Based on the Popular Adventure Board Game Franchise, the Solo Tactical Squad-Based Mobile RPG Showcases an Untold Story Based on the Post-Apocalyptic Universe
PARIS – April 23, 2019 – Today, Asmodee Digital, a leader in digital board game entertainment, has launched Zombicide, a solo tactical squad-based mobile role-playing game (RPG) based on the incredibly popular board game franchise that has raised more than $18 million since 2012. Featuring an untold story set in the familiar over-the-top post-apocalyptic zombie universe, Zombicide delivers thrills and chills on iOS and Android devices, starting today.
“Creating tactical games is a huge part of Asmodee Digital’s DNA, and the introduction of Zombicide on mobile platforms is a testament to our commitment to bringing engaging universes and experiences to players worldwide,” said Pierre Ortolan, CEO of Asmodee Digital. “Zombicide is a beloved board game franchise, so bringing this title to mobile with a brand new storyline, as well as an immense level of care, quality and polish, is a great next step for the IP.”
With its intuitive but deep combat system, 40 campaign missions, ambient soundtrack, dazzling special effects and cadre of rich characters with unique abilities, Zombicide’s zombie-infested universe presents a colorful gameplay experience. The game features brisk 20 to 30 minute turn-based gameplay sessions, challenging players to eliminate zombies and survive as long as possible. The higher the danger level rises, the more zombies emerge in search of human flesh.
Zombicide follows a group of survivors who are forced to work together in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Faced with danger, bonds eventually become stronger as the team works together to unearth the deadly secret behind the undead horrors in their hometown.
Zombicide will be available on iOS and Android devices starting today. For more information on the game, feel free to visit: https://www.asmodee-digital.com/en/zombicide/
More information about Asmodee Digital on: Web, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About Asmodee Digital Asmodee Digital, a fully owned subsidiary of the Asmodee Group, is an international publisher and distributor of digital board games with operations located in Europe, North America, and China. Asmodee Digital manages the creation, design, development, publishing, and marketing of board and card games on leading digital platforms – spanning mobile, PC, Mac, virtual reality and consoles – for Asmodee studios as well as for third-party publishers. The current Asmodee Digital catalog includes best-selling digital games such as Catan VR, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Splendor, Agricola, Mille Bornes, Pandemic, Small World 2, Mr. Jack London, Colt Express, Mysterium, Potion Explosion, Onirim, Jaipur, Spot It! Duel, Abalone, Ticket to Ride First Journey, Catan Stories, Talisman, Fighting Fantasy Legends, Smash Up and digital versions of many other well-known board games. http://www.asmodee-digital.com/en/
About CMON CMON Limited is a fast growing hobby games publisher. Originated in 2001 as www.coolminiornot.com, an online community website, CMON now publishes several hit tabletop games, such as the Zombicide series, as well as Blood Rage, Arcadia Quest and more! We actively leverage crowdfunding to bring new and innovative titles to the tabletop games market, and have proven asset-light business model.
About Playsoft We’re Playsoft, a mobile game development company of 50 passionate games professionals. We create top-grossing mobile games with selected market-leading publishers. We create outstanding products fast in a data-driven, player-centric way.
Who has time for full-blown reviews anymore? If you want them, you can find all you want – a sea of them. But if you want something quick, here you go – quick, hot takes on recent games I’ve played. Nah, I didn’t play them seven times. I won’t explain the rules in excruciating detail. I won’t give you the path to victory based on countless plays. I’ll give you the gist, something I find interesting, and what I think. Here we go:
Evolution: The Digital Edition
Evolution was the first ‘serious’ game that came from North Star Games, who were first known for their hit (and wonderful) party game Wits & Wagers. Since Evolution ended up feeling like, wait for it, North Star itself evolving, I was intrigued even though my first play was with a rough playtest copy that I demonstrated at Strategicon. Yet, the game was immediately compelling to just about everyone I met; the concept of multipurpose cards where one can create species and grow them with the ultimate goal of feeding (food = VP) appealing immediately to gamers. Bringing the game to mobile gaming seemed like a no-brainer to me and it’s finally here, allowing for AI and asynchronous play. The game is full of sparkling graphics, lots of flavor text, a solid (if sometimes overbearing) tutorial, and a complete port of the gameplay that made Evolution so popular.
Evolution on your phone takes care of some of the administration and card-reading. One knock on the original game is how much information you need to track. Can my carnivore eat any of the available animals? I need to read cards to confirm. The app just highlights which species I can snack on now, which makes life wonderful. Sure, you still need to look sometimes, which is easy enough with a click on the cards (easier on a tablet, and a choice to display all cards on a species would be cool). “Auto-feed” is also nice, quickly letting the species mack down on the available food as they would appropriately chose to do.
Evolution is a good game that has a unique feel. I am quite fond of the app version because of the ease of administration and how it is giving me a chance to play the game more frequently so I can become more familiar with the rules. That way, when next I get it to the table, it’s all the easier to play the game quickly. The chance to explore the strategy of a game more is the key thing I seek in a longer iOS game (not the 3-5 minute chunk games like Doppelt Ganz Clever below), and Evolution: The Digital Game delivers that in spades. If you like Evolution, it’s an insta-buy. If you’re new to Evolution, you can find no better way to learn it.
Castles of Burgundy: The Digital Edition
Castles of Burgundy is the finest game Stefan Feld has designed and it is one of my favorites of all time. Haven’t played it? Stop reading and go play this cardboard wonder. Back now? Okay, let’s continue.
It’s a perfect dice manipulation game. COB effectively makes good use of a wild list of different tiles in a way that isn’t quite as successful in Feld games like Bruges and Macao. I was thrilled for the iOS version to come out. Unfortunately, my first response to the game was that it was overproduced. I have been generally happy with Digidiced, the company behind this release. Yet, it felt like they had stacked this layer cake just a little too tall.
COB received criticism for the component quality when it was originally released, but no one took issue with the art. It’s not sacrilege to replace it with similar looking art, but the original work is recognizable for those of us who have played many, many games of COB. So, it irked me a little bit that the digital edition adds new, less appealing art. Add that to the fact that the game has a 3-D look and a quirky trick where in the game shows the current player’s board on their turn. I find the implementation overwhelming.
Once I started to play, I realized Digidiced had sensibly given players a number of choices as to how it is they might select certain pieces to take their turn. For example, you can select the die you want to play in order to start the process of selecting a tile to claim or take. You can also simply select the pieces. The game does a pretty solid job of being able to anticipate what it is that you’re going to do. Not rocket science but it’s still welcome that when I select a shipping tile that has a three on it, the game understands that I’m probably meaning to select a die that has a three on it or one that is pretty close for which I can use a worker to modify. As a software designer, I can appreciate the fact that the company made some good choices as to use ability in these cases. Kudos, Digidicers.
How does the game play on iOS? Pretty much like COB tabletop does, with a lot of the administration handled for you. That’s welcome, as the game does require a bit of set up each round. My experience so far has primarily been playing against the computer and the AI is a serviceable but the real joy is being able to have some asynchronous play with friends. And while I was initially frustrated with the art, I have grown accustomed to the different look. I still think that there is some lost definition with some of the building tiles in particular but that’s a small complaint against the joy of being able to have more COB in my life.One final note, The game is priced at $8.99 for the iOS version and a dollar more for Android. This is a significant increase from most of the games that come out these days which are starting to trail up into higher costs. While I understand the desire to make some amount of money from the mobile games, as well as the versions that are available on Steam, I do think that for gamers that have already invested in the game in physical format, it does seem like a bit high. Maybe I’m just naïve, and something of a cheapo when it comes to how much money I’m willing to pay for an iOS version of a game that I’ve already bought in physical form, not to mention the Card Game and the Dice Game, both of which are passable versions of the original. For me, $4.99 is an upper limit for these games when you play them on your devices like an iPhone or iPad. But if you love COB, and you should, pick it up when the sales hit…
Doppelt So Clever: The Digital Edition
Ghost-pepper-hot designer Wolfgang Warsch keeps dropping these excellent games on us. In the case of Doppelt So Clever, he’s following up Kennerspiel Bridesmaid Ganz Schon Clever (which missed out on the award because his other nominee won), a roll-and-write wonder that delights gamers and may intimidate the uninitiated.
The themeless dicey puzzle game allows for clever interaction between rolls in various categories and the forced limitation of lower die rolls. I find it a great app for the 5 minute iOS experience I tend to seek instead of longer games that will take an extended period of time to play. Doppelt ups the ante by introducing even less obvious interactions into the mix. The gray section in particular has baffled some players but the way you set up various rolls to give you extra rolls and placements is key (Blue and Pink, folks!) It’s a heady answer to the simpler roll-and-writes out there flooding the marketplace and I really enjoy it.
What’s truly interesting is the game. If Ganz Schon Clever kept me addicted for a few months as I worked my way up to scoring in the 300’s, Doppelt was knocked over a lot faster. While I think Doppelt’s strategy is more subtle, experience with GSC helped me a lot. Not that it plays the same way, in fact, you need to unlearn some things that GSC teaches you. The interplay of the Yellow section is more intriguing than Blue in GSC. Green can be a points powerhouse. Pink can deliver so much if you get in early. There’s plenty to explore and enjoy for the cost of this app.
The app itself is a port from Brettspielwelt, which are generally not too strong. Like Friday and Doppelt’s sister game, they are buggy and sometimes slow to respond. I won’t bore you with the technological reasons why I believe these apps don’t perform but it’s a thing. That said, I want BSW to make tons of money because I’ve spent MANY hours on their servers delighting in board game goodness.
These games are lovely puzzles but once you have solved them, they lose some appeal. I’d also suggest that solo play is just as appealing because adding other players doesn’t meaningfully change the game except when they are going to trip you up by refusing you a die you want. I don’t find that appealing anyway so the “Clevers” are perfect for iOS (dare I say, maybe even better than the physical copy). Give them both a buy.
What iOS board games do you love? I’d enjoy hearing about your favorites in the comments section. I think I have most of them out there but I am always looking for my next iOS addiction.
Disclosure: A code to download Evolution: The Digital Edition was provided by the publisher for independent review.
Inspired by the award-winning tabletop game, Evolution retains the elements which made the analog edition so popular with more than 1.6 million players worldwide, but offers a swift pace and features only possible in a modern video game. Meticulously designed so even those who are completely unfamiliar with the original board game can jump in right away, the digital release features a learn-while-you-play tutorial, exciting campaign mode with “Apex Species” to test your wits against, and cross-platform multiplayer that effortlessly matches players with others of similar skill.
Create new species and adapt them for survival in an ever-changing environment, brought to life with a beautifully hand-painted, watercolor art-style and an earthy, contemplative original soundtrack. Combine different traits rooted in science, such as a long neck or a defensive shell, in limitless combinations to help creatures thrive in the fight for survival over scarce food resources and defense from deadly predators. Develop symbiotic relationships or even evolve carnivorous traits and feast on foes in this addictive turn-based strategy game.
Evolution brings stunning new artwork, animated cards, lush environments, distinct enemy A.I., and more than 24,000 possible species to the virtual table. The campaign presents varied scenarios and smart “Apex Species” requiring careful planning and strategy to survive.
Take the fight for survival online and square off against live opponents around the world in fully cross platform, skill-based matchmaking. Rank up from a field researcher all the way to a Nobel Laureate in the progression system. Test yourself against others in the ongoing seasonal tournaments. Turn-based and simultaneous play options allow for fast and fluid multiplayer games in under ten minutes.
“The original Evolution tabletop game has developed a fanatical following among players since its release in 2014,” said Scott Rencher, president and co-founder of North Star Digital Studios. “With the Evolution video game, we’ve gone all out to make this not just a great board game adaptation, but a fantastic strategy video game in its own right.”
Evolution will be available in English on PC and Mac via Steam for $14.99 on February 12, 2019. The game will also be released as free-to-try on iOS and Android with a full version available for $9.99 on the same day. Those who purchase the game in the first week will receive a 20% launch sale discount.
About North Star Digital Studios North Star Digital Studios is a digital board game development house based in Kensington, MD. Founded in 2014 by parent company North Star Games’ Scott Rencher and Dominic Crapuchettes, the company is devoted to adapting North Star board games into digital versions that capture the heart of the originals while taking full advantage of what video games have to offer. Evolution is the studio’s first release.
Hardback is the delightful sequel to Paperback, the deckbuilding word game from always-interesting designer Tim Fowers. This is a sequel worth having
As a second-generation bibliophile, I do love games with a book theme. I had the pleasure of playtesting Tim Fowers’ delightful Paperback (which originally had a longer title that might have gotten him in trouble with The Beatles’ record company) so I knew this excellent twist on the deckbuilder genre was going to be a hit.
While I like the physical game, in iOS form, Paperback is one of my most-played games. The game captures the wonderful feel of Scrabble with the clever mechanisms of deckbuilding optimization. This is a tight design that delights this wordsmith. I really enjoy coming up with the best word for the letters I’m dealt.
With that in mind, I was delighted to hear that Tim decided to return to the concepts of Paperback with a sequel. The game takes the deckbuilder concept and refines it to give the game a different, more open feel.
Hardback versus Paperback
Hardback plays like Paperback on a basic level. You are building words with the cards you draw in deckbuilder-style (if you’re reading this blog, I’m going say, you get it.) Points are scored by playing letter formed into words that give you enough money to buy additional letters that may have special powers. While the letters are in rows (Ascension-style), you can also buy victory point cards that act as wild cards and big words get you a bonus card once in a while. Also appealing: your change can be used to ‘Buy Ink.’ This lets you flip cards without losing their benefit. No more leftover change with no value, which was a gripe with Paperback.
The difference is that Hardback lets you turn every card into a wild card if you would like to do so. This gives you a lot more opportunity to come up with the words you really want to create. But it’s not a free-for-all or something. Turning the individual cards into wilds actually sacrifices the benefits of the card, which may be gaining cash to buy more cards or it might be awarding victory points.
Hardback also includes Genre cards, much like the faction cards in Clank!, are cards that interact with each other when you have more of them. Thus, having more Horror or Mystery cards in your word will get you some bonuses, as stated on the cards. So, instead of a restriction based on only the letters you have, your choices are about what you sacrifice to get the right combination of letters and benefits. As much as I love Paperback, this is a really interesting implementation of the original concept.
Hardback played solo has the same addictive quality of Paperback. As much as I can enjoy the game in person with other players, like Dominion, it’s really competitive solitaire. Thus, they both work better (for me) as solitaire experiences. The gameplay is compelling and it’s one of those peanut games (i.e., you can’t play just once).
Graphic Design Challenges
If I have a complaint about Hardback, it’s that the digital version is rough on the eyes. While I admire the excellent artwork of Ryan Goldsberry, whose delightful visions have appeared in all of Tim Fowers’ games, Hardback feels like a slight misfire from the logo page onward. While his development of the snappy style of Paperback takes the feel backward in time, it has also gained an ornate look that makes it hard to read.
Capturing the mood of the different book genres with different fonts is a good idea. Yet, in practice, it makes the game look less appealing. Some of the genre fonts (the Romance font is probably the worst) are hard enough to see on my iPhone 7 Plus that I’ve bought a different letter just to avoid it. The flashy letters are even less appealing when contrasted with the tiny size of the iconography (including the Flip spot).
The cards aren’t the only problem. The game has so many fonts elsewhere that are hard on the eyes as well, including the Submit button that is on a kind of flag or something and the various stylized but oddly large card names elsewhere. Worse, the score marker is so subtle that I didn’t notice it at all my first game. When you do notice it, it’s hard to tell numbers – you can just basically say you are winning or losing. That’s fine for me, but players with a more pointed need for precise will suffer at the colorful and perhaps overly-stylized score tracker.
The Final Word
Hardback is a delightful offshoot of the original Paperback that absolutely deserves a spot on your shelf. As a solo game players on you mobile device, it’s a winning title that well suits my ask that games be playable in a 5-8 minute timeframe. This is about as long as I want to really hold the device while playing. Longer games are fun but I need to use the iPad for them.
Lovely but squinty art aside, Hardback is a winner. The game is definitely worth the money to add this compelling little word game to your digital collection. Here’s hoping that Softcover, eBook, or perhaps Limited Edition is the name of the inevitable third game in Fowers’ trilogy.
Paperback, the smash-hit game from designer Tim Fowers (of Burgle Brothers and Wok Star fame), has come to mobile devices and I couldn’t be more delighted. Thematically, Paperback has players trying to finish a pulpy paperback novel by constructing words throughout the game, which is pleasantly brought to life with the amusing artwork and quick game play.
Paperback the original board game is typically described as the baby of Scrabble and Dominion, which is apt. Players get to make words from a hand of letter cards drawn each turn in deck-builder style. Each letter has a value and whatever you construct for the turn gives you money to buy new (often better, higher value) letters, some of which have special powers. You can also buy victory point cards if you have enough money. Despite being the key to winning, they clog up your deck with wild cards that have no buying power. There are also special powers on certain letter cards that do cool things like double word scores, draw extra cards and other nice things. There’s a way to get points for longer words, too. It’s a load of fun for wordsmiths and casual players alike.
You want a detailed description of play? This guy wrote it out (although he added an ‘l’ to Tim’s surname, which I expect isn’t uncommon). You can also watch this video. You didn’t think I was going to explain it rule-by-rule did you? Come on. Where are you?
What I Love About The Paperback App
I need to disclose something. I’m a recovering iOS deckbuilding addict. I’ve played SO many games of Ascension and Dominion on my iPhone that even my careful documentation of plays ceased to have meaning. The quick play of these games against a single AI player is almost too compelling. Playing them swallowed all my little bits of time on my device and I finally had to stop so I could read books and get back to completing mini-workflows in those odd moments. But Paperback has me back off the wagon and loving it.
Normal Paperback as a board game has the same challenge that word nerds face when trying to find opponents for Scrabble. Simply put, if you have an excellent vocabulary, you just have a natural advantage. Like being tall in basketball, it isn’t everything but it sure helps.
While modern players have Qwirkle as a good alternative that levels the playing field with color/shape combos instead, those of us who just love words still yearn for the opportunity to build them from a jumble of letters. With the Paperback app, I can indulge this passion with the AI player when no one else is available. Furthermore, the game has helpful setting options to allow players to adjust the length of their games. I’ve often opined that some mobile app games are simply too long because I have other things to do (the opposite of how I feel when I’m at a table with excellent people). I welcome Paperback giving the player control over the length of their experience.
Furthermore, Paperback rides on the Loom Game Engine and it works really well. Animation and game speed are all excellent. Fowers isn’t just a brilliant board game designer – he has a background in technology so I’d expect nothing different from his apps.
What I Didn’t Like
A prompt update eliminated one of my pet peeves – confirmation windows – ugh! Just because that was considered good coding in CS classes, it’s a nightmare by modern UX standards…okay, rant over. However, Paperback still makes me listen to its theme music instead of letting me bring in my own playlist. As a passionate music-lover who carefully curates what goes into my ears, this is a problem. The theme music is pleasant and appropriate but it isn’t going to make me not want Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star to serenade me while I play my word nerd games. That sultry voice just gets the little gray cells going. Full rules are now available, too – not just a video link. Some of us still read, including those who want a Paperback app! I feel sure Tim is addressing those issues in future releases.
The Final Word on Paperback for iOS
Paperback is a well-implemented version of a game that is ideally suited for the mobile device play. I love it and certainly recommend you give is a download. I’m sure it is available for Android somewhere, wherever those things happen.