I’ve been spending quite a bit of time lately playing the app versions of board games. Especially a few of the competitive 2-player ones like Star Realms and Summoner Wars. I bought the Master Set for Summoner Wars at GenCon last year but never got a chance to play it, and I’d been eyeing the iTunes App Store jealously for months because Playdek had an app version of the game but wasn’t supporting Android until recently. Star Realms is one of the hot games right now, so when I found out about it no one had a copy in stock. While I was waiting on a restock to come in, I found that they had an app and shockingly it was available on Android and not on iOS yet. So I actually played Star Realms for a couple of weeks before my physical copy showed up while I was down at GenCon.
Star Realms is done in Unity, which is why was available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. The original iOS delay was due to the normal Apple approval delay. For $5 you get access to the game on all four platforms and can play games against anyone regardless of what device they’re on. That’s a pretty good deal. Summoner Wars isn’t Unity, so supporting multiple platforms is a lot more work (or so I imagine). The app is free with in-app purchases to unlock additional factions, I went with a bundle that unlocked them all for $8, and have been enjoying the game a lot.
It appears that the board game apps trend is picking up more momentum. Paizo announced a partnership with Obsidian just before GenCon to bring their Pathfinder Adventure Card Game to devices. Fantasy Flight is developing a game based on Battlelore : Second Edition, a miniatures game I’ve wanted to get but haven’t because I knew I’d rarely get to play it. Czech Games is making an app version of Galaxy Trucker, and Handelabra Games is making a digital version of Sentinels of the Multiverse. Even cooler is that two of these games Battlelore Tactics and Sentinels of the Multiverse: the Video Game are already announce for both iOS and Android. The Pathfinder teaser site doesn’t say anything about platforms, but they were demoing the current prototype on iPads at GenCon, and the Obsidian person I talked to said it was being developed in Unity, so I expect it will come to Android as well. Czech Games has stated that they are developing for multiple platforms but are planning to release on iOS first and then other platforms.
While I do enjoy the analog experience of board games, it’s hard to beat the convenience of the app versions of games. Not only can I play with people regardless of location, I can have multiple asynchronous games going at once.
Day 27 of Blaugust