May 01, 2013

Eclipse for iOS!

 If you don't follow me on the DFW Nerd Night group, or listen to when I got to join their podcast on youtube, then you may not know I really like the boardgame Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy from lautapelit.fi.  And now it is out for iOS devices.  Actually, to be fair, it is out for the tabled devices only. And it is downright amazing.  More after the break...

 Up until this point, Carcassone and Ascension were considered to be the top tier of online and offline play boardgames for portable devices. The interface was smooth, well thought out, and did a good job of looking like the original game while presenting all the data you needed on screen.

  Now Eclipse can join them. In short, it is a game of exploration, expansion, exploitation, and extermination, or otherwise known as a 4x game. You guide your species from the initial solar system it starts in out to other sectors of space. In the process, you use research to expand your play options, materials to build ships, starbases, orbital habitats, and large monoliths, and money to fund the running of your empire.




  The overall board game is actually rather elegant using wooden disks and cubes on cardboard hexes. The best part about the iOS version is that it takes this stylized board game, and turns it into an elegant tablet game. They have managed to put all of the information into one main display with several 'drawers' around the edge of the display that provides the rest of the information you need to know.

  The guys at Big Daddy's Creations managed to turn a reasonably complex boardgame into something that can be learned in an hour or two, and then played many times over against the AI and other players. There is online multiplayer available and it is asynchronous by default, making it easy to play a game over the course of a day or several days, as people are available. The AI also provides a reasonable challenge while making very few moves that will leave you scratching your head.



  The game has flaws, but to be honest, you won't notice them in your first twenty plays. I'd like to see a log of what other players did while it wasn't my turn, as you are only shown this if you are all online and connected to the game. If you just wait for your turn to show up and then launch the game, you have to do a little searching of the board to figure out what is going on. There are seemingly some minor rules bugs, but I can't really say at this time. It may be I have been playing the timing of certain things wrong when we played the boardgame. It would be nice to have the option for a turn timer to encourage some faster games or to deal with random online play where people join and then stop playing.

Despite these issues, there is a very elegant game that could be the foundations of space operas, and Big Daddy's Creations has made it available to an even wider audience than before!

Itunes link: Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy Ipad Only $6.99 USD.
BoardgameGeek Link: Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at 02:04 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 As a follow up note:  Android possibilities?  I wouldn't rule it out yet.  Big Daddy's Creations hasn't said yes yet, but they have been able to carry Neuroshima Hex to the Android platform, so it isn't out of the question.  I certainly hope that Eclipse continues to bring them a lot of attention and profits on iOS that would make Android possible.

Also, there are two mini expansions (Supernova and Pulsar), as well as a big box expansion (Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients) that might see the day later on as in app purchases.  I certainly hope so, because Eclipse is even better with some of the new species and technologies those expansions add.

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at May 01, 2013 03:13 PM (T5fuR)

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