Saturday, 29 March 2014

in photos: Quarriors! and other iOS games

Quarriors! was free on the iPad recently, so I downloaded it. I wasn't particularly interested to try it beforehand, but since it was free and convenient, why not? In summary, it's deck-building using dice instead of cards. On your turn, you randomly draw some dice from your bag, roll them, and then execute actions based on the result you get. Dice generally represent your soldiers. The six sides of the dice normally represent either elixir or soldier. Elixir can be used to buy more dice into your pool. It can also be used to deploy soldiers (i.e. you have other dice on that turn where you have rolled soldiers). Soldiers have three main stats - attack power, defense power and scoring power. When you deploy a soldier, you send it to fight your opponent's soldiers (if any are in play), and then hope that it will survive until your next turn, when it will score for you before returning to your pool. I found the game rather plain. You are just racing to buy strong soldiers and deploy them as often as you can to score points until you reach the target VP. There is variety in the types of soldiers, and many have special abilities. Only some soldier types are in play in each game, so there is variability from game to game. I've only played two games against the AI, and after that lost interest. Perhaps I have not given it a fair shake.

I have played many games of Ascension on the iOS, almost all against other humans. I had all the big expansions, but I resisted buying the promo packs because I felt they had poor value for money compared to the regular expansions. I recently decided to just buy them all at one go. I've got so much play out of Ascension that I'm happy to further support Stone Blade Entertainment and Playdek. Some of the cards in the promo packs are quite interesting. This Rat King is one of them. When it appears, it places Giant Rats atop all other cards in the card row, blocking them. Giant Rats are strength-1 monsters which you must defeat to get to the cards they are covering. If you are able to defeat the Rat King directly, you automatically defeat all Giant Rats for free.

This Ender of Days is the strongest monster I have ever seen. It is worth 10VP, and when you defeat it, you trigger the game end. Unfortunately the contract between Stone Blade Entertainment and Playdek is only until end of this year. I understand Stone Blade Entertainment is developing a new version of Ascension. I wonder what will happen to the current version by Playdek (which I like a lot). Will it not work completely after 2014, or only online play will be discontinued? At the rate that I'm playing Ascension, I think I'll be buying whatever new version that comes out in 2015.

Booting up Tigris & Euphrates again after a long interval is like taking out the statue of Reiner Knizia and worshipping it again. Even when only playing against AI's, I can appreciate the genius and beauty of the game. It's a very open game where you create your own opportunities. There are tensions building, dangers lurking and weaknesses waiting to be exploited. The board situation can change dramatically as wars and internal power struggles change the faces of the kingdoms. It's quite rare for a Eurogame, especially one from this era, to be so bloody and vicious.


loofish said...

Only online play will stop. You will still have Ascension on your iPad or whatever.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

Thanks loofish!

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