Archive for the 'iPhone Review' Category

Review: Cahoots (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 15th August 2014

Cahoots iPhone gameIt’s been a long time since I reviewed an iPhone game.  I play plenty of them but, with limited time to write reviews, I usually choose to focus on writing about physical board games.

Cahoots is a trick-taking game with a bit of a difference.  Four players are each dealt cards: 6 suits (colours) and numbered between 4 and 8 with some duplication.  (Suits and colours mean the same thing so I’ll just use the word colour from now.)  Each round, the four players take turns playing a card and do this twice until 8 cards have been played.  The colour with the highest total wins the round.

Players are each allocated 3 colours at the start of the game – I’ll call these scoring colours.  As there are only 6 colours in total in the deck, each player shares each of their colours with a different opponent.

Once 8 cards have been played, the colour with the highest total wins that round and each player who has that colour as one of their scoring colours scores 2 points.  If there’s a tie between colours, all players earn 1 point for each scoring colour that tied the round. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Neuroshima Hex Puzzle (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 20th May 2011

Neuroshima Hex on iPhone is a quick-playing, well-executed version of the board game on iPhone.  Taking it one step further, the same developer (Big Daddy’s Creations) has released a puzzle version of Neuroshima Hex called Neuroshima Hex Puzzle.

Neuroshima Hex Puzzle contains 100 different puzzles to solve.  In each puzzle, players are given one turn to solve a situation.  Therefore, players get 3 tiles and they must place just 2 of these so that their base has more hit points left compared to all their enemies after the turn has been executed.  So, it plays exactly the same as the main game but is a series of 100 single-turn scenarios as opposed to full games.

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Review: Through The Desert (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 9th February 2011

Through The Ages is Reiner Knizia’s 1998 classic game of camel placement and area control.  I haven’t actually played the original boardgame but have wanted to for some time, so the iPhone game was a great opportunity to do so.

During the game, players place coloured camels (which come in 5 different colours) onto the board in order to score victory points (VPs).  First, players place camels with their leaders on them (one of each camel colour), so long as they’re not too close to other leaders, water holes or oasis.  Once all leaders have been placed, players take turns adding two camels (of any colours) at a time.  Only one camel can be placed on each space and camels must be placed next to camels of the same colour so that coloured herds start to grow (herds of the same colour must not merge).

If a camel is placed on a water hole or next to an oasis, then the leader of that herd gets VPs.  Players also get VPs for any areas that a herd cordons off.  The game ends as soon as there are no more camels of any one colour.  The biggest herd of each colour scores extra VPs for the herd’s owner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Battle Line (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 8th February 2011

Battle Line is one of my favourite portable 2-player games.  Consisting of a deck of cards and a few wooden pawns (and even the pawns aren’t totally necessary), it packs lots of punch by posing constant difficult choices and the potential for clever tactical game play.

The basic game consists of 60 troop cards (values 1 to 10 in 6 different colours) and there are 9 flags laid out in a row between the players.  On their turn, a player places one card next to any of the flags from their hand of 7 cards, then draws a new card.  Each player can only place a total of 3 cards next to any one flag.  When there are 3 cards on both sides of a flag, the player with the strongest set of 3 cards wins the flag and moves it to their side.  The cards are compared similar to poker hands: a straight in a single colour is the best, then 3 cards of the same value, then 3 cards of the same colour, then a straight in any mix of colours and finally the total value of the 3 cards.  A player wins the game as soon as they win 3 adjacent flags, or a total of 5 flags. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Battlestar Galactica Loyalty Deck (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 27th January 2011

The Battlestar Galactica Loyalty Deck is an app that aims to help players during set-up of the Battlestar Galactica board game by FantasyFlight Games.  (If you haven’t played the game, the loyalty deck is the deck of cards that secretly tell each player which side they are on.)

The app’s goal is to make it simple to assemble the correct mixture of cards required for the loyalty deck (as it must have an exact composition) without checking the rulebooks.  With the two expansions available, there are now several factors that affect this composition.  You select the options you want, press the button and it then tells you which cards to combine.

Okay, it may be a nuke to crack a walnut but I like the idea of it.  Also, I appreciate the free app (created by a fan of the game) and think it’s a nice example of what an ap supporting a board game can do.  (Sadly, the Arkham Horror Toolkit app would have benefitted from this approach – see the full review here.)


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Review: Arkham Horror Toolkit (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 27th January 2011

I was very excited when I saw there was an Arkham Horror Toolkit app for the iPhone.  I’m a big fan of Arkham Horror* – I wasn’t expecting to play the game in an app but I thought it would be something interesting.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The app is a player’s aid with 4 functions:

  • Dice roller – As it sounds, this visually rolls 3-D dice with some physics.  Text at the top states how many successes you have rolled and you can set it to count normal successes, cursed and blessed.
  • Investigators -You can select an investigator, see all the info that’s on their character sheets and track all their stats.
  • Location deck – Pick a map location (or Other World) and you are shown the text of an encounter.
  • Maps – Pick a board and view it with zoom in and out functions.

It sounds fine but the biggest problem I have with it is this: What use does it really serve? Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Kingdoms (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 12th December 2010

Kingdoms is a tile-placement game by Reiner Knizia which has some similarities to his game Robot Master.  In Kingdoms, players place tiles and their own castles in order to sc0re victory points (VPs).  The player with the most VPs after 3 rounds wins.

Next to the board, there’s a stack of land tiles too which each have values from -6 up to +6, as well as a few special tiles.  Each player starts the game with a set of castle tiles (value 1 to 4) and 1 land tile.

Players take turns placing tiles onto a 6 x 5 grid and a player can either place one of their castle tiles or a land tile.  When placing a land tile from the stack, players commit to drawing it before they see what it is. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Viva Il Re (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 18th November 2010

I get the impression that Viva Il Re isn’t that well-known, although it got a Spiel des Jahres recommendation in 2004 and it’s recent re-release as King Me is sure to have increased awareness more recently.

Viva Il Re is about selecting a new king and having your candidates in the best positions when one is chosen.  The board is split into numbered levels (from the bottom upwards: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 10).  The candidates to be king are placed on the different levels. Each player ‘owns’ several candidates but, apart from their own, players do not know which opponents own which candidates.  Multiple players can own the same candidate too.

Players take turns moving any one candidate (not just their own) to the next level up so long as no more than 4 candidates occupy any one level.  The top level is slightly different – when a candidate is moved there, the players simultaneously vote using their vote cards showing Yes or No.  If at least one No vote is cast, the candidate is executed and the game continues.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Ra (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 16th November 2010

Ra is one of Reiner Knizia’s classic games.  In this case, it’s an Egyptian themed auction game.  Players take turns either adding a random tile to those to be auctioned, or they can start an auction for the already drawn tiles.  If a Ra tile is drawn an auction is automatically initiated.  Three times during the game, the players score points (depending upon the type of tiles) for the tiles they have won, but the heart of the game is the clever, yet simple, bidding system.

During an auction, players get one opportunity each (going clockwise) to outbid any previous bid using one of their sun stones which each have unique values between 1 to 16.  Players start the game with a pre-defined group of 3 sun stones (4 in a 2-player game) ensuring each player has a fair mixture, plus 1 sun stone is placed in the centre of the table. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Ingenious (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 8th October 2010

Ingenious goes by several names (such as Genial and Mensa Connections).  Ingenious is a good name for an English version as pulling out a game called Mensa makes most players wince at the idea and they have to be convinced to ignore the name and discover a really good game.  Fortunately, I think it was only called Mensa in the UK.

Ingenious is an abstract game where players place tiles with coloured shapes on in order to score points.  The tiles are made of two hexes and each hex shows one of 6 different colours (shapes).  Players take turns placing one tile from their hand of 6 tiles.

When a tile is placed, both colours on the tile are scored – you score 1 point for each matching colour that can be traced in every direction from the tile in an unbroken line (neither of the colours on the tile itself count).  It’s really simple and I’ll give an example using the screenshot on the right:  A tile is placed in the right-most column just below the two red stars already present with a red star is at the top and yellow circle at the bottom.  This would score 3 red points and 1 yellow point.  If a player reaches 18 points in any one colour, they immediately take another turn. Read the rest of this entry »

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