Without The Board

Astraware Boardgames is a compilation of eight classic family-based board games.  With an easy to navigate menu system, a couple different multiplayer options, and simple playcontrol, this is one title that will appeal to any casual gamer.

Chess, Backgammon, Ludo, Checkers, Reversi, Tic Tac Toe, Nine Men’s Morris, and Snakes and Ladders make up the bundle.  All games have different options to tinker with, including difficulty settings, to keep players at their comfort level.  The touch screen controls are simple enough for anyone to use.  Just stab the screen with your finger to move your piece or literally shake the device to roll the virtual dice.  The simplistic control scheme goes a long way and makes all of the games easy to play. Most games also have some sort of “hint” feature and/or an “undo” option to keep the gameplay friendly and flowing.

Just about all board games would suck if there were no multiplayer options.  While there is no online play, players can participate in a “pass the system” mode or compete through local WiFi.  Not being able to play with a buddy in another state is a let down, but the lack of an online leaderboard system is probably a little more upsetting. 

Unfortunately, this game’s biggest downfall is the lack of a built in tutorial.  Instead of walking the player through the steps and rules of a game, the player is restricted to a simple screen of text in hopes of learning the rules of a game.  Chances are, if you don’t know how to play Backgammon for example, reading the game’s text will not get you up to speed.

The graphics and menu system is clearly displayed and easy to navigate.  Just don’t expect a whole lot coming from the audio department.  Being based on classic boardgames, not having a higher quality audio display is excusable.

For about five bucks, casual gamers can get their board game fix where they go.  It sucks that there are no built in tutorials and online multiplayer options, but the rest of the game is exactly what you would expect.  If you like boardgames, especially if you already know how to play each game, and are looking for that kind of simplistic yet fun action on your phone, there is no reason not to download this title.

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