Author Topic: App driven board games. Opinions?  (Read 1326 times)

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Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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App driven board games. Opinions?
« on: August 26, 2016, 09:30:06 PM »
I ended up purchasing the 2nd edition of Mansions of Madness last week as the idea of an app driven board game sounded interesting and the reviews were generally glowing.  After trying a few run throughs, I'm not sure I'm a fan of the app driven experience.  Basically the app acts as a kind of dungeon master/referee and generates a map and encounters for the players , removing the need for the keeper position.  I thought it would be an engaging experience but so far, I'm not sold on it.  It feels as though they should have just made the entire game on the app rather than use a physical tile, card, and miniatures set as having to set up the physical components so they mirror what's on the tablet's display feels like unnecessary busy work. 

Anyone tried any of the other app driven titles such as Descent, XCOM, or Golem Arcanum?

« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 06:22:07 PM by Silent Disapproval Robot »


Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 10:19:50 PM »
I've not tried it, but I'm not sold on the concept, either. I almost got the X-Com Board Game as it looked pretty good (and is single-player possible, too), but when I saw you had to use an app to play it too, I thought that was kind of a dumb idea.

Games that include electronics in their box (e.g., the old Stop Thief, or Dark Tower, etc.) are absolutely fine to me, but if I have to pull out an iPad or phone or a computer or something totally having nothing to do with the game, the game doesn't feel to me like it's complete, if that makes sense.

I remember back in the late 80s, there was a board game that required a computer to run. I had friends over at my house and we were running the board game and taking turns referring to the software on my rig to figure out the turns. It was some kind of space/sci-fi game, but no, it wasn't MULE or Spacehorse or any of those. I remember how bored we were and we gave it up after giving it a chance for a couple of hours. Ever since then I've wanted my games to be self-encapsulated.

Offline Wes

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2016, 10:33:42 PM »
Someone had suggested one to me and I said 'I went back to tabletop gaming to get AWAY from computer gaming (or tablet in this case)'. :)

And what happens when the app no longer works or they drop support for it? If you buy a used copy what happens then?

"I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."  - Frank Herbert

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2016, 10:36:59 PM »
The app is free to download so there's no problem with a used copy.  If they drop support, I guess that means everyone will have to go and download the 1st edition rules.  I never tried the 1st ed so I don't know if there are a bunch of extra components that the GM needs or not. 

Offline Nefaro

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2016, 10:38:28 PM »


Anyone tried any of the other app driven titles such as Descent, XCOM, or Golem Arcanum?

Already owning the Descent board game, I couldn't turn down the app which automates the opponent, essentially making it a solitaire & co-op experience.  Since the initial release of the app was free, I can't complain.  Especially since I've been wanting more solo capability in the board game.  However, I've not tried it yet. 

I still have two of the three physical Solitaire add-ons for Descent, which will be getting played first.  I also have the printed & manufactured components for a user-created co-op variant, which also runs the in any campaign.  Frankly, I'd rather have it all be self-contained physical components rather than having to mix digital apps, but thus far the price of this specific app is difficult to complain about.  The game was already capable of being played before getting the free app, so things aren't ruined if I don't, or can't, use it.

Just note that I've refused to purchase board games which come with app requirements that are integral to playing the board game.  There is more than one reason, but the most obvious answer is the one BanzaiCat gave.  Being "self-encapsulated".  Not dependent on any piece of equipment to play properly, even decades from now.

Offline Wes

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2016, 01:54:34 AM »
The app is free to download so there's no problem with a used copy.  If they drop support, I guess that means everyone will have to go and download the 1st edition rules.  I never tried the 1st ed so I don't know if there are a bunch of extra components that the GM needs or not.

Yeah, I just checked...the app is mandatory.

I was thinking I had seen a video from GenCon about that.

(Looks like XCOM is mandatory also)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 01:59:05 AM by Wes »
"I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."  - Frank Herbert

Offline Arctic Blast

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 03:34:28 PM »
I've got a trade done for XCom, but it's waiting for Canada Post to figure out what they're going to do work stoppage wise. I'll report back once that goes through and I get a chance to play.

I'm all for the new Mansions of Madness. The original was a train wreck. Everyone sits around waiting half an hour for the Keeper player to set everything up solo. Not exactly fun.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 07:57:01 PM »
Yes, the X-Com app is mandatory. I watched Tom Vasel's video review of the game, and while it looked pretty good, I did not like any of the app-driven parts of it.

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 11:02:36 PM »
I played the  first two scenarios for MoM2.  The first one wasn't very interesting but the second one was a lot of fun.  I'm still not 100% convinced on the necessity of the app but the game itself was a lot of fun.

Offline Nefaro

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 07:51:40 AM »
I played the  first two scenarios for MoM2.  The first one wasn't very interesting but the second one was a lot of fun.  I'm still not 100% convinced on the necessity of the app but the game itself was a lot of fun.

Doesn't the App just do the same thing as the one for Descent?  Make it fully cooperative?

I'm pretty sure the Co-op app for Descent was meant to eliminate Fantasy Flight's need for in-house printing of the cooperative bubble packs.  The third one they put out required a specific expansion, so probably didn't sell as well as the first two which only required the Core game.  With so many expansions, I guess the app provides the flexibility of being customizable & randomized using only the sets you specify. 

I'm guessing FFG plans on implementing expansions for MoM into their app, if they haven't already.  Gives the expansions more value, if new app content for their components is implemented.

Just wondering when they're gonna start selling paid campaigns on these apps.

Offline Arctic Blast

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 11:30:39 PM »
I played the  first two scenarios for MoM2.  The first one wasn't very interesting but the second one was a lot of fun.  I'm still not 100% convinced on the necessity of the app but the game itself was a lot of fun.

Doesn't the App just do the same thing as the one for Descent?  Make it fully cooperative?

I'm pretty sure the Co-op app for Descent was meant to eliminate Fantasy Flight's need for in-house printing of the cooperative bubble packs.  The third one they put out required a specific expansion, so probably didn't sell as well as the first two which only required the Core game.  With so many expansions, I guess the app provides the flexibility of being customizable & randomized using only the sets you specify. 

I'm guessing FFG plans on implementing expansions for MoM into their app, if they haven't already.  Gives the expansions more value, if new app content for their components is implemented.

Just wondering when they're gonna start selling paid campaigns on these apps.

Yep, the app makes MoM fully co-op. So far they've only announced releases covering material (tiles, monsters, investigators) from the original game and both big expansions for it. No word on quests yet.

Offline Arctic Blast

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Re: App driven board games. Opinions?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2016, 09:16:01 PM »
Almost forgot to post once XCom was played!

I've played it twice, now...once solo and once with 4 players. The game is fantastic. The app helps randomize events better than a standard deck of cards or what not could do, and the timer adds the 'fun panicky decisions' of pressure to things that will have your friends cursing your name. It's a NIGHTMARE to play solo, though. Talk about cardio!  :o The game also has the rulebook integrated fully into the app, though you can click a button at every sub-phase and the game will pause and bring up the appropriate rules section if you need clarification on anything. I was actually pretty impressed with how it works.

In the case of XCom, you can run the app on a mobile device, stream it off the web, or download and install a PC or Mac version. So odds are good that it won't be disappearing overnight.