• Victory Point Games Going Digital
• Ascension Lite Discontinued?
• FFG Files Suit Against Puffin Software
• iAdmiral Updated
• Ghost Stories Submitted and Releasing Soon
• Picket Fences for iPad Released
• Scotland Yard for iPad Removed from App Store
• Disc Drivin' Updated
• Army of Frogs Released
• Victory Point Games Goes Digital - July 3
Totally missed this at the beginning of the month, but iOS god CaptainCosmic brought it to our attention this past week. Alan Emrich's Victory Point Games, producer of high quality, semi-professional DTP small format board and card games, announced on its web site blog that the company will be going digital in a pretty big way in Q4 2011. Alan's post is frank and refreshing as he outlines how the company came together to make some important decisions about the short and long term plans of the company and how it plans to port its games into apps. He goes on to describe the addition of fresh new talent to the company (Yay, people getting hired into new jobs!) to handle the challenge of ambitious plans to not only port games over to apps, but to create a "VPG “store” app" that will tie all of their game apps, print games, and company news and info together in one master app. It's a mighty bold and impressive vision and one that apparently was actually demoed at their Semiannual World Domination Meeting. So this ain't just vapor! The plan is to release their first board game app in late 2011. The game to be ported: Loot and Scoot
So as an example of a publisher with a lot of soul doing a lot of soul searching in this new era of mobile device board games and pounding out and sharing real plans, I highly recommend taking a look at what they are up to. I hope you will be as excited as I was to read about it.
• Ascension Lite Discontinued? - July 15
There was at least one thread this past week complaining that the Lite version of Ascension could not be found on the App Store. We are not yet sure why, but we observe on the Appshopper.com that Ascension Lite has indeed been removed from the App Store. Anybody know why? I guess we don't really expect Playdek, Incinerator Studios, or Gary Games to offer an explanation, but we'll try to find out. Here's the shot from AppShopper.
• FFG Files Suit Against Puffin Software over BattleLore Infringement - July 15
Back in April iOS Board Games interviewed Johannes Päivinen about his company's Viking Lords app and talked about its similarities to Richard Borg's BattleLore which is now owned by Fantasy Flight Games. In the comments that followed FFG CEO Christian Petersen posted that FFG would defend their interests and those of their design partners. He also mentioned that some form of complaint would be filed. It now looks like that shot has been fired, as FFG has now filed suit in the United States Distric Court, District of Minnesota.
Among other things, the suit accuses Puffin Software of copyright infringement and unfair competition for selling a computerized version of a nearly identical game.
The complaint goes on to say:
"Defendants...have infringed and misappropriated plaintiff’s right to adapt the BattleLore game to the iPad platform, a right that belongs solely and exclusively to plaintiff...Defendants have traded on and received much benefit from the success, recognition and goodwill for the BattleLore game franchise that plaintiff has acquired and built up at great labor and expense over time."
Fantasy Flight states that it has asked Puffin to cease and desist but without success and further states that:
“Unless defendants are enjoined and restrained by this court, their unlawful acts will continue, and such unlawful acts will continue to cause irreparable harm to plaintiff."
Along with copyright infringement, the suit additionally claims unfair competition under the Lanham Act, deceptive trade practices, and unjust enrichment under state law. FFG is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
You can read the whole story and even download a copy of the suit at law360.com -
• iAdmiral Updated - July 19
Game Designer and developer, Piotr Sarnowski, has updated his 18th Century naval battle game, iAdmiral to version 1.1. The game was first released to a mixed reception primarily due to device incompatibility issues. It would appear that those problems have been addressed in this update. Here's what's new:
Lots and lots of new features, including:
* Forts and Towns to bombard
* Different Ammunition Types
* New Scenarios
* Better AI
* Numerous UI improvements
* A couple of BugFixes
* Support for older devices
One standout quality of this game for me is that this iPhone app's graphics pixel double amazingly well to iPad's x2 resolution.
• Ghost Stories Releasing Soon - July 18
It's been mentioned a number of times this week and we confirmed with Cédrick Caumont at Repos Production that the iPad version of Antoine Bauza's Ghost Stories has finally been submitted to the App Store and should be releasing soon. Here are some screenshots:
• Picket Fences for iPad Released - July 19
Dave Miller, president of Wrinkle-free Games, dropped me a line to notify us of a new iOS board/card game app released by his company this past week. I've not yet played it, so I'll just let Dave describe it for you:
Dave Miller of Wrinkle-free Games wrote:
Picket Fences is a collection of ten rummy-type card games built around a home-improvement theme. Each card game has a separate deck of bonus cards, which adds a strategic element to the core mechanic of set collection.
We initially released Picket Fences on the PC in October 2009. The PC version can be found on major casual gaming sites such as gamehouse.com, iwin.com, and bigfishgames.com.
In developing Picket Fences we wanted a non-violent game that was infinitely replayable, yet had a ladder award system to motivate players to try all ten card games. Additionally, the ladder system was designed to simplify the player's task of learning ten original card games. After winning enough games, the next card game is unlocked, which introduces a new rule or twist on gameplay. The latter card games are generally more complex as they build upon the initial streamlined games.
The iPad version is single player with three computer opponents. The opponent AI (artificial intelligence) is tuned such that a skilled player wins at least half the time on the more challenging (Standard) difficulty level.
Similar to other card games, chance plays a role in the outcome; however, there are strategies which improve a player's winning percentage. Some of these strategies can be found on our website's forum.
The iPad version includes:
• 3 free card games (upgradable to 10 distinct games)
• a streamlined user interface based on intuitive touch gestures
• enhanced art assets beautifully rendered on the iPad's 1024x768 screen
• new game options which dictate the starting player and control the in-game tutorial
• challenging computer opponents with human-like AI
• medals, awards, and badges to reward excellent play
• Scotland Yard for iPad Removed from App Store - July 20
In probably no way similar to the Ascension Lite pull, we see also that Scotland Yard for iPad was also removed this past week. Many questioned whether the game was an official version of Scotland Yard because it carried no marks or qualifiers that it was. BGG user and iOS board game maven SJack offered this information, apparently from the developer who was pretty open about it:
this was an email from the developer, before the app was pulled.
"We don't have official license and that is one of major reason we didn't use the same game and concept
Our game is inspired from that game and it is no conflict with Ravensburger as it's approved by apple.
You will find our game having much more feature but still maintaining simplicity of the game concept"
he sounded confident, but I guess that wasn't enough.
• Disc Drivin' Updated - July 21
Pixelocity Software LLC tweeted this week that an update to their hit Pitchcar/Carabande-inspired game app has been submitted to the App Store. The update purportedly introduces three new tracks and a new "flipper obstacle". We'll be sweating with agitated anticipation about what kind of new evil such an obstacle will bring to our flicking fingers of fun. Here is a birth picture of this new little bugger:
Oh...and some icons of the shapes of the new tracks (courtesy of celiborn):
• Army of Frogs Released - July 22
We've been covering it all week and now it's here. Big Daddy's Creations has released the iOS version of John Yianni's Army of Frogs. The app is available for iPhone/iPod at $1.99 or as a Universal app for $4.99. You can read more about it in the iOS Board Games Review posted this week. Go get it kids!
iPhone/iPod - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/army-of-frogs/id445197171?uo=...
Universal - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/army-of-frogs-hd/id449111716?...