Things of No Interest: 50 iOS Boardgames - 5 at a Time (40-36)
There are a lot of app conversions of boardgames out there - believe me, that was the sole reason I got an iPad back in the day and why I upgraded to a new iPad last year. While I do more than just play boardgame apps on my iPad, playing boardgame conversions was the main reason for my getting one. This series will do a countdown of my top 50 boardgame apps - five at a time. I took 50 of the best and dropped them into Pub Meeple's Ranking Engine so I could sort them and here is what I got...
** Note: There are a ton of boardgame apps I never purchased, and a huge number that I have, but that are currently not playable on iOS 11 - I'm only covering those that I can play and still have installed on my iPad.
Tigris and Euphrates is one of Knizia's top games and both it and the app have been around for a long time. The implementation here is pretty decent, but I've never been very good at this game - it just never clicked all the way in my brain. Really, this is the only reason I hardly play this game. The interface is fine, the game looks and plays well, the AI is good (at least against me since I suck at this game). You can also play against your friends asynchronously, so really, there is not much to dislike here.
6 nimmt! is a card game where players have cards and play them with the goal being to try and avoid being the player to play the last card in a given row. If you are, you take the cards and lose points. The game is pretty simple and something of a party game (at least as far as I'm concerned, the game is more fun with more players). The app does a good job of playing the game, but... there isn't any async play. You can play live or pass and play the game, but why? Solo this is fine, though again, this is a game best when you are laughing at your opponents. Laughing at the AI is less interesting. Even if you were able to play against friends in async play, against a bunch of players, it might be a bit slow to get everyone to take their turns.
Take it Easy
While I don't own the tabletop game (nor any of its variants), this app is one of my family's favorites. The game supports playing live against other players (either on different devices or the same) or AI. Like a lot of Ravensburger's apps, they included new modes of play as well, including a timed version of the game where you have to rearrange all the tiles to meet whatever the goal is. My daughter is some kind of savant at this mode to the point that nobody will play that mode with her. She is like the TiE Rainman. Unfortunately there is no async play for a game that could really use it. We've also run into problems connecting (live) before so periodically we try playing it again and then go to something else if there are issues. When it works, the game is a good quick bit of competitive puzzle play. If you could run async games, this might have been ranked higher for me.
Small World 2
In 2010, Small World was the first digital board game to ship on a tablet, the same day the iPad shipped! The original game wasn't bad, but didn't have async (offline) play, which made no sense as one of the biggest issues with Smallworld on the tabletop is downtime between turns. Well, Days of Wonder went back and completely redid the application (thus Small World 2).
While the game implementation is good, my friends and I had played the heck out of Vinci (which was the pre-cursor to Smallworld) back in the day. As such, the desire to play this isn't way up on the list. Its fine, we just overplayed the mechanics of the game a while ago.
The aMAZEing Labyrinth
Yet another Ravensburger game makes the list! Labyrinth is an ok game - a variable puzzle game where each player is trying to solve their current situation while trying to account for what other players might do. That is one option available (the boardgame implementation itself) - there are also puzzle modes and timed mode where you try and get as many treasures as you can. In multiplayer modes, you can play against others (live) online or on the same device with Pass and Play. Unfortunately there is no async setup for playing. There is also no undo. And while that is ok for the "sliding a tile" portion of the game, it is just silly for the move your player part - if you touch the screen, you move and are done.
This one is ranked higher for me as I like the puzzle solving nature of this game. The interface isn't perfect, but the additional game modes and the nature of the game itself appeal to me and make this higher on the list than the ones I've talked about previously.
Next time I'll finish up the remaining games from the top 30 with five games that are worlds apart.