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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iOS News Bits: Boggle for iPad Update, Carcassonne Update, iDixit Free, Puerto Rico Update, iAdmiral Released, Splut! Coming, Blogs on iOS 5 Game Center, ePawn Arena

Gabe Alvaro
United States
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• Boggle for iPad Update
• Carcassonne Update
• iDixit Free!
• Puerto Rico Update
• iAdmiral Released
• Splut! Coming?
• More on iOS 5 Game Center Improvements
• ePawn Arena Introduced

• Boggle for iPad Update - June 9
The guilty pleasure app of many an iOS Board Gamer received its first ever update on June 9th. Boggle for iPad has now been updated to version 1.1.98. The biggest additions here seem to be Facebook integration and support from so you can look up definitions to those monstrous 6 and 7 letter words you've just spelled. Ok, kidding aside, it could be a cool feature for kids. Here'e the scoop:

Electronic Arts wrote:
What's new


Improvements, additions, and optimizations include:

• Support from – Now when you complete a game you can select a word from the word list and get the definition. Improve your vocabulary as you play!
• New Facebook Connect features – Challenge friends, view global leaderboards, and track game achievements
• Fast App Switching – Get in and out games faster than ever (latest iOS version required)
• Better performance – We’ve made some behind-the-scenes adjustments to enhance overall gameplay

• Carcassonne Update - June 9
The king of board game apps has had 4 quick updates in the last month. A rare flurry of visible activity from The Coding Monkeys has got the app up to version 2.30 with the following fixes and improvements:

The Coding Monkeys wrote:
What's new

• Fixed issue where unlocked Game Center Achievements weren't reported to Game Center. (Will submit unlocked achievements retroactively.)
• Fixed crash on iPad that could occure when pressing the tile overview
• Fixed crash on opening chats with iOS 4.1 and below
• Fixed layout issue with long names in resume game view on iPhone/iPod Touch
• Fixed issue where account could be temporarily removed if Game Center had network issues

• Improved feedback on first run with game center support
• Improved feedback for receiving moves on iOS 3.x
• Improved "Max ELO" Game Center Leaderboard reporting

• iDixit Free! - June 9
This beleaguered app had its price dropped to free on June 9th. If I had not spent so much time with this app myself I would think it some of the strangest pricing practices I have yet seen. I do like this app very much, but in truth, the play experience is nothing short of broken. I really hate to say that, but there are just too many ways the game can be completely stopped. Combine this with the fact that its currently difficult just to get a game started and you can begin to see why there might be dramatic price swings. Despite that, I'd recommend picking the app up for free in hopes that Toboco really get in and address some of the glaring weakness in the gameplay experience of this app. We'll be attempting to reach Toboco to find out more about their plans for this app.

• Puerto Rico Update - June 11
According to posts by Codito both here and on TouchArcade, Puerto Rico seems to have been held up due to Codito "working closely with them [Ravensburger] to try to make version 1.0 as complete and polished as possible." Also according to Codito, another update had been submitted to Ravensburger this week. They're still aiming at some time in June but insist that it's really not up to them.

Despite the wait, I think these are good signs for the app. If it's taking longer because the app needs testing and polish, then so much the better. I've got faith that for all their flaws Codito really is doing the best it can and that ultimately their efforts (and maybe a good turn-based save by Apple's Game Center) will pay off for them and for gamers pinning their hopes on their releases. You can read both of Codito's recent announcements regarding their iOS version of Puerto Rico:

• BGG Post
• TouchArcade Post

Yes. It's the same ship
image used by PirateBay.

• iAdmiral Released - June 11
Ahoy! I'm having a lot of fun with this little naval battle game from iOS board game developer, Piotr Sarnowski. Beautiful art and thematic music are great touches to an app with some solid and straightforward gameplay. I think the app description is very accurate:

Piotr Sarnowski. wrote:
Take control of several warship types and destroy your enemy with cannon fire or by brutal boarding actions. Maneuver amidst the isles of the Caribbean to get into better position, and always pay attention to the wind!

While some may draw comparisons to Wooden Ships & Iron Men, a quick review leads me to believe it may have more in common with Flying Colors. I admit I've not played either of those print games. Amongst the game's features are ship hit points, guns, soldiers, move points, turn points, speed, line of sight, terrain effects, 6 ship types with large and small ship movement, boarding attacks and wind effects. The wind changes every turn and your ships' movement and turning are affected by it. Elegantly simulated and fun to watch and hear. Would be nice to have multiplayer, but I think it's every bit worth the $0.99 as is. And it looks great even in x2 pixel doubling on the iPad. So check it out mateys!

• Splut! Coming? - June 16
Ok, perhaps that headline sounds a little gross. Splut! is an unpublished abstract strategy game currently available only in print and play form. An iPad version is supposed to release "later this year" according to it's designer, Tommy De Coninck. And now there's a teaser screenshot.

• More on iOS 5 Game Center Improvements - June 16
We'll all be waiting to officially hear more from Apple about the much anticipated improvements to Game Center that are supposed to happen this fall. If they can truly make Game Center into a true "center" for turn-based games, an app where you can see all of your turns at once, and developers figure out how to implement it for their turn-based apps, then I will be happy enough. Though in truth I think it will probably still be somewhat lacking as a true social center for gaming. Put it this way, if after the updates you are not going to Game Center first before opening other apps, then these improvements will not have lived up to the hype or the expectations of many.

So in the meantime check out these two blog posts also ruminating about what's coming for Game Center in the Fall.



• ePawn Arena Introduced - June 17
Ok, it's not an iOS board game, but it's device that might assist you with playing iOS board games on a MUCH bigger flat screen. And since we already asserted this week that our interests go beyond mere iOS and stupid platform wars to any system that allows you to play board games on a flat touch surface device, we thought we would mention it. The ePawn Arena is a horizontal 23" screen that can display output from a device as well as sense physical objects placed on its surface, like playing pieces, minis, etc.

I've been predicting for some time that Apple will make a bigger iPad at some point when the time and market is right. Until then, this device might fill a niche market for demand for bigger touch flat screen devices. If not for games, then perhaps for some in the creative industries. And fresh from E3 Expo, a rep from ePawn visited BGG this morning and posted about the ePawn Arena in the computer based board gaming forum.
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