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: Kard Kombat, Mille Bornes, Wots Is Name?, Diaballik, Noir: Killer vs. Inspector, Jenga, Army of Frogs, Cargo Runners, Red Rover, Shadow Era, Puerto Rico, Battleship, Crazy Poker

Gabe Alvaro
United States
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• Kard Kombat to Release in US Soon
• Dominion For iPhone?
• Mille Bornes Released
• Wots Is Name? Updated
• Diaballik Released
• Noir: Killer vs. Inspector Released
• Jenga Finally Gets Async
• Army of Frogs Releasing Soon
• Cargo Runners Releasing Soon
• Red Rover - The War to End All Wars Updated
• Huge Shadow Era Update
• Puerto Rico Release Date Moved
• BATTLESHIP for iPad Released
• Repos Releases Crazy Poker Variants App

• Kard Kombat to Release in US Soon - June 16
Kard Combat will soon be joining the likes of Orions 2 and Shadow Era as another game in the card combat genre for iOS. With Richard Garfield onboard, expectations are that this will not just be another card combat app. Gamezebo reports that Hothead Games will be releasing Kard Kombat to rest of the world beyond Canada some time in end of June or early July. They've posted a nice preview of the game. Additionally they've published an interview with the game's producer Hamish Millar.

Preview -
Interview -

Hoax or not?

• Dominion For iPhone? - June 17
A new BGG user, coryhammer has posted in the Dominion forums seeking beta testers for an iOS version of the popular game by designer Donald X. Vaccarino and saying that he has received permission from Rio Grande Games to release the app to the App Store. As he is occasionally wont to do, Donald X. himself has made an appearance on the thread saying that it is not possible to get permission to use the art from the game. Guess we'll grab the popcorn and see where this goes. Gotta love the Internets!

• Milles Bornes Released - June 19
By now few people probably remember the Mille Bornes clone, Milliarium from 2010. I still have it on my hard drive somewheres. But all of that is several mile markers behind us now as we see a licensor not just shut down a clone, but replace it with a bonafide official version. Game publisher Dujardin Sas has released the classic French card game Mille Bornes as Mille Bornes® and 1000 Bornes® HD. I've not yet played it but I'm thrilled to see the game's original mid-century modern artwork being used. Strangely, both versions are Universal with Mille Bornes® priced at $2.99 and 1000 Bornes® HD priced at $4.99. We've seen this before when a developer releases separate iPhone and iPad version, so we're wondering if they are both Universal or not. Caveat emptor if you are concerned. If you are not, then I wish you coup-fourré!

Mille Bornes® -
1000 Bornes® HD -

• Wots Is Name? Updated to Version 1.1 - June 15
Wots Is Name, besides employing bad grammar Cockney in its title, appears to be inspired by Guess Who?, a deduction game in which you narrow down choices by asking characteristic questions. Rather than using game art faces this app uses your friends' Facebook pictures. Recently this game was updated with a feature that allows network play through "instant messenger". I'm not sure yet if this means async play or not. Here's what's new:

What's new

In-built instant messenger allows you to play with your opponent remotely. You are no longer required to play face-to-face.

Streamlined and improved entire user interface. All new graphics and icon.

This app is for iPhone and priced at $0.99.

• Diaballik Released - June 21
Philippe Lefrancois & Guillaume Lemery have released their abstract strategy game app Diaballik for the iPad and priced it at $4.99. It's a two player board game inspired by team sports like Hand-Ball, Ultimate, Football, Rugby etc. The players have to bring their ball to the opponent’s start line in order to win the game. To do so, each player has to be active both in attack and defense and employ good strategy.

Philippe & Guillaume think they will release a Lite version soon so people outside of France and Germany, where it is very well appreciated, can discover the game and test it out. There will be an iPhone version to follow in a few months.

• Noir: Killer vs. Inspector Released - June 21
D Brad Talton Jr. of Level 99 Games has released Noir: Killer vs. Inspector for iPad at a price of $0.99. It's a card game for two players with a 1950's film noir theme. Each player takes on a role of either Killer or Inspector and must attempt to uncover the secret identity of his opponent first. The game features artwork by Fábio Fontes and music by Kevin MacLeod that grows more intense as the game progresses.

The game is meant to be played face to face and has no AI or online, but designer Brad boldly describes it thusly:

Brad Dalton wrote:
This is a game about looking your opponent in the eye and shaking him down for clues. Table Talk and bluffing are big parts of it, and those are both completely lost on an AI or blind online opponent.

There is currently no print analog for this game, as it was designed for the iPad, but Talton says he's talking to different publishers about creating a physical card game version and is sure it will happen eventually.

• Jenga and Jenga HD Finally Go Async in Version 1.2 - June 22
We reported back in February that the dudes at the aptly named NaturalMotion Ltd. were going to add async to the official Jenga iOS app. Well, four months later we can say they have delivered on that announcement by bringing online play to their app. Natural Motion Games has now updated both of its $0.99 Jenga apps to Version 1.2. Here's what's included:

What's new

We’re proudly introducing: JENGA ONLINE!

Yes – you can now play Jenga against your friends online, or challenge new players around the world!

Play Jenga against friends around the world
Add users to your Jenga Friends
Earn all-new Online Achievements
New weekly leaderboard

Jenga (iPhone) -
Jenga HD (iPad) -

• Army of Frogs Releasing Soon - June 21
We have learned from Big Daddy's Creations that their Universal iOS app for Army of Frogs is almost ready. They are just fixing bugs, which will take about a week and a week to test again. So look for an expected release in early July. No word yet on price.

As far as I know, there's no promotional video trailer for this game, but if there was I would expect an intro to go something like this:

[fade in]
Voice: In a small pond...
[Lily pads floating on a serene pond.]
Voice: with a population of frogs that is constantly growing...
[Frogs hopping. Tadpoles. Frogs lovingly rearing their young.]
Voice: the fight for territory and the best possible location is always...
[Blue frog knocks Green frog into water with a frantic splash.]
Voice: a battle!
[Cut to frog army, dangerous-lookin, locked, loaded and armed to their sticky tongues roaring out in a thunderous battle cry!]

Well, that's how I imagine it anyway.

• Cargo Runners Releasing Soon - June 21
Last winter, Trouble Brothers, LLC, makers of the born-digital board game Wizard Hex, announced they were developing a euro-inspired economic board game named Cargo Runners. Well, rather than tease us for months on end, the Brothers just clammed up, went to work, and will finally be finishing and releasing their app next Thursday on June 30.

Cargo Runners is available for the iPad initially, but will soon be Universal. The app will be priced at $7.99.

Gamezebo has posted an informative preview of the app, in which we learn that the Brothers will

Jeff McCord wrote:
"address one of the most important lessons learned from the release of Wizard Hex – a good board game needs online multiplayer from day one."

We also learn that the game started out as a design for a print board game whose manufacture was shelved due to a bad economy, but that there will now after all be a print version released in Holiday 2011 or Spring 2012.

The art looks great, the descriptions of "economic game" and "euro" certainly press the right gamer buttons with us. And as Trouble Brother Jeff McCord says "Who doesn't want to play a richly-detailed but simple retro-looking game that is played on a world map?!"

Ya got me. We hope to bring you more on this game once we get a chance to play it.

• Red Rover - The War to End All Wars Updated to Version 1.1 - June 23
I've yet to check out this war game for iPad, but we've learned that it has received an update that adds both online multiplayer and voice chat. wow Perhaps now is the time we finally checked it out at it's $3.99 price tag. Here's more from Mantid Interactive:

What's new

Full Game Center Support
* Real Time Online Play for exciting head to head action
* Voice Controls to communicate with your opponent (requires both players to be on WiFi)
* Leaderboards
* Achievements

New battlefield backgrounds

• Huge Shadow Era Update to Version 1.261 - June 23
Wulven Game Studios has released a so called "huge" update to their free Universal app for the multi-platform freemium card combat game Shadow Era. Here's the latest:

What's new

Another huge update is here! Thanks for all the great reviews and helping us to grow to more than 1 million players!!

- new Rogue class
- many balance changes
- create a custom multiplayer game with password
- revamped turn timer in multiplayer games
- multiplayer chat
- search for multiplayer game history
- tons of bug fixes

• Puerto Rico Release Date Moved to July - June 23
Codito, as is their endearing habit, has been on the forums at BGG and TouchArcade filling people in and keeping everybody up to date on the release of their forthcoming release of Puerto Rico for iPad. The app is slated to be their fourth title for iOS and is currently awaiting final approval by Ravensburger. Both sides are now purported to be very happy with progress that's been made in recent weeks. The new release date has been set for July 2011.

Of course we'll wait.

• BATTLESHIP for iPad Released - June 23
It seems just like yesterday that I watched those television commercials for electronic Battleship with all of the lust a 7 year old could muster. Fast forward to 2009 and we've since seen the official iPhone version and such a fleet of Battleship clones that you would think it was an iOS developer rite of passage. And now, Electronic Arts (really, who else would it be?), has released the official game for iPad known in all caps as BATTLESHIP for iPad priced at $2.99.

From the bad pun-riddled app description, there appears to be a modicum of spice added in the form of "super weapons", some "spectacular HD-quality graphics" and local multiplayer over WiFi and BlueTooth so you can say "you sunk my battleship" while lying on the couch in the other room. Not sure if that's enough to cause excitement for a classic game whose print version rates a lowly 4.44 here on BGG and whose primary appeal seems more fueled by nostalgia than actual game merit. Perhaps though I unfairly sell it short?

• Repos Releases Crazy Poker - Variants for Poker - June 24
Back in the day (late 80s), before the homogenous craze for Texas Hold 'em took hold (so to speak), me and the boys would round up the posse for a night of Baseball, Mexican Stud, Hi/Lo Chicago, and a zillion other variants of that classic game we simply called Poker. We didn't know what Hold'em was. Hell we didn't even know what a "variant" was, but we were playing 'em. We simply called it dealer's choice.

Repos Production isn't going that far back because, let's face it, Hold'em makes money. But they have created an app which appears to be a game aid collection of Hold'em variants called Crazy Poker - Variants for Poker. The idea is that you whip our your iPhone on Poker night for introducing more variety and spice to your Hold'em games to make them more fun and strategic. It's a simple concept with some humorous pictures to go along with it. And at $0.99 to have this on your iPhone, doesn't it beat a fart app? We think it does.

Bonus: Props to Repos for simply slapping their logo into the icon for this app. It fits perfectly!
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