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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)
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News Bits: Shadow Era Update, Ghost Stories for iPad, Ra Update, Outsmart Free, Viking Lords Reviewed, Multiplayer iPad Games Added, Tactical Soldier-Undead Rising Released

Gabe Alvaro
United States
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• Shadow Era Updated
• Ghost Stories for iPad!
• Reiner Knizia's Ra Updated
• Outsmart Now Free
• Viking Lords Reviewed
• New Games Added to iPad Multiplayer List
• Tactical Soldier, Undead Rising Released

• Shadow Era updated 1.24 - Mar 24
We didn't make a big deal out of this collectible trading card game that uses a freemium business model, but it certainly was a big deal in iOS gaming circles. Personally, I don't really like TCGs, for a number of reasons. The biggest is the entry barrier to casual play and enjoyment. Unlike a board game, you don't just flip open the box, teach your friends and start playing.

That barrier, however, is usually not a problem for those who like TCGs because such games seem to just come with communities built around playing them. Well, it's no different for Shadow Era. It's quite a well done concept and game, despite the fact that it launched on Feb 23 without a full complement of cards that all worked together. Still, it was pretty and some sets of cards DID work. Now, it has received its highly anticipated update. Here's what's included:

Wulven Game Studios wrote:
The first full-scale TCG for iOS gets even better with this massive update! Here's what's new:
- 23 new cards, introducing Hero Armor and Weapons
- offline play mode
- added support for iPhone 3g and iPod Touch 2g devices
- built-in help system
- multiplayer changes to penalize quitters
- plus many many more changes, improvements, and bugfixes! See shadowera.com for full details

• Ghost Stories for iPad - Mar 24
Yes, that overexposed hairy hand is pointing to what appears to be Ghost Stories for the iPad. The app is being published by Repos Production, will be in French and will be available in two to three weeks (which would be middle of April from the article date). Here is a fun taste of a clip from a Google Translation of the original article posted in German:

Google Translation of de.trictrac.net wrote:
As we can clearly see the Ghost Stories can play on the iPad either solitary or with up to four real people. The players panels can be moved so that all may well sit around the plate and have their color in front of you. Also, they can turn to for the various special forces. Even the village can be rebuilt as you like with a finger rub - all very nicely animated. For example, moving the character of the active player.

• Reiner Knizia's Ra Updated
Codito Development has updated it's troubled app, Reiner Knizia's Ra to version 1.4. Don't get me wrong. I think it is a very good app. There has just been a rocky user reception to the online multiplayer feature that utilizes OpenFeint. This update claims to address some of those issues:

Codito wrote:
What's new

- restored support for iOS 3.1.3
- fixed problem with unlocking "Games Won" and "Games Played" achievements
- fixed problem of main menu not responding after viewing "Options"
- various crash fixes

Online multiplayer improvements:
- fixed games getting out of synch
- fixed "Next Game" not detecting a waiting game properly
- "Resign" properly signals other player that game has ended
- improved game status display
- improved app icon "badge" display of number of games waiting
- allowed games to be viewed even if it's not your turn

• Outsmart Price Dropped to Free - Mar 28
Outsmart is a slick looking little Universal app that plays kind of like Tic Tac Toe with 16 squares instead of 9. Only your Xs and Os are numbered from 1 to 8 and you can score their sum if you can lay them down in lines of 3. Are you confused? Well don't be, just download it because it was made free on Monday.

• Viking Lords Reviewed on TUAW - Mar 29
Fellow BGGer and prolific reviewer, Sebastian Blanco, has reviewed Viking Lords over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog. This is one of my favorite iPad games. Sebastian seems to like it well enough, but in the end he recommends not buying it because the developers seem to have blatantly ripped the C&C game mechanics straight from BattleLore.

We've covered this area before. Unless a designer or publisher patents a mechanic, they don't own it. A developer cannot rip what is not owned. And just to drive the nail in the coffin on this one, the developer posted the final word on this in a TouchArcade post:

Johannes / Puffin Software wrote:
we have been in contact with Fantasy Flight Games and Apple about this a while back and we consider the issue settled. There is no infringement of FFG:s intellectual property rights here.

• Sixx, Dungeons & Dice added to iPad Multiplayer List - Mar 29
Yes, I am plugging my own GeekList, but that's because I put a lot of work into it and want you to be aware of multiplayer games on the iPad that are available now.

Sixx, a Qwirkle clone Dungeons & Dice, a Talisman clone

• And This Just In...Tactical Soldier, Undead Rising Released! - Mar 29
Tactical Soldier, Undead Rising was released on Tuesday night. It is a quality effort by self described "indie" developer Full Control ApS. I include it here because I have been tracking it ever since the developer dropped in on BGG last year to tell people about it. It's born digital, but being a turn-based strategy game with an action point mechanism, it definitely has board game appeal. I am wondering if people agree that it's relevant to board games and would like to see a review? (Full disclosure: I was given a free promo code.)

It's pretty straightforward. Your character moves, fights, shoots, and takes various actions on a grid of squares that is different for each goal-oriented scenario. He even joins up with other characters and becomes, and then moves, as a squad to shoot and kill hordes of zombies. So far I am superficially reminded of board games like Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, Space Hulk, and even the basic combat aspects of Dungeons & Dragons (4th Edition). It is not multiplayer, but I'm having still having a lot of fun with it.
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