Just like 99.999999% of the world, I am not attending BGGCon. (It’s OK, I’ll survive. I didn’t get to attend Essen, Origins, or the GoF either!) However, since our intrepid leader, Dale, has opened up the posting schedule on the site for mini-reports of the Con, I thought I’d add in my $0.02 of my own mini-Con. Since I’m the only one here in the room (OK, I just got off work), I guess that means I’ll have to comment on games I can play solo. For me, that means I’m going to have to turn to my iPod or my iPad for a boardgaming fix. So, here’s a mini-update on some of the big news of late on the iOS boardgaming front…
The most recent news, of course, was yesterday’s announcement of Ticket to Ride Pocket. At $1, it provides players with a pass and play way to play TTR with up to five computer or AI controlled players. There is even a Local play mode where you can play against nearby players using Bluetooth or WiFi (but no internet play.) While there’s only one map available (US), there are achievements to be chased which make this a great deal for anyone looking for a casual solo game with a bit of challenge. Everything about the game is slimmed down to present more of a pick-up-and-play type atmosphere but so far it seems to have maintained the same high standards of the original iPad app.
Other recent releases include Forbidden Island for $5, and Elder Sign: Omens ($4 iPhone, $7 iPad). I haven’t played either yet, but my understanding is that Elder Sign is slightly changed for online play – there are no ally cards, only one Ancient One (I think to avoid ancient one battles at the end) and it has been slightly tweaked to make the game just a bit harder to win.
Tigris & Euphrates ($6, iOS Universal) is another new one, and a first glance gives it a thumbs-up for interface, playability, etc… It plays 2-4 players using AI, pass & play, and online modes and varying levels of AI. (You can even set public or private scoring to avoid that major debate.) It seems to be on par with Codito’s other games, which include the excellent Puerto Rico, Medici, Ra, & Tikal. Speaking of Tikal & Ra, Tikal (iOS Universal), Ra (iOS Universal), and Medici have all gone on sale for $2 each.
The final REALLY new game on the scene is Keltis HD ($4 for iPad). This is essentially Keltis, already released for the iPhone, but now updated and fiddled with to make a nicer presentation on the iPad. I still have to play with it more to check out any large differences.
As for slightly older titles, I’m still evaluating The AMAZEing Labyrinth ($6 for iPad) which seems pretty good, and losing my free time to some space exploration/civilization games that are more computer-game-y in nature called: Ascendancy ($5, iOS Universal) and Starbase Orion ($5, iOS Universal).
I said I’d keep it brief, so I’ll hop off the site. This past fall has seen a huge rush of boardgame (and other titles of possible interest to boardgamers) releases, so I’m a bit behind on my iBoardgaming round-ups. Come back here in a week or two to see more detailed thoughts on some of the better (and mediocre) iOS games of the past few months…