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Comment Clever idea; requires clever design (Score 1) 94

It would seem like this form of geeky board gaming would be of great benefit to games that require a large number of identical pieces of several kinds, or games that require the player to remember math frequently. Settlers of Catan has a couple apps out for the iPhone that attempt to aid board game players.

One of the keys to these kinds of apps in the majority of board games (read: social board games; games that are determinable only to a few moves due to probabilistic influences), is that they should be helpful up to the point where the game's social aspect is affected. I've played games of Settlers of Catan with an iPhone application, and have found that the quickness of rolling dice on the device can quicken the pace without causing any social problems. But I would worry, again using Catan as the example, if we were to enable all forms of interaction to be represented in the application, that the social aspect would be gone and it would be no different than playing clever (or not so clever) AI in a video game version of the board game.

Some other considerations could be how making the game faster will affect how long people take on their turns (due to less time to think while it is not their turn), how much does the application allow players to cheat (Scrabble word completion, for instance; perhaps calculating probability may take a way what makes someone clever at a game (Catan, StoneAge, etc.), etc..

However, some games rely too much on complexity (Agricola, perhaps?), and having quicker turns (I suspect a simple digital aid won't be of much help for this game, but still) and removing complexity may reveal the good game that exists at its core, or the terrible game that was hidden by complexity.

My two cents, smothered in parenthesis.

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