Castles of Burgundy coming on Thursday


#1

Originally published at: https://statelyplay.com/2019/02/26/castles-of-burgundy-coming-on-thursday/

iOS, Android, PC/Mac

Remember way back in 2015 when we’d be lucky to get 3-4 board game apps released a year (and half of them would suck)? Times have changed. Hot on the heels of Evolution from North Star comes The Castles of Burgundy from Digidiced, releasing for iOS/Android this Thursday.

The Castles of Burgundy is, possibly, the best well known game in renowned designer Stefan Feld‘s catalog. Even if you haven’t played a Feld game before, chances are that you’ve at least heard of CoB. Turns out there’s a good reason for that: the game is pretty great.

I hadn’t played it before the electronic version, but Digidiced has done their usual top-notch job here, yet again. CoB is a dice game, almost. I mean, you roll dice every turn and they’re value dictates your options each turn, but there are rather easy ways to mitigate dice rolls as well. Thus, you don’t feel completely beholden to chance.

The app itself is gorgeous, taking its aesthetic from the opening credits of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Buildings twist and turn into place, and everything has a bit of a steampunk vibe, albeit set firmly in the medieval. It’s a good look, and it’s cool to watch new buildings flip into place on your 3D hex-gridded platter.

CoB has another defining Digidiced trait: the massive tutorial. Broken over several chapters, the tutorial walks you through everything in detail. The only issue is that you’re presented a ton of information and expected to remember it when you then switch over and play a game. I had the same issue with their port of Terra Mystica, and that one I’d played previously. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re a CoB veteran, but us newbs will have to put in a little work until everything clicks.

That said, Digidiced always has a robust multiplayer system and CoB is aching for asynchronous play. It’s basically multiplayer solitaire and each turn has a good chunk of meat to it, which is the perfect fit for taking turns several hours apart.

Let’s get to the ubiquitous blurb:

• 1 to 4 players
• Play in single-player with challenging computer opponents, against your friends in local multiplayer, or face players from all over the world in online mode!
• Learn the rules with our Interactive tutorial or even watch games of the top players on your device!
• Take your time in asynchronous game mode with push notifications and never miss a turn.
• Family friendly – non violent theme
• Easy interactive tutorial to learn the game from scratch
• Analyze your best games or learn tricks from the best with playback
• 3 different computer opponents
• uses the newest rules of the board game

Look for Castles of Burgundy to land for iOS/Android and Steam on Thursday. I’m hoping to have a full review up shortly after launch, but with the way things are going lately (you may have noticed a dearth of new posts lately, and I apologize), I don’t want to make any promises.


#2

Great news, thanks!

As for Digidiced, I think they are a quality developer that has tended to get better over time (possibly with the exception of Isle of Skye, which for some reason sounded as if it were perpetually bugged). Stockpile, in particular, demonstrates their growth. I am rarely a fan of their tutorials, but that hasn’t ruined a game for me yet. I haven’t had issues with multiplayer and commend them for continuing to put out asynchronous games. I’ll buy this one as soon as it launches.


#3

I’m looking forward to this


#4

Well, that didn’t take long.


#5

Yeah, I saw that. I was going to comment and then decided it wasn’t worth the effort of signing in.

I know there are fans and critics of both approaches when it comes to digital presentation, but from where I stand, if the game plays well, what does it matter if it is a 1:1 carbon copy of the tabletop game or a creative digital facade? Personally, I like when a developer makes the game look good; I think Agricola looks - and plays - great on iOS, and I wish more games went that route. Terra Mystica looks exactly like the board game, but I would kill to see a digital repreaentation with some flair, like 3D terrain or unique building for each faction or something. But the game plays well, so I can’t complain. Tabletop games are constrained by the medium; why not jazz them up a bit within a medium capable of more?

But to complain about the developer’s decision in this point is a bit narrow-minded, in my opinion.


#6

It almost sounds like you’re frustrated that people completely don’t appreciate what a golden age we live in as far as digital implementations of board games. But that couldn’t be.


#7

I don’t mind criticism, but these are:

a: the first two comments and they’re both negative
b: people who haven’t played the game.

I can’t wait until Thursday when the first 10 comments will be complaining that it costs $5 (or however much, I don’t know the price yet) and that the game isn’t good without expansions so they won’t be buying it until those are released (the stupidity of that argument always infuriates me).

That said, I don’t think CoB has any expansions, so it might not be as bad as the usual release.


#8

Strangely, the most recent BGG post complains about all the bloat in Terra Mystic making it unplayable. To me, TM is about close to a straight recreation of the tabletop version as possible, with the exception of having pull down displays for the various game boards. I guess opinions really are just that, opinion.


#9

And you know what they say about opinions…


#10

Ladies and gents, we have a winner. @kennfusion has superbly trolled the BGG crowd and they can’t figure it out.


#11


#12

Holy crap. I didn’t even look at who posted that and just rolled my eyes.


#13

The board looks really neat actually, so I am intrigued. What is the learning curve for the game? At the moment I don’t have the time to try to get into something as deep as say a Twilight Struggle.


#14

It’s not hard at all.

I can’t say I’ve played the app (I didn’t get an advanced copy :P) but the game itself is fairly intuitive.

If the tutorial is any good at all, it shouldn’t be hard to pick up. It’s nowhere near Twilight Struggle. LOL

(And now I’m suspicious of anybody who supports your comment on BGG…)


#15

I gave him an upvote on BGG cause I thought it was funny… if you start dropping Ascension games I’ll know what’s up!


#16

I am fairly confident that anyone who upvoted my BGG comment got the joke, and are mostly like all from here on SP, since the whole idea came from the comments that @Neumannium posted above.


#17

@kennfusion What @whovian223 said - you will get the game no problem.

Plus CoB it is a good game for bite-sized async play. Not too much to do each turn but enough that you pause and think about the available options rather than playing by rote.


#18

I’ve played probably 80 games asynchronously on Boiteajeux.net and it works very well.

I would hope the app version would implement it seamlessly


#19

@whovian223 Ah, I see you at BaJ. I haven’t played there for a while but I see that I have managed 101 CoB games in the past. Mostly with UK friends that are (no longer) living close to me. One of them has won about 70% of our 4 player games … so skill (or at least paying due attention!) must be relevant.

I won’t suggest a game there now with the app imminent. If you do get the app … let’s get into a game together …


#20

Sounds like a plan!!!

If there’s anything else over at BJX that you like to play, maybe we can get a game together (anybody else want to join if the game is interesting?)