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: HardBack Arrives on iOS and Android

David Neumann
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Tim Fowers' HardBack Released for iOS/Android
Tim Fowers and his publishing company, Fowers Games, are no stranger to the App Store. Both Paperback and Burgle Bros have made successful leaps to our touchscreens. Over the weekend another gem joined that list, Hardback.

Hardback follows the basic premise of Paperback, making it a sequel (or prequel) of sorts. You build words with letter-bearing cards that earn you cash, allowing you to buy more cards and build better words and earn more cash. In other words, it's a deck-building word game.

While its main mechanism is straight from its predecesor, it has enough changes to make it a completely different game from Paperback. Paperback had scoring like Dominion where you had to spend coins to buy VP cards and the game went to the highest total when a certain number of piles were emptied. HardBack allows you to set a VP number and it's a race to see who can get there first. Some letters have Victory Point values on them which you'll earn when you add them to your words.

Wild cards in Paperback were bought. In HardBack, any card can be changed into a wildcard which makes piecing together a word easier than ever. Of course, cards flipped to their wildcard side lose their benefits, unless you can mitigate that with another card's special ability.

Those are only two of the changes, but there are a lot more. There are genres, making certain letters give a bigger benefit if used with other cards of the same genre. There are letters that stay in play after being used, giving you their benefit each turn until your opponent uses them in a word of their own. There's probably more that I'm forgetting, but the bottom line is that you'll find more than enough to separate this from Paperback to warrant owning both.

Hardback is currently available for both iOS Universal and Android at the links below:

-HardBack for iOS Universal, $5
-HardBack for Android, $5


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Mon Jul 2, 2018 5:34 pm
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App News: Nomad and AEG Bringing More Tabletop Goodness to Digital, Rivals for Catan Moves on Mobile and more...

David Neumann
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Nomad Bringing AEG Titles Mystic Vale, Cat Lady, and Space Base to Digital
We all know Nomad Games Ltd (II) from their odd obsession with creating at least 17 expansions for Talisman: Digital Edition every week. You might not remember that they teamed up with Alderac Entertainment Group to bring their card game hit, Smash Up to digital as well. Well, now they've teamed up again and it appears that Nomad is bringing three of AEG's titles to life on our phones/tablets: Mystic Vale, Cat Lady, and Space Base.

We don't have any idea when these titles will be making their way, only that they're in the works. We also know that it's a new team working on these titles, so we'll still be getting our fair share of new Talisman content as well. Whew!

As usual, we'll tell you more as the info available to us begins to grow.



Rivals for Catan Now Available in Catan World
Catan Universe was United Soft Media (USM)'s solution to bring their entire digital Catan-verse under one umbrella. Was it successful? How would I know, I haven't played Catan in ages. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but if a game doesn't include trains or money as a victory point condition, then my group ain't touching it. Also, my favorite Catan game wasn't the titular title with a robber and little roads made of sticks, it was the two-player gem, Rivals for Catan.

Looks like I'll be checking out Catan Universe later today. USM has announced that Rivals for Catan is coming to Catan Universe today. In fact, it's already there.

Version 1.5, released today, brings Rivals for Catan under the digital Catan umbrella. It will cost you 500 Catan Gold which is inconvenient because I'd rather just spend money, but whatever. 500 gold comes out to $5, it just takes a couple of extra steps to purchase.

USM wrote:
By placing cards in a strategically skillful way, players build settlements, roads and Cities – just like they do in the board game version Catan. But they also construct the buildings where their subjects work, hire heroes to make their opponent's life difficult, and build ships to boost their trade. Players submerge themselves into the bustling life on Catan to decide on the fate of its settlers as prince or princess of Catan. The big variety makes the game a popular addition to the board game.

The digital version can be played with Catan fans world-wide, online with friends, or against the AI. Besides the basic game, up to three theme sets can be used in one game to get a big action variety and make the game even more exciting.

In the theme set “The Era of Gold”, the struggle for the trade advantage becomes more intense, and the resource gold gains in importance. In “The Era of Turmoil”, Traitors, Archers, and Arsonists make the competition tougher. If the players rely on the University in the set “The Era of Progress”, cards such as building crane allow them to lead their principality into a bright future and leave their opponent behind.

The introductory game of “Rivals for Catan” can be played for free. Furthermore, the card game is part of the “Arrival on Catan” which introduces the new version to the players in a game against the AI. The complete game can be downloaded as an in-game purchase within the Catan Universe store.
Catan Universe is available wherever you want to game: PC/Mac, iOS, or Android.

- Catan Universe for iOS Universal, free
- Catan Universe for Android, free
- Catan Universe for PC/Mac via Steam, free



Tropico Heading to iPad
One genre that is horribly neglected on the App Store is the city-builder. All we have are cheap F2P nonsense with no really great examples on the platform at all. In a perfect world we'd get someone to port the old Impressions Games's titles like Pharaoh and Zeus: Master of Olympus to iPad, but that doesn't appear to be happening. Heck, I can't even get those on Mac. A close second, however, would be the Tropico franchise.

Looks like things are about to get better!

Today, Feral Interactive announced that they're bringing Tropico to iPad later this year. It will be completely redone for a touchscreen and will be a premium title with no IAP. Feral recently brought Rome: Total War to iPad and it was a smashing success, so here's hoping we get the first great city builder on our iPads later this year!


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Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:56 pm
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App News: Scythe Finds Its Way to Steam Early Access

David Neumann
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Scythe: Digital Edition Released on Steam Early Access for PC
Of all the board game releases planned for 2018, Terraforming Mars and Scythe: Digital Edition are probably the biggest of the bunch. Not a lot of news concerning the former, but the latter got one step closer to a full release today. Scythe is now available on Steam via Early Access.

Early Access means that you'll basically be playing an unfinished version of the game, but it's yours to keep and you'll own the full game when it releases somewhere down the road.

Scythe is currently only available for PC, but we've been told that other versions (including mobile) are in the works and should be happening in due time as well. Whenever it leaves Early Access, would be my guess.

- Scythe: Digital Edition for PC via Steam Early Access, $20


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Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:32 pm
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App News: Exodus: Proxima Centauri Gets Release Date, Ticket to Ride Heads to PS4, Talisman Adds Another Board and more...

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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Exodus: Proxima Centauri Coming to Digital on August 10
The last time we talked about Exodus: Proxima Centauri coming to digital was in March of 2017 and, since then, it's been radio silence. Until this week, that is.

Offworld Games has released a trailer for Exodus: Proxima Centauri that gives it a street date of August 10. That's for the PC/Mac version. If you're more of a mobile gamer, it will be coming to iOS in December.

We'll be keeping an eye on this one as it nears release and be sure to share any and all information we manage to gather. In the meantime, check out the trailer which appears to be more of a cinematic than gameplay.





Ticket to Ride Chugging Over to PlayStation and PlayLink
Of course we can't have a news post without mentioning our dark overlords, Asmodee Digital. Last week we mentioned that they were taking Carcassonne - Tiles & Tactics to the Switch. This week it's another classic gateway game, Ticket to Ride and it's heading to PlayStation.

Now, I don't own a PS4 and don't understand words, so I'm just going to post a blurb here and let you figure it out.

Asmodee wrote:
Asmodee Digital and Sony Interactive Entertainment are partnering to bring “Ticket to Ride,” the critically-acclaimed railway-themed board game from Days of Wonder, to PlayLink for PS4 later this year.


“Digital board games are a natural fit for Sony PlayLink, and bring the tradition of board game nights to PlayStation gamers,” Pierre Ortolan, Asmodee Digital’s CEO, said. “By casting the game to a phone screen, players can hide their hands and plan their moves without revealing everything to their opponents. PlayLink allows us re-create the traditional board game experience while keeping the benefits of playing digitally. We are honored to have partnered with Sony Interactive Entertainment and look forward to sharing ‘Ticket to Ride’ with PlayStation gamers.”
So, it's using something called PlayLink which, apparently lets your mobile devices interact with your PlayStation. That sounds cool as a banana split, and is making me seriously consider interacting with a PS4 the next time I go to Best Buy. Actually buying one is out of the question due to my wife killing me if I spend more money on games, but I can dream.

No release date on TtR's PS4 debut other than "later this year". We'll let you know.





Talisman: Digital Edition Completes the Wraparound with The Woodland
Another week, another Talisman: Digital Edition expansion. Ho hum. But wait! This expansion is a bit more exciting than your standard "add new cards, blah, blah, blah" expansion, especially if you've got mild OCD. The new expansion is Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Woodland Expansion and it adds a new board that wraps around the main board. Yes, this is the fourth such expansion meaning that you can, finally, completely wrap around the entire main board with expansions and my life is now complete.

As with the other big-box Talisman expansions, the board is only part of it. You'll also get a ton of other stuff:

[company=24481 wrote:
[/company]"]The Woodland Expansion Includes:
Woodland Board
103 Woodland Cards
10 Adventure Cards
20 Path Cards
14 Destiny Cards
5 Spell Cards
5 Characters
3 Alternative Ending Cards
5 Growth Tokens
6 Spider Tokens
3 Portal Tokens
5 Hidden Path Tokens
3 Totem Spirit Tokens
As all the kids are saying these days, wowy zowy. [I was told I'm not funny, but I couldn't resist jumping in here just to comment on how hip Dave is. He's really connected to today's youth. -ed.]

Even better is, now that Asmodee Digital is publishing Talisman, you can buy the expansion on one platform and it will unlock on all platforms! How does Asmodee do it? Obviously, black magic!

The Woodland is available right now on all platforms.

- Talisman: Digital Edition for iOS Universal, $5
- Talisman: Digital Edition for Android, $4.50
- Talisman: Digital Edition for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $8





Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal Heads to iPhone
Our favorite little hex-and-counter wargame that could, Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal, just keeps getting better and better. Not only has it added a ton of new features with its latest update, but it has also become a Universal app. That's right, now you can slide the Japanese fleet into your pocket and, no, that's not a euphemism for anything.

As usual, the list of new features and fixes is impressive:

[url=https://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Bladerunner69 wrote:
Cyril Jarnot[/url]"]Game balance:
- Midway 2P game: starting from Day 2 12:00, the US player scores 1 VP at the beginning of each TURN as long as Midway remains operational and is not captured by then
- Midway: More fuel available on Midway
- Coral Sea: the Japanese player needs to unload more troops to capture Port Moresby
- Brismark Sea 2P Game: Japanese CVE isadded
- Japanese carrier air units worth double the VP than land-based units
- 2 runways for Lae in year 1943
- in 2P Game: Sunk Japanese Carrier/BB/CA/CL/DD are worth 50% more VP
- in 2P Game: Less aircraft started at Rabaul during Aug-Dec 1942
- AA factor on Guadalcanal has been doubled

Miscellaneous changes:
- It is possible to rebase damaged air units about to land on an inoperative airbase
- SBD endurance is now 20 for search mission
- Under air attack, the light AA of each US carrier is increased by the light AA of the best operative escort ship
- CAP ammunition depletion is depending on the CAP/attackers ratio
- Seaplanes are not launched before 06:20 and IJN carrier TF use them in 2P games
- If the attacking naval force is defeated in a surface battle, it must retreat to its previous hex
- The IJN AI is more inclined to withdraw after taking severe losses
If you're a wargamer or want to become one, CB4G is a perfect fit. This isn't a watered down, simplistic wargame. On the contrary, it's rather complex and feels like a classic hex-and-counter title. Oh, and it's only $6. Completely worth the price and more considering all the work that the developer keeps pumping into it.

- Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal for iOS Universal, $6
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:21 pm
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App News: Hardback Coming to Mobile, Beta Testers Needed for Quarto, Carcassonne Switching to Greener Pastures, Talisman Gets Free Expansion, and One Deck Dungeon Heads to Phoenix

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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Hey everyone! I've been gone for a bit on a lengthy 3-week trek across Europe with my father, but I'm back now and ready for business. Sorry for the dearth of content the past couple weeks. I will try to pick it up and bring you the all the goodies in a timely manner from now on. On to the news!


Hardback Enters Beta for iOS/Android
Proving that App Store reviews are a joke, Paperback from Fowers Games is sitting at 3-stars right now on Apple's Free-to-Play, Crappy Game-apalooza [Dave is trying to be clever here. He's talking about the App Store -ed.]. Paperback is a brilliant card game and the digital version does everything you want in a digital port. Why is it at 3-stars? Don't know. I couldn't bear to actually read any reviews because reading is hard and I've been blessed with a very small brain, prone to Hulk-out when I read something that aggravates me. Thus, the world may never know.

Anyway, this is all a clunky lead-in for the fact that Fowers Games is heading to the App Store with another digital port of one of their titles, and it just happens to be another word game, very much in the vein of the previously mentioned Paperback. It's Hardback, otherwise known as Paperback: The Complex Edition.

While Paperback hewed close to the mechanisms of Dominion, even including books to replace lands for scoring, Hardback adds a whole lot of new stuff to shake the word game landscape up. You still draw five cards each turn and buy cards from a card row, but now letters have different themes such as "horror" or "romance" and you get more benefits from them if you use multiple cards of the same theme in a word.



There are no separate wild cards in Hardback, either. Instead any card you draw can be wild simply by flipping it over. Of course, it loses all benefits if you do so. Also, cards themselves are worth points and you score them only when you play them into a word. Thus, a card can score multiple times over the course of a game, but that "Z" worth 4 points might only make it into a word or two. Worth it? It is if you have a lot of pizzazz.

Instead of end-game scoring, the game is a race to a predetermined amount of victory points which you can set before the game begins. This gives the ability to set up a game for extremely short or long games, or leaving it as-is as a race to 60.

There are other more complicated rules as well, such as Ink and cards that remain permanently in play, but you can find out about those yourself. What am I, a library?

Hardback is currently in beta for iOS and Android, but we don't have any hint of a release date yet. The beta is fairly polished with online multiplayer, 3 levels of AI, and variants already included. For now, go play Paperback and let's get that score on the App Store at least up to 3.5 stars.

- Paperback for iOS Universal, $4
- Paperback for Android, $4


Abstract game, Quarto, Entering Beta
I've been gone too long to not have a story about Asmodee Digital. Today's blurb about Quarto comes thanks to a Tweet posted earlier this afternoon:



As usual, if you want to sign up, head to the Asmodee site and log into your account, then look for the "Beta" tab on the left side. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeasy.



Carcassonne Heading to Switch
More news from Asmodee Digital, this time concerning their port of Carcassonne - Tiles & Tactics which is currently available for Android and PC via Steam. They're bringing it to a new platform not known for board games: the Nintendo Switch.

It won't be available until Winter of 2018, but the good news is that Asmodee has confirmed that this is only the first of many more board games to make their way to the platform.

That's all we have right now, but if we stumble onto any more news about Carcassonne or other board games on Switch you'll be the first to know.

- Carcassonne for iOS Universal, $10 (different developer)
- Carcassonne for Android, $8
- Carcassonne for PC via Steam, $15



Talisman and Talisman: Horus Heresy Get Free Expansions
Announcing that Talisman: Digital Edition has a new expansion is a bit like posting when it's cloudy in London. Hard to get too excited about it these days. That said, when the expansion is free, then we can still do our little Talisman dance.

[gif redacted]

Last week, Nomad Games Ltd (II) released Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Deep Realms Expansion as a free expansion that you can log in and download right now. There's a catch, however, because the expansion does nothing unless you own both Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The City Expansion and Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Dungeon Expansion. Thus, you need to spend money in order to get your free expansion. Hooray!

Talisman: The Horus Heresy also got a free expansion: 2 new characters. No special things to buy for these additions:

Nomad Games wrote:
Rogal Dorn joins the Loyalists - a being of thunderous zeal and stone made manifest. To him there is no higher purpose to the ‘Legiones Astartes’ than the illumination of the Imperium’s ideals. His unyielding nature make Rogal Dorn both a master of defence in war, and an indomitable fighter on the attack.

Battling against the loyalists is the traitor Samus, a terrifying Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm, whose ghostly whispers can destroy anyone in his path. As billions are slaughtered across countless worlds, the power of the Daemon waxes strong.

This character pack comes with new Custom Legion Data-slates and Encounter Data-slates.
They were both on sale last week as well, too, but I was too busy to tell everyone so I understand you may be upset. Please send all complaints to Brad Cummings. He loves to read them.

- Talisman: Digital Edition for iOS Universal, $5
- Talisman: Digital Edition for Android, $4.50
- Talisman: Digital Edition for PC/Mac via Steam, $8

- Talisman: Horus Heresy for iOS Universal, $5
- Talisman: Horus Heresy for Android, $5.50
- Talisman: Horus Heresy for PC/Mac via Steam, $15



One Deck Dungeon Adds Phoenix Den and More
It's been a slow year thus far for digital board games, but that all started turning around when Handelabra Games Inc. released One Deck Dungeon back in May. Last week they sent out a press release indicating that the app has been updated with some cool new features, one of them including a new boss/dungeon: The Phoenix Den.

Handelabra wrote:
This update has various bug fixes and improvements, including:

• Added options to skip Explore, Open Door, and Roll Dice animations.
• Added a sound effect when revealing the Phoenix.
• Optimized disk and memory usage, improving performance and reducing the size of the game.
• Fixed a bug where using Undo after revealing the boss could cause the game to get stuck.
• Potions can no longer be used during animations, which could cause problems.
• Dice are longer be affected by clicks/taps when you have other dialogs open on top of them.
• Fixed a bug where the game could get stuck in the Claim Loot phase in certain situations.
• Fixed a problem where you could not bring up two-hero full size cards in the New Game screen.
So, there you have it. More reasons to download One Deck Dungeon on the tablet or laptop of your choice.

- One Deck Dungeon for iPad, $10
- One Deck Dungeon for Android tablets, $10
- One Deck Dungeon for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $10
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Thu Jun 7, 2018 2:37 pm
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App News: One Deck Dungeon Arrives, Potion Explosion Gets a 5th Ingredient, and Hostage Negotiator Expands

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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One Deck Dungeon Arrives on Steam
It's always a big day when a new game from Handelabra Games Inc. arrives. With both Sentinels of the Multiverse and Bottom of the 9th (2017) under their belts, they've proven to be artists when it comes to porting board games. Their latest is Asmadi Games' solitaire dice-chucker, One Deck Dungeon.

How's about a blurb:

Handelabra wrote:
Adventure calls... but you don't always have time to spend hours optimizing your character sheet or managing your inventory! One Deck Dungeon lets you jump right in to bashing down doors, rolling dice, and squashing baddies with style. Get a full roguelike game experience, boiled down to its essence, and captured in a single deck of cards and a handful of dice!

One Deck Dungeon is a dungeon crawling adventure game for one or two players. Each time you play, choose one or two of these 5 brave heroes:

-Mage - There's rarely a problem in the dungeon she can't solve with a spell.
-Warrior - Her favorite dungeon activity is squashing her opponents immediately.
-Rogue - Watch in awe as she dispatches monsters with style.
-Archer - Accurate, brilliant, catastrophically deadly.
-Paladin - She seeks out danger and shields her allies from deadly enemies.

After every game, your heroes make progress toward unlocking up to 15 new talents, building up their power for future games.

There are 5 dangerous challenges to face:

-Dragon’s Cave - The thick-skinned wyvern who occupies this dungeon prefers her heroes on the crispy side.
-Yeti’s Cavern - If you can survive the freezing winds and biting cold, an abominable snowman awaits.
-Hydra’s Reef - Chop off one head, and another appears! This regenerating venomous monstrosity is a slippery foe.
-Lich’s Tomb - Hordes of undead foes, evil curses, and magical wards. What could possibly go wrong?
-Minotaur’s Maze - Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!

Once you know your way around the dungeon, a game takes about 15 minutes. It might take a little longer if you're learning, or a lot shorter if you jump into a pit of spikes.
The Steam version has everything fans of the cardboard version could want: Hero Progression, One or Two Hero delves, Stats, Achievements, and animations that don't get in the way and certainly don't make the game feel like anything other than a card game port.

The version released today is for PC/Mac/Linux over at Steam and it will run you $10. The mobile version, for iPad and Android tablets, will be out in 5 days, so next Wednesday. That version will also be $10. As for the One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows expansion, we haven't heard anything concrete, but I can't imagine it won't be showing up somewhere down the line if the original One Deck Dungeon does well. Hint: let's make sure it does well.

- One Deck Dungeon for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $10





The Fifth Ingredient Comes to Potion Explosion
It was only a week or so ago when we told you about the beta for the Potion Explosion expansion was live, but those folks at Asmodee Digital are a tricksy bunch and went ahead and launched Potion Explosion: The Fifth Ingredient yesterday.

That's right, you can pick up more Potion Explosion content right now via a $2 IAP. What will you get? Tell 'em, blurb:

Asmodee Digital wrote:
The Fifth Ingredient expansion is now available!
•A new ingredient: the wildcard Ghost Ectoplasm
•Four completely new potions.
•Six professors to use as game modifiers: combine them and create new rule sets.
•A new tutorial and updated manual to discover the new content.
•New achievements for the Fifth Ingredient content.
•A new stage with new music, background, and flasks!
That's a lot of stuff, but it's not all! Asmodee tinkered a bit more:

Asmodee Digital wrote:
We've also listened to the community and added several key changes to the core game:
•AI Improvements: fairer, stronger, and with an added intermediate level.
•A better combo/explosion system that makes the Filter of Lavamancing stronger.
•Many UI and graphics improvements.
•Fixed rare black screen on startup, online games desync, and missing notifications.
•Added iPhone X support
If you're a fan of digital Potion Explosion, it's a no brainer. Go and update your app and buy the IAP. If you're new to Potion Explosion or just never pulled the trigger, now's the time. Not only is the app shinier and more polished, but it's also on sale for a measly buck. Heck, bad digital board games are worth spending a buck for, Potion Explosion is not a bad digital board game.

- Potion Explosion for iOS Universal, $1
- Potion Explosion for Android, $4



Hostage Negotiator Gets a New Bad Guy
We don't give Hostage Negotiator from Peter Kossits and Van Ryder Games enough love around these parts, but that's only because the game is too damn hard. I know it's not shocking to hear, but I really suck at this game. I'm worse than Agent Johnson and Special Agent Johnson in Die Hard. They were fine with losing 25% of the hostages. I wish for that kind of success.

Anyway, Hostage Negotiator has had a couple of updates since its release, the latest coming just this week. Both updates included new villains you can buy via IAP (which I did despite not being able to defeat the original villains) for $1 each. The first are the even twins Dolph and Rolph and the second is rogue cop, Lt. Jackson. I'm not sure which of the dozens of expansion packs for Hostage Negotiator these guys are from, but I'm sure it's one of them.

There's more:

Peter Kossits wrote:
-Added Rolph and Dolph initial in-app purchase.
-Added Lt. Jackson villain as in-app purchase
-Bug fix: Against Ed Quinn game was not ending if threat moved directly to K during pivotal event
-Bug fix: With 6 conversation points to spend, the Buy Card button in zoom dialog was staying enabled when 7 and 8 cost cards were moved to the center.
-Bug Fix: Against Connor, game was not ending automatically if his special effect was still active and 4 cards were played in Final Conversation.
-Bugfix - dice will no longer appear under deck card-count numbers when they pass over or land on top of them.
If you haven't given Hostage Negotiator a try, it's a tense, hard solitaire game that I recommend. Just don't start giving the hostages names. It makes it so much worse.

- Hostage Negotiator for iOS Universal, $4
- Hostage Negotiator for Android, $4
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Fri May 18, 2018 8:41 pm
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App Release: Among the Stars

David Neumann
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Wisconsin
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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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Microbadge: statelyplay.com
Among the Stars Released


The Stats:

Compatibility: iOS Universal, Android
Current Price: $5
Developer/Publisher: Cublo
Download Size: 355.6 MB
Multiplayer: Asynchronous Online, cross-platform
AI: Yes
iTunes Link: Among the Stars
Android Link: Among the Stars
BGG Entry: Among the Stars


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Thu May 10, 2018 9:46 am
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App News: Acram Digital Caught Fudging, New Ascension Client Coming, 5th Ingredient Coming to Potion Explosion, and The Roadmap for Scythe is Revealed

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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Microbadge: statelyplay.com
App News




Acram Digital Caught Inflating Reviews, Kicked Off Steam
We’re all familiar with Acram Digital, the folks behind the fantastic digital ports of Steam: Rails To Riches and Eight-Minute Empire and currently working on getting Istanbul out the door. Looks like they’ve been quite naughty when it comes to the Steam versions of their games.

steam wrote:
We've received a number of reports for Steam review manipulation on the titles Steam: Rails to Riches and Eight-Minute Empire, from Acram Digital. After investigating these reports we have found that the developer, Grzegorz Kubas, has been trying to inflate the user review score for his titles. This is against our policy, and something we take very seriously.

Because of Grzegorz's actions, we have removed all games/DLC developed by Acram from our store, and will no longer be doing business with him. Existing owners will be able to keep their titles.
Ouch. So, Acram games are no longer available for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam which is a huge bummer. If you already own the games it’s not a problem, but one of the more talented developers getting edged out of a major retail portal isn’t good news for those of us who like our board games to come via 1s and 0s.

How will this affect Istanbul? We’re not sure. I have no insight into how much of their sales came from Steam vs. mobile, so maybe this doesn’t hurt them as bad as it would seem to, but I imagine it can’t be great.

Will Steam ever relent and let them back on? We’ll try to keep an eye on this and let you know if anything changes.

- Steam: Rails to Riches for iOS Universal, $5
- Steam: Rails to Riches for Android, $5
- Eight-Minute Empire for iOS Universal, $5
- Eight-Minute Empire for Android, $5



Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer Getting New Client on PC
While Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer from Playdek has been considered one of the best board game ports since its release on iOS back in 2011, the PC port wasn't quite as well received. Playdek and their new publishing partners, Asmodee Digital, are looking to fix that.

There is, currently, a beta version of a brand new client available which changes the Steam version's UI and, from early reviews, makes it much, much better, basically bringing up to the quality of the mobile build.

The beta is currently available via the Asmodee site. Simply login with your Asmodee account and look for Beta Tests in the sidebar and then join. Not only will you get to test drive the new client, but you'll also get to try out the Ascension: Gift of the Elements expansion. Lucky you!

While the currently released Steam version of Ascension is for PC only, the new client is for PC/Mac, so the news just keeps getting better and better.

- Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer for iOS Universal, free
- Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer for Android, free
- Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer for PC, $10



The 5th Ingredient Expansion Coming to Potion Explosion
More beta stuff from Asmodee Digital. Don't worry, this isn't the last you'll hear from them in this post. This beta is for Potion Explosion and involves testing some new content, Potion Explosion: The Fifth Ingredient.

The 5th Ingredient doesn't involve Bruce Willis or Milla Jovavich with an orange dye job. Instead it offers a new wildcard ingredient for your potions as well as 4 new potions to brew. It also offers professors who will change the way potions are brewed. In other words, CRAZINESS!

Like all of Asmodee's betas, you can get into this one by going to their website and logging in with your Asmodee account. Bing-bang-boom, you're in.

No word on when we can expect the expansion to go live, but with all these betas going on, the next few months are going to be something special.

- Potion Explosion for iOS Universal, $3
- Potion Explosion for Android, $3



The Roadmap for Scythe: Digital Edition's Future Is Revealed
Speaking of the next few months being special, the game leading that charge is also from Asmodee Digital, Scythe: Digital Edition. The game had a short open beta that ended last week, but where it currently stood in regards to release and the mobile version was unclear. Not any more.

The game's developer, Knights of Unity posted a roadmap for the next few months detailing just about everything we'd want to know about Scythe:

Knights of Unity wrote:
Here are our plans for the next months:

May update - Early Access launch
- The much-requested Undo button!
- More challenging AI (part 1)
- Tooltips turned on by default
- A wealth of bugfixes to make the game more enjoyable
- and more…

Early June update
- More challenging AI (part 2) + division of the AI into several difficult levels
- Faster AI animations
- Ammo replaced by Combat Cards
- Implementation of the Factory Cards artworks
- Option to disable the need to confirm actions
- Option to prevent the Industrial Rusviet combo
- Localization: Polish language (not a pun)
- Low priority bugfixes
- and more…

Early July update
- Update of the tutorial missions
- Touchpad support
- Combat context
- Support for gifts of coins
- Traditional progress tracks for Stars, Power and Popularity
- Camera behavior customization
- Current score preview
- Final score screen overhaul
- Stats available for local games
- Promo Cards unlocked by completing achievements
- and more…

Early August update
- Mac OS support
- Spectator mode
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Brightness, gamma and contrast settings
- and more…
The biggest takeaways from the roadmap (in my opinion) are the Early Release is coming this month and that we're getting a Mac version before the end of summer. What you might notice is a lack of information regarding the mobile version. Never fear! My alter-ego at Stately Play was on the case and learned that mobile will be releasing shortly after the Steam version.



Can't come soon enough!
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Tue May 8, 2018 10:49 am
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App News: Among the Stars Set to Debut in May, Tsuro and Roll For It! Get Colorful, and Sentinels Celebrates Superhero Day With a Sale

David Neumann
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Whitefish Bay
Wisconsin
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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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Microbadge: statelyplay.com
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Among the Stars Sets Launch Date of May 10
It seems like only yesterday [that's because it was -ed.] that I was complaining about all the board game betas we've seen in 2018 with no major releases landing in the App Store. Well, Cublo must have heard my wailing and felt the need to ease my pain, today announcing that their digital version of Among the Stars is set to arrive on May 10.



If you don't know Among the Stars, get ready for some 7 Wonders-like card drafting, but each card is a new room of a budding space station. The rooms score differently based on their location and proximity to other rooms in your station, so it's kind of like 7 Wonders and Castles of Mad King Ludwig had a kid who's a big Star Wars fan.

No other details, such as price, are available yet, but we'll let you know if/when we hear anything.





Tsuro and Roll For It! Get Updated for ITT
For those of us who struggle with acronyms, ITT stands for International Tabletop Day. It's coming up this weekend (when, of course, I'll be too busy to actually play any board games) and some devs are taking advantage of it to update their games. Okay, one dev. That would be Thunderbox Entertainment, crafter of both Tsuro and Roll For It! who's taking this opportunity to add a bit of color to both games.

Roll for It! has been updated with 2 new sets of dice: fuzzy and cosmic. They've also added a free set of high-contrast dice to help those with color blindness, and tweaked the UI a bit including the one thing that all digital board games should have: an UNDO button.

Tsuro gets colorful with a new set of rainbow stones, which are replicas of the ultra-rare dragon pieces released via Game Trade Magazine. They've also added some bug fixes and Tsuro's drain on your battery should be significantly decreased as well.



Looking at the App Store pages for both apps, it appears that these updates come free with the latest updates? Neither are shown in the IAP portion of the App Store at least, so that's what I'm basing that on. Both Tsuro and Roll For It! are going to be on sale this weekend as well, starting tomorrow. You'll be able to pick them up for a discount, and, on top of that, Thunderbox will be donating a portion of all the purchases this weekend to Charity: Water, bringing clean water to all corners of the globe. All good reasons to pick these up this weekend if you haven't already. (The sale appears to have started early on iOS, as both are at a discounted price right now.)

- Tsuro for iOS Universal, $2
- Tsuro for Android, $3
- Roll for It! for iOS Universal, $1
- Roll for It! for Android, $2



Sentinels of the Multiverse Going Cheap for Superhero Day
Apparently there's a new comic book movie coming out this weekend? To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the comic book movies and, other than the Guardians of the Galaxy and a couple other smaller films, have no idea what's going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My only real superhero fix is a little gem on my iPad called Sentinels of the Multiverse. Have you heard of it? It's pretty great and to celebrate National Superhero Day (it's a real thing) as well as International Tabletop Day, Handelabra Games Inc. is putting the whole shebang on sale.

Here's the rundown:

Sentinels of the Multiverse - $2 on all platforms
Season Pass 1 - $18 on all platforms
Standalone Expansions - $1 off all expansions
Soundtracks - 50% off on Steam and Handelabra site
Sentinels Sidekick - $1 on all stores where it is available

That's a pretty good get if you haven't already picked up all things Sentinels. The sale should be kicking in later today, but may not roll out on all stores until tomorrow afternoon. From there, the sale prices will last through the weekend. Don't dawdle.

- Sentinels of the Multiverse for iOS Universal, $7
- Sentinels of the Multiverse for Android, $7
- Sentinels of the Multiverse for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $10
- Sentinels of the Multiverse for Kindle, $7

- Sentinels Sidekick for iOS Universal, $5
- Sentinels Sidekick for Android, $4
- Sentinels Sidekick for Amazon, $4
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Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:34 pm
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App News: Board Game Betas for Scythe and Istanbul and Civilization VI Expands Again

David Neumann
United States
Whitefish Bay
Wisconsin
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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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Microbadge: statelyplay.com
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Scythe Opens Beta Until Next Week
You know what you want? Scythe. I know you do. There's an unnatural tingling in your nethers when you simply hear the word. Scythe.... There it is again. S...c...y...t...h...e...

Okay, I'll stop, but you can do better than dream about the Game That Shall Not Be Named, you can actually sign up and start playing it RIGHT NOW! Whoa, whoa, whoa! Just hold on, let me give you the deets (that's how cool people say "details", or at least that's what my 13 year-old told me) before you run off and make a fool of yourself.

First of all, the beta is only for PC. That's a box running Windows. Mac and Linux users can go straight to whatever hell doesn't have Scythe. Secondly, the beta will cease working on May 2nd, so you have a week. Still, that's one week of tingling nethers, which ain't all bad.

Okay, now that the boring stuff is out of the way, here's how you sign up. Head to Asmodee Digital's site and sign in with your Asmodee account. There should be a menu and at the very bottom is "Beta Tests". Click that and you'll see the entry for Scythe. You can figure out the rest.

Scythe is set to release for both PC and mobile in Q2 of this year, so we don't have that long to wait for a full release if you're one of the people who don't want to sign up (or don't have a Windows machine...like me). We'll keep you informed if anything else pops up on the Scythe radar, or Scydar as we've been calling it behind the scenes. [Dave's the only one calling it that and, frankly, it's embarrassing -ed.]



More Beta Goodness: Istanbul
Yes, 2018 is turning into "Year of the Beta" with about a thousand board game betas currently running and yet nothing actually releasing for our general consumption. The second half of 2018 is going to be off the hook.

The latest example is Istanbul from Acram Digital. You remember them, the gurus behind such gems as Eight-Minute Empire and Steam: Rails To Riches? Of course you do! They're back with a digital version of Istanbul which is set to release for iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux in Q2 of this year, but they need some beta help in the meantime.



You can sign up following the link in the tweet, or you can click right here. It's an easy sign-up form and they're looking for testers on all platforms, so don't be afraid to head over and give them your deets [I need to have a talk with Dave. This needs to stop. -ed.].



Civilization VI for iPad Adds Macedon and Persia
While there haven't been any big board game releases in 2018 for mobile, Aspyr Media, Inc. seem intent on making sure I'm not bored by continually adding more content to what might be my current favorite iPad game, Civilization VI. While we were saddled with a vanilla version of Civ VI when it arrived in the App Store right before Xmas, the past few months have seen Aspyr frantically bringing it closer and closer to its big brother on Steam.

Last week saw the latest update, the addition of the May 2017 update which brought in two new Civs, Macedon and Persia. It also includes a new scenario and two new Wonders for the AI to complete right before you do.

Aspyr wrote:
Includes the Macedonian civilization with Alexander the Great, the Hypaspist unique unit, and the Basilikoi Paides unique building:

Civ Unique Ability: The “Hellenistic Fusion” ability gives Macedon Tech or Civic Eurekas depending on what Districts are present in a captured city.
Leader Unique Ability: Alexander’s “To World’s End” ability lets Macedon stay at war longer by greatly reducing war weariness. He also gives Macedon the Hetairoi: a fast Heavy Cavalry unit that starts with a free promotion, which replaces the Horseman.
Unique Unit: The Hypaspist replaces the Swordsman, gets extra bonuses from supporting units, and is stronger at besieging Districts.
Unique Building: The Basilikoi Paides can be built in any Encampment that doesn’t have a stable. It provides bonuses for all melee, ranged land, and Hetairoi trained in the city. It also provides some science anytime a non-civilian unit is created in the city.

Also includes the Persian civilization with Cyrus, the Immortal unique unit, and the Pairidaeza unique improvement:

Civ Unique Ability: The “Satrapies” ability gives Persia a free Trade Route when they develop Political Philosophy, and enhanced yields from their internal trade routes.
Leader Unique Ability: Cyrus has the “Fall of Babylon” ability, giving movement and yield bonuses for a short time after declaring a Surprise War, and negating some of the diplomatic penalties of declaring a Surprise War too.
Unique Unit: Persia’s unique unit is the famous Immortal. This Swordsman replacement gets a bonus ranged attack, and is very strong on defense.
Unique Improvement: The Pairidaeza provide Culture, Gold, and Appeal, as well as bonus Culture or Gold for adjacent Districts and City Centers. Over time, they’ll provide even more yields as you advance through the tech & civic tree.

New “Conquests of Alexander” Scenario:
Race against time to prove yourself as great a conqueror as Alexander the Great! This scenario is focused on combat, expansion, and the calculated use of your Great Generals.
As you increase the difficulty, you have fewer and fewer turns in which to conquer the known world, providing a real challenge for military strategists.

Two New Wonders:
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus: One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World returns to Civilization. The Mausoleum allows you to get additional bonuses from your Great Admirals and Great Engineers.
Apadana: The Persians were famous for their audience halls, and the best example was found in Persepolis. This Wonder provides extra Envoys every time you build a World Wonder – including the Apadana!
Now that was a blurb! It seems pretty clear from the pace we're getting new content that it will only be a matter of time before the mobile version catches up to the Steam version. I, for one, can't wait. Oh, and if you're one of the folks who refuses to pay $60 for an iPad game, you'll be happy to know that you can currently unlock the full game for only $30. Yes, the all the additional content will also cost you money, but I've played so much of Civ VI on my iPad that I've easily gotten my money's worth so far. YMMV.

- Civilization VI for iPad, free ($30 to unlock entire game)
- Civilization VI for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $60




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Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:33 pm
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