Saturday, December 22, 2012

Board games on the iPad: a technology showcase

Of the thousands and thousands of titles available for the iPad and tablets generally, a genre where the device comes into its own is that of board game conversions.
Stone Age screenshot

A number of excellent implementations of genuinely absorbing strategy board games (as well as more traditional games such as Scrabble and Monopoly) are now available, with more being continually added to the list. Here are a couple of favourites I have reviewed recently:

  • Settlers of Catan, something of a "classic" among strategy board game fans, works particularly well on the iPad and in this implementation includes (as in-app purchases) the Seafarers and Knights & Barbarians extensions, making the iPad version extremely good value for money.
  • Stone Age is a more recent board game, involving a combination of "resource gathering" as found in Catan along with turn play revolving around "strategic choice of actions". The iPhone implementation discussed in the review is very playable, faithful to the original and attractively presented, with a high-resolution iPad version on the way. In the meanwhile, the iPhone version will play on the iPad, albeit in slightly low resolution if you have a non-retina iPad.
  • Puerto Rico and its card game cousin San Juan are both available for iPad. Puerto Rico features an admitted slightly crowded screen in order to fit on the entire game board and islands of up to 5 players. Its card game cousin San Juan is slickly presented and its less complicated layout lends itself well to the iPad.

A key features of all of these implementations is pass and play mode, to which the iPad clearly lends itself. Like many other board game fans, I look forward to seeing what further offerings become available over the coming months and will post reviews of my favourites to the Multimobilia site.

No comments: