Time for something more fun! Pandemic for the iOS is out!
I talked briefly about the Pandemic board game while talking about it’s Younger cousin Yggdrasil. I’ll repost Tom’s review of the game.
Pandemic is an excellent game, where the players work together against 4 viruses that are spreading across the globe. The players must find cures before the viruses get out of control.
I can’t speak enough of this game. I’ve played the boardgame to death and I still come back for more. Let’s give the good and bad points of this game.
- From top to bottom the interface is well done. I could pick up the game without looking at the instructions. New players are not going to be able to do that, but if you have played the boardgame before you should have no issue.
- Two New Roles have been added:
- Contingency Planner – May take a Event Card that has been played out of the discard pile and set it aside for later use. Does not count against the hand limit and may only have one of these set aside at a time. My thought: Seems a bit over powered.
- Quarantine Specialist – Prevents outbreaks and placement of disease cubes in the person current location and neighboring towns. My thought: Jury is still out for me on this, but an interesting twist.
- Pass and Play Only, no games over the Internet. Really everyone needs to look at the board and work together at the same time. Ansyc play with an open mic would really be nice (the iOS version of Tichu has this feature.)
- The game doesn’t even work with iOS Game Center at all for Achievements, etc. That’s just odd.
- The expansion On the Brink is not included. That would rock as an add on.
Overall, the game is excellent and is worth the $7. Considering the game doesn’t use the internet in any way, I’m guessing that it’s not finished and folks got it out there for the holidays. I would think Online Play will happen in some way in the future and that will only add to the game.
I like Wine! So I need a good app to track my wine, let’s chat about what I have been using:
I’ve been using this for years. It was renamed not that long ago for the next app I’m going to blog about shortly. It allows you to search their database (or enter your own wine if you can’t find it) and very nicely write down everything about it: A public and private description, year, style, rating and do you want\own\drink it yet, etc.
It’s search function was slow, but I’ve used this for a while and it has worked well for me.
Now it has been replaced and I don’t like it.
So the last app was called Drync but it was renamed and the name given to this app.
It’s a nicer interface to be sure, but the focus of the app seems to be selling you wine instead of tracking it. There are some tracking features to be sure, but the nice thing about the last app is that I could track what was currently in my wine cellar so I knew what I might need if I’m out at the store. Heh, maybe that’s why they took it away.
Anyway, it’s free to me since I brought the first app and I downloaded and quickly removed it. Yes it does import my wine reviews, but a lot of the tracking features I cared about are gone.
Here’s a hint to Drync LLC, if you take away features from your app, you are going to tick someone off. It’s just a few little things that would have been easy for you to add. Should have been easy.
So I guess this is more of me b*tching. Sorry about that. Guess I’ll look for another app.
This should be the last post on this app.
I did spring for the ‘mission pack’, which should be called the ‘additional planes pack’, because the missions are the same but the planes are really different.
I just flew 2 Halbetstadt DII against 2 Spad SVII and the Spads were clearly faster, so the planes are more than just the same thing with a different skin.
So, I’m satisfied. I don’t see the worth in the other purchases, however.
So some quick updates…
As I edited into my first post, Multi-player is fixed. A random mission is picked and you and another player (that you invite via Game Center or pass and play) plays the mission. You get to pick what planes and abilities you want via a point system. You start a mission with X points and each upgrade to your plane will cost you 1 or 2 points.
However, some of the missions are odd. For the first mission, my son and I configured a 3 plane battle and the mission the game picked ended the battle after 1 plane was shot down. There really needs to be more options with multiplayer.
I’m still likely to spring for the other country’s mission ($4 if you get them all at once), but everything that I’m hearing is telling me this is at best a ‘nice to have’. The mission are really all the same (not shocking) and the differences in the planes are not that clear in many cases, which is really too bad. There is just poor documentation in this game.
- Overall, nice combat game
- Fun to play
- Too many ‘pay to play options’ that are not worth the money
- Multiplayer fixed, but needs better options
- Bad Documentation
It’s clearly worth the $1 for the British missions and, if you like it, the $4 for the other ‘planes’ (missions are really the same). Don’t spend more than that, IMO.
In a lot of ways it’s on the edge of being one of the best games on the IPad, but the developer got greedy and pushed this across the finish line too fast. More updates to fix up multiplayer, some documentation to let us know what we are paying for with all these extra planes and more options to customize the battles would be a good start to really make this game shine.
I’m a sucker or WWI air combat games. I talked about Wings of War which is a great game. In many ways this is Wings of War but on the IPad. Not quite as deep of a game as that (the planes are not as customized), but this is a nice game.
The game is turned based movement, you build up your squadron of planes, you get missions and you fight the other side. It’s done very nicely.
Now I’m going to rip the game.
The game is free but….
- You want to play past the first few missions $1. OK, that’s fair.
- You want to play the German, US and French Missions $2 per country or $4 for all 3. Well, OK. It’s a fun game and I love WWI.
- You want to fly with all the WWI aces? There are 8 for $1 each or buy them all for $5. Um, really?
- You want the ‘Improvement’ that gets your guys healed quicker, planes repaired, etc. There are 3 of them for a $1 each. Wow!
So if I want to the full game: $13 is the cheapest. That’s just nuts.
There is a multiplayer, but it’s not over the Internet, within your local network doesn’t seem to work and pass and play randomly picks a mission for you. I’d rather let me pick, thank you…
IF multiplayer worked over the internet? You would likely get me to spring for all the planes. As is, nope.
It’s a cute game, it’s worth the $1. It might be worth $5 to a lot of folks if multiplayer was better. $13? I can’t pay that. It’s not THAT good a game right now. Not even close.
Edit: Multiplayer is fixed in a ‘minor update’ to the game. I’ll check it out shortly.
So Eclipse is a game that I don’t own. Tom’s review of it is here:
However, the game has been converted to IPad. Current cost $7. I’ll review that game here. Just to give you the look and feel of the game, check out the intro… Very nicely done:
This is a ‘4x Game’. Which stands for: explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate. The most common of these games, or the one that I’ve spent my time playing, is the classic game Civilization (Civ). Which, BTW, also has an IPad version of the game for the same cost.
Anyway to start, Eclipse has a nice tutorial, but you are going to need a copy of the rulebook. There is just not enough detail in the tutorial and I couldn’t easily find what I needed answered anywhere else. So downloading the boardgame rules helped a lot.
After that you will get the hang of it after a few quick games. It’s similar to ‘Civ’, but very different. Like Civ, you will need to start out exploring and expanding, the number of planets in this case, as you need to build up resources. This will allow you to build and customize (via science) your spaceships. Customizing your ships is by far the coolest part of the game. After that, it’s likely time to pick some fights against the other players which can be costly, so pick your fights well.
The game is a set number of rounds (9) and each round ends when all players agree (pass on their turn). You have that amount of time to get as many Victory Point as possible. You will get them via exploring, discovering science and the combat you were in during the game. Player with the most VPs win.
While combat is a big part of this game, this game has more of a Eurogame feel. Lots of resources to manage and combat on top of it.
If you watch Tom’s video, you will see this is a huge game. I could spend a lot of time talking rules. I think by watching these videos you can get a quick feel if this game is for you. If you like Civilization, you will like this game. There is however a lot more resource management than Civ and less focus on science tracks.
The IPad version is VERY well done from a programming point of view. Once you work thru the rules, and for a game of this size that’s just the nature of the beast, everything is laid out well and game play is quite enjoyable. The IA in the game holds its own so far as I’m learning better tactics before I get off ‘easy mode’.
I’ll leave you with one more video that shows more of the screens. If you would like a heavy 4x game, get this. It is slick app.
One minor strike against it, it really needs to use Game Center to setup online games. I’m still playing around with that feature, but it seems to be email based somehow (at least you need to supply one). I’ll fiddle around with that shortly using my wife’s IPad and mine, see how it works out and post a comment to this post below.
Edit: OK, it can use Game Center to setup Public\Private games but there is also an email option which is why it asks you for an email and password. Odd, but I guess the extra option is nice.
So, I’ve played a few rounds of this game and let me give you some pluses and minuses:
1) Great Atmosphere: With the minis and the tile board it captures the full game very well. It really scratches the D&D itch.
2) Nice Intro to 4e rules: a few rounds of this game and my 12 year old will be ready to go to the full game. Even my 9 year old is getting better with the rules.
3) Game likely plays in under 90 mins
1) Be ready to interpret the rules a bit: Like Full D&D, the rules can be a little gray on how, for example, how a spell works, how a trap affects the group, etc.
2) Bad Cards: Some of my cards curled as soon as I opened them. They are still playable, but this can point to a problem during the treating process of the cards.
Overall 8.75 out of 10. See the video below for more detailed review.