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 David Neumann, iOS News

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App News: Forbidden Desert Released, Pandemic Gets an Update, and Obsidian Preparing for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Launch with AMA

David Neumann
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In life you have to do a lot of things you don't f*cking want to do. Many times, that's what the f*ck life is... one vile f*cking task after another.
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Forbidden Desert Released
As everyone in the world is probably aware of by now, Button Mash Games Inc. has released the port of Matt Leacock's Forbidden Desert for iPad. It came out late Wednesday night. I was supposed to post about it then but...um...the dog ate my homework.

Anyway, I'm telling you now, so stop whining! Forbidden Desert is an awesome port and if you don't believe me, just wait a little bit and Brad's review will be up shortly. He better agree with me, or I'm going to have to fire him from the blog.

Forbidden Desert is for iPad only and runs $7. It has pass-and-play multiplayer and solo play where you can control up to 5 characters by yourself.

Seriously, it's good.





Pandemic: The Board Game Gets an Update
It's all Matt Leacock all the time, here at iOS Board Games! The game that put Matt on the map, Pandemic: The Board Game is in the news today as well. The app has received an update that includes a few things that might be of interest to some of you.

First, the game has been translated to Icelandic. That makes it playable in 17 different languages. Around this time a good journalist would find out all the different translations and post them here.

Next, they have added a bunch of new achievements to the game that you can unlock by doing all sorts of stuff like eradicating two diseases or winning on the final turn. How many achievements? The press release says "tons", so my guess is "more than two".

They've also made the game available in the Amazon Appstore, so you Kindle Fire folks can now play Pandemic on your tablets. You can nab it here, if you're totin' a Kindle Fire around.

That's all, but isn't that enough? I know, everyone was hoping for more of Pandemic: On the Brink but for you all I can say is, you'll get nothing and like it!



Pandemic: The Board Game is available for iOS Universal and Android (and Kindle, but I already gave you that link and I'm not doing it again...oh, who am I kidding? Here it is. I can't stay mad at you.) and runs $7.



Obsidian Hosting AMA for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
A few weeks ago we got the news everyone was waiting for: 7 Wonders has been submitted! Pathfinder Adventure Card Game would be coming to tablets on March 29. Things are ramping up as we get closer and closer to launch and to get things started, Obsidian Entertainment is hosting an AMA (which the kids tell me stands for "Ask Me Anything". Who knew?) on Reddit (which the kids tell me is a thing. Who knew?) next Wednesday.

The AMA will be held on February 17 from 10:30am to 2:00pm PST. There will be several people from Obsidian there to answer your questions:

-Nathan Davis (Project Lead)
-Andre Nguyen (UI Designer)
-Lindsey Laney (Artist)

The AMA thread should be opening sometime on Tuesday so you can head over and post questions ahead of time. Interested? Point your browser here.
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Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:00 pm
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App News: Forbidden Desert Gets a Release Date

David Neumann
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Forbidden Desert Coming Next Week
It's been good couple weeks for board game releases on mobile. Both Tsuro and Puzzle Strike were released earlier this week, with Baseball Highlights: 2045 coming last week. The gravy train isn't stopping, next week we get Matt Leacock's dehydration simulator, Forbidden Desert.

Forbidden Desert is scheduled to release on February 11, which is a Thursday. That timing is always troublesome, as it could mean a Wednesday night release or an actual Thursday release. We'll assume it will hit on Wednesday night, just because it makes us feel better.

As you're probably aware, Forbidden Desert is a cooperative game that puts your group of adventurers in a desert that is somewhat, dare I say, forbidden. You're looking for four pieces of an ancient flying machine, the locations of which are hidden on sand-covered clues. Along the way you're cursing at sandstorms that shift and bury your quarry as well as doing this when Sun Beats Down cards are revealed:



The game will be for iPad only, and will not have online multiplayer at launch, just pass-and-play. Considering it's a cooperative game, playing solo on your iPad controlling multiple characters isn't a bad way to go.

Look for Forbidden Desert next week Thursday. Or is it Wednesday night? Argh!


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Fri Feb 5, 2016 8:39 pm
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App News: Tsuro and Puzzle Strike Released!, Changes Coming to Hearthstone, Magic: Puzzle Quest Gets and Update and more...

David Neumann
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Tsuro Now Available on App Store
Brad and I first saw Tsuro in action at the Calliope Games booth, Gen Con 2014. It looked amazing then, and it still looks amazing. How do I know this? Because it's now available on the App Store!

Tsuro is a simple game of laying tiles and moving stones along the lines that form. When I say "simple" I mean the ruleset. From a strategic standpoint, it's a little more meaty. I've played several games against Brad and have yet to win one, usually getting stuck in a corner and self immolating.

The game offers three levels of AI and online multiplayer. The online multiplayer runs through Facebook instead of Game Center, though, so no online play without logging into your Facebook account. That said, multiplayer is smooth as butter.

Tsuro is available for iOS Universal and runs $4. It isn't out quite yet for Android, but should be soon.





Puzzle Strike Now Available for iOS
Not one, but two big releases today. Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) is Sirlin Games second foray onto the App Store following Yomi from a couple years ago.

I haven't had a chance to play the digital version of this one, yet, so I'm going to blurb it:

Sirlin Games wrote:
The new iOS version of Puzzle Strike has these new features:

- Cross-platform play with players on iOS, Steam or the web version on FantasyStrike.com
- Chips have 4x the resolution as the web version
- Climb the leaderboards in Quick Match and check out replays of top players to improve your game!
- New Puzzle Challenge mode: learn advanced character tactics and think outside the bag! Beat these advanced challenges to become a real Puzzle Striker!
- Complete your Daily Quests to earn Jewels, then spend them to play "Puzzle Smash", a high-powered version of Puzzle Strike
- Contains all 48 Puzzle chips from both Puzzle Strike Third Edition and Puzzle Strike: Shadows, as well as the promo chips, Combinatorics, Dashing Strike and Custom Combo
- Practice offline against AI Puzzlebots for the first time!
- Launching with English and French language support, with German and Japanese localization on the way
- The base game comes with the first four characters (Grave, Jaina, Midori, and Setsuki), with fourteen additional characters available in-app


About those IAPs, here's how they stack up:

- Remaining 6 Base characters (Rook/Geiger/DeGrey/Valerie/Argagarg/Lum) for $5.99
- All 10 Shadows characters (Quince, BBB, Troq, Onimaru, Menelker, Persephone, Gwen, Gloria, Vendetta, Zane) for $9.99
- All of the above for $11.99!

So, considering that the base game is $4, you get everything for $16.

Puzzle Strike is available right now for iOS Universal and, as I mentioned, runs for $4.



Major Changes Coming to Hearthstone This Spring
Okay, I'll admit it. I stopped playing Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. It's still a great game, and I wish I had the time and energy to get back into it, but with all the different sets available building a deck feels like a daunting task. Yesterday, Blizzard Entertainment announced some changes coming to Hearthstone that might make getting back into the game a little easier.

Coming this spring are entirely new game modes, or formats. The first is called Wild format and is basically Hearthstone as we've known and loved since its release nearly 2 years ago. Basically, in both Wild Casual and Wild Ranked play, you can build your decks using any and all cards that have ever been released. The new stuff comes in the other format, Standard.

Standard format limits the cards you can use to those released in the current and past calendar year. So, when this kicks in Standard decks will not be able to use any expansion cards from 2014, namely Naxxramas and Goblins vs. Gnomes. There will always be some Basic/Classic cards available, however.

This will limit the pool of cards that players can use to build their decks, as well as making it easier for Blizz to add new expansions by not having to balance against every released expansion.

Both Standard and Wild formats will have Casual and Ranked play, so you can climb the ladder or just have fun regardless of which format you want to play with.

Another addition coming is the inclusion of nine new deck slots, bringing your deck total up to 18.

If you haven't played Hearthstone (are there any of you?) you can nab it for iOS Universal or Android for free.





Magic: The Gathering - Puzzle Quest Gets Major Update
One of the big surprises from 2015 was Magic: The Gathering - Puzzle Quest. It managed to take simple match-3 mechanisms and meld them with Magic: The Gathering to create a game that was accessible, and still give that feel of playing Magic.

Earlier this week, the game received a major update. There's too much to paraphrase so, Blurb Time!

D3PA wrote:
New Quick Battle mechanics and rewards!
25 NEW Heroic Encounters
UPDATED Daily Rewards mechanics
UPGRADE to the Inventory system
20 + cards REBALANCED
Gideon and Chandra REBALANCED.
BUG FIXES

New Quick Battle!
Fight decks created by other players (played by the AI) in the new Quick Battle mode. While you don’t lose points when defeated, points earned through victories will earn you great rewards at the end of the event!
Quick Battle now offers you a chance at cards from specific colors, free card packs and currency in a two-weeks cycle:
Mon-Wed: Fight for the chance to get rare and mythic White cards
Wed-Fri: Fight for the chance to get rare and mythic Blue cards
Fri-Sun: Fight for the chance to get rare and mythic Green cards
Mon-Wed: Fight for the chance to get rare and mythic Red cards
Wed-Fri: Fight for the chance to get rare and mythic Black cards
Fri-Sun: Fight for the chance to get rare and mythic Colorless cards
Rewards are earned for everyone that wins at least one fight during this time period, with the best rewards going to the top of the leaderboard!
Rewards Screen are available from the Leaderboards to view what’s in store!

New Heroic Encounter
25 new Heroic encounters, each with 3 objectives, have been added into the game. 5 fights versus each of the Origins Planeswalker, with rewards appropriate to the challenge. Be prepared to tune your decks and find the right Planeswalker to win!

Daily Reward Improvement
Daily Rewards just got better! We’re revamping the system to give every player a chance to earn an Extra Reward within a month (unless you come in the last few days!) Starting from Day 1 of the month, each daily login counts towards your Extra Reward, earned before the end of the month (and claimed as an extra from your Daily Reward)


Whew.

MtG: PQ is available for both iOS Universal and Android for free.



Hearthstone Knock-off for Kung-Fu Panda Fans (yes, I just typed that)
I don't know what to make of this, other than it's really weird. Kotaku reported on this yesterday, and I wanted to ignore it but I can't. It's that odd.

Kung-Fu Panda: Battles of Destiny is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft but with pandas.

It's got everything: different classes, increasing mana, daily quests. It's all there, but with Jack Black's CGId mug all over the place.

If you want to try it, it's available now for iOS Universal.



Interactive Fiction Takes A Strange Turn in The Ice-Bound Concordance
One of the things I love best about iPads (and tablets in general...calm down) is how they've given a new life to interactive fiction. Gamebooks like To Be or Not To Be from Tin Man Games and the Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series from inkle Studios have revolutionized the genre.

Brad pointed me to a new one that he stumbled upon called The Ice-Bound Concordance and it's not like any gamebook we've seen before. First of all, it's an actual book. Made of paper and everything! You use an app to unravel the secrets that are hidden within the book, so the book and app work together to give you a complete experience.

Brad has ordered the book, so hopefully we can expect one of his video reviews shortly. Otherwise, I'm not sure what to make of the whole thing. It looks very cool, but rather cryptic, which is probably the point.

The trailer doesn't help straighten anything out, either, but it does make me want to pick it up. C'mon, Brad, hurry up with that review!

If you want to check out more, go to the website, or pick up the app for iPad.


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Wed Feb 3, 2016 8:24 pm
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App News: Portal Games Creates a Hybrid, Patchwork Coming to Digital, and Puzzle Strike Coming Next Week?

David Neumann
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Portal Games Creating a Hybrid Game, First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
I know that cardboard games with digital components tend to cause a bit of a kerfuffle with some people seeing it as a glimpse into another playspace and others seeing it as the death of hobby games. I've been firmly in the former camp since 1981 when I first played Dark Tower. Ignacy Trzewiczek must be in that camp as well, as earlier this month Portal Games announced First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet which uses many of the core mechanisms from Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island but throws in a digital app as well.

There's not a lot to go on at this point, with the game not scheduled for release until Essen in October. That said, we do know that the game will offer both a campaign mode and a sandbox mode, but we're not entirely sure what the app will be doing during the game.

This is probably not news to many of you, seeing as First Martians has been set firmly in the hotness for a while now, but I just noticed it and I figure there's at least one or two of you out there in the same boat as myself.

As usual, once we get more information, we'll pass it along.





Uwe Rosenberg's Patchwork Coming to Mobile
Thanks to Guido Thran for finding this one, as the developer, Digidiced, seems to have lost my contact information.

Patchwork is a 2-player game from Uwe Rosenberg in which players build a quilt on a 9x9 grid. Each player has their own quilt, and buys swatches by using the game's two currencies: time and buttons. The swatches are shaped like Blokus pieces and as you buy them, you fit them together like a puzzle on your grid. The game's time mechanism is straight out of Thebes, where the player who's behind is the one whose turn it is. This allows for a player to have several turns in a row if their opponent jumps too far ahead on the time track. The game ends when the players reach the center of the time track and the winner is the player with the most buttons.

Unlike his previous digital masterpieces, Agricola and Le Havre (The Harbor), Patchwork is a lighter game with games lasting 20-30 minutes.

Digidiced produced last year's Le Havre: The Inland Port, which was a pretty great adaptation. That game was for both iOS/Android and had solo play as well as pass-and-play multiplayer. I don't know for certain (like I said, Digidiced seems to have lost my contact info), but I'm guessing that Patchwork will have those same qualities.

Look for Patchwork to be released in late February.



Puzzle Strike Coming Next Week?
Earlier today, TouchArcade reported that the digital version of Sirlin Games' chip-building game, Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) would be coming to digital next week. Much like Digidiced, Sirlin Games isn't responding to my inquiries either, so I cannot confirm this, however. Tasos Lazarides is a great reporter, however, so I'm guessing they have some inside info (or I'm just missing the announcement...it happens) [all the damn time -ed.]

Puzzle Strike arrived on Steam back in December with the promise of an iOS version "just a few weeks later", so next week seems as likely as anything. Note, I said iOS version. It doesn't appear that an Android version is in the works. There's still no Android version of Sirlin's other digital product, Yomi, so this isn't a huge surprise. Of course, the lack of a Yomi Android app doesn't rule out the possibility of a Puzzle Strike Android app, so if I do find out that one's in the works, I'll let you know.

What can you expect from digital Puzzle Strike? Everything that you could expect in the Steam version:

Sirlin Games wrote:
-Runs natively on Mac, PC, and Linux (new!)
-Cross-platform play with players on iOS, Steam or the web version on FantasyStrike.com
-Chips have 4x the resolution as the web version
-Issue challenges to people on your Steam friend list
-Climb the leaderboards in Quick Match and check out replays of top players to improve your game!
-New Puzzle Challenge mode: learn advanced character tactics and think outside the bag! Beat these advanced challenges to become a real Puzzle Striker!
-Complete your Daily Quests to earn Jewels, then spend them to play "Puzzle Smash", a high-powered version of Puzzle Strike
-Contains all 48 Puzzle chips from both Puzzle Strike Third Edition and Puzzle Strike: Shadows, as well as the promo chips, Combinatorics, Dashing Strike and Custom Combo
-Practice offline against AI Puzzlebots for the first time!
-Launching with English and French language support, with German and Japanese localization on the way


You can pick it up now for PC/Mac on Steam. We'll let you know when the iOS version lands.
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Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:07 pm
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App News: Baseball Highlights 2045 Release Expected Today!

David Neumann
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Baseball Highlights 2045 Release Imminent
Well, this was unexpected.

I had just posted my story about Shattered Timelines earlier today when an email from Peter Kossits arrived about everyone's favorite "Where is it?" game, Baseball Highlights: 2045.

While Android tablet users have had the game for a bit now, us iPad users have been bereft of BH2045 due to Apple review hijinks. Not for long. In fact, you might already be able to download it in your area, as it's currently filtering through all the Apple servers on its way to iTunes.

You can download it here for iPad or here for Android tablets. Either one will cost you $6.

Good luck!
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Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:49 pm
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App News: Shattered Timelines Coming to Sentinels on Friday

David Neumann
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Sentinels of the Multiverse Getting Shattered Timelines This Friday
We knew it was coming at some point, but the latest expansion for the fantastic digital version of Sentinels of the Multiverse is here. Or it will be this Friday. Earlier today, Handelabra Games announced that Sentinels of the Multiverse: Shattered Timelines is on the way for both iPad, Android tablets, Kindle, and Steam.



Shattered Timelines is a cool expansion that has good guys going bad and bad guys joining the side of truth, justice, and the Megalopolis way. Seems silly to paraphrase, so here's Handelabra's take:

Handelabra Games wrote:
The 5th content pack and 3rd full expansion, Shattered Timelines tells the story of alternate worlds colliding with the one we know and love. Heroes become villains, villains become heroes, and environments blend and crumble around you in this expansion. Like Rook City and Infernal Relics, Shattered Timelines includes 8 new decks, listed below:

Heroes

Chrono-Ranger
Ripped from his relatively simple life as sheriff of Silver Gulch in 1883, Jim Brooks found himself in a far-future wasteland being tended to by Con, a friendly AI who has a plan to save the world from its dire fate using his time machine. Check out the trailer for more on The Chrono-Ranger!

Omnitron-X
The robotic intelligence known as Omnitron has gone through many iterations. Over hundreds of years, being constantly thwarted has taken its toll and Omnitron has now rebuilt itself in human form. What is it about these humans that makes them so vastly superior? Omnitron-X aims to find out with the help of his new heroic allies.

Villains

The Dreamer
When The Visionary transported herself backwards in time, her first goal was to save the not-yet-born version of herself. After six years, all seemed well until the young Vanessa Long’s powers manifested, in the worst way possible: The young girl's thoughts burst into our reality as tangible monsters, and the shock of her new awareness of the world shut down her body, leaving Vanessa in a coma with her dream projections terrorizing the world.

Kismet
For countless generations, the Adhin family has been blessed with uncanny luck. They believed the source of their good fortune was a small talisman they'd been passing down over the years as a family heirloom. That is, up until Gabrielle Adhin. Within a few years, Gabrielle Adhin, the black sheep of the Adhin line, had carved a swath through reality, playing her mind games on the unsuspecting people around her and taking whatever she wanted.

La Capitán
Maria Helena Teresa Fafila Servanda Jimena Mansuara Paterna Domenga Gelvira Placia Sendina Belita Eufemia Columba Gontina Aldonza Mafalda Cristina Tegrida de Falcon has sailed through the ages, collecting names for herself and a crew from her past, present, and future, all with the same thirst for adventure and greed for the riches of everywhere . . . and everywhen!

Iron Legacy
A single change can ripple outwards to devastating effect. Once our world’s most unimpeachable hero, the death of his daughter has left Paul Parsons with a singular twisted mission - to save the world from itself, even if that means destroying it. He rips through any who oppose him in search of his own twisted justice.

Environments

Time Cataclysm
Somehow, alternate realities within the Multiverse have collided, and the aftermath has split the space-time continuum itself! The varied realities and timelines pour into each other, only occasionally halted by fixed points in time. This massive Time Cataclysm is the energy that is bringing together so many of these characters in the Multiverse that should never meet. Past, present, and future all mix with dangerous results…

The Block
In need of somewhere to house the worst of the worst, F.I.L.T.E.R created The Block, a time-locked prison of the utmost security. However, there have been reports of disturbances within The Block, and someone should probably go check it out. If there were a full-scale prison riot there, it could spell disaster for every timeline.


Whew. That's not all, though. There will also be the Freedom 6 variants hidden throughout the game, just waiting to be found.

Of course, you can't play Shattered Timelines without the base game. You'll find that for $10 on iPad, Android tablets, Kindle, and Steam (where you'll pay $15). The expansion will be out for Steam and Android for sure on Friday, but the iPad release is determined by when Apple sees fit to give it the greenlight. Might be Friday, but might not be available until next week.


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Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:56 pm
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App News: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Gets Release Date, Brass Update Incoming, Exploding Kittens Live on iOS and more...

David Neumann
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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Release Date Announced
After "Where's 7 Wonders?", the most asked question at iOS Board Games concerns the whereabouts of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. We'd seen it at both Gen Con 2014 and 2015, so the fact that we're not playing it yet is somewhat surprising. Lucky for us, today Obsidian Entertainment announced that PACG would be coming to iPad and Android tablets on March 29.

The game will offer both solo play as well as pass-and-play (typical for a cooperative game), with online multiplayer coming at some point in the future. The game will be free to download with a tutorial and the Perils of the Lost Coast adventure. There will be other adventure decks available for purchase at launch, and then more decks will be released at regular intervals after that. The initial decks will cover the Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

Not much else to tell you now, but as soon as we can get some pics or video, we'll get them on the blog ASAP.



Incoming Brass Update to Bring Private Games to Multiplayer
When Brass launched late last year, it was a darn-near perfect implementation of Martin Wallace's masterwork. The only real downside was that it lacked the ability to create private online games, making the creation of online games with your friends akin to air traffic control. That's all coming to an end in early February when the 1.2 update lands which will allow you to create password locked private games.



The update will also introduce a game log and bug fixes, but the private games are the big selling point.

Brass is currently on sale for both iOS Universal and Android. You can pick it up for only $5, instead of the usual $7 through Sunday. The 1.2 update will be free for owners of the app.



Exploding Kittens Comes to iOS
I'm not sure I really need to give any backstory to the hype surrounding Exploding Kittens and its record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, so I won't.

The big news doesn't involve the cardboard version anyway, but a new digital version which released this morning. It's for iOS, but has a couple issues. Okay, it has one issue: the app offers no solo play nor online multiplayer. The only way to play the app is via local-WiFi with someone in the same room as you. It seems a strange choice, and has prevented me--a hermit who lives in a cave and has no friends--from playing even one game so far, even though I downloaded the game early this morning.

Oh, well. If you want to give it a shot, you can pick it up for $2. All the IAP is currently free, so it might not be bad to buy now and at least get all the IAP packs for nothing in case solo play or online multiplayer is added down the road.





Forbidden Desert Submitted, Ready for Release
With the success of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 it's sometimes hard to remember that Matt Leacock has several other great cooperative games under his belt, several of them digital. We have great ports of both Pandemic: The Board Game and Forbidden Island, and now his Forbidden Desert is on its way as well.

Earlier this week I learned that Button Mash Games Inc. has submitted Forbidden Desert to Apple and it should be ready in the next week or two. I've said this before, recently, and it's not come true due to Apple having their heads where they shouldn't, but hopefully this time the game sails through.

As usual, we'll let you know when it goes live on the App Store.


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Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:05 pm
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App News: Baseball Highlights 2045 Still in Apple Review Hell but Available on Android, Land 6 Available on Android and more...

David Neumann
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Baseball Highlights 2045 Arrives on Android, Delayed on iOS
Peter Kossits sent me a note today explaining that the iOS version of Baseball Highlights: 2045 has been rejected. It's a bit more convoluted than that, though. It originally passed the review process and was ready for release when Peter realized he needed to alter a couple of art assets. He resubmitted only to have it rejected the second time through. Go figure.

The good news is that Android is having none of these shenanigans, and you can download and play Baseball Highlights 2045 right now if you own an Android tablet. It's currently $6 on Google Play.

The app should hit iOS in the next week or two, assuming that whatever's going on lately at Apple doesn't mess with Peter again. We'll let you know.



Land 6 Comes to Android Courtesy of Boardnaut Studios
Small developer Boardnaut Studios has released an Android-only version of the print and play solitaire dice game, Land 6. The game uses dice as armies as you try to destroy the Lord of Cubes who's taken Land 6 hostage. It sounds like a fun theme, and the game itself has a clean, minimalist look to it.



The game is currently only available for Android (where it's free), but the developer is looking at, maybe, porting it to iOS someday. My how the tables have turned.



Original Eurogame, Drapers, Coming to iOS/Android Soon
I was contacted recently by Adi Raz, the founder of small developer Tiltan Games. He's created a new eurogame (I know it's a euro because it's about trading in the Mediterranean) called Drapers and, instead of creating a cardboard version first and then porting to digital, was going the other direction.



Drapers concerns itself with cloth merchants in renaissance-era Europe. You'll need to manage your resources (wool, silk, dyes, etc.) in order to make the most shekels. The game also has bidding as well as ships and a pirate. Arrrr!

Looking at screenshots and the gameplay video, it looks like a pretty solid euro, and I'm actually excited to give it a go. No word on when it will be hitting both iOS and Android, but I don't think we'll be waiting too long.





Siberian Dawn Gets a Gameplay Video
Developer, novelist, and all-around Renaissance man, Stephen Winterflood, has been hard at work on his latest digital creation, Siberian Dawn. It's a solitaire deck-building game with a cool theme that consists of having to take down a strange cult in what's either the distant future or an alternate timeline. Either way, it's a neat idea and the game looks pretty darn sharp so far.

Siberian Dawn was supposed to release in 2015, but Stephen is adding new content and changing up some of the art so it should be out later this year, instead. He did send us a ten-minute gameplay video of the fist mission, so if you want to see what's coming down the pike, take a gander.

Whenever it's ready, Siberian Dawn will be released for Android and PC.


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Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:07 pm
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App News: Tsuro Submitted and Nearly Ready to Launch and XenoShyft Updates Again

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Thunderbox Entertainment Submits Tsuro, Release Soon
I know I've said this before, but we have an app that's been submitted to Apple and should be released soon. Lately, it seems that Apple review hijinks have gotten in the way of this actually happening (Glass Road, I'm looking at you), but Tsuro is so darn pretty, I can't imagine they'd hold it back from us.

That's right, I'm talking about the classic tile-laying, line-drawing abstract, Tsuro from Calliope Games. We've seen it in action at the past two Gen Cons, but it's finally ready to make its way to our touchscreens.

Tsuro is being developed by Thunderbox Entertainment and has all the earmarks of being a great port: solo play vs. AI, pass-and-play, online multiplayer, variant rules, and even a solitaire variant. What variant rules? You can play the normal game in which the last stone on the board wins, or you can play to see who has the longest path at game's end. You can also play a variant called Loops where players will score points every time they cross their own path. The solo variant has you controlling a single pawn simply trying to make the longest path possible.

While graphics are generally not the first thing I look for in a board game port, Tsuro did such a knockout job of making the app look good that it's worth a mention. The game is rendered in 3D, all the way to opening the box and setting up the game board. It looks like you're sitting at the table with the physical version sitting before you. It's pretty slick.

Tsuro is tentatively scheduled for a February 4th release on iOS (barring those Apple hijinks) and following on Android shortly thereafter. We'll let you know if anything changes.





XenoShyft Updates Again, Adds Static Camera Feature
XenoShyft was my favorite board game port of 2015. It wasn't always that way, but through constant updates, Cool Mini Or Not has made the app something special. They've added four expansions to the game, and have been constantly tweaking the user interface as they go along. This week another update landed introducing "static camera mode". This is the final piece in the UI puzzle, and it makes XenoShyft easily playable on smaller phone screens.

The static camera mode fixes the camera in one location, making zooming and panning the screen impossible. Instead, a new button was added allowing you to zip around the virtual tabletop, looking at one card row at a time or zipping back to an overview of the entire table. You can still press cards to zoom them to read their text, but being able to simply pop around the landscape without having to constantly pinch and zoom every 3 seconds makes playing on a phone not seem like a chore.

If you've been put off playing due to reports of bad UI on phones, this should alleviate your concerns. You can nab it on iOS Universal or Android for $5.


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Fri Jan 8, 2016 6:19 pm
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App News: Talisman and Warhammer Converge, Board Game Arena Goes Mobile, Through the Ages Gets Updated In Your Browser, and more...

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Nomad Games Announces Talisman: Horus Heresy
Now, don't laugh, but Talisman: Digital Edition is one of my favorite iPad games, and one that has stuck on my iPad through thick and thin. I'm aware that, from a gameplay standpoint, Talisman isn't exactly cutting edge. What works so well, however, is not having any setup or teardown time and playing it in short 5 minute bursts rather than a 3+ hour death march on the table. Digital Talisman just works.

Nomad Games have announced that they're moving away from traditional Talisman (not completely, they have upped their license and are still developing more expansion content) and creating a new game based on the Talisman mechanisms, but based in the Warhammer 40,000 setting. The game is called Talisman: Horus Heresy and is expected on PC/Mac in February with mobile versions coming in the spring.



No, this isn't just a Warhammer re-skin of Talisman, and it also isn't a digital version of Relic. It's something completely new, in which players choose sides in the Horus Heresy, when Primarch Horus rebelled against the Emperor of Mankind. It was kind of a big deal.

Let me blurb it from here on out:

Nomad Games wrote:
Talisman: The Horus Heresy is a digital board game based on the Talisman rule system and set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, during the cataclysmic events of the Horus Heresy.

Up to four players will be able to take control of one or more of the galaxy’s greatest heroes or most notorious villains. Taking the side of either traitor or loyalist, these Warlords will form vast companies of Space Marines, battalions of tanks and battlefleets of Spacecraft. They are the most powerful beings in the Galaxy and their followers are legion.

-Command one of the eighteen Space Marine Legions that fought during the Horus Heresy
-Play as one of eight of the galaxy’s greatest heroes or most notorious villains such as Robute Guilliman or Angron
-Multiplayer modes for up to 4 players
-Challenge your friends locally and online
-Play against AI opponents


Sound good? I thought so, too. Look for pre-orders to begin in late January for the February release on PC/Mac. We'll let you know when the mobile version gets an ETA as well.





Board Game Arena Gets Mobile Friendly
I'm sure a ton of you are already familiar with Board Game Arena, the site where, for free, you can play over 80 board games like Seasons, Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, and Hanabi. You play the games in your browser which was great for desktops and laptops, but had a few usability issues if you tried to play on a mobile device.

Not any more.

Over the weekend, Board Game Arena announced that they've redesigned the site to accommodate mobile devices, both phones and tablets.

Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself. Maybe I'll see you on there. I'll give you three guesses to figure out my username over there.



Through the Ages gets New on Boardgaming-Online
Sticking with board games that play great on your mobile device's browser, the cream of the crop, Boardgaming-Online also had an announcement over the weekend. The game featured there, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization has been updated so that everyone can now play Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization.

All the new cards and rules are now in effect when you start a new game at boardgaming-online, and the playing space itself received a makeover as well. (The game creation screen hasn't, unfortunately, been redone so finding your friends to play with is still a pain. It's worth it, though.)

Yes, Through the Ages is coming later this spring from Czech Games Edition, but you can get your fix right now. Unless you have no friends to play with. If that's the case, find me in the list and ask me to play!



Baseball Highlights 2045 Submitted to Apple
Over the weekend I received word from Peter Kossits, the one-man team behind the upcoming port of Baseball Highlights: 2045 that the iPad version has been submitted to Apple. Unless the Apple reviewers find something untoward (which they seem to be extremely adept at these days), we should have BH2045 on our iPads within the fortnight.

The digital version will have both solo play using the solitaire rules from the cardboard version, as well as two-player pass-and-play. There's also an Android version in the works, the beta for which should start later this week. There's even a chance it will come to phones somewhere down the line, but Peter is holding off on promising that at this point.

As usual, we'll let you know when it lands on the App Store.


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Tue Jan 5, 2016 10:33 pm
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