I own an IPad 2, and I had the previous model before. I have bought several apps, and of course a few games. I also purchased two boardgames, Tikal and Smallworld. I am looking at Ticket to Ride, but…
I had my doubts about boardgames on a computer, and I still have. I play BGs because of the company, sometimes I play with just my wife. Games, I mean… So when one plays games for social reasons, you would not consider buying a boardgame for a computer. Yet, I am a gadgeteer, I like toys like an Iphone and Ipad. I bought an IPad with the rationalizing, that it could be a nice e-book reader. True, I have been considering an e-book reader for valid reasons, but I’m obviously just kidding myself. it’s beautiful, I just want one!
So, boardgames for an IPad, would that be worth it? A friend had an IPad, probably among the first ppl who bought one. He is worse then me. He had Smallworld installed. I own the boardgame and I like that game very much. The IPad version only supports 2-player games, blasphemy! Why in the world would I buy a mutilated version of a very fun game? But I did, in the end. I even bought the expansions, I have those with the boardgame as well.
I did not realize it had an AI opponent included. So my wife and I played a game, and it enthusiasted me! Smallworld needs a lot of managing, there are a lot of counters to dole out. Luckily my wife likes to do such things, easy on the rest of us, who are plain lazy in that aspect.
I’m one of those people who live by the adagum: only when all else fails read the manual. So there were some confusing moments, where new curses were invented, when it was unclear why certain things could not be done, or why certain actions DID happen, while it seemed not possible. There is no pause button to click during the resolution of a turn, so you can’t analyse a situation to find out WHY!
In time I began to wonder if it is such a bad thing, that there is only a two-player mode. My wife and I hand over the IPad to each other and do our own thing, solo, no opponent(s) watching and giving well-meant advise… It is less fun than playing the board game. Playing the AI, well… Maybe it’s fun to do this when you are really bored, but it’s a board game, I just don’t like to play this game against an AI.
I am at a doubt about this game on the tablet. It’s quick to set-up and to play, no arguments about rules, you can’t take back any moves, and no managing counters and such, and no checking if anyone has forgotten anything: if you do forget something, tough on you. But I miss the social interaction, the rowdy comments and arguments (“That’s a stupid move!”, “She is much stronger, attack her!”) the banter and chatter which is part of our gaming evenings. But, having said all this, I am not sorry about having bought this game.
Then there is Tikal. I have that board game as well and I like it very much as well. So I bought the game without a second thought. Tough on me! For some reason I don’t like to play Tikal on the IPad. I have tried to rationalize this for myself. One thing is I only see part of the game board. When you enlarge the view I have the feeling I’m looking at a different game. I find the placing and moving around of expedition members awkward, it’s unclear sometimes what happens when I tap a tile. AT one point it seemed I have built a new camp by just tapping a tile, which I was not aware of, and for which I had no need or intention.
It’s me, I know, but it’s me who judges the game.
All in all I think the slimming down to a 2-player game of Smallworld is not a bad thing in retrospect. When playing with more than 2 players the board game is more fun. I just can’t imagine me and my friends getting together and play Tikal or Neuroshima or such on the IPad. It leaves out a lot of what makes gaming evenings fun for me. This goes for other games as well, at least for me. I have also made a vow: I will not buy a game for the Ipad again if it has no lite or trial version. Or when I cannot find someone who has bought it already, so I can have a look at it. I have been disappointed several times now, not just with boardgames, and although the money spend is relatively little, I still think it’s a waste.