Saturday, January 25, 2014

Agricola Week, Part Three

It's Agricola Week here at Writer Adept! Tuesday, I posted my review of the game. Thursday, I discussed the value of getting three different decks of cards and two variants all included out of the box. And today I want to conclude by talking about my favorite way to play this great game: on my iPad!

Agricola for the iOS is priced at $6.99, which is somewhat expensive for an app. However, the game has been brilliantly transported to Apple mobile devices. Rather than simply creating a functional reprint of the game, the various action spaces have been recreated as a beautifully rendered village, complete with farm animals, moving scenery, and seasons that correspond to different stages of the game. The sounds effects are also quite good, ranging from simple sounds to acknowledge movements to the noises of various barnyard animals to the sounds of sawing and hammering.

For those unfamiliar with Agricola, the app includes a good tutorial, a full set of rules, and an index of all the various options and elements in the game. Given the overall complexity of this game, learning how to play on this app might be the easiest way to play.

Like most board games republished as video games, you can play single player against three difficulty levels of AI, multiplayer with all of you gathered around the device, or challenge other people online. It also faithfully recreates all three of the decks and variants included in the base game, although the interactive and complex decks do required an additional $1.99 purchase each.The AI opponents aren't incredibly smart, but should present a good challenge for novices and moderately-skilled players.

Finally, the app keeps track of a variety of statistics and achievements, allowing you to view your progress over time and motivating you to master all of the various elements of the game. The achievements in particular are challenging enough that it will take many hours of play for most people before they complete all of them.

Overall, other than the expense of buying the app itself, Agricola for the iOS is highly recommended. As I mentioned, it's by far my favorite way to play the game. If any of my readers own and play this app, let me know - I'd love to play against you sometime!

Next week I will be back with a sneak peek at my current project: a review of the newly revealed spoiler for Born of the Gods for Standard Pauper. See you then!

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