To quote the good Dr . . .

Writer_smallerWhat’s the worst that could happen?

For the purposes of illustrating the argument, myself and Aileen take opposing views on the topic of this week’s comic. In reality, though, our views on the matter are in sync: apps in board games are a positive development. The integration of digital elements is taking board games to some exciting places, and I’m certain what we are seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg. Digital integration is another implement in the designer’s toolbox and I can’t wait to see what uses and mechanics are going to be found for it. The amount of innovation we are seeing board games right now is incredible, and the bottom line is that digital is going to help this, not hinder it.

Of course, not every board game needs an app, and contrary to some people’s concerns, I do not think that this is where things are headed. Far from it. We will of course see a proliferation of apps in the coming years as the trend takes hold, but that is what it will be: a trend. There will be a period where it will be shoehorned into games that won’t need it, there will be gimmicks and nonsense, and it will appear to be everywhere for a while. But it will find its level, and best use, in games. The reality is that in a few years time, some games will have apps, just as some games have dice, or miniatures, or expansions.

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XCOM saga

Writer_smallerXCOM saga

Candy Crush Saga, if you are wondering.

And if you are wondering why Beirti is not allowed to have any devices at the table, here’s why.

I was hoping to have played XCOM by now, but it didn’t make it into stores before Christmas, and its release is still eminent. The comic is more about the melding of digital and analogue than it is the game itself, though, so I felt comfortable doing a comic with the XCOM board game in it. XCOM is a real time board game that requires the use of a free companion app, one that essentially acts as a form of DM for the game: advancing threats, keeping time, adjusting the game according to how the players are reacting and dealing with the threats it continually spews out, like so much green mucus at an alien autopsy.

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