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Agricola iPad Review

By , on June 28, 2013
Last modified 1 year, 5 months ago


Agricola
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • A decepitvely simple game that's not too hard to learn. 
  • The sheer variety of play styles makes for a long term investment. 
  • Peaceful musical accompaniment.

CONS

  • Quite intimidating on first glance. 
  • New players will be trounced by those with a knowledge of occupation and improvement cards.

VERDICT

A very entertaining board game port with a decent interface. Agricola should keep players busy for a long time.


  • Full Review
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Some board games have an extraordinary number of pieces, making the simple act of setting up a monumental task in itself. Now aficionados will tell you that's part of the allure, but especially with a game like Agricola, the benefit of being able to starta game in a couple of taps cannot be understated.

Agricola is a turn based strategy game based around medeavil farming. Now stop right there. Before you cease reading or close the video window, hear us out. While the game may seem overly complicated (especially as you're playing the tutorials), it's not too hard to master. And, thanks to the variety of options,things remain interesting even after your twelveth game.

The main goal of Agricola is to feed your family. Every fourth turn will be a harvest in which your crops are gathered, your family is fed, and your animals breed. If you cannot feed your family at harvest, you gain a begging token that will deduct points at the end of the fourteenth round, when all the victory points are tallied. Food can be gathered in many ways, but everything - whether it's buying livestock, sowing fields, or acquiring the resources to build improvements or expand your family - is handled by assigning workers to spaces on the board.

Resources accumulate each round. So, if no one has gathered wood for a few turns, anyone who places a worker on that spot will reap a large influx of lumber. The number of players will dictate the number of resource spaces available. Denying an opposing player a resource can be as sound a strategy as acquiring what you need yourself.

That's the basic game, or the 'family game' option. The normal game adds occupations and improvement cards into the mix. These grant you more choices and favours as you go about building your farm, but only those who have played many games will know which are the most useful.

While the game's individual actions are simple to complete, it's the sheer number of choices available to the player that can overwhelm newcomers. A handy tip is to cover as many bases as possible. Family, livestock, crops, improvements; the more you have, the better off you'll be come the scoring round. The help icon allows the player easy access to see what options there are to choose from. There is online and offline play, in both real-time and asynchronous varieties.

If you're a fan of the board game or of board games in general, this is a great digital version of a very interesting game. Who knew farming could be so engaging or so cut-throat?

Screenshots

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