July 18, 2011

An Open Letter to Victory Point Games


Dear Alan Emrich and Victory Point Games,

You have recently announced plans to expand to the digital application realm in a recent news post - 3 July Update That Was the Fortnight That Was VPG's "Appy" Future. First, I applaud you for your plans to expand to an area that is outside of your business model and is one of the fastest growing markets out there. As an avid video and tabletop gamer, the proposition of being able to do both is highly appealing as such a creation would be the best of both worlds to me. While I currently find the digital realm somewhat void of solid tabletop to digital translations, I believe with the proper vision and development, this won't be an issue for much longer. That being said, I implore you to take a thorough examination of porting your States of Siege solitaire line to the digital media. The solitaire functionality of the lineup with the typically single player of the mobile digital devices makes for a perfect marriage of playability and portability. We here at Critical Gamers would like to thank you for taking a risk to appease us gamers who enjoy your products and want to take them with us wherever we may go.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 10, 2010

Carcassonne Makes it to the iPhone, iPad to Follow

Game.jpgWe heard earlier this week that our favorite modern classic Carcassonne [Amazon, Funagain]" had finally made its way to the iPhone/iPod Touch. We held off pushing the story to the web so we could put it through our paces and decided to either endorse it or pan it.

Well good news! The Coding Monkeys have made a heckuva port of Carcassonne. The game is smooth, clean, intuitive, and polished. It even has voice overs in the tutorials! How about them apples?

You can play in a special solitare mode, or against AI. You could even create a game with your friends over the Internets and the the server will give you push notifications when its your turn. How cool is that?

Other features include online ranking, 8 different AIs to play against, and the promise of new expansions moving forward. Not bad for 5 bucks.

Finally something else worth noting: The Coding Monkeys are working on an iPad version of the game. If you order the iPhone/iPod Touch version now then you'll be able to download the iPad version for FREE later on. Now there's a nice consolation prize.

Carcassonne for the iPhone/iPod Touch
is available from the Apple App Store, and it's definitely worth your time if you or your family is into Carcassonne.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 26, 2010

Blokus Now on your iPad and iPhone

BlokusiPad.jpgJust a quick heads up that the incredible entertaining - and Mensa Best Mind Game of the Year 2003 - Blokus [Amazon, Funagain] has been ported to the iPhone and iPad platforms [AppStore]. (Ed: native iPhone app, simulated fullscreen on the iPad.)

The game challenges you to strategically cram your Tetris-like pieces on the board (on the diagonal of existing pieces, not packing them together), while meanwhile preventing your opponents from doing the same. This digital title sports AI if you're home alone, or you can play up to 4 people through a local wireless network.

The only complaint we have about the game is that there's no hotseat multiplayer. Bummer.

Here are the official details:

The new award-winning hit board game arrives on the App Store! Play with your friends in local or online Multiplayer mode at one of the 4 game variations!

Rules are simple!
The winning strategy: Block your opponents so they cannot add anymore block on the board!
Blokus™ is a strategy game that will captivate you and get into your mind.

Each game variation requires a totally different strategy:

  • 4 players control each one color,
  • 2 players control each two colors,
  • 4 players play in teams,
  • Blokus Duo™: There is only 2 different colors, the board is smaller and the start position is in the middle of the board.

Blokus for the iPhone/iPod &iPad; is available the Apple App Store.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 16, 2010

"Sword And Poker" Stabs Its Way Into Our Hearts

SwordNPoker.JPGThis iPhone/iPod Touch game is something special. It's so simple, yet enthralling, highly addicting and fun. It's even got that "just one more turn" feel that make so many of the classic games .. well, classics.

Here's the elevator pitch: Sword & Poker one part an RPG character-building dungeon crawl, including gathering treasure and parlaying your riches into better items like armor and weapons, and one part Poker Matching Game.

And yes, the beef of the game is on a grid like poker board. You and a monster square off mano e monstero, taking turns trying to match 2 cards from your hand to make poker hands with the 3x3 grid of cards on the board. If you can make a match either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally then you deal damage to your opponent. Keep it up and soon you'll find yourself with a dead monster at your feet and a vast dungeon chalk full of riches waiting just for you.

SwordNPokerSS1.jpgThe amount of damage you do for any given hand depends on the rarity of the hand you played and the weapon you have equipped. At first scoring One Pair may knock the monster in the chin for 1 point of damage. But save up your dungeon booty, upgrade to a samurai sword, and soon you'll be hacking 10 points out of the baddie with a single pair of 2's. Something like a Flush may net you 30 damage, slicing some of the mid ranged monsters in half.

Of course the monsters are doing their best to deal damage back at you, and their abilities and capacity for hurt are closely tied to the type of critter you're fighting.

The game is well-flavored here. Heavy hitting monsters are the most straight forward. Hulking minotaurs and shambling mummies deal massive amount of damage with simple brutish hands. Dark, slinky creatures might not put up such a powerful upfront fight, but they'll make up for it with vampiric powers that siphon off your health, or through sneaky trixy plays like stealing cards from your hand. There are even funky spells that rearrange cards on the board halfway through a round, or spells that heal and steal. It's all there, and it's balanced very, very well.

Therefore we cannot recommend this game enough. If you have an iPod, if you like poker, and salivate over grinding through better equipment RPG style, then this game is totally for you. We give it 4.5 stars.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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