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While it's an excellent implementation of an excellent game, the iOS port is let down by the developer's incorrectly applying the rules for bankruptcy.

Tactical bankruptcy is a viable tactic of the game, and one that players need to master to excel in the game.  With the boardgame's rules, you're limited to over-extending yourself by one hex, or maybe two at the most, or else you risk your economy collapsing in on itself as you can't meet snowballing upkeep costs even with returned Influence discs.  In the iOS port however, bankrupted hexes produce goods before Influence is removed, completely removing the disincentive for tactical bankruptcy and allowing players to over-extend significantly.  As a result, the current iOS AI uses this very heavily.

Unfortunately, this implementation kinda ruins the game.  Sure it's playable, but seeing the AI push to -17 Money on the first turn before bankrupting back to solvency doesn't give one a great sense of game balance.  And learning to play the game with this very significant rule change only teaches bad habits for the boardgame.

Bring on the first update. :)

1 year, 4 months ago on Eclipse

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Sir, I do believe that [second image] is a screen-grab of Shinobi, not Kingdom Builder.

1 year, 9 months ago on Kingdom Builder

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I gotta agree with this review, and it's rating.  This isn't a review of the game, it's a review of the port, and to quote a meme currently doing the rounds: "Hey, check out how awesome Lost Cities looks at 2x on the iPad!", said no one. Ever.

2 years ago on Lost Cities

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Thought-provoking article.  I too am a fan of the physical aspect of a game, I love me a board full of cool wooden pieces, and I love moving them around.  And while setting the game up is rarely a chore -- primarily due to the enthusiasm of looking forward to play -- packing it up usually is, is you're usually mentally exhausted and/or have a second game you want to crack open.  These two are roughly equivalent for me, and the tablet's ease of setup balances it's non-physicality.

 

What tips the scales to the physical game's favour, however, is the basic act of sitting down with a bunch of friends to play.  Ultimately, playing the actual game is only ever about half to two-thirds of the experience; it's the table talk, the unwarranted, strategic advice on another players tactics, the pointing out the error of their most recent move just to rub it in, or that timeless classic, doing everything you can to convince the strongest player that it's in their best interest to attack someone other than you that makes board games more than simple games.  It's the social experience.

2 years, 1 month ago on Will the iPad Ever Replace Conventional Board Games?

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I agree with the previous comment.  I've only played the game a few times, and already have been plagued by imprecise tile placement twice.  One's success in a game should not be based on the Homer Simpson-esque clumsiness of one's fingers.  Surely an 'undo' button is an easy fix?

 

Apart from that, a very good looking game, and one of the few games where I like the volume being on/up as ambient sound adds nicely to the experience.  A little on the expensive side, but worth paying for such a visually replete product.  While I only foresee myself playing this a handful of times against the AI, I can definitely see it becoming a staple for regular online/async multiplayer play with friends when this is enabled in a future update.

2 years, 3 months ago on Hacienda

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