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iPhone: Latrunculi

12-05-2008, 05:41 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Dresden
Posts: 5


There's a new game out. It is called Latrunculi. It's an old roman boardgame with a very old tradition. It has some similarities to chess. I think it's worth trying...
12-05-2008, 05:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 347
It looks intriguing, but not being familiar with the game I'm not really ready to throw $4 at it.

I've looked, but I can't find an online flash version. Is there one? The Wikipedia article makes it sound interesting...

12-06-2008, 05:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: United States of America
Posts: 2,210
I believe there is a free mac version. Haven't played it in about 2 years though. I think it was played in 2,000 B.C. or so they say. Ok 20 B.C. not 2,000 B.C. I was close.


Last edited by mrbass; 12-06-2008 at 05:45 PM. Reason: added link
12-07-2008, 06:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Dresden
Posts: 5
The price droped to $3

If anyone wants to try it and write a review, contact me. I'll give you some promotional code. So you can download it for free and test it...
12-07-2008, 08:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,711
Interesting game.

//// Edit: post edit due "donkei" post removed

Last edited by Carlos-Sz; 12-07-2008 at 05:12 PM.
12-07-2008, 04:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 347
Alright, I've spent some time with this app and here are my impressions, being a fan of board/strategy games:

The game is a basic but solid rendering of the board came Latrunculi (Wikipedia Article, this app uses Kowalski's rules), a game that was played in ancient Roman times. The rules are quite a bit simpler than almost all other popular board games; the goal is to surround the opponent's "dux" (the lone square piece) on all four sides, or to have captured more pieces than your opponent following 30 moves without any capture. Pieces are lined up on an 8x12 board with the dux in a set position near the center one rank higher. All pieces, including the dux, can move freely in one linear direction, just as a rook in Chess. Pieces are captured when two opposing pieces surround it linearly, meaning its left and right sides OR its top and bottom sides; one opposing piece on the top and one on the side will not capture. Gameplay continues until one of the winning conditions is met.

The game is played exclusively in landscape mode, and the graphics are what you see in the attachment: pretty simple. Full instructions are included in the game. Movement is done through tap controls; there is no dragging. Because the board is small enough, I found movement to be accurate. Pieces slide to their position once you select a space to move them to. There is no audio, at least from what I've been able to tell. Options are bare-bones basic: you can choose to be either white or black, and selection of AI is done on a sliding scale. The AI is well done, with the easier AI settings being laughably easy and the hard AI settings being quite a mental workout. At the end of the game, you can see basic statistics such as game time, pieces captured, and so on. Games usually take around 10 minutes, and a lot of that time is the AI "thinking" of the next move, which can take as many as 10-15 seconds in some cases.

Overall, I've been surprisingly pleased with the game. I was (very) skeptical of the game when I read the simple rules and saw the bare-bones graphics and options, but in my opinion, the AI makes this game a fun diversion. I think the game would be more appealing and attract onlookers if there were a graphical makeover; several different piece sets and/or boards to customize the experience would make the game more attractive. Also, I think more options for the gameplay would make it infinitely more interesting. For example, something as simple as having a gameplay clock on the screen, or allowing for different board sizes or different numbers of pieces, or even more than one dux. I'm sure it would be tough to program AI for, but I think it would make the game top-notch. And, all though it is nit-picky, I would love a time/battery display on the screen.

Is it worth $3? Yes, if you like board games and spatial reasoning. Although it may not look appealing at first, battling the AI can be quite fun.

I will cross-post this to the US iTunes store later tonight, and here are some screens:
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12-16-2008, 10:41 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Dresden
Posts: 5
Now on SALE! 30% off

This app is now on sale! $1.99 is no price for the best board game ever!
12-16-2008, 11:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 347
Well, I still believe that the game is basically worth the money.

I think the AI is well-programmed, and it's an easy-to-understand game.

Folks who want a cheap, quick board game should find a lot of value in this game.
12-16-2008, 12:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: United States of America
Posts: 2,210
Still playing this one. Still getting whooped by computer but only played a bit so far. Will chime in once I get some more gametime in with this one.
12-22-2008, 02:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Dresden
Posts: 5
Gameplay video on youtube

You can watch some gameplay video on youtube now!

here is the link Latrunculi

it will give you a good impression of the game...