Category Archives: Board

'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 [$4.99], 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 [$2.99], 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...

It released at kind of an oddball time in the week, but we thought board game fans would be excited to know that Days of Wonder has released the digital version of Splendor [$6.99] into the App Store. A couple of weeks back Days of Wonder announced the release date of Splendor on iOS, and our own Tasos Lazarides summarized what the game was all about quite well:..

'Carcassonne' Expansion Mega-Pack Guide

April 28th, 2015 12:45 PM EST by Andrew Fretz in Board, Guides, News
$9.99 Buy Now

We announced early last week that Carcassonne [$9.99] has released a mega pack of it's expansions on the cheap. After playing around with the various new rules, it's safe to say that your gameplay experience can vary pretty wildly depending on which expansion you use. If you are an avid board gamer, you know that there are certain games you just cannot play with someone who takes an attack personally. If Carcassonne was not one of these games for you before, it probably is now. Some of these sets of rules are potent enough to end friendships and cause permanent rifts between spouses and significant others. So with that in mind I want to dive into each of the new rulesets to help you separate out the benign from the potentially malignant (but still fun with the right people). ..

Since its release 5 years ago, Carcassonne [$9.99], the iOS rendition of the award-winning board game, has been mentioned in almost any conversation on the potential for iOS games to be both functional and beautiful. The intuitive UI, the lovely board game look (showing Apple's Jony Ive that skeuomorphism can sometimes look great on a tablet), it's many single-player and multi-player options, all came together to make Carcassonne a great ambassador for iPad gaming. This is one of the games I always recommend to any friend who is taking his first steps into the world of mobile gaming...

The TouchArcade Borg Collective was pretty enamored with Pandemic: The Board Game [$6.99] when it came out in the halcyon days of 2013. We called it "a tight, focused package that demonstrates some of the best that tabletop and iOS design can offer," high praise for first-timers F2Z Digital Media. Good news, then, that the game is finally getting iPhone support later this week...

In our hyper-connected world of social networks and online gaming, it seems like society is forgetting about our dear old friend the loner. I myself am a loner, as I enjoy single-player games the most and rarely play online with other people. I also don't really leave my apartment ever. Lately developers have been taking aim at that golden loner demographic, with games like One Player Pong last week and today the new Stratego Single Player [$2.99]. Stratego Single Player is pretty much what its title describes: The classic Stratego board game geared towards single-player play. It also features an AI developed by a Stratego World Champion...

The tag line for The Witcher AG[$5.99 (HD)] says a lot. "The Witcher Adventure Game is CD PROJEKT RED's board game set in the brutal, dark fantasy universe of monster slayer Geralt of Rivia!." I don't know if its intentional that one hero gets top billing over the other three that are involved in the game, but after playing some rounds, I think we have a pretty obvious Mary Sue case on our hands. Geralt is the guy that right off the bat is best in combat. No one fights like Geralt, rolls his dice like Geralt, In a wrestling match nobody bites like Geralt. If you are ok with a slower start, the other characters are ok to play too though...

Do you love Galaxy Trucker [$4.99 (HD)] on iPad but are sick of having to squeeze your iPad into your JNCO jeans? Well good news then, as a pocket-friendly iPhone version appropriately called Galaxy Trucker Pocket [$4.99] snuck its way into the App Store over the weekend just beating out the dreaded iTunes freeze...

You don't win the tutorial mission in BattleLore: Command [$9.99]. I found that kind of interesting, and in a way, it sets the pace for this strategy board game adaptation. While many strategy games like to puff you up with some early victories before pulling out the Customer Service Bat, this one teaches you the basics of how to play in a couple of turns and then almost immediately comes at you virtually as hard as it ever will. It's a real sink or swim situation, but if you've got the wits and patience to see it through, you'll find a game with a very rewarding core that suffers a bit from its overall lack of options...

Tower Of Fortune [Free] developer Game Stew is a hard developer for me to get a read on. I mean, I think if you look hard enough you can find a designer's fingerprints all over just about any game, but you don't even have to do that with Game Stew. Their games are instantly recognizable thanks to their consistent, unusual presentation style. If you do choose to look a bit harder, you can see that also carries over to the gameplay, even if some of their games are ostensibly in different genres from each other entirely. It's interesting because even though their games are generally quite unique from almost every angle, once you understand Game Stew's way of doing things, you can reliably count on certain elements being present. Specifically, you're probably going to have quite a few trappings of the roguelike genre. Being predictably off-beat certainly isn't a bad thing. Tim Burton doesn't seem to be suffering for it, at least. The big problem with having that kind of reputation is that you need to keep coming up with ways to keep your audience's thirst for oddity quenched...

'Arcane Quest 2' Review - A Quest For Heroes

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December 1st, 2014 2:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 4 stars, Board, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
Free Buy Now

Like any lifelong enthusiast of role-playing games, I've got a few memories that are embarrassing to relate in mixed company. Since we're all friends here, I'll let you in on one of them. In junior high school, or middle school as some of our readers might call it, our class planned a trip to one of the islands in the lake my hometown sits beside. It's kind of a popular beach for those who have the means to reach it, and there are even a couple of food stands and a vague attempt at a boardwalk. Well, everyone was pretty excited about this trip, and when the day arrived, people came with bags packed with swimming gear, water guns, and sports equipment for the park. My tight little group of RPG-loving friends and I had our swimsuits and a couple of Super Soakers. I mean, we weren't totally out there. But instead of bringing a volleyball or anything like that, my good friend had Milton Bradley's HeroQuest board game tucked under his arm. We spent a good portion of the day sitting in the park beside the beach, making our way through a few campaigns...

'Talisman' Review - Classic Boardgame gets Universal Update

I've been on a Games Workshop kick lately, and with the relatively recent universalization of Nomad Games' Talisman[$3.99], I couldn't help but scoop it up. This app has some sky high production quality with a full compliment of features including multiple view modes, full musical scoring and future content updates. I have to admit I caught a serious case of nostalgia seeing the old familiar 3-ringed map and some of my favorite classes again. This port is going to amaze and excite even if you haven't experienced the physical version of this classic board game...

We have seen a pretty big surge of board game ports recently, and I am loving the amount of developer support this genre has been garnering. Handelabra Studio released the latest of these ports recently with Sentinels of the Multiverse[$6.99]. With an entire universe of lore,Sentinels seems like it could be a very strong platform to build expansions off of. Very rarely do we get to see a true co-op game that can challenge the competitive culture that has become a stigma for many would be gamers. I think it is important to point out, however, that lore and style are not the weak link of this board game. It is gameplay itself that has me concerned about the future of this franchise. ..

Over the years, I feel like I've developed a pretty good nose for my own tastes. Usually just from reading a brief outline and seeing a few screens, I can at least figure out in ballpark terms how well I'll like a game, and it's rare for a game to fall outside of those admittedly broad estimates. Surprises come in two flavors, then. Sometimes a game I don't expect to like much turns out to be totally up my alley, like SEGA's Yakuza, and other times, a game that I think looks great just doesn't click for me at all. Unfortunately, Card Dungeon [$2.99], a game that initially appears to have a great deal in common with the PC game Card Hunter, is an example of the latter. It's a roguelike with an interesting hook and a great visual style reminiscent of a board game, and while I could list off a lot of things I think it does very well, it never manages to come together into something I can truly enjoy...

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