Like Point & Click titles, Board games seem to be a complete fit the iOS device. Perfect for the touch screen UI, multiplayer capabilities and none of the setting up, putting away, or deck/piece/board maintenance. One of the most recent board games to hit the AppStore is Codito Development’s (the same company that brought Tikal, Tigris & Euphrates, Ra and Medici to the iOS) Le Havre (The Harbor). The popular board game, released in 2008, that has you controlling the development of the town, Le Havre.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing this 2009 International Gamers Award winner, you’re in for a real treat. Le Havre has you building up as much wealth as you can over the course of 18 turns by constructing buildings, owning ships, and bringing in goods through the harbor. The tutorial is very well designed, and easy to understand, giving you the full scope of the game’s mechanics your first time through. There’s also an option to keep hints on while you’re playing, just in case you need a little extra help through your first couple of games. It’s fairly complex, and includes a bit of depth, but once you get the hang of it, it actually becomes pretty simple, and you’ll probably wonder why it took you so long to figure everything out.
There are two gameplay modes available, Local, which you’re able to set up with up to 4 AI opponents as well as other players via pass n play type gameplay, and Online Multiplayer through GameCenter. You’re able to set these modes up in one of two different ways; Short Game and Long Game. In a short game, you’re given 12 rounds, each round containing 3 turns, and are given a couple of building supplies to get you started. This mode is best for newcomers to the game, while a long game includes 18 rounds, and you are not given any building materials to start out with.
Using your basic building materials; wood, clay and iron, you’ll be able to use the buildings that the town has already built in order to create them. For instance, the town has built the Construction Rirm. You can use the Construction Firm to build up to 3 buildings per turn. Once you build these buildings, you own them. The buildings that you’ll build will help you create more food (which is required every round to feed your workers/employees), more complex building materials, like bricks and iron, and more. Also, with each building you own, your wealth goes up.
Using the dock, you’re able to collect materials and food, used to feed your workers and build. Starting a long game can take a couple of turns to get into as you collect your materials. You’ll also always need to make sure you take a turn or two to either collect food, or turn food into more processed food, which in-turn feeds more of your workers. Feeding your workers is a huge part of the game. If you can’t afford to feed your workers, you’ll be required to take a very costly loan from the bank, and that can pretty much damage your chances of winning.
Le Havre is, by far, one of the most impressive board games I’ve had the pleasure of playing on the iOS. The graphics, user interface, and just the mechanics of it all create an incredibly immersive, and very entertaining gameplay experience. Priced at $4.99 and being Universal, if you’re a fan of board games, Le Havre is one that you need to own. GameCenter leaderboards for wins, total wealth, and more, it’s one game that will take you a while to master, but is incredibly enjoyable throughout the entire learning process, and even more-so after you finally figure out the best ways to become the wealthiest man in all of Le Havre. Codito Development just can’t seem to do any wrong.