Monthly Archive: May 2012

Webbies [Nano Titans] – $0.99

Puzzler games have really been expanding and growing when it comes to new and unique ideas spawned by past games. It’s no secret that Angry Birds (or Boom Blox, depending on how you want to look at it) has, itself, pushed the physics puzzler genre into many different directions, and has had its fair share of clones. But it’s always nice seeing a developer take the flinging mechanic and do something new and interesting with it. Nano Titans, developers of Foodies, an arcade puzzler, has just released their newest title, another arcade puzzler, Webbies. This time around, instead of bouncing your main character around to collect food, you’ll be flinging bundles of food at your characters. 
Seems that a grumpy old retired wizard doesn’t like the little woodland creatures hanging out around the forest all the time, and has come up with a formula that makes his arachnoid  friends webs ultra strong. Because of this, the food that the creatures always munch on is getting stuck in the webs. It’s up to you to fling it into their mouths so that they don’t starve. 
At first, the game seems really easy, and almost boring. But after you get past the intro levels, the game really seems to pick up, and gets some interesting mechanics thrown into the mix. Having more than one critter on the screen will give you different types of food, which are all mixed together in the webs, and you need to get certain types of food into specific animals mouths. This means you need to group the food together, shooting acorns into acorns, moving one piece of food out of the way of another so that you can get it to your critter, or in line with another piece of the same food and then to your critter. This gets ever more difficult as you progress, and moving platforms, sticky grabbers, logs, rotating cannons, moving critters and more all comes into play. 
Now, the scoring mechanics are really what push the game forward, and make it more difficult. Getting three stars in each of the levels will require you to combine the same type of food multiple times, getting a combo bonus score. Matching two pieces of the same type of food will give you 5 extra points, while connecting 4 pieces of the same type of food, without connecting a different type of food while in the process, will give you 25 bonus points. If you have two bunches of food, say one bunch of 2 and one bunch of 3, then the smaller bunch is multiplied by 5, and you’re given that many points, in this case, it would be 10 extra bonus points. Once the platforms come into play, bouncing food of them will also give you bonus points. There’s also bonuses for feeding a critter until it’s full, giving you 30 points, and feeding a critter til it’s full in one shot, which gives you 50 points. All of these different types of scoring bonuses will need to be used in order to get 3 stars in each of the levels throughout the game, and to compete on the GameCenter scoreboard. 
It’s great how a scoring system like this can really change how you play a game. If there were no bonuses for bouncing food off of platforms, bundling them together, or for other actions throughout the game, Webbies would be played very differently, and you have that option if you’re not into high-scores, which also makes this a great game for the younger iOS gamer audience as well. This is always a great thing to hear for those of us with children who are into gaming. 
The graphics, animations, sounds and effects, all come together to create a very polished looking and sounding package. With Webbies being Universal, $0.99, and containing over 100 levels, it’s a great buy, especially if you’re into arcade puzzlers, or games with great scoring mechanics and score chasing. There are no extra IAPs in the game, so it’s a flat out purchase. Nano Titans has already submitted their first update to Apple which adds an undo button. I’m a little worried that this might make the game a bit too easy, but I guess we’ll see when it hit’s the AppStore later on in the week. As it is, right now, Webbies is very easy to recommend to fans of the genre, even if you’ve gotten a little sick of the whole flinging puzzler type of gameplay like I have over the last year or so. Webbies might not bypass all of the typical used mechanics within the genre, but the way it’s presented, along with the scoring system adding to the way you’ll wind up playing the game, it really stands out inside of a genre that’s been flooded with titles over the last couple years. 

Dotomchi’s Fortune Series goes free for a limited time!

I’ve been following Dotomchi’s ‘Fortune’ series since Sorcerer Of Fortune and Rebirth Of Fortune came out in late 2010. Not only are the games very well made, but developer Seok Kyu Chang has been extremely responsive and supportive when it comes to players issues, suggestions, and just all around feedback. Needless to say, this has made the ‘Fortune’ series even better.

If you’ve yet to purchase these great strategy games, now would be the best time to pick them up. Each Fortune game has gone free for a limited time. That’s right, Rebirth of Fortune, Sorcerer of Fortune and Defense of Fortune (including the HD [iPad] version) are all free. Want some even better news? Each of these games have great tutorials and are easy to learn, even if you’re new to the genres. Turn-Based Strategy, set up like Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, Real Time Base Defense and Turn-Based Extermination set up like a board game. All 3 of these titles have great RPG elements, and once you get into them, each have quite a bit of depth, giving veterans and newcomers alike hours upon hours of fantastic gameplay.

Lightstorm3D’s amazing exploration game, Gene Effect goes on sale for $2.99!

My personal top contender for iOS Game Of The Year (so far) is definitely, without a doubt, Lightstorm3D’s cave exploration adventure title, Gene Effect. Since it’s release, it’s undergone quite the change; being released as an iPhone only game, lots of gamers were upset with the $5 price tag being that the game was from a basically unheard of company, and wasn’t Universal. About a week and a half ago, this all changed. Lightstorm3D added Universal support, along with Retina Display support for the new iPad, and loads of improvements, changes, additions and optimizations.
Unfortunately, Gene Effect’s sales haven’t been so great, and it’s always terrible seeing a developer you completely and totally respect, and a game you’ve come to absolutely LOVE not get the attention and sales that they/it deserve. Hopefully this price drop from $4.99 down to $2.99 will help stir up the gaming community, and get more gamers to check this mind-blowing game out.
If you’ve yet to hear about Gene Effect, or how amazingly fantastic it is, be sure to check out our review, as well as other reviews from around the net (getting a 5 out of 5 from iPhoneGamerUK, a 4 out of 4 at SlideToPlay [including their Must Have award], and others). It’s definitely a title you don’t want to miss out on, and encompasses everything iOS gamers have been begging for since the Free To Play model got so popular. No IAPs instead of a low price and the game pushing you towards additional purchases after your original purchase, a fantastically supportive and responsive indie development team, amazing graphics, an awesome story, and basically, a console game for the iOS, at an incredibly reasonable price, even by the AppStore’s standards. So be sure and check it out while it’s on sale, and tell everyone you know about this hidden gem of a game.

Slingshot Racing [Crescent Moon Games + Snowbolt Interactive] – $0.99

Crescent Moon Games have definitely established themselves as one of the top developing and publishing teams in the AppStore. Aralon, Rimelands, Gears, Deadlock, Pocket RPG, and loads more have all gained a serious gamer following. Their constant support is also something that needs to be mentioned. Whenever there’s an issue, they’re on top of it, fixing it as soon as possible. Over the last year or so, they’ve turned their sights more towards publishing and working with other development teams, which has expanded their reach throughout various genres. RPGs, Platformers, Ball Rollers, Multiplayer, and now, with the latest release of Slingshot Racing, developed by Snowbolt Interactive, they’ve ventured into the Racing Genre. 
Over the last couple years, iOS developers have really started trying out new things with racing games. Draw Race, Jet Car Stunts, QuBIT, jAggy Race, FishMoto and others have utilized the iDevice, and tried to reach out beyond the typical racing formula that most racers stick with. Slingshot Racing is definitely a game that can be added to the list of games striving to push the boundaries of the genre.  
The controls are as simple as they can be; One Touch. Touching the screen makes your car fling out a grappling hook which attaches to rotating poles. Doing this lets you slingshot your car around corners. There is no gas or break, and your car drives on it’s own. The only thing you need to worry about is when to attach to these poles, and when to let go. Staying attached too long will result in you mashing your car into the side rails, while letting go too soon will cause the car to take the outer most part of the track, both causing the car to slow down dramatically. But once you get the timing down, you’ll be flying through the races, flinging your car around corners, and earning the 3 possible bolts (stars) for each stage. 
The campaign contains 64 races across 8 tracks, split up into different sections, each with an interesting name (like Winding Roads, Slingshot Mastery, Twist And Shoot, Wrap And Roll, and more) and containing 4 races each. Each of the races contain different objectives and hazards, also racing clockwise and counter clockwise during the day and night, which always keeps things fresh. There are 4 main different types of races. Racing against other racers, trying to place in 1st. Racing against other racers while a car eating machine trails behind you in an elimination type race. Solo racing while trying to collect bolts which are left on the track as quickly as you can, and solo time trials which push you to your limits trying to get the best time you can. 
There’s also a multiplayer mode which lets you play with up to 3 other people on the same device. Of course this is more comfortable while playing on the iPad, but playing with 1 other person on the iPhone/iPod Touch is also easy enough, and doesn’t hit the frustrating factor at all. Within this mode, you’re able to choose which track to race on, how many tracks to race on, the order of the tracks, the number of laps, forward or reverse, and day or night. Each of the other players will have their own corner of the device to control their car, and when you really get into a racing battle, this multiplayer mode can end up being loads of fun. 
Since each of the races are pretty short, usually just 8 laps, or anywhere from 20 to 60 seconds, the frustration you might usually come across in other racers when screwing up with one little mistake towards the end of a race isn’t really found here. You don’t need to be perfect in order to get a 3 bolt score, except for on the time trial stages. For these, it’s pretty difficult to grab a perfect rating. 
But if you are a fan of perfecting your laps, you’ll be very glad to hear that Slingshot Racing is supported by GameCenter, and has 18 separate leaderboards. That’s right, 18! One for your Total Bolts Earned, and boards for various stages throughout the game, ie; Shoot The Breeze Race 3, Sliding By Race 2, Slingshot Mastery Race 4, Melting Away Race 2, and so on. There are also 32 Achievements for you achievement hunters out there, all of which adds a TON to the already insanely high replay value. 
Right now, Slingshot Racing is priced at $0.99. Like most Crescent Moon games, it’s on sale for launch, and will go up to $2.99 after a limited time. With the game being Universal, and with the current price, Slingshot Racing is a MUST BUY! The steam punk influenced graphics, and great music and effects combined with the simple controls, challenging gameplay and basically endless replay value make Slingshot Racing the best casual racer I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, and even one of the best racers on the iDevice. Hopefully online Multiplayer through GameCenter or through isolated servers will be added in the future. Slingshot Racing is just begging for online MP. Something else that would be great to see is some unlockable vehicles or cosmetic customization. Each of the cars is equal in terms of speed, acceleration, and all other aspects, but being able to choose the color, shape, and other cosmetic attributes would be a nice little addition as well. As it stands now, Slingshot Racing is still a game that everyone with an iDevice should own. Be sure and check it out, and get your race on! 

RobotRiot gets updated with iPad 3 Retina Support, More Levels, GameCenter, and more!

Robot Riot, a 2D side-scrolling sci-fi platformer from Glowing Eye Games and Retromite that was released in September of 2011, has just received a much needed update. With Version 1.2 the game has received Retina support for the new iPad, new levels, new power-ups, new bosses, enhanced visuals, upgraded sound quality, bluetooth arcade support, as well as GameCenter support. Although there’s only one leaderboard, and no achievements, hopefully the GameCenter support will be expanded in the near future. But with the inclusion of retina support, and the new content, Robot Riot has come back into play as one of the better platformers available for the iOS.
If you haven’t heard of Robot Riot yet, it revolves around a repoing robot who’s out to take back ships letting the captains know that IT AIN’T NO JOKE IF YOU DON’T PAY THAT NOTE! (BLAAAA haha… sorry) Anyway, the captains aren’t too happy about this, as you can imagine, and you’ll have to fight your way through various enemies and go through loads of backtracking, unlocking of doors, and avoiding loads of hazards throughout each of the ships sections. At the end of each ship, you’ll face off against the captain in an epic boss battle before moving on to the next one.
Originally, Robot Riot only had 4 ships, and about 10 levels, and with the game being as good as it was, players were begging for more. Even though the developers listened, the game now only has 5 ships and about 15 levels, but this is a giant step in the right direction. Hopefully Robot Riot will gain more attention, and that will push the developers to continue adding content, making it a fully rounded out game. For $0.99, it’s definitely worth checking out, especially considering the gameplay, graphics, level design, controls and physics are all top-notch. If you’re still on the fence, you can head on over to Kongregate and play the game in their Web-Based Unity Player. If you’re a fan of platformers, this is definitely a game that will make a great addition to that ‘Platformer’ folder on your iDevice. So be sure and check it out!

LostStar Tactics [James Pawliuk] – $1.99

Strategy Games are really hitting their stride in the AppStore, but one of my favorites has always been Tactical Warrior by James Pawliuk. Earlier this week, the two man team consisting of Mr. Pawliuk and Brandon Alter released their 3rd iOS title, LostStar Tactics, a turn-based strategy RPG with some great gameplay, nice graphics, and an interesting story to go along with it. But does it warrant purchasing when so much of the game is identical to Tactical Warrior?
When compared to Tactical Warrior, the whole set-up of the game and gameplay is almost identical. Moving costs stamina, unless you move to an orange tile and each attack or special ability you use costs stamina, while resting offers your character recovery of stamina. Each character, as well as enemy, has stats which you’ll need to learn so that you can know what attacks will work well, and what attacks will result in almost no damage at all. Even the party screen is an almost identical clone of Tactical Warrior’s. 
The character designs and environments, however, are fairly different. The characters have quite a bit of details, with some wielding some pretty badass looking weapons while the environments lean more towards lightly forested and murky areas, though the environmental objects still play a roll in where you’ll move your characters and how you attack with them. 
While exploring the outer reaches of space, you wind up finding something extraordinary. The planet Moridia, which legends say is home to mythical knowledge and treasures hidden in a mysterious ‘nebalua‘. An energy pulse takes your ship out while exploring, resulting in a crash landing on the unexplored planet. Now it’s up to you and your team to survive the attacking life forms, and find a way back home. 
Starting off, you’re able to choose between 3 different groups of fighters; Mechanic, who’s main focus is summoning – Warrior, who focuses on powerful attacks – and Councillor who focuses on flexibility. You’re also able to choose between Easy, Medium and Hard Difficulties. 
The game is set up kind of like a card based strategy game. Each character is able to equip various cards which allow them to perform different attacks as well as beef up their defensive skills. Once you earn enough experience through battles, you’re able to strengthen these cards up. Some battles will also give you cards as rewards, and sometimes you’ll be offered another character to add to your team. Each time you’re offered a reward, you’re given 3 choices to choose from. In the event of a new member being offered, you’re able to not add a member, and give some XP to your team. All of this makes the card equipping, leveling up, and even item equipping aspects of the game fairly deep. 
Aside from the cards, story and character design+environments, LostStar Tactics could easily be a sequel to Tactical Warrior. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Especially when I think about all the hours upon hours I lost because of Tactical Warrior. There’s also the price. $1.99. Hard to beat that, considering Tactical Warrior is $2.99, and worth every penny. But even with the fantastic gameplay, there are a couple of down-sides to the game. The game is not Universal, so those of you out there who hate playing games in 2X mode on your iPad will be pretty disappointed. There’s also no GameCenter, meaning no achievements to shoot for. Also, if there’s a player or enemy at the bottom of the screen underneath the text that says “touch a warrior to view his stats.” you’ll need to move the playing field in order to select them. It’s not a big deal, but something that kept on bugging me while I was playing. Actually, none of these ‘issues’ are really a big deal. LostStar Tactics is one of those games that’s good enough it’s very easy to overlook having to play in 2X Mode, and the lack of achievements or any online features. 
In the end, LostStar Tactics is a fairly deep turn-based strategy game with great RPG elements, also with a price that really can’t be beat. Hopefully it gets the attention it deserves so that more work will go into it, and hopefully we can get an HD or Universal version of the game. An online multiplayer mode would be amazing to see as well. But for $1.99, it’s a great buy if you’re a fan of turn-based strategy games. Even if you’re new to the genre, LostStar Tactics would be a great place to start. It’s easy to understand tutorial and simple gameplay that gets deeper the more you explore it is great for newcomers to the genre. 

Bee Leader [Flightless Limited] – $0.99

It’s not too often a simplistic game completely blows my expectations of it out of the water. But Bee Leader, the new game from Flightless Limited, has done just that. I never would have thought that a game that revolved around controlling a bee and collecting nectar would have hit almost every single addictive cell in my video game obsessed brain, but with Bee Leader’s gameplay and insanely good all around package have changed my views of video games that, on the outside, look boring, and like they’re made almost entirely for prepubescent children. 
Throughout the game, you will basically be doing one simple task. Exploring each of the levels, looking for nectar, smaller bees to join you, and clocks which add more time to your day. You have from sun up to sun down to collect as much nectar as you can and take it back to your hive. There are, of course, hazards and enemies which you’ll need to avoid as you fly throughout the stages. Clouds with lightning and rain, trains that spew up steam, windmills and rocks which can trap you, birds, snakes, skull throwing eagles, and the dreaded hornets are only some of the hazards and enemies you’ll need to navigate around while looking for nectar. If you’re hit by a projectile, or by a hazard, you’ll wind up loosing quite a bit of your already collected nectar, and god-forbid you run into a hornet. They’ll wind up chasing you down and corning you, taking all of your nectar if you let them. 
Bee Leader stands out in almost every single aspect. The graphics are cartoony, but very polished, the music and effects are outstanding, control-wise, you’re able to choose between a freemoving joystick which appears whenever you touch the screen, a set joystick on either the left or right hand sides of your device, touch anywhere and drag, tilting controls, and an option to use another device as the controller with the Joypad app. The physics and inertia of every moveable object is great, animations are smooth and level designs are top notch. But what I really love about the game is the scoring mechanics. Every smaller bee which you collect joins you, and adds to the amount of nectar you receive from the nectar balls as well as flowers, so the more smaller bees you have following behind you, the more nectar you’ll be able to haul away. The flowers have a ‘sucking streak’ which adds to the amount of nectar you collect so long as you don’t leave the flower. Because flowers also stick to you for a short amount of time, you can extend this sucking streak by jumping from flower to flower without stopping the collection of nectar, which allows for some nice bonus points. There’s also a honey bonus when you drop off nectar at your hive depending on how much nectar you’re dropping off. All of this, combined with the subtraction of nectar based on what you come into contact with throughout the stage makes the scoring system in Bee Leader fantastic. 
Adding to the great scoring is GameCenter support. For each of the 12 levels, there’s a separate GC Leaderboard, as well as a total score board for when you complete the game. There are also 10 achievements, but these don’t really add much replay value, as they’re all centered around the ranks you get in the game by filling up your hives with honey. However, there are plenty of stats which help round it all out by being able to post these stats on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and through e-mail. 
Bee Leader is priced at $0.99, and the developers have stated that more levels are coming in future updates, which is great, because after playing and replaying levels trying to get the best scores you can, you’re only going to want more. The game is Universal for those of you who have iPads, or both and iPhone/iPod and iPad, which is always great to hear. 
So, final verdict? I can’t believe a game that revolves around making a bee fly around a level to collect nectar before the sun goes down is this fun. Incredibly fun. Right now I’m still stuck in the first two worlds (6 levels) trying to best my score and move up the GameCenter leaderboards, playing and re-playing levels over and over again. The only bad thing I can say is that the game might be a tad too short. With only 12 levels, if you aren’t interested in besting your score for the leader boards, chances are you’ll complete the game fairly quickly. For a dollar, it’s a fantastic buy, and will definitely wind up being one of my favorite casual high-scoring arcade games of the year. 

Dragon Evolution [Nob Studio] – $1.99

There’s no shortage of side-scrolling strategy games in the AppStore. However, there is a shortage of original and unique side-scrolling strategy games in the AppStore. Enter Dragon Evolution by Singapore based Nob Studio, an interesting side-scroller in which you control the evolution of a dragon, drawing inspiration from the team’s flash games, Monster Evolution and Nob War as well as Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride. 
You’re given 9 years to battle it out with tribal men who are stealing your eggs for food. Each year you get to choose an evolution for your dragon, each having a different effect cosmetically, as well as with your dragon’s stats. 
Starting off, your dragon will be fairly week, barely able to make it through one world in one year. But as you progress, adding different evolutionary powers, like fire, water, acid, claws, wings and more, you’ll be able to make it further and further across the land throughout each year. 

Basically, Dragon Evolution is a score chasing arcade game with strategy/RPG elements thrown in for good measure. As you take out the tribes men with your basic attacks, which your dinosaur does automatically, and special attacks, which you control by tapping on either the left or right sides of the screen, you earn points. There are also traps and big towers which you’ll need to fly over and avoid. This is done by holding down on both sides of the screen. 
As you use special attacks, fly, or are injured while going through each world, your energy bar decreases. Once you run out of energy, you’ll fall over and need to tap quickly on the screen to recover and keep battling it out. You do have a time limit of 60 seconds in the first world, but if you make it through a world, more time is added to your clock, 40 seconds for the first world, 35 for the second, 30 for the third, and so on. Also, your energy bar is completely filled up and you earn 100 points each time you complete a world. 

Adding to the drive of the game are objectives, which you must complete in order to build up your overall multiplier. The whole point being to get the best score you can by combining all 9 of your years scores together and evolving the best dragon you can. 
Each evolution gives different stats which effect how powerful your attacks are and how much energy you have. Fire, for instance, adds 3 attack points to your tribal man attacking power, but no points to your building attacking power, and no points to your energy, while the Claw Evolution adds 1 point to your tribal man attack, 1 to your building attack, and 10 energy points. It is also interesting seeing the effect the evolutions have on the cosmetic look of your dragon, with Claw, of course, changing the look of your dragons hands, while fire adds a big addition to your dragons head, water gives him hair on his head and acid adds spikes to his snout. However, each time you add another evolution, it has the possibility of completely changing the appearance.

All-n-all, with Dragon Evolution being priced at $1.99, having Universal and GameCenter support including leader boards for each year, as well as a total score board (no achievements are included in the GameCenter support), it’s not a bad purchase by any means. There is enough drive to keep players going and if you’re a high-score chaser, it’s easy to become wrapped up in completing achievements to increase your multiplier. Another mode, something like survival where you pick out 5 evolutions right off the bat, and get as far as you can before you run out of energy, or have a set time-limit to get the best score you can would have been a great addition, but this, currently, one man project, definitely shows the talent learned from working on previous games over the last 5 years. Dragon Evolution has hooked me for the time being, and I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more Nob Studio releases in the future. There’s definitely some unique and creative thinking behind this bundle of fantastic graphics, action filled gameplay and drive for a high-score. 

Squids Sequel – Squids: Wild West Announced

Squids, the action RPG from The Game Bakers, is getting a sequel; Squids: Wild West – to be released this summer for iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Players of the original Squids received an update yesterday that included 3 of the sequel’s missions (along with a new helmet, new enemy and new achievement; Ninja Bluff). If you’ve yet to hear of this fantastic Action RPG, head on over to OUR SQUIDS REVIEW and find out why this amazing game got a score of 10 out of 10.

From the press release:
SQUIDS follows a band of unlikely heroes who must protect their idyllic underwater kingdom from the destructive black ooze settling over the seas. Set in the western kingdom of Seawood, SQUIDS Wild West takes the group into deeper, more dangerous waters as they regroup against oily crustacean enemies and search for a fallen comrade. They’ll help the feisty Calamary Jane save a besieged frontier town, explore native Squid lands and a volatile mine, and start to understand the evil they’re up against — but not without paying a terrible personal price.

SQUIDS Wild West will be a Universal App with more of the gorgeous cartoon art, jaunty music, and humorous storytelling that made SQUIDS a fan favorite. Like the original, SQUIDS Wild West combines tactical RPG-inspired gameplay with the convenient interface of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Although turn-based battles are easily fought using an Angry Birds-style “flinging” mechanic, SQUIDS Wild West provides a much deeper challenge than the average mobile game. Strategy and skill are required as players use environmental elements, the Squids’ strengths, and enemies’ weaknesses to succeed. With devious new enemies, four new playable characters, and nearly twice as many levels as the original SQUIDS, the upcoming sequel also has many fun gameplay surprises — including seahorses that you can corral and ride into battle!”

If you’ve been on the fence, Squids has dropped in price from $2.99 down to $1.99 to celebrate the new update. It’s hit the #1 spot on the RPG charts in 65 different countries, and has been downloaded over 1 million times, retaining a 5 star rating within the AppStore after thousands of iTunes reviews. Needless to say, it’s not too often an iOS game has a 5 star iTunes rating after thousands of reviews, or hits the 1 million download mark. If you’re a fan of adventure, RPG, action, or even physics games, chances are you’ll love Squids. Be sure and check it out. And we’ll have more info as the news becomes available to us about the sequel, as well as a review after it’s released.


Scotland Yard (Ravensburger + FDG) – $4.99

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.