappointed it didn't.

I think there's a Call of the Wild scenario where you build the map as you go.
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Baker Odom
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sirgalin wrote:
thebaker1983 wrote:
sirgalin wrote:
The Descent app creates a kind of fog of war by having you progressively create the map as you explore. I would have liked something like that to have been incorporated in the MoM game. I'm a little disappointed it didn't.


How is what this app does different than the Descent app in regards to the fog of war? You start in a small area and don't know what the rest of the map looks like until you explore it.


Oh, I thought it had you build the whole map when you start the game (based on what previous people had said). If this is true then I'm excited again! I haven't played with it yet because I don't want to spoil myself.


No the exploration is very much a part of this one! That's one of the major things that made this an immediate preorder for me!
 
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Chris Rogalski
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If you don't have the game yet but played around with the app a little and checked out the how to play manual it is clear that this system blows this game wide open to endless possibilities. I imagine future tiles for R'ley (spelling?), for docks, a tramp steamer, etc. This is going to be huge for FFG.
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Mark Green
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Dark63 wrote:
My biggest issue with the App is that, it really feels that it's about %25 away from being a straight digital version of the board game. Which in itself is a little... sad? I mean, I like boardgames and videogames, this bridge is a sensitive one. That said, I would love to have this sort of App for Eldritch Horror too. So maybe I am the target audience for this form of board game.


That's more or less exactly it. It feels like they made an app, then pulled a few mechanics out of it onto boards so they could sell it as a $100 board game instead of a $2 app.

How is this different from a DM doing it all? Well, first of all having a DM avoids any upstairs/downstairs problems with user created scenarios. Second, it feels more like interacting with a human rather than a computer through a human.
 
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Scott Cantor
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hyphz wrote:

That's more or less exactly it. It feels like they made an app, then pulled a few mechanics out of it onto boards so they could sell it as a $100 board game instead of a $2 app.


Except the app would be a solo game only (like Elder Sign).

The unreasonable expectations people have about the cost of mobile apps might play into it too. Maybe if they could charge what the app is actually worth instead of $2, they'd be more willing to take it all the way.
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Ben Thornton
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JudgementDave wrote:
xris wrote:
hyphz wrote:
And this gives me the feeling that this wasn't designed as a board game at all. It's an app game with a $80 (or $150 in the UK) dongle.

And I got my copy for under £70 (free shipping), so that's $92 at the current exchange rate.

Likewise. Being used to paying high conversion rates for books and games I thought this game was at a pleasant price point for UK buyers (from Chaos Cards at least).

Thought I'd check out Chaos Cards, as they have good prices. Delivery seems a bit high though.
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