Sunday, 21 August 2011

Family Games for iPhone/iPad

Ticket To Ride - iPad - £4.99
Since this adaptation of the classic board game was released several months ago, it's been a daily ritual for me to delve into the wonderful world of trains, dealing with diverted routes and delayed services, while squabbling with other national rail companies.

The sprawling board game is by Days of Wonder and is considered to be a classic. It has won numerous awards for its rich and strategic gameplay and anyone who has taken the time to set the game up with family and friends will tell you Ticket To Ride is quite a journey.

The digital version had previously been available on the Xbox 360's Live Arcade but this version is far superior and at just £4.99 is a must-have game for your iPad.

The basic rules are simple: Players take turns to draw cards and plan and place train routes between cities across the US. Points are then dished out depending on the length of your routes and for connecting towns and cities.

It's a simple premise but the challenge and strategy comes in trying to thwart your opponents. By studying the board, you can guess where your rivals are heading. You can then either try and scupper their plans by sabotaging their routes, or simply focus on completing your own objectives.

Pass-and-play mode was added after launch, allowing up to five players to take part around the iPad. However, even when playing solo, you can pit your wits against up to four computer controlled opponents.

But the icing on the cake is full online play, especially as the multiplayer lobby is always full and the experience is smooth and lag free.

The Europe, Switzerland and 1910 expansions can also be downloaded while in the game, making this digital version of Ticket To Ride the best version yet.

School 26: Summer of Secrets - iPhone £1.99, iPad £2.99
Aimed squarely at pre-teen and teenage girls, School 26 obviously isn't the type of game I would normally play. But underneath the cutesy visuals is a title that has some interesting ideas.

Taking control of Kate, who has just started at her 26th new school, the aim is to forge relationships with other pupils by helping them with their problems. You achieve this by listening to what they have to say and reacting to their issues by choosing between various expressions.

Stories and scenarios play out, friendships are formed and issues resolved in a bright and breezy environment.

It's quite a clever little game, sporting crisp visuals and decent sound effects. Not for everyone, sure, but well worth recommending to someone who has kids around the game's target age.

Horrid Henry's Horrid App - iPhone/iPad - £1.99
Another game aimed at the younger end of the market, this app is based on the recent Horrid Henry film, which itself is based on the children's books written by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross.

The app features two games - Go Giddiantus! and Flick the Bogey - with an added bonus in Dress Up mode. There's also an Extras option which takes you online where you can view stills from the film.

Go Giddiantus! is a Canabalt-style game, with Henry constantly running and jumping through levels, picking up collectables and generally causing mayhem.

In Flick the Bogey, the player has to aim water balloons at Moody Margaret and soak her to rack up the points. Both games in the package are decent enough fun for younger kids, although the levels are a little drawn out and tend to become repetitive.

Still, the Dress Up mode will keep the kids entertained as they scramble around looking for new ways to dress up Henry.


NokkonWud said...

I completely agree with Ticket to Ride, bought it on one of your many iOS recommendations on Twitter (DofusBattlesHD being another stunner) and played it exclusively for quite a while. It's brilliant all the way down to the theme music which ends up stuck in your head for hours.

Kilted Moose said...

It's a lovely game. Very laid back and it plays well. I love board games on iPad. Thinking of picking up Puerto Rico next.