7 Wonders app.

7 Wonders has been one of my top 2 all-time boardgames since I first played the tabletop version back in 2011 (here’s my original review), and after a bit of a layoff – which happens given all the new games I need to try for Paste and Vulture – I got back into it this summer and found it hasn’t lost a thing for me. It’s just a brilliantly designed, fast-playing game that rewards long-term thinking, has a lot of interaction among players, and leaves players with very little downtime. All that was missing was an app version of the game, which had been promised at least as far back as early 2015 but seemed stuck in perpetual beta.

Well, I have good news: The 7 Wonders app is here, for iPads at least, with an Android version due next month, and it is great – if you already know the game, at least. The AI players are solid, the app itself is easy and intuitive to use, and there’s a lot of info crammed on the screen. I have some questions about whether this would be so intuitive to someone who’s never played the game, given what isn’t shown on the screen, and feel like there is room for some added features before the developers deliver the promised Leaders and Cities expansions.

7 Wonders is a card-drafting game with set collection elements, working much more quickly than most card collecting games do. There are three rounds, and in each round, players will get to buy (or just take) six cards to place on their tableaux. The unique mechanic of 7 Wonders is that you start each round with a hand of seven cards, choose one to play, and then pass the remainder of your hand to an adjacent player. Once you’ve played a few times, you know what cards are in each age, but you can never know what cards will be available to you in a specific game. In a game with six or seven players, the cards you pass will never come back to you; in a game with fewer, you’ll at least get something back from your original hand, but you can’t predict what it’ll be.

The cards themselves typically cost resources to acquire, but unlike many resource collection games, 7 Wonders doesn’t come with bags upon bags of little wood and stone tokens. Instead, you get resources every round from cards you’ve played that produce those, and you can buy resources from your two neighbors for 2 coins per unit – if the neighbors actually produce them. Many cards also give you the right to play specific cards for free in later ages, which can be a very powerful way to rack up points without producing a ton of resources yourself.

There are multiple avenues for scoring points, and while there’s a lot of debate over an ideal strategy, I find they’re all fairly balanced, and often the best strategy is just the one that no one else is pursuing. You can gain military points if you have more military symbols than each of your neighbors at the end of each age. You can rack up science points by acquiring green cards with three different symbols in sets. Blue cards simply give victory points. You can also discard cards to build stages of your Wonder, usually three different stages, each of which confers some benefit in resources, points, gold, or sometimes extra actions. And the purple guild cards in the third age can lead to huge bonuses.

The app version of 7 Wonders looks fantastic, and the developers have managed to get all the relevant info for you on to one screen, with most of the real estate occupied by your tableau and your hand, and with two smaller sections on the left and right sides to show what your neighbors have. Because card play is simultaneous, when you drag a card from your hand (bottom of the screen) to your tableau, your opponents’ moves happen at the same time, and you’re immediately given your new hand of cards.

Each card in your hand will be outlined in green, yellow, or red, with an indication in the lower left of the cost to play it. Green-outlined cards are either free to play or are already covered by resources you produce or cards you have. A check mark in the lower left says you’ve covered the cost; a chain link symbol means you have a card that gives you this one for free. Yellow outlines indicate you’ll have to pay at least one coin to buy resources from neighbors to play the card. Cards you can’t play are outlined in red, and if you try to play them anyway, you’ll get a Not Enough Resources message. You can click and hold any card to see a text explanation of its effects, including cards your neighbors have played. You can also see your neighbors’ current military strength, money, and wonders (including whether they’re completed) at all times.

The app moves fast – I can rip through a game against AI players in about five minutes – which might be confusing to new players. There isn’t a speed setting, although you can turn on an option to require move validation, which would at least make it feel slower. It would be incredibly useful if you could click and hold a card to play and see what its point or gold value would be at that moment, even though it could change later in the age or the game. The game-end scoring screen shows you how many points each player got from each scoring method, but switching back to the game at that point shows you the cards without further explaining the scoring breakdown, which I think would also be useful for new players.

I found the AI players to be sufficiently challenging, and surprisingly agile – they clearly respond to what you’re doing on the military side, which requires you to react in turn – but after a handful of plays over the last 24 hours, I’m finding my winning percentage approaching 50% already. I have won with military, with blue bonus cards, and with racking up guild points, but have yet to win with science – although once I lost to an AI player with 48 science points, which I think is a good sign I just wasn’t paying attention. (If you’re curious, that’s three cards with one science symbol, three cards with another symbol, the wild-card scientists’ guild, and two cards with the third science symbol.)

The app has online play and what appeared, on day one, to be an active lobby of players, although today on day two I haven’t been able to connect via the app. You need at least 3 players, on or offline; the 2-player variant isn’t included here, although I’ve never loved that rules tweak anyway. It is not available for smaller screens like iPhones, and while I’m sure that’s disappointing to a lot of users, I can understand why given how much information is required and how busy the screen gets by Age III even on the iPad. I’m completely hooked at the moment, and unless/until I start killing the AI players regularly this is going to be one of my go-to boardgame apps. I’ll update this post when the Android version is out, but if you have an iPad, go get this app.

Eight Minute Empire.

Eight-Minute Empire is pretty much what it sounds like – a Civilization-style 4X boardgame that plays in just a few minutes, promising 8 to 20 minute playing times on the box depending on the number of players (from two to five). The tabletop version came out in 2012, followed by a standalone sequel game, Eight-Minute Empire: Legends, that doubles the playing time by adding another layer of rules, which sounds to me like it might defeat the original’s purpose. I missed the physical games, but did pick up the new app version of the original Eight-Minute Empire, which is out for iOS phones and tablets and Android devices for just under $5, and it’s pretty fantastic. The tutorial is great, the app has some in-game tips for newbies (which you can later turn off), and you can rip through a whole game against 3 or 4 AI players in just a few minutes.

Eight-Minute Empire starts with all players on the same region on a map of multiple continents, with each player getting three military units on that space. On a turn, each player will choose one of six available action cards, which cost from 0 to 3 coins to purchase, and which determine the player’s action on that turn: Recruit new troops, move troops on land, move troops on land or via sea, build a city, destroy one troop anywhere on the board. Different cards allow different numbers of troop movements or additions. Building a city gives you the ability to recruit troops to that city as well as to the start region. Each card also has a symbol of one of the game’s six trade goods on it; collecting more of one type can gain you 1, 2, 3, or 6 points, depending on how many cards with that symbol you acquire.

The game lasts seven to ten turns, depending on the number of players, and while the app shows scoring in-progress, there’s no intermediate scoring – the game is only scored at the end. You gain one point for each region you control (more troops than any other player, with a city counting as +1 troop); one for each continent you control (whoever controls the most regions); and various points for the goods you’ve collected. Some cards have wild-card goods tokens, and the app will automatically place those wherever they’ll gain you the most points. If two players tie, which happens fairly often in my experience with the app, the winner is the player with the most coins remaining.

Eight-Minute Empire distills most of the best parts of map/exploration games to keep it simple for players. Everyone starts with the same number of coins, and you can’t get any more during the game. Turn order starts with open bidding; you can bid one or two coins to get to set the turn order, and there’s an advantage to going later rather than going first because you get to make troop movements after other players are done, thus ‘stealing’ another region or even a continent. Conflict is limited to the handful of cards that let you destroy a troop, which the AI players will use if you have one unit alone on a continent (which gives you control of that region and the continent, so beware). There are no actual battles in Eight-Minute Empire, no trading, no theft. You thus focus on where to put your units, where other players might choose to move theirs, and taking the action cards that will help you with units and/or goods while also potentially taking cards that might help your opponents.

The app comes with three levels of AI players, and I’d say the hard AI players are quite capable, strong enough that I needed many plays to beat them and still don’t do it consistently. (The randomness of card draws helps smooth gameplay out too.) It also offers clearer iconography than the printed version of the game, and the only drawback I see in the presentation is that with over 3 players you can’t see everyone’s points/goods status at once. The base game has two maps, the original (pictured) and a “sister continents” map, with several other maps available for $1.99 each or in a pack for $4.99; there’s also an IAP for the Mountains expansion, which was a free print-and-play addition to the base game, available for $1.99. I’m enjoying the two base game maps so far but I have a feeling I’ll eventually spring for others just to add some variety – the configuration of continents alters game play in a significant way, since the cards that allow movement by sea are rarer than those that only allow movement on land. Eight Minute Empire also plays very well on the smaller screen of my iPhone, which makes it a great little time-waster when I’m stuck somewhere without a book. I give it a very strong buy recommendation.

Stick to baseball, 10/28/17.

No new Insider content this week, as I was writing up the top 50 free agents package. That and a look at the offseason trade market will run the week of November 6th. I did hold a Klawchat on Thursday.

I spoke with Arizona’s KJZZ about my book Smart Baseball and the rise of Big Data in the sport. You can find links to buy the book here.

I also run a free email newsletter with personal essays and links to everything I’ve written since the previous newsletter. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you, and yes, I’m overdue to send another one out.

And now, the links, with boardgame stuff at the end as usual…


Tokaido came out in 2012, the third hit title in three straight years from designer Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders, Takenoko), and like those previous two titles, it combines elegant rules and beautiful artwork into a short game time that allows for frequent replay. This year brought a Tokaido app (iOSAndroid) that has fantastic animations and a solid tutorial, although I did hit one glitch in one game.

The Tokaido was the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo period in Japan, all government-regulated paths for travel and trade, with the Tokaido connecting Edo (now Tokyo) to the imperial capital of Kyoto. In this boardgame, each player takes on a specific character of a Japanese traveler who will move along a straight track that includes various stops where the player can take a specific action, as well as four inns where the player can buy a meal for victory points. The order of the stops varies along the track, and the player who is furthest back on the track gets the next turn. There are six distinct types of stops in the game: gain 3 coins; take one “encounter” card (which gives you something good at random); donate to the temple for one point per coin; buy one or more souvenirs; take a hot springs card for either 2 or 3 points; take the next card for one of the three panoramas in the game. The souvenirs come in four types, and cost 1 to 3 coins each; you gain points for each different type you collect in a set, 1 for the first card, 3 for the second, 5 for the third, 7 for the fourth, so potentially 16 points for each quartet you collect. The three panoramas are all different lengths, and you gain points for each card you collect; the longest is five cards, and you’d get 15 points for completing it (1+2+3+4+5).

At each inn, you can choose to buy a meal, each of which is worth six points. Some cost 1 coin, some cost 3, and the first person to reach the inn thus gets first choice of all of the meals for that round (you draw one card per player plus one more). If you get there last, you get the last choice, and may have to pay more, but you will be the first to leave the inn for the next round. You can’t buy the same meal twice in the same game, however.

There are also seven bonus cards for 3 points apiece. The first player to finish each panorama gets a 3-point card. The player with the most encounter cards, the most meal cards, the most hot springs cards, and the most souvenir cards at game-end gets a 3-point bonus card for each as well. The temple gives bonuses to the most generous players, 10 to whoever gave the most over the course of the game, then lower bonuses to each donor below that.

The nature of the game means blocking other players can be an effective strategy, especially given the way the scoring rewards players for hitting the same destination type (or color) repeatedly. I think it’s more valuable in 2- or 3-player games, where only one player can occupy any stop on the track at a given time, than in 4- or 5-player games, where some track locations have a second spot for another player. You may wish to stop another player from finishing a panorama, or keep a player who’s low on cash from hitting the 3-coin space. That said, even in a smaller game, I wouldn’t use this as a primary strategy; there’s a big opportunity cost to skipping spaces if you’ve visited that color type earlier in the game.

Although you can move as far along the track as you want on your turn, in reality, your best move is nearly always to take the next open space. Skipping spaces can give other players additional turns before you get to go again, so until the fourth section (the last set of spaces before the game ends), you’ll probably want to take the next space every time, maybe occasionally skipping just one space to get something specific, like moving to a yellow spot to get 3 coins if you’re out of cash. In the fourth section, it can make more sense to move ahead to complete a panorama or try to get the fourth souvenir in a set because those deliver higher points rewards than other moves. Those will depend on what you’ve accomplished earlier in the game, and sometimes what others have done – there’s a 3-point bonus for being the first to complete each panorama, and end-game temple bonuses depend on who donated the most – will alter your choices.

The app, by Funforge’s digital division, looks fantastic. Rather than simply implementing the boardgame as a 2D experience, they’ve animated everything, so you see the board from an isotropic view and the player-characters jog from space to space. There’s also a line at the bottom of the screen that represents all the possible stops between inns, so you can see what’s coming up, and you can press there to select your next destination or you can scroll through the 3D view to get there. Each time you stop at any place that will require a decision, you get a fresh screen that shows you all of your options – for example, at the souvenir stand, you’ll see the three choices for you at that stop, and on the left side are the four symbols with numbers indicating how many of each you already own. (I played the iOS version.)

I did experience one bug in the app, just the second time I played it, and it hasn’t recurred since: one of the animated AI characters ran to the next stop but couldn’t quite get there and ended up sort of running in place. I had to kill the app and restart it to get out of that. There’s only one level of AI player, but I’ve found it to be perfectly competent, enough challenge for me as a relative newbie to the game.

Bauza’s got quite a track record of successful designs, and I’d rate Tokaido behind three of his better-known titles – 7 Wonders, Takenoko, and the two-player game 7 Wonders Duel – but ahead of the Spiel-winning coop game Hanabi or 2016’s Oceanos. My daughter, now 11, loved it right out of the box and picked up the strategy pretty quickly, so I’m comfortable recommending it as a good family game that you can easily play on a school night given its 30 to 40 minute playing time.

Entropy: Worlds Collide.

Entropy: Worlds Collide is a very quick-playing card game of simple set-collection and not-so-simple actions, because you can’t do the same thing another player wants to do on the same turn. These “clashes” can result in players repeatedly unable to do anything – unless one of them takes the card that resolves clashes in their favor, which can spur a whole new set of fighting over who gets that card.

Entropy has players take one of six potential character cards, each with a unique ability, and asks players to collect the four cards (called “shards”) representing that player’s “reality.” The players are supposed to be characters from parallel universes whose realities have become jumbled, and thus must fight to be the first to reassemble one’s reality – placing all four shards face up – to win the game. The four shards from each player’s reality are shuffled into a central deck (the “nexus”) along with four cards from another, unused reality, plus one wild shard, and each player starts the game with one such card, face down, in his/her “hold.”

Each player has the same set of six action cards, numbered 1 through 6. Once you play an action card, you discard it to the table in front of you, and can’t reuse it until you have used all your actions or played your Reset (card 5) action. Card 1 allows you to use your character’s ability. Card 2 allows you to flip over one face-down card anywhere on the board – including in another player’s hold. Card 3 lets you take the top two cards from the nexus and place one in your hold (discarding what’s already there if you have one). Card 4 lets you take a shard from anywhere on the table – the nexus, the discard pile, or an opponent – except from an opponent’s reality. Once a card is played to someone’s reality, it’s there for the rest of the game. Card 5 is the aforementioned reset, and Card 6 lets you take the Anchor card.

Players all play their actions simultaneously, but if two or more try to play the same action, they clash and no one gets to play that round – unless one of those clashing players has the Anchor card. If you have the Anchor, you win any clash and can take the action in question, while everyone else in the clash has to sit the round out. So the game truly hinges on the Anchor, which starts the game in the middle of the table but should change hands frequently (unless you want one player to run away with things).

Because the deck of shards is so small and you can go through the discard pile, there isn’t much deduction involved in collecting your cards, other than perhaps trying to guess what’s in other players’ holds. The deduction in this game is around the action selections – you need to figure out what other players need to play, and then try to play something different, unless you have the Anchor.

Entropy is a light, diversionary game, although I think it aspires to a bit more. The clashes would seem to invite negotiation (and lying), but there’s no direct mechanism for this in the game, and no currency to use to try to ensure compliance or convince someone else to do what you want. There are certain character/action combinations that seem overly strong, such as the character who can play an action and force all other players to discard that action card … which, if you do it with Reset, kind of blows the other players out of the game.

Entropy: Worlds Collide also has a separate expansion called Echo of Time that introduces a second storyline, some new roles, a one-versus-many option, a way to play with five players (although the rules warn you there will be many clashes), and a second, stronger Anchor card for players to fight over. We found Entropy enjoyable, but a filler game, and probably not one we’ll go back to a ton because there seem to be little imbalances in the game play. The game was available at Rule & Make’s booth at GenCon but won’t ship to buyers until December 2017. The publishers do have another game out, Skyward, that we like a lot more, and that will be the subject of my next review for Paste in early November.

Stick to baseball, 10/21/17.

I wrote two scouting posts for Insiders from my week in the Arizona Fall League, which you can read here and here. I also held a Klawchat on Thursday.

I reviewed the card/dice game Valeria and its new expansion here on Friday; my next boardgame review for Paste will go up in early November. I also posted about a big boardgame app sale going on right now from Asmodee Digital.

The schedule for PAX Unplugged, a new boardgaming con to be held in Philadelphia in November, is now up. I’ll be signing copies of Smart Baseball there on November 18th and plan to attend the entire event.

And now, the links…

Valeria: Card Kingdoms.

Valeria: Card Kingdoms came out in 2015 from Daily Magic Games and has been steadily expanded ever since, including the latest release, this summer’s Flames & Frost, which is also the largest Valeria expansion to date. The game combines some great elements of other games, including the extensibility of Dominion, but more than anything else it takes the core mechanic of Machi Koro and improves on it dramatically. The theme is different, and there are other major variations, but this really is Better Machi Koro, to the point that I can’t imagine pulling MK out again now that we have Valeria on the shelves.

Valeria will at least start out as familiar to Machi Koro players: Each player starts with two cards, a Peasant (with the number 5 on it) and a Knight (number 6), and on every turn, the active player rolls the two dice to ‘activate’ certain cards. In Valeria, three cards are typically activated with each dice roll – the number on each individual die and the total of the two. (If they’re equal, some cards will thus be activated twice.) If you are the active player and you have any cards with those numbers on them, you get a specific reward in gold, magic, or strength tokens; if you’re not the active player, you also get a reward, but it’s usually smaller than what the active player gets.

On each turn, you get two actions, and can do one of four things. One is to just take a single gold, magic, or strength token, which is especially useful at the beginning of the game, but isn’t exactly why you’re here. The second action is to buy a Citizen card from the table. Citizens are numbered from 1 through 8, plus a 9/10 card and an 11/12 card. Citizens with higher-probability dice rolls on their cards cost more to buy, and, unlike in Machi Koro, you pay more to buy multiple copies of the same card – face value plus one more gold coin for each copy of the card you already have.

The third action is to buy a Domain card, which range from 5 coins to at least 12 coins, and give you end-game victory points as well as some recurring extra abilities or bonuses during the remainder of the game, such as reducing some card costs or allowing you to steal tokens from other players every turn. The fourth is to ‘defeat’ a Monster card on the table; there are five stacks of Monsters, sorted by type (a symbol in the upper left), and they get increasingly difficult to defeat as you move down the stack. You defeat Monsters with strength tokens and sometimes with magic tokens as well, earning an immediate reward (usually gold and/or other tokens, sometimes a free Citizen card instead) and end-game victory points.

There’s one other avenue to points that is unique to each player. At the start of the game, you’re dealt two Duke cards that detail specific game-end bonuses that are tied to the symbols found in the upper right of all cards (Domains, Monsters, and Citizens, especially the first two), or just to the number of Domains you bought or Monsters you defeated, and something for the leftover tokens you have. Add the points from your Duke to the points on your Domains and Monsters and any extra points you picked up during the game (some Citizens let you take a victory point rather than, say, two gold) and you get your total. The game begins with twenty card stacks in total, and when the number of Exhausted (depleted) stacks reaches twice the number of players, the game ends.

Here Be Monsters.
Here be Monsters.

The expansions mostly add twists with new Citizens, Monsters, Domains, and Dukes, varying the possible ways to score and altering how you might combine cards, while also giving the game the Dominion-like aspect of allowing you to mix and match cards so the game has functionally infinite replayability. The Flames and Frost expansion is larger than the previous ones, large enough that you can play a complete game using only cards from the new box other than the starter Knight and Peasant cards and the Exhausted cards from the base game. Several expansions introduce Event cards as well, which are shuffled into the Exhaustion deck; if you draw an Event card when a pile is exhausted, something happens to all players, usually something not good.

Game play takes about 30 minutes for 2 to 4 players – we haven’t tried it with five – not including setup time, which can get longer if you want to craft your own custom set of Citizens for that particular game. My daughter and her friend, both 11, had no trouble understanding the rules, and my daughter even tied me in our first two-player match. The iconography within the game, which limits its reliance on English (for the global market), can be a little confusing at first, but we kept the rules handy as a reference to walk us through it. If you liked the main idea of Machi Koro but found the game somewhat broken, especially given the way players could monopolize certain dice rolls, then I give Valeria my very strong recommendation.

Asmodee Digital app sale.

A bunch of the best boardgame apps out there are on sale right now courtesy of publisher Asmodee Digital, and since there are too many to squeeze into a tweet or FB post, I’m going to list my favorites among them (they have over 20 titles on sale) here with links to my reviews and to the iOS/Android stores.

Ticket to Ride ($1.99): Review, iTunes Store, Android version

Splendor ($1.99): Review, iTunes store, Android version

Pandemic ($1.99): Review, iTunes store, Android version

Small World 2 ($1.99): Review, iTunes Store, Android version

Jaipur ($0.99): Review, iTunes store, Android version

Ticket to Ride First Journey ($1.99): Review, iTunes store, Android version

Also, I have only played Twilight Struggle ($1.99) on Steam and haven’t reviewed it, but it’s also on sale for iPads and Android tablets. It’s a two-player game that I think requires a lot of playing experience to play it well because you must be familiar with the cards in your deck.

Stick to baseball, 10/13/17.

For Insiders this week, I posted my first batch of scouting notes from the Arizona Fall League, covering prospects from the Cardinals, Yankees, Brewers, Orioles, Padres, Cubs, Rockies, and Twins. I also held a Klawchat on Friday.

Later today (Saturday) I will be at Changing Hands in Phoenix, at 2 pm, to talk about and sign copies of Smart Baseball. I’ll also be signing books at PAX Unplugged, a new boardgaming convention that takes place in Philadelphia the weekend before Thanksgiving.

And now, the links…

Alhambra app.

The boardgame Alhambra is a modern Euro classic, winner of the 2003 Spiel des Jahres award and a host of other prizes, and still rated fairly highly on Boardgamegeek even thought it’s a bit light for that crowd. It’s also one of my least favorite Spiel winners, and one of my biggest disconnects between what I think of a game and what the gaming community thinks. I reviewed the original game back in 2011, and while I’ve softened on it just a little bit, it’s still not something I’m eager to pull off the shelf.

But there is now an Alhambra app (for iOS devices and Android), and because I take my responsibility to all of you seriously, I have played it for the purposes of reviewing it. And … I still don’t like the game that much, and I find the app a little clunky to use; after I’ve been spoiled by a run of Asmodee Digital apps and a few other super-clean ports, this one fell short of the mark for me. The AI players are solid, though, so it’s a good challenge for solo play, so if you enjoy the tabletop game, you may find value in the app that I didn’t.

Alhambra is a tile-laying game where players use money cards selected from a rolling display of four cards and use them to buy one or more of the four tiles currently in the market. You get one action per turn and can use it to buy a tile, take money cards (one card, or several if they add up to five or less), or move a tile already in your palace to storage/move one from storage to the palace. If you buy a tile and pay the exact amount, you get a bonus action, so in theory you could get five actions in one turn: you buy each of the four tiles for the exact amount, and then get a bonus action to take money or renovate. There are six tile types, and you score for having the most or second-most of each type, with three scoring stages during the game and points increasing at each scoring. Tiles also have wall segments on zero to three edges; at every scoring, you score one point for each edge on your longest contiguous wall.

The app version of Alhambra has two different views – a standard top-down look and an isometric view with graphics on the tiles to give them 3D textures, with the isometric one much more comfortable to look at in my experience. You can also tailor the app speed if you want to see AI or opposing players make their moves, or if you’d rather speed things up and have cards just disappear from the display as they’re taken.

Making moves in the app is not intuitive in the least. First, you must select your action from a box at the top of the screen – buy, take money, renovate. If you’re buying, then you must select the money cards you intend to spend to buy the tile, and selecting the cards is a pain because of the way they’re laid out, overlapping each other, forcing you to click on the edge of a card to select it. Then you pick the tile you’re buying. If you pay the exact price, the app automatically gives you a bonus action by asking you to select a new action type. If you don’t have enough money to buy any tiles, that action is greyed out.

Any tiles you buy go into a temporary storage bin on the screen until your turn is done, after which you place all of the tiles at once. You drag the tile you wish to place over towards your board, and the legal spaces for it light up in green, then go back to retrieve the next tile if there are more in your tray. Once you place a tile, I don’t think there’s a way to undo it. The isometric view only fails in this one spot – it’s hard to distinguish walls on the ‘far’ side of tiles.

The game ends when the supply of tiles is exhausted, at which point there’s a quirk in the rules – the remaining tiles are assigned to players based on who has the most money of each color, whether or not those players have enough to buy the tiles. That can also mean you acquire a tile you can’t place, and the app wants you to place that tile in one of your renovation slots … which I only figured out from trial and error. If you don’t know this, you’re stuck.

The app is stable now after some early bugginess, and some expansions are available as in-app purchases, but I find the UI here too frustrating – and, again, I’m not wild about the game underneath it. If you love the base game, go for it. Otherwise, I’d give this one a miss.