Carcassonne game combines charming art and light strategy

May 11, 2011
Games

The Carcassonne app ($9.99) is a faithful representation of the award-winning board game of the same name. Anyone interested in a light strategy board game that combines easy-to-learn rules and a charming art style should look no further. The game involves players taking turns placing tiles onto the game board. After placing each tile the […]

The Carcassonne app ($9.99) is a faithful representation of the award-winning board game of the same name. Anyone interested in a light strategy board game that combines easy-to-learn rules and a charming art style should look no further.

The game involves players taking turns placing tiles onto the game board. After placing each tile the player may then place one of seven workers, or “meeples” onto a particular landmark of that tile. Points are gained by completing the various landmarks, including roads, cities, cloisters and fields. The game ends when all of the tiles have been played, with the winner having accumulated the most points.

Sounds simple right? It is simple, but has a fair amount of strategy lurking under the surface as well. A limited number of meeples will force the player to wisely choose how and when they are used. Also, tile placement can be used to grow an already established landmark, or to hinder another player’s advancement. For these reasons, many experienced board game fans would list Carcassonne as one of the best games to introduce newcomers to German-style board games, e.g. games featuring simple rules, indirect player interaction, attractive components and an emphasis on strategy rather than luck or conflict.

The look and feel of Carcassonne is very well done, keeping the artwork true to the original game. The sound is charming as well, giving audible clues to which type of landmark has been completed.

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There are several ways to enjoy the game. Multiplayer is supported both locally and over the Internet with push notifications. If that weren’t enough, there are nine unique AI opponents of varying difficulty, and even a separate solitaire mode if friends aren’t available to join the fun.

If there is one thing that disappoints me about Carcassonne, it’s that the $9.99 price tag will deter some who might be curious about the game. At this point, a demo or lite version does not exist. This is a shame, because, if you are at all like me, you’d surely be hooked after a single play-through.

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Wayne Stuckey

After receiving his bachelor's degree in management information systems on planet Earth, Wayne decided to settle down and live there. He writes from the plains of the Midwest.

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