Category Archives: Board

Carcassonne [$9.99] has been one of the best looking and best digital board games for many years now (and also has the best music ever), and it's a gift that has kept on giving. Today, we got three mini expansions that will give you more ways to enjoy the game. The first one is Abbot, which brings a new piece you can place on Cloisters or Gardens (a new tile that just comes out of nowhere and lands on some of the existing tiles). You can recall that tiny little Abbot at any point during the game while still scoring points even without finishing the Cloister or Garden. The second expansion is The Old River, an expansion that was actually the first expansion ever published for the physical version of the game back in 2001...

Reiner Knizia's Confrontation [$6.99 (HD)] is an entertaining board game by the famous German board game designer Reiner Knizia (in case you couldn't tell by the game's name), and it's about to get an expansion that should make it even more fun to play. If you haven't played the game before, the physical version of the game, which came out in 2002, was set in the Lord of the Rings universe, but the digital version did away with Frodo and his friends and, instead, went with the more generic Light vs Shadow theme. The most fun part of the game is that you can't see your opponent's units until you engage them in battle, which makes for fun strategic decisions...




If you like the idea of building castles (and if not, I want to know who ruined your childhood), then you should grab Castles of Mad King Ludwig [$6.99], the port of the Ted Alspach board game with the same name, which has gone on sale for the first time since it released. Castles has you, well, building castles, each turn adding onto your already-existing layout in an attempt to build a monstrosity that will bring you enough points to win the game. If you want to actually win, you'll have to try and set up your own room combinations while making sure your opponents don't get any good room combinations going. Our own Andrew Fretz liked it in his review partly because he liked the game's flavor and the ways the theme works well with the gameplay...

The digital port of the board game Tsuro [$4.99] was one of the prettiest board games on the App Store, offering a lovely, serene experience. I quite enjoyed it when I reviewed it, and the good thing is that the developers have continued to update it and make it even better. This latest update, which just released today, improves the multiplayer part of the game by adding Game Center support (not just Facebook) and automatched opponents. There's also retroactive stat tracking for offline games - so all your old games will be included in your stats - a visually-enhanced Solo Mode, and the ability to record, edit, and share moves (but only the latest devices can do this)...

Perhaps Playdek took the Cold War theme of its game a bit too seriously when it decided to stealthily unleash Twilight Struggle Mobile [$9.99 (HD)], its port of the classic board game, onto the App Store. Twilight Struggle, the award-winning, card-driven board game that simulates the Cold War, has been very eagerly awaited by board game fans, so I was expecting the iOS release of the game (it's been out for PC for a few months) to come with a bit more fanfare. Still, I'm not complaining one bit because this one might be a great game to play during my upcoming (very long) flight...

'Castles of Mad King Ludwig' Review - Some Assembly Required

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May 27th, 2016 1:30 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $6.99, 4 stars, Board, Reviews
$6.99 Buy Now

Castles of Mad King Ludwig[$6.99] is a curiously accurate description for the monstrous architectural nightmares that are created in the midst of playing this board game that is new to iOS. I have a lot of respect when you can capture so much of a game's essence in the title. If you are unfamiliar with the game, you owe it to yourself to get acquainted and prepare to toss feng shui out the window...

Yes, you've read that right; another Warhammer game has hit the App Store, but at least this one is relatively different than most other Warhammer-themed games. Talisman: The Horus Heresy [$6.99] takes the Talisman rule system (which some love for its casual entertainment and others hate for its randomness) and uses it to bring the Warhammer 40K universe to life in the form of a digital board game. The game takes place during Horus Heresy, the galaxy-spanning civil war that ravaged everything in its wake but also became the reason why the Space Marine chapters were born. As with other Talisman games, you roll dice and move around the board and depending where you land, you have to take various actions, gain various benefits, suffer various penalties, and so on...

In September of last year, Deed - The Game [Free] officially launched in the App Store, but it wasn't until today at GDC that I'd even heard of it. There are a couple reasons for that, I think. For one, it's based on a physical board game named simply Sustainable Business that's popular in Brazil but not so much elsewhere. Second, Deed was somewhat positioned as an educational game, which is accurate as it's a simulation of global trading but that's sort of dismissive of the actual fun and strategy contained within. Well, it turns out that that initial launch of Deed was sort of a learning experience anyway, and so developer Sinergia Studios made the tweaks and fixes that the game needed based on feedback while it was live in the time since its launch, and in fact ended up even completely revamping the art style for the "real" launch of the game when a big version 2.0 update hit last month. ..

'Patchwork' Review - Greater than the Sum of it's Parts

Patchwork[$2.99] is a very cute game. It has a charming facade of quilty-buttony comfort that is really quite inviting and calming. It's almost a shame that the game is very much a game of cut-throat cold logic devoid of much wiggle room around the fact that the person who can plan ahead best will usually win. The master mind behind such board game greats as Agricola[$6.99] and Le Havre[$4.99], Uwe Rosenberg, followed the pattern with a really great strategic/economic design on this one...

'Forbidden Desert' Review - A Beautiful Desert Filled With Stories and Deaths

In a way, cooperative board games like Matt Leacock's Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert [$6.99 (HD)] are peculiar animals because for most players, playing a competitive game means competing against other players rather than alongside them. And yet, there are fantastic moments to be had when playing cooperative board games, and Forbidden Desert has plenty of them both because of its mechanics and because of its theme. The race against the ever-strengthening desert storm creates many moments of frustration when salvation is tantalizingly close and yet just out of reach. The port itself initially looks pretty basic, but then, just as the desert you'll be excavating, it reveals layer by layer a very well-made port that uses subtle animations to bring both the players and the desert to life. While the lack of online multiplayer is definitely a pity (hopefully it will arrive in a later update), Forbidden Desert is a great board game port that should offer many hours of mostly short-lived triumphs as you struggle to survive the desert storm...

Some games we play for the excitement, some we play for scares, and some we play for the challenge. And then there are games like Tsuro [$4.99], the digital port of the 2004 board game, that are all about introspection, the kind of game you play while lying on a couch with a glass of wine (or your spirit of choice) in one hand and the iPad in the other. Thunderbox Entertainment gladly took the challenge of bringing Tsuro to mobile and has done a pretty good job representing the abstract board game on the iPad and iPhone screens. Going with a "zero UI" philosophy, the developers tried to create a sense of immediacy between the player and the board and they have, mostly, succeeded. They tried to give us a faithful representation of how it feels to play the physical game, but at the same time also added 3 new ways to play the game, expanding Tsuro's challenge and replayability...

Nothing like starting off the week with a surprise, and I'd have to say that Dungeon Raid [$0.99 / Free] developer Fireflame Games releasing a brand new puzzle RPG is about as big of a surprise that there is. For a little backstory, Dungeon Raid was released more than 5 years ago in November of 2010, and basically dropped the mic on the match-3 RPG genre with an incredibly solid character progression system layered on top of a fun and strategic matching game. You can still feel Eli's excitement in his original Dungeon Raid review from all those years ago, but the kicker was that in the months that followed several major updates made the game even better than it originally was by adding things like new classes and two new game modes. This was truly the pinnacle of the match-3 RPG genre, and it was about as perfect as a mobile game can get...

We've had our eye on the iPad port of Forbidden Desert since it was first announced back in November, and somehow the scheduled release of the game just barely slipped past our weekly Out Now post. However, we aren't ones to get all bent out of shape over a little tardiness, so we wanted to let you know that Forbidden Desert [$6.99 (HD)] for the iPad is now officially available. In this game you'll be working on an expedition team in the desert discovering and uncovering different parts of an ancient flying machine. Being the desert, you'll have to content with a lack of water and things like sand storms that can really interrupt your flow of discoveries. It's a cooperative game, so you'll actually be working with your teammates in an effort to recover the flying machine...

'Puzzle Strike' Review - A Great Game With a Few Missed Opportunities

The iOS version of Sirlin Games' Puzzle Strike [$3.99] is a tricky game to review. This is a fantastic game, if you're into deckbuilding games with a high degree of interactivity, and while it plays pretty well on mobile, there are some glaring omissions that detract from what would've been a mobile gem (pun intended). Still, even with issues like a lack of proper notifications and questionable UI decisions, Puzzle Strike is a great addition to the App Store and should more than satisfy those looking for a game that's easy to grasp but can take forever to master. While it definitely shines as a multiplayer game, Sirlin has packed the game with plenty of single-player content too like a pretty strong AI to play against as well as 10 Challenges that will test your skills and help you discover the game's strategic nuances. So, a great deckbuilding game, and a good mobile game, too...

'Forbidden Desert', the Fun, Cooperative Board Game, is Coming to Mobile

The upcoming Forbidden Desert is the "sequel" of sorts to the well-received Forbidden Island that came out on mobile a few years ago. Forbidden Desert is not as simple as Forbidden Island but not as complex as the other Mat Leacock game, Pandemic, which sounds like the right level of difficulty to me. If you don't know anything about this game, players play members of an expedition digging in, well, a desert in an attempt to find and assemble the parts of a legendary flying machine (the plane without reclining seats). However, time isn't on their side as a sandstorm is burying clues and on top of that, they are running out of water. In order to find that plane in time, you have to dig up clues that will help you figure out where in that sea of sand the various pieces lie. Its cooperative nature makes the game even more fun because you'll have to work together to make it through the sandstorm before you meet your doom...

If you like complex board games on mobile, you should run to the App Store and download Steam: Rails to Riches [$2.99], the re-theming of Age of Steam that has just landed on iOS (it's been an Android for a few weeks now). If you aren't aware of this game, it's a challenging board game designed by Martin Wallace and published in 2009. Your primary goal is to build railroads and deliver goods along a constantly-changing network of tracks and stations. As you can imagine, you'll need to balance your need to expand and build more rail networks while taking care not to over-extend (the eternal conundrum of all robber-barons). The game was a 2010 Lys Passione Winner, 2010 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Nominee, and 2009 Golden Geek Best Gamers' Board Game Nominee. So as you can imagine, this is a must-have if you like good board games or have ever played with toy trains...

Just under a year ago, an enjoyable take-off of the classic board game HeroQuest was released. Called Arcane Quest 2 [Free], it offered up a single-player take on the concept, putting you in control of four different characters as they made their way through dungeons. It introduced a few new elements to make it more than just a copy, while retaining most of the core that made the original board game so much fun to play. The production values weren't the best, and without multiplayer it was missing a key part of the HeroQuest experience, but it nevertheless proved to be a pretty enjoyable turn-based RPG. This year sees a return to the series, not with a follow-up, but rather with a spin-off. Arcane Quest Adventures [Free] uses similar core mechanics to the previous game, but focuses on providing a solo hero adventure. In some ways, it's better than the last game, but in others, it falls well short...

Games Workshop is no stranger to iOS. You could be forgiven if you thought that they were just cranking out one app after the other with little forethought. Much like the army, however, there is the right way, the wrong way, and the Games Workshop way to make a game. Warhammer: Arcane Magic [$1.99] definitely follows the GW script and if you like some of the other titles they have put out, especially the gold standard Warhammer Quest [$0.99], I think you'll like this one...

The parade of licensed Warhammer games continues unabated with the release of Warhammer: Arcane Magic [$1.99] from Turbo Tape Games, which arrived earlier today ahead of the normal weekly new game release schedule. Hey, gotta get out ahead of that whole Angry Birds 2 thing, eh? ..

This puzzle/adventure game from Bandai Namco is far from innovative but attaching average game play to a beloved franchise is a sure way to climb the charts. In Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle [Free], you play as an unnamed fighter working to avert the disaster of an "expanding dimensional distortion." Trunks and King Kai direct you on your quest, forwarding the plot and offering battle advice. The story gets a bit convoluted from there, especially when trying to explain why the Z-Fighters are battling each other...

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