My most recent review was on the iOS Agricola release. I have been happily playing a game a day ever since. I recently started the solo series and discovered something very, very cool that I have to share. I personally have never played the board game by myself. But I do know fellow gamers who have just to see how many points they could get with no one else taking their wood or messing with their strategy. So anyway, I figured I’d try it out on my iPad, since setting up a physical game of Agricola to play all by myself is kinda like cooking a thanksgiving dinner just for one.
The solo series has some differences. First, family takes 3 food instead of 2. It isn’t too bad since you can easily plan for that, and not worry about someone taking the sheep, or sow and bake bread spot, so it’s not terribly bad. In the solo series each time you complete a level, you have to get higher victory points. I think it starts off at 50 points. Now I thought that was a pretty high score, considering my high scores are usually in the 40′s, which I thought was pretty high in general. After playing the first round I found getting the 50 points was pretty attainable beating it with 57 points my first try (yay!). But then I saw the point requirement goes up, and up, and up! I thought to myself, “well, the next requirement is 55, so I know I can beat that, but does that mean it’s going to go up to 60? 65? 70??? Yep.
Okay, now to the cool part. After the first round it asked me to keep an occupation from the ones I played that round. I played a few, but my difficult choice was between Carpenter (allows you to build wood rooms for 3 wood, 2 reed) and Conservator (lets you skip clay huts). I reluctantly chose Carpenter… Then I started thinking to myself “well, this is going to get boring, i’m just going to start playing the same occupations probably every game. Which means I’m slowly going to end up with a handful of occupations that i’ve played since the beginning.” I thought this was going to be sort of constricting and I didn’t want to play the same game over and over either. A big part of the fun, is the feeling of a new game every time. HOWEVER, this is not the case. The occupation stays in play! Meaning, you do not have to use an action to build it, when you start the next level, it’s already on your farm! Pretty neat eh? Whats even cooler is now at the third level, I have an awesome combo of Carpenter, Mason (once per game when you have 4 stone rooms you get a free one) AND Master Builder (once per game after your home reaches 5 rooms, you receive a 6th free). BAM! 5th and 6th room done!
And this is how you can attain those really high points, because in addition to getting to keep an occupation you’ve played the previous round, you still get to draw new occupations each level (minus the number you’ve played).
Love it! I’ve already reached 70 points at level 3, i’m stoked and ready for more solo play! :) The solo series is a nice bonus to the already wonderfully made iOS Agricola AI and multiplayer games.
In other news, I recently posted a question on BGG in the forums and it kinda blew up. It’s turned into a really interesting debate if you want to put your two cents in. It’s had 200+ comments in just the past few days and both sides feel pretty strongly about their points of view, even a lot of the BGG admins have been quite involved in the discussion. In a nutshell it’s about whether iOS games should be allowed on BGG. iOS news and info is allowed to be posted by BGG contributors, but if BGG users want to post a review, session report, or forum about iOS boardgames, they get removed and sent to VGG by the BGG admins. The debate has turned into whether or not iOS games are boardgames or video games. What do you think?
Do iOS board games, such as Agricola, Carcassonne, Ascension, Ticket to Ride, etc. belong on BGG or VGG?