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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

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App News: Armello Coming to PC and PS4, King of Dragon Pass for Steam, Warhammer: Arcane Magic Coming and more

Brad Cummings
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Armello Coming to PC and PS4 on Sept. 1st

Perennial favorite Armello has been in Steam early access for a while now and if you watched our past streams, you can see it is coming along nicely. With each update the gameplay gets tighter and the balance gets better. It's been really fun as a player to see this board game evolve before my eyes.

Update: League of Geeks announced this morning that the mobile version is coming on March 2016. If you are interested in checking out Armello in early access on Steam, purchase it before July 31st. From that date the game will be unavailable until September.

In addition to the release news, two new characters have been revealed which you can see here:





King of Dragon Pass on Steam Now

King of Dragon Pass is a classic adventure, story, and strategy game from designer David Dunham. It has been on iOS in an excellent port for a while and is now on Steam.

As we announced earlier this year, the developer is currently hard at work on a spiritual successor called Six Ages. If you have not already played King of Dragon Pass and prefer to play on Steam, this is a perfect chance to grab the game.

Here's a trailer for the game:





Warhammer: Arcane Magic is Available Now

Had enough Warhammer mobile games yet? Of course not and this one is even set in the Fantasy universe, which is the rarer variety. Warhammer: Arcane Magic is billed as a card-based board game set in the Warhammer world.

The game features two campaigns and the gameplay centers around controlling wizards using cards and dice. We will have a full report once we can dive in. You can get it on the App Store now.

Check out the trailer:





Elder Scroll: Legends to Take Us by Surprise

Bethesda recently announced the Elder Scroll: Legends will be a surprise release, much like previous hit Fallout Shelter. This digital card game is poised to take another beloved fantasy franchise in to the digital realm.

Polygon has a pretty in-depth interview that provides some interesting if sparse details on the game. Otherwise, we'll just keep watching and waiting for this surprise game to drop.
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Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:00 pm
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App News: The Grand Tournament Hearthstone Expansion Announced

Brad Cummings
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Just announced on the Hearthstone Twitch Channel, the next Hearthstone expansion is coming next month and is called the Grand Tournament. As with all expansions, there is a brand new board:



Some of the key features of this expansion mentioned are:

- A new set of more than 130 cards.
- Lots of cards will affect hero powers.
- New Inspire keyword will activate each time you use your hero power.
- Pre-purchase of 50 packs at a discount is available next week.

Here is the announcement trailer:




And here are captures of the cards revealed thus far:

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Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:15 pm
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App News: Heroes of Normandie Enters Beta, Blood Bowl II Available for Pre-order

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Heroes of Normandie Enter Beta Test

Last year at the HOW convention put on by Slitherine, we got the first look at Heroes of Normandie digital. This token based wargame looked really great on tablet and kept a tabletop feel with interesting animations.

We just received word that the game is ready to enter beta test. You can apply to test the game right now.










Blood Bowl 2 Open for Pre-order

The original Blood Bowl video game recently came to tablets with some mixed results. Frankly, it was an older game with some funky controls on top. Not to mention an obtuse online system. Coming on September 22, Blood Bowl II seems to modernize everything from visuals to gameplay.

While not slated for tablet, Blood Bowl II will be coming to PS4 Xbox One and Steam. We just received word about a pre-order bonus of an additional race, depending on the platform you order on. The game looks pretty beautiful. Check out some gameplay in the trailer below:

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Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:58 pm
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First Look: Splendor

Brad Cummings
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Splendor
Availability: iOS Universal, Android
Price: $6.99
App Store Links: App Store, Google Play


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Thu Jul 9, 2015 2:00 pm
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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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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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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!

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.



If you can’t make it live on Twitch, be sure to check out the YouTube archive after the fact.
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