Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Talisman, the fine board game, has arrived on the iPad!

I was lucky to receive a copy of the IOS Talisman game that I can review. There is already an informative and positive review at BoardGameGeek, so I will not repeat what their reviewer covers. And here's a link to the iTunes store, if you are ready to buy. (To be precise: there exists a "Talisman Prologue" game that we are NOT discussing here. The good news is that we get an app for the full Talisman.)

Talisman is a remarkably imaginative treatment of RPG in a board game, and that game has been faithfully reproduced in the IOS app. As usual, the app frees you from a lot of counting that the board game requires, and the app prevents you from making illegal moves. Also, there is a tutorial built into the game, so you do not have to know Talisman to enjoy playing the app.

Talisman belongs to a category of games that I’m sure you are familiar with: it is a game of skill (considerable skill in fact) with a large element of luck. Almost every game turn offers a chance to make a tactical decision, and there is deep strategy in deciding whether you are ready to go for a win.

Games of this type are wonderful to play in social settings. Everyone has a good time, and none of the novices notice that you are playing the game better than they are. They have a reasonable chance of winning, but that won’t bother you, because you know that in the long run, your skill will carry the day.

A Talisman game can last a long time. When the iPad first came out, one of my first reactions was: Wouldn’t it be great to play Talisman on my iPad? I imagined the iPad Talisman game saving the state of the game so that I could return to it several times a day for some rounds of play. Talisman on the iPad allows me to do exactly what I want, while the game’s AI plays one, two or three oponents. (Of course, several actual people can also compete, using this app.)

There is already an expansion set (and apparently, more coming) that I expect to buy, with – among other things – many more fascinating player characters. Talisman, among RPG games in general, is highly unusual in offering a stupendous variety of different kinds of characters to play with. There’s much more variety than the usual human/elf/dwarf+fighter/mage/thief.

Talisman, I’m glad you’re here!

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