Through the Ages on mobile? And it looks marvelous

I am a forum regular over on the Stately Play web site. It’s my go-to site for mobile gaming news. You should check it out! It has been the source for a few of my app posts here on Dude! Take Your Turn!

I may have to change my opinion about them, however, out of sheer jealousy.

Dave Neumann, one of the editors over there, has had access to the beta version of the upcoming mobile app for Through the Ages, and it looks glorious.

Through the Ages is a wonderful civilization building game that consists of nothing but cards. And guess what? Cards look great on your phone or tablet!

Tta Shot 1

(Since we have the same first name, I can look at this shot and pretend that it’s me enjoying this instead of him…*jealous sigh*)

Seriously, given the screen shots in Dave’s article (the one here is just an example, as they are all breath-taking), this game will blow you away.

Produced by Czech Games Edition, the app has had a long and rocky road to development. People have been referring on Boardgame Geek to the assumed vapor-ware status of the app for it seems like generations (but is probably only 2-3 years).

I’m not in the beta (and I’m really sad about that), but knowing that it is looking this good gives me great hope for it coming out this year sometime.

The beta only has online play right now, so no idea how they’re going to implement the AI.

But at this rate, who really needs AI? Sit down there in the back. I know you want it.

Check out the article for Dave’s experiences with the game. I’m not going to steal his thunder.

I’m just going to wait here in jealous anticipation as my iTunes wallet starts to cry.

Terra Mystica App Magically Appearing on Apr 20

Terra Mystica 1

The two times I’ve sat down to play the game Terra Mystica, I’ve bounced off of it pretty hard. It’s a complex game with a lot of different moving parts that tie up your brain like getting wrapped up in a huge blanket and finally falling over because you’ve tripped over it.

I did enjoy flexing my mental muscles, but I just felt kind of lost. I knew this was a good game and that I would enjoy it…eventually. Once I didn’t feel like I was pounding my head against the pavement.

However…

There’s no need to fear! Digidiced is here! And not even wearing a cape (or droopy dog ears)

Yes, Digidiced, the wonderful boardgame app developer that has created stellar implementations of Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small, Patchwork, and Le Havre: Inland Port, have a digital version of Terra Mystica coming out on April 20 (hat tip: Stately Play). That’s only a week from now!

What are the benefits of the app? The ability to play alone against the AI so you can figure out just what the hell you’re doing. Or, you can get some asynchronous games going with friends in other parts of the world and learn as you go, but not having to sit down at the table for 2 hours and discover that you’re no better off now than you were when you started.

Go to the Stately Play article linked above for some wonderful screen shots (I’m not going to steal their thunder). It’s a truly beautiful-looking app. How can you go wrong with asynchronous multiplayer, three levels of AI, the ability to add an AI player to a multiplayer game (if you only have one other opponent but don’t want to play 2-player game, for example).

I have enjoyed two of the three Digidiced apps (I haven’t played Patchwork as I’m not a fan of the game itself), and they were both phenomenal.

Instead of the screenshots, I will embed the trailer though. And will be anxiously awaiting April 20 (the App Store is getting a lot of my money in the next month or two).

Terra Mystica will be released on iOS and Android systems, and according to their Twitter feed, they are trying to get greenlit for Steam, so it may come out there sometime in the future.

Race for the Galaxy speeding toward your electronic device

Some exciting news came out this week for those of you into electronic version of board games.

The venerable card game Race For the Galaxy is coming to mobile devices on May 3. (hat tip: Stately Play).

The card game has always intrigued me and I have played a number of games against the famous Keldon AI online. It’s a real bitch to beat, though I think I managed to do it once (out of maybe 30 games?).

Race for the Galaxy app

One of the knocks against boardgame apps is often the really lame AI that is so easy to beat that it’s not even funny (Ascension, I’m looking at you). That won’t be the case with this one.

Temple Gates Games, the developer of the app version, is going to be using the Keldon AI as the AI for the game, though there will be easy and medium difficulty levels for those of us who are truly terrible at the game.

It will also have a lot of the features that, in my opinion, are almost required for any boardgame app: multiplayer that is real-time and asynchronous, AI that’s actually competent, good graphics that aren’t too flashy, the ability to tap on the card to zoom in and see what it is (required for phone play).

Once it is out, it will be $6.99 US and available for iOS and Android systems. I have also heard via Boardgame Geek that it will be out on Steam eventually as well.

The base game will include six new base planets, and there will be two expansions available immediately as in-app purchases (The Gathering Storm and Rebels vs Imperium).

If you’d like to get involved in the quick Beta before it comes out, you can sign up here.

There are so many great-sounding board game apps coming this year. It’s going to be a great year!

Onirim App Released – But No Expansions?

Onirim is a solo/cooperative card game that I had never heard of before. You’re trapped in a dream world and you have to find the 8 doors that will let you out before your deck runs out.

This week, Asmodee Digital released the mobile version of the game for the initial price of $0.99 in the US store (it’s $1.39 CDN up here in the Great White North). The buzz for the game was so great, and the price point so low, that I had to try it out. It is only single-player in the app, which makes sense.

And it’s a fun game! I have been enjoying it so far.

Onirim 1

The problem is that I can see it becoming a bit boring after a few tries. Ten, maybe twenty games (most of which I lose) and it could easily end up being in my “maybe play again one day” folder on my iPad.

Continue reading “Onirim App Released – But No Expansions?”

Boardgames That Work Better as Apps

In some of my social media postings, I have mentioned that Potion Explosion worked better for me in app form because it was too fiddly on the table.

This brings to mind something that I’ve thought about quite a bit.

What other board games have apps (either on iOS or Steam) that are preferable to playing the board game?

The crown jewel of that, for me, is Ascension. Deckbuilders in general work great as apps because you have no cards to wreck while shuffling and all of the shuffling/dealing is done for you. And you don’t have to put out more money for sleeves.

What’s not to like?

But there’s one game that I really think of when I think of board games that I have no interest in playing on the table but will easily play the electronic version.

That game is the Games Workshop classic, Talisman.

Talisman 1

First, the app is just phenomenal and Nomad Games has done a marvelous job with it. They support it, put out plenty of bug fixes, and are working diligently at putting out all of the expansions. To date, they’ve released three of the big box expansions (expansions that add to the board) as well as four or five small box expansions (expansions that just add characters and cards).

Continue reading “Boardgames That Work Better as Apps”