WNG: My iPhone, In a Nutshell, Part 1

From iwantyouinsideme:

I have been meaning to ask for some recommendations on this very topic actually.

Not really having anyone to boardgame with outside of the rare times I get to visit you guys is a bummer, for all that it does make visiting super fucking awesome.

I think I can handle that. But rather then lame it out by doing it in a comment response, how about I talk (in-brief, there are a lot of these things) about all of the boardgame ports on my iPhone?

ElderSign
Elder Sign: Omens

It is kind of like Arkham Horror, except less chock full of delightful theme, less rules intensive, much quicker, and with MORE dependence on dice. It is a bit unfair, but the common name of Arkham Yahtzee is not totally inaccurate.

Eh.

The game is okay. I’m not super fond of it, but I don’t really hate it either. It is okay filler, if a bit long for filler. The interface is damn slick though.

Unfortunately, getting angry at digital dice for betraying you repeatedly just doesn’t have the same appeal as getting angry at real dice.

SummonerWars
Summoner Wars

Now here’s a solid game. Two player, head-to-head strategy game. A bit like Final Fantasy Tactics meets Magic: the Gathering. Grid field of guys, summon more to the field, move them around, attack other folks, try to kill the enemy summoner.

Fun! Gameplay is solid, with limited movement/attacks really forcing you to make the best of every turn. Dynamic of discarding cards as your primary resource generation method is cool, forcing choices every turn. Attack success is randomly determined by dice, which means sometimes your best laid plans are going to fall horribly apart, but that’s life.

Factions play fairly differently. The ability to tweak the various faction decks is welcome. Game’s AI is okay insofar as I’ve played and there is online play (asynchronous, no less!) available as well, which is always welcome.

Can cost a bit ($7.99 to unlock all the content if you do it at once), but you can sample the game for free and unlock just the bits you want if that’s more your style.

Ascension
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer

One of my go to apps. High fantasy deckbuilder.

It provides an interesting spin on the deckbuilding mechanic by having all the cards come out of a single deck a few at a time, forcing players to more or less “draft” cards. A very fun experience that sets itself outside of the “Dominion-clone” category.

Implementation is pretty awesome and deckbuilders are one of those games that I enjoy a little more in an e-format, due to the tedious nature of endless shuffling.

Has several expansions available, but these ratchet the game’s price up notably ($4.99 base, $2.99 expansion, $3.99 expansion, $0.99 expansion). Which, you’re going to end up noting, is a bit of theme in this list. iOS board games still tend to cost a bit.

You will eventually surpass the AI (I can pretty much dominate the computer whenever I want these days). Pass and play can be a bit cumbersome because it is hard to keep up with what other players buy/beat each turn. Online play exists, but, oddly, I have never used it!

AI play is sufficient for me since a lot of the joy in the game comes from building a stupidly efficient deck engine and then unleashing it.

TTRPocket
Ticket to Ride Pocket

A game about trains designed to ruin friendships.

A well known and reasonably popular game that I consider… okay?

Really, I’ve got no strong opinion on the game. It is okay and a solid introductory for people new to boardgaming, but I’m not super fond of it. I don’t hate it either, just… eh.

NSH
Neuroshima Hex

I’ve reviewed this before. Still great. A bit costly for full unlocking, but fantastic.

This is a board game that BELONGS on an iDevice.

NSHP
Neuroshima Hex Puzzle

Same as the above, except instead of a game this time, you’re solving preset puzzles. It is cool. If you liked Neuroshima Hex, this is worth a glance.

BRAWL
BRAWL

Real time card game. You slap down cards of a certain color and try to block the other player. Couple of other tricks, but I really don’t have strong feelings about the game. I downloaded it, played it a couple times, and it now sort of lingers on my iPhone, never really getting played with.

The base game is free, though! So give it a shot to see some silliness, if nothing else.

BattleCon
BattleCON

Yomi, but different! Emulates a fighting game, focusing on zoning and priority. On the whole, it is pretty damn cool. May have some balance issues (I swear, some of these matches felt like Tager vs Nu-13 all over again…) and the art quality is INCREDIBLY spotty (some good art, lot of sub-amateur on Deviantart level art).

Biggest problem is that the app fucking crashes all the time.

I like the game itself, but the app is nigh-unusable. It is free, so you can sample it and see if it works better for you, but I advise against spending money on it.

BANG!
BANG!

I should do a full review of BANG! someday. Mafia/Werewolf meets a cardgame.

The app is a pretty awesome implementation (although the oddity of being able to play certain cards on yourself so easily by accident is a bit annoying). It is limited to 5 characters, which is unfortunate, since the appeal of Mafia-esque games tends to be player size, but hey.

Haven’t experimented too much with the real multiplayer options, but I can’t imagine the game loses to much in the transition, given the social dynamic of BANG! is already kind of off.

Ehhhhhhhhhhhh… like I said, I think I need to do a full review of BANG! to really get at this one.

On the whole, I don’t think I’d pay for it, but I don’t regret that I managed to get it for free.

Take that as you will.

PART 1 SCOREBOARD

AWESOME: Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer, Summoner Wars, Neuroshima Hex

COOL: Neuroshima Hex Puzzle

OKAY: Ticket to Ride Pocket, Elder Sign: Omen, Brawl, BANG!

UNPLAYABLE: BattleCON

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