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iOS Board Games

Among the best things in life is playing printed games in person with family and close friends. When those are not convenient we like iOS Board Games. News, reviews, previews, and opinions about board gaming on iPhones, iPads, iPods and even Android devices. (iPhone board games, iPad board games, iPod board games, Android board games)

Archive for Bradley Cummings, Editor

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [57]

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BGG Exclusive: Splendor Digital Trailer, Coming July 9th!

Brad Cummings
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Splendor is one of the most anticipated digital board games coming this summer.

We also just received word on the release date: Splendor will be available on July 9th!

This week we have a new trailer for the game, showing the app in action for the first time:




We'll be sure to have more info on the game as it nears release.
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Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:00 pm
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App News from E3: Elder Scrolls Legends, Fallout Shelter, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes

Brad Cummings
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E3 is the big video gaming event of the year. Generally, the focus is on large console experiences, but as mobile continues to grow, more and more games of our interest are popping up. Here are a few E3 announcements that we should be excited about:




Bethesda Announces Elder Scrolls Legends
Jumping on the Hearthstone bandwagon, Bethesda has announced a free-to-play customizable card game set in the Elder Scrolls Universe. It will be available on iPad and PC. Honestly, there are not many more details known at this time.

The best I can offer is this teaser trailer:







Fallout Shelter Available Now
As part of Bethesda’s Fallout 4 announcement, they also announced the immediate release of Fallout Shelter. You can get it on the App Store now.

I’ve yet to dive in to this game, but so far I have heard interesting things. It seems to be an interesting mix of FTL, Tiny Tower, and survival games. I can’t wait to dive in and will be putting up a review soon. Check out some screenshots below.








Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
EA, which is clearly the dark side announced Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, a collectible card game, during their mobile games section.

They said very little, but my hope (and the generally attitude in other media) is that this will be more in line with Hearthstone than a Glu game. We will share more details as we have them.
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Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:22 am
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App Release - Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp

Brad Cummings
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As Dave showed us in a preview earlier this year, Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp has made its way to iOS. This solo game has you trying to defeat different viruses before they eliminate the human race. The app seems to be a stylish take on these great mechanics.

Here's the description of HexWar Games:
Quote:

James Franklin — Patient Zero — collapses after stepping off a plane from the Congo at JFK International Airport. He is rushed to Forest Hills Hospital where he is placed in an isolation ward. It is quickly discovered he has Morbusian, a constantly mutating virus that is resistant to all known antivirals. The survival of humanity itself is at stake!

In Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp you are the director of the Department of Plague Control (DPC) field office in New York City. You make the decisions about what parts of the virus to study, which personnel to hire, and what equipment to purchase. You'll soon discover you are working with an eccentric group of scientists who don't always work well together — and one very resourceful lab rat named Marvin. As the casualties increase, so does the stress and mistakes made, as you try to complete your vaccine before time runs out for all of mankind!

This strategy game uses simple mechanics in a multitude of combinations to create engaging, deep gameplay as you try to eliminate an evolving virus that could spell the end of the human race. While random events from the Status Reports might throw a wrench in your plans (or occasionally help you out), you'll use the Lab Personnel and Equipment you've hired to piece together randomly generated proteins into the different parts of a vaccine, all while managing dwindling funding resources as the Death Toll Track climbs. Each time that your Containment fails you come one step closer to losing this battle, so make sure that you push everyone to their limits before the infection reaches critical levels.

The game features 14 challenging viruses to cure as well as a custom game mode to play with optional game rules.


You can get Infection on the App Store.

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Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:30 am
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Review Roundup: Apples to Apples, You Must Build a Boat

Brad Cummings
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Apples to Apples
Availability: iOS Universal
Price: Free
App Store Links: App Store

While cloned endlessly on mobile, Apples to Apples was released officially last week. While we saw it digitally before on Xbox 360, this appears to be a whole new attempt for mobile.

Apples to Apples is a simple card game of funny comparisons. You have descriptive word and you match it with one of the cards in your hand, generally with a funny result. The key of this game is making people laugh and reading your opponents. These are two major elements missing from this digital version. You can communicate, but only by text, and the game moves so quickly that you don’t often have a lot of opportunities to do this. In terms of reading your opponents, games only last one round of each player being the judge, so it is hard to really learn what your opponents like. All in all, these are weaknesses you will find in almost any digital card game.

So while we can debate the validity of Apples to Apples on a tablet, I can tell you that the core gameplay is sound. The interface to play and select cards is very straightforward and equal to what you would expect. The only system is easy to use and there always seem to many active games (at least in this launch period). Games are on pretty tight timers so you will always be clipping along. If this core gameplay were taken in isolation, I would highly recommend this game if you could wrap your head around playing without table talk.

Sadly, Apples to Apples is packaged in a confusing free to play framework. There are two currencies: gold and silver. Gold is used to play games and can be purchased or earned by leveling up. Silver is earned by playing and is used to buy card packs and vanity items. Because cards must be purchased, you’ll find that you will see the same red cards over and over. It is also annoying to have your amount play artificially limited by your gold. Honestly, it feels like the way F2P was done back in 2012: ham-fisted and clumsy.

Apples to Apples is one I think you can avoid. While the core is great, the rest of this apple is rotten (I am so sorry).



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      42 answers
Poll created by thequietpunk





You Must Build A Boat
Availability: iOS Universal
Price: $2.99
App Store Links: App Store, Google Play

10000000 was a surprise hit when it was released. It took puzzle gameplay and sprinkled it with same indie dungeon crawling charm. The long awaited sequel You Must Build a Boat is now available. Does it live up to its predecessor?

It is tough to follow an act like 10000000, which was a slow burn cult hit. You Must Build a Boat follows the same match three gameplay while expanding it in almost every way possible. There are new monsters, new dungeons, new blocks to break, and more. YMBAB feels like a fleshed out version of its predecessor. It takes what you love and ads new locations, more characters, and smoother gameplay.

The titular boat is also a fantastic addition. As you go through your adventure it will become full of life. It is a place you want to come back to. It adds buckets of charm and a fair touch of humor. It is an odd concept, but fits right in with the quirky nature of the game.

It is hard to say a lot about this. If you have played 10000000 this is no brainer. If you’ve have yet to, You Must Build a Boat is the definitive experience. I highly recommend picking this up today.



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Poll created by thequietpunk
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Tue Jun 9, 2015 12:01 am
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Review Roundup: Desktop Dungeons and Capitals

Brad Cummings
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Desktop Dungeons
Availability: iPad, Android
Price: $9.99
App Store Links: App Store, Google Play

A well known rogue like from PC for my iPad? Bring it on! Desktop Dungeons follows in the footsteps of FTL and others in bringing a meaty experience to tablets. Can this game hold up to the high standard set by others?

Desktop Dungeons has you defending a town from dungeons and wandering monsters. Before delving you can upgrade buildings in your town to unlock new races, classes, items, and more. Each run through dungeon will contribute gold that you will use for these upgrades, giving the rogue like gameplay a persistent base.

The core of the game will see you delving into various dungeons. The goal is to survive and reach the boss (or retreat). Before jumping in you can select your race and your class. The dungeon descriptions will give you some hints as to what sort of character you should bring into the dungeon. Once inside, gameplay see you exploring the dungeon and battling complacent enemies in a turn-based style. You’ll use a combination of spells and abilities to get the upper hand and conquer the dungeon boss.

The game reminds me of Knights of Pen and Paper in that you are setting the pace of your adventure. Unlike that game, however, you never really get the feeling of grinding. Sure, you will come up against challenges you can match, but that is part of the discovery of these sorts of games.

The port seems pretty well done and the UI fits pretty well on an iPad. As a bonus, you can actually transfer your PC save data directly to the iPad game and keep going. It’s a nice touch.

I’ve already sunk many hours into Desktop Dungeons and I look forward to many more. If you like what we modernly refer to as rogue likes, this is a fit for you.



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Poll created by thequietpunk





Capitals
Availability: iOS Universal
Price: Free
App Store Links: App Store

Mobile gaming has given birth to some truly great word games. Capitals follows this tradition with a new spin on gameplay establish in Scrabble and other places. This head to head experience is a free download, but avoids any persistent IAP pitfalls. Coming from mobile gaming giant Nimble Bit, is it a fit for us board gamers?

Capitals is played on a hex filled board. Each hex features a letter. Each turn you spell a word of any length using these letters. Any letter connected to your capital or a hex of your color will turn into a hex of your color. Likewise, flipping a letter to your color that is adjacent to a hex of your opponent color will flip their hex to a blank letter. The goal is to eliminate all of your opponents hexes from the board. One wrinkle are the capitals. The hexes feature no letter, just your player symbol. If this hex ever taken, the opponent gets an immediate second turn. Generally this marks the end of a game.

Like many great word games, Capitals is about more than your vocabulary. Your success comes not only from the longest word, but from having the right word for the right position. Fans of area control games will see their favorite strategies work well here.

Play is all online against friends or random opponents. The only system is pretty basic, there is not chat to be seen, but games seem stable and players tend to respond quickly. The game is free, and restricts the number of games you can start unless you pay. For $10 you can infinite lives, which will alleviate any issues if you want to play a lot. Sure, that is big number, but not outrageous for a game that you can play for free otherwise.

Capitals has been an instant social hit with both board gamers and casual friends alike. It has the right combination of smarts and quick gameplay that make it perfect for mocking your friends. I really recommend this one, it is my go to head to head game right now.



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Fri May 29, 2015 3:00 pm
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Live Stream: Capitals - Word Battle Game. Watch Now!

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Capitals is a fun word game from the mobile gaming giant Nimble Bit. Despite its pedigree, this game seem like a perfect fit for board gamers. Come watch our stream to see what it is all about.

In Capitals each player has a capital on field of letters. You create words by selecting letters to build your territory. The goal is conquer your opponents territory and take their capital. If you are a word game fan, this is worth checking out.



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Fri May 29, 2015 2:00 am
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Weekly Stream: Capitals - Word Battle Game. Join us live Thursday at 9pm ET.

Brad Cummings
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Capitals is a fun word game from the mobile gaming giant Nimble Bit. Despite its pedigree, this game seem like a perfect fit for board gamers. Come watch our stream to see what it is all about.

In Capitals each player has a capital on field of letters. You create words by selecting letters to build your territory. The goal is conquer your opponents territory and take their capital. If you are a word game fan, this is worth checking out.

When: Thursday, May 28th, 9:00pm EDT
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Myself and Brett Nolan


If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Wed May 27, 2015 3:21 pm
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Review Roundup: Knights of Pen and Paper 2, EarthCore: Shattered Elements

Brad Cummings
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Knights of Pen and Paper 2
Availability: iOS Universal, Android
Price: $4.99
App Store Links: App Store, Google Play

As you may recall, the first Knights of Pen and Paper grabbed me with its style but failed to deliver in the long term. It was with cautious optimism that I approached this sequel. Have they managed to overcome the weaknesses of the initial release?

In Knights of Pen and Paper 2 you take on the role of both a DM and a group of players in a tabletop RPG. The game features a series of quests that you can follow as well as endless numbers of battles you set up. You can have up to 5 heroes each with their own combination of class, race, and persona. My strongest character right now is a Cheerleader Human Warrior for example. The game almost entirely deals in the American stereotypes from the 80s and 90s. Like any RPG, you can travel from location to location, visit shops, explore dungeons, etc. While you can move anywhere you like at anytime, you will be generally focused along the games set story route.

You will generally use your DM freedom for grinding. The game has a pretty steep curve so you will find yourself murdering wave after wave of easy mobs to level up. This was a weakness of the game before and is definitely carried over. Battles (even on low levels) can feel very back and forth and so even grinding must be watched closely. There is not real option to just “mash A” so to speak.

In moderation the combat is pretty enjoyable. Each character class has a wide variety of skills and can be used in combination for great results. They really added some tactical choice and award players who think a few moves ahead. Of course, boss type characters are still a slog, but I am really enjoying the combat this time around.

The game is quite long you will find a lot to do. The story is nothing to write home about and the humor is a little off this time. That being said, I do find myself coming back from time to time to continue my adventure. It must just be the pace of game that fits of neurosis right now.

Knights of Pen and Paper 2 is a bit of a disappointment. A lot of the issues it had before still exist and the experience feels a little shallower overall this tie around. That being said, if you liked the first one, you will find a nice second helping here. The art is still charming and it is a charming homage to tabletop RPGs.



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EarthCore: Shattered Elements
Availability: iOS Universal
Price: Free
App Store Links: App Store

The app store is full of “card games” that are little more than slot machines disguised with gameplay elements. I have to admit, when I first heard about EarthCore, this was my assumption. I am happy to report that I was wrong. Earthier: Shattered Elements is a fully fleshed out digital card game that does several new things while appealing to existing sensibilities.

In EarthCore, your goal is to lower your opponents health to zero. This is done through a series of rounds in which you will each play a card to each of the three lanes on the board. After all cards are played, the cards battle winning based on their element. Earth beats Water which beats Fire which beats Earth. This simple Rock, Paper, Scissors mechanic is compounded with a few wrinkles. For example there is actually a fourth element called Dust that always loses, but can be evoked at certain times. many cards have abilities that either activate automatically or must by used by the player. These abilities really change the course of battle and are key to success. You are also looking ahead for the write combo to lead your opponent into a trap. Since each card you lay down is visible immediately, you have to figure out how to respond to their eventual counter.

Each card in the game has a risk value. This value is the amount of damage you will take if that card loses the battle. So while you can play strong cards, you also need ensure you will win or they will back fire on you. This is by the most unique element of the game and turns it into a really enjoyable push your luck affair.

This is a collectible card game, so a lot of your success will come from deck building. You will unlock cards by playing and can also buy packs through in game currency. Admittedly, the pricing structure is not extremely clear. You’ve got two currencies, one you pay for and one you earn, and they can be used in different ways. Decks are limited to 25 cards and you typically want to have a mix of all three elements. Cards come in different rarities and there is a limit of three copies of a card in a deck.

The game features a lengthy campaign that features some challenging battles and will net you a bunch of free cards. There is also a pretty robust online system with ranked play and different leagues. I am still in the lowly bronze league, but so far feel like things are pretty evenly matched.While it will take more time for it to mature, online play is enjoyable right now.

The game is certainly free to play but I have enjoyed my time so far with no spend. There is a lot of content upfront for you to get a good feeling for the game before dropping a dime. Because of the way the online leagues are split, you should be able to find someone at your spend level to play against, and stronger cards will not always win.

I’ve enjoyed EarthCore much more than I predicted I would. While it is hard to dethrone Hearthstone, this game is a nice alternative with a different play style and focus. I highly recommend it.



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Poll created by thequietpunk
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Mon May 25, 2015 1:46 pm
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Weekly Stream: EarthCore: Shattered Elements. Watch Now!

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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EarthCore Shattered Elements is a card game that has been on my radar for a long time. While not my favorite style of game, this is a brand new take on lane-based games. Honestly, it has done a lot to improve my thoughts on the genre as a whole.

Join us as we take a look at this interesting new card game. We’ll dive in and give you our thoughts. We missed a week, but we are back and ready to go!



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Fri May 22, 2015 2:00 am
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Weekly Stream: EarthCore Shattered Elements. Join us Thursday 5/21 at 9pm EDT

Brad Cummings
United States
Connecticut
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EarthCore Shattered Elements is a card game that has been on my radar for a long time. While not my favorite style of game, this is a brand new take on lane-based games. Honestly, it has done a lot to improve my thoughts on the genre as a whole.

Join us as we take a look at this interesting new card game. We’ll dive in and give you our thoughts. We missed a week, but we are back and ready to go!

When: Thursday, May 21st, 9:00pm EDT
Where: BoardGameGeek on Twitch
Who: Dave and I


If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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Tue May 19, 2015 3:00 pm
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