Board games are slowly but surely finding a nice, comfortable home within the AppStore. Classics like Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, Clue and loads more, along with not so well known games like Tigris & Euphrates, Catan, Tikal and others are winding up on iDevices, finding new fans, bringing back great memories and creating enjoyable family time without having to deal with setting everything up, cleaning up, or worrying about ‘misinterpreting the rules’ (damn Patriots). Now, another game that’s new to me, but that some of you guys/gals might remember from your childhood, is Scotland Yard. The original publishers of the game in Canada and Germany, Ravensburger (who’s also released FiTS, Ramses II and more on the iOS), is responsible for bringing Scotland Yard to the AppStore.
For those of you, like me, who aren’t familiar with the game, it’s a simple premise. You either play as Mr. X, who is running from Scotland Yard, or as Scotland Yard, who is chasing down Mr. X. The board is made up of different stations, each linked together by colored lines. These colored lines show the means of travel between each of the stations. Taxi’s are yellow, busses are red, and the subway is blue. You’re given a certain number of tickets for each of the different means of travel, and use them to move about the city.
Mr. X does have a couple of advantages. He is hidden from the Scotland Yard pawns, except for on specific turns, when the other players will be able to see where Mr. X is. The game shows you what means of travel Mr. X is using, and the police will have to use that to try and track him down. However, Mr. X is also given a certain number of invisible tickets, which let him travel without the game showing the police is he’s on the bus, a taxi, or the subway. He also has a couple of double moves, which let him move twice in one turn. Along with those perks, Mr. X can also travel in the water if he hits certain spots next to the river. Combining all of these special abilities will be necessary to escape Scotland Yard.
As you can imagine, Scotland Yard is set up perfectly for online multiplayer games, and it is included. Async multiplayer via GameCenter along with Wifi/Bluetooth modes are available. You can also play with more than one player on one device. There is also solo local play with Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties.
With Scotland Yard being Universal, and with all of the multiplayer modes, the price-tag of $5 is very fair, especially when the original physical board game can costs anywhere between $25 and $40, and involves all of the setting up, clean up, and trying to find players who can sit around the board with you. Adding to the gameplay and replay value are 15 GameCenter achievements, some of which will require some very skillful gameplay. So you can add Scotland Yard to the list of board games that play fantastically on the iDevice, and cost a fraction of the price of the physical versions. The enhanced graphics, easy to learn gameplay, and high replayability make it a game that has the chance of staying on your device for as long as you own it. Also, being released by Ravensburger and FDG (Clear Vision, Cover Orange, Blueprint, Beyond Ynth, Tentacle Wars, and more) – you can be sure that it’s a high quality game, and that if any problems arise, they will be dealt with ASAP. Scotland Yard is highly recommended if you’re a fan of the genre, or if you’re looking for a game that the whole family can play.