iPad Game Review: Tikal Reviewed by Steven Scarpitti
Tikal is a board game that was originally created in 1999 by two German game designers and it has now been released as a universal app on the iTunes App Store.
Tikal features local and online play, with local play delivering a single player game of two to four players with multiple AI opponents you can choose to play against. Also in local mode you can play a four-player game with one to three friends all on one iPad. Online mode allows you to play using OpenFeint and also allows you to choose a two to four player game.
The game is played in turns, at the beginning of each player?s turn that player gets to place one random game tile. After placing the tile each player has ten action points to create expedition members, move expedition members, or use expedition members to uncover temples and treasures. The game tile could be a temple, a treasure, a clearing, or a volcano. Temples each have a number on them and that number is their point value, the point value can be improved by uncovering the temple with expedition members. Treasures have a few gold icons on them ranging from two to four gold icons, these can be recovered by expedition members.
Expedition members can be created at your base camps, each play starts with one base camp and can create an additional camp on a clearing game tile for five action points. Each player can create one expedition leader member at a cost of one action point, the expedition leader counts as three normal expedition members when calculating rule of a temple. Each player may also create a total of 18 normal expedition members at a cost of one action point for each expedition member created.
Any expedition member may move between game tiles at a cost of action points equal to the number of stone tiles in the path between the two game tiles. There can be a number between one to six stones on a path between game tiles, it takes at least one stone piece to create a path, there are no free movement paths.
Points are awarded at the end of each player?s turn after any player gets a volcano game tile. After the fourth volcano tile is played the game is completed. Points are awarded for temples controlled and treasures owned, you are awarded the point value of any temples you control with your expedition members at the end of your turn. The points awarded for treasure depend on the quantity of each type you own, you are awarded one point for having one of the eight different treasure types, three points for two of the same treasure type, and six points for having all three of a treasure type.
Once you understand all the rules and play a game, you will be hooked!
The graphics looks very bright and crisp, they look just like the actual board game. The controls work well and are very intuitive, pinch to zoom and scrolling around are all done nicely. I like the fact that there is an undo option in the menu if you make a mistake on your turn.
The background music is relaxing and fits the game very well with a nice tribal jungle sound. Tikal also has good sound effects for things like moving your expedition members around and uncovering temples. There is also a nice in game interface in the options menu to play your own music.
Overall this is one of the best board games currently available on the iTunes App Store, it may take a few minutes of reading to understand if you are unfamiliar with the rules but it will reward you with hours of fun and a great multi-player experience. Tikal should appeal to any board game fan especially those who enjoy Euro-board games, it should also appeal to strategy and puzzle game fans with its simple yet strategic gameplay. There is lots of replay value with six different AI opponents to play against in single player and the ability to play multi-player locally or over the Internet. Tikal is easily worth the purchase price as you would spend several times the price of this app to purchase the actual board game.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -5- Nice clean and bright graphics that look just like the original board game. Sound: -5- Relaxing background music with good sound effects and the ability to play your own music in game. Controls: -5- Controls are very intuitive and very forgiving, easy to use and fun to play. Gamplay: -5- Another classic board game makes its way to the iPad and now you don't even need your friends to play or you can play with them too but without the setup and need to keep score.