Lord of Waterdeep is a digital adaptation of the Wizards of the Coast boardgame of the same name. It is set in the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms universe.
Lords of Waterdeep is, at its core, a worker-placement boardgame in the Eurogame style. In it, you play one of the Masked Lords, the secretive rulers of Waterdeep, and exert your will by the clever manipulation of Agents, who gather the adventurers and resources necessary to complete quests. Completing quests is the primary way of scoring victory points, and the one with the most victory points at the end of the eighth round wins the game.
The game board is a beautiful map of the town of Waterdeep. During your turn, you will choose quests and then place your agents in various locations within this town in an effort to collect the things you need to complete your active quests. This is not as simple as it sounds because the other Lords (your opponents) are also vying for resources, and there's never quite enough to go around. There are also locations that will give quests, allow you to buy property, and award you an Intrigue Card. These cards can be played to give you a strategic advantage such as forcing an opponent to complete a certain quest and giving everyone a bonus (but you more of a bonus). Knowing when to take a break from gathering resources and go after an intrigue card is a necessary skill if you want to win.
The AI is more than capable of punishing you for lazy gameplay so if you play Waterdeep like some sort of D&D themed game of Yahtzee you will get crushed like a bug. In addition to a ruthless AI, Waterdeep features both pass-and-play and asynchronous online multiplayer. Unfortunately, Playdek has chosen to eschew Game Center in favor of their own matchmaking service. This means that you and everybody else will have to create an account with Playdek if they want to play online. This isn't a huge inconvenience, but its an unnecessary one, and an irritating trend in online gaming.
The iOS version of Lords of Waterdeep, although a boardgame at its heart, does a fantastic job of bringing Waterdeep graphically alive without being distracting. Both the game board and the gameplay itself is animated just enough to give it a highly polished look that even works well on the small screen of an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Great music and sound that compliment gameplay perfectly.
The Lords of Waterdeep is a great iOS conversion of a great boardgame. If you are a fan of the physical version and have an iOS device, you should have already picked this up. For the rest of us strategy/role-playing gamers, buying Lords of Waterdeep should still be a no-brainer; it's slick, accessible, and the gameplay is fairly intuitive, which means instead of saying: What do I do?!?! You'll be saying: Hmmmm... what should I do first.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Beautiful digital adaptation of the original boardgame that actually enhances gameplay. Sound: - 4.5 - The music and sound compliment the game perfectly. Controls: - 5 - They went out of their way to make sure you always know what choices you have at any given moment; a big kudos for that. Gameplay: - 5 - A faithful reproduction of the physical boardgame at a fraction of the cost, and no pieces to set up or lose.
Playing Hints and Tips:
The tutorial is absolutely necessary for those unfamiliar with gameplay, and will leave you in the middle of a game that will be much more easily won than one you start from scratch. The AI is tough, but anonymous human opponents can feel needlessly intimidating. If you don't have a friend to play with and don't want to play against the AI, join a random game and learn by losing. Just be sure to finish the game; it's good online etiquette.