Friday – App Review

Most of the time when boardgame apps are done on mobile, there is an announcement that it’s coming.

Recently, Friday dropped onto the App Store with no warning whatsoever (and a couple of key bugs too, which have now been fixed). This Friedmann Friese classic has you in the role of Robinson Crusoe, stranded on a tropical island and trying to get off (or at least survive your stay on the island). You must also survive two attacks by pirates at the end of the game. If you do all that, you win!

Friday App 1

Friday is a solo deck-building game where you are trying to simultaneously defeat hazards to gain new cards as well as fail at defeating them so that you can get rid of really bad cards.

This tug-of-war is actually quite fun, though it can be frustrating at times.

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Review: Valley of the Kings – Afterlife

I didn’t realize this until just now, but I seem to have a thing for Ancient Egypt.

Nothing too untoward, don’t get me wrong. But with my love of the (soon to be reviewed) Imhotep and for Favor of the Pharaoh, and now this review for the wonderful deckbuilding card game Valley of the Kings: Afterlife, I might as well get my own Nemes.

Egypt
I do have quite the golden face, so it should work!

But that’s very expensive, much more expensive than what this card game will set you back.

So why don’t we talk about that instead?

Valley of the Kings: Afterlife is another deckbuilding card game. Designed by Tom Cleaver (who is wonderfully responsive on Boardgame Geek for any issues regarding these games) with art by Banu Andaru and published by AEG, this game is simply phenomenal.

The game plays 2-4 players, and is very good with two. Scores will be lower in a 4-player game as the cards will be more spread around.

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Review – San Juan (2nd Edition)

There’s nothing like the Caribbean sun, I’m sure (I’ve never been down there, unfortunately). I know it gets really hot down there, especially when you’re working out in the streets or in the fields, building markets or working the indigo plants. Maybe you are building some statue to some long-honoured military general?

Of course, you aren’t actually out there doing all that stuff. You’re organizing it all, directing traffic, and having others build all of that for you. Still, watching them work while you’re sipping lemonade can be…ok, it can be peaceful. But you might start feeling bad for the workers!

So why not do it all in cards instead? That saves a lot of the hard work involved. And the messy sweat. Now everybody can drink lemonade with you! Or rum, if you like (though maybe that’s more of a Jamaica thing)

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You can do all this by playing San Juan (2nd Edition), the card game designed by Andreas Seyfarth, with art by Harald Lieske and Mia Steingräber, published by Alea & Ravensburger. Based on the board game Puerto Rico, it does have some similar mechanisms to its parent game.

But it’s so much more fun, at least for me.

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Onirim – App review

Onirim is a card game that apparently can be played with two players but is essentially a solo player game.

I had never heard of it until Asmodee Digital announced that it was coming to mobile devices and that it was going to be a purely solo effort.

When it was first announced, and when I first bought and downloaded it, I was a bit concerned that it was going to get a bit samey. None of the expansions for the card game are included, and there were rumblings that they never would be.

I started around 20% win rate, so I’ve improved!

This screenshot seems to indicate that the fear was groundless. Those are my current stats on my iPad.

I just find this game so addictive!

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Review – Biblios

I love books. Books make me happy. The feel of the paper as you turn the pages. The new book smell. The tap of your finger on the screen as you go to the next page…

Wait, what?

Anyway, books are awesome. I can only imagine what it was like back in the Middle Ages, where many libraries were maintained at monasteries and each one faced off against other monasteries for access to the best books. They would compete in the annual “Race for the Best Books 1236,” or vow revenge when “Race for the Best Books 1237” rolled around next year.

Or, you know, they could just play cards for it.

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Beautiful cover

Because that’s what you’re doing in the brilliant game called Biblios, published by Dr. Finn’s Games and Iello. Designed by Steve Finn with wonderful art by Finn and David Palumbo, this fairly quick card game has some interesting mechanics that make it feel a lot deeper than a “filler” card game should.

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Review – Epic Spell Wars: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre

Apparently, being a wizard isn’t all the fun and games that our good friend Mr. Potter has shown us.

Sure, he had to face off and defeat He Who Shall Not Be Named, but he managed to do so while not using one bad word or double entendre.

But that’s not the wizard reality!

I know this, because I’ve played Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre (yes, that is the whole name, and yes, I didn’t want to make the URL of this review take up the entire tweet by putting the whole name in the title).

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Race for the Galaxy app is real – and it’s Marvelous

As promised (and this is so rare in the boardgame App world!), Race for the Galaxy came out for iOS and Android on May 3.

Released by Temple Gates Games, this app is probably a new benchmark in digital board game development. It’s pretty, it plays well, it has asynchronous multiplayer, three levels of AI (including the infamous Keldon AI for the highest difficulty, which will kick your butt and then give you a wedgie for good measure).

The layout is gorgeous.

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You really do feel like you’re colonizing planets…sort of.

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