App description: TUAW Review: "Serious board game fans have been anxiously waiting for this app ever since it was announced and I'm happy to say that this latest Reiner Knizia port to the digital realm is totally worth the wait."

Through the Desert is one of the best known games by legendary board game designer Dr. Reiner Knizia. In this masterpiece of the light strategy genre, up to four players compete for control over the desert.

The game is quick to learn and relies on very simple rules. At the same time, it has an enormous depth - similar to board game classics like Go and Reversi.

Through the Desert fits excellently on an iPad, allowing up to four players to play on the same device. If you need additional challenges, the game also includes artificial intelligence players and allows you to challenge your friends over the net.
12-14-2010, 11:15 AM
#21
jones: yes, a version for the iPhone has been sent to Apple for review.
12-14-2010, 11:20 AM
#22
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: World, now Belgium
Posts: 3,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by funambulist View Post
Perhaps I can answer (and save Torulf's GF from having to give up playing Labyrinth...):

Games with the AI (who thinks fast and moves double quick by moving two pieces at once) are short, at least for me who does tend to spend time thinking. Maybe 15-20 minutes.

FWIW: Don't forget this is a GREAT hot seat game.
Hot seat is of no interest to me. In that case I prefer using the real board games. If it had a good ai ...

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On GC I am FPEX

12-14-2010, 11:42 AM
#23
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: United States of America
Posts: 2,210
I love hot seat. Yes I have owned the physical board game for five years but it's nice to have the option. I'm done with the carry twenty board games in two bins when traveling for holidays, etc. Nice to have some options on ipad to whip out. So far so good I like this implementation.

Small typo in rules in sub section Linking Oases
If a player places another came of the same...
If a player places another camel of the same...


Also this game would NOT be a good turn based game as it be like 100 days for a game to finish. Too many moves to make. It's really only suitable for a realtime game.

Last edited by mrbass; 12-14-2010 at 11:44 AM.
12-14-2010, 11:57 AM
#24
Ok, I timed a game. It took me 5 minutes when I played it quickly. Sort of like playing a game of Othello (I timed that as well, in 4 minutes I managed to beat a 'hard' AI on the iPhone).

And thanks mrbass for pointing out the typo to us. We will fix it for an update that's coming soon.

Last edited by torulf; 12-14-2010 at 12:12 PM.
12-14-2010, 11:57 AM
#25
Quote:
Originally Posted by torulf View Post
jones: yes, a version for the iPhone has been sent to Apple for review.
And if it doesn't release before I leave for my trip (looong flight US --> Asia) I'm gonna be sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
Squids!?

Worst idea ever!
12-14-2010, 12:03 PM
#26
So I'm in the middle of a game against 3 strong AI players. This presents MUCH MORE of a challenge than playing against a single AI.

It also takes several long seconds for each AI player to calculate her best next move.

Nice. Me like.

Last edited by funambulist; 12-14-2010 at 12:04 PM. Reason: added an "a"
12-14-2010, 12:11 PM
#27
funambulist: the reason is that it is really hard to program a good area capture AI. Just look at Go. It's one of the last games where a good human still wins over the AI.

With only 2 players, the game is all about who captures the largest area. When there are 3 or 4 players, the desert gets so crowded that no one can capture large areas anyway. And that's when the computer can outcalculate you.
12-14-2010, 12:26 PM
#28
Torulf: thank you for the explanation -- and thank you for explaining the difficulty of programming a good area-capturing AI.

As to this evening I find playing alone against the game's 3 hard AI players fun. And I think that this might be fun enough for playing alone. But I also look forward to playing against real folk.

Great game.
12-14-2010, 12:31 PM
#29
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: World, now Belgium
Posts: 3,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by torulf View Post
funambulist: the reason is that it is really hard to program a good area capture AI. Just look at Go. It's one of the last games where a good human still wins over the AI.

With only 2 players, the game is all about who captures the largest area. When there are 3 or 4 players, the desert gets so crowded that no one can capture large areas anyway. And that's when the computer can outcalculate you.
This makes more interesting. I have more interest in playing with more players than only one AI. If this is challenging enough, then the game gets more interesting again.

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On GC I am FPEX
12-14-2010, 12:36 PM
#30
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Redding, CA, USA
Posts: 11,150
While I appreciate the strategy of all of the Knizia games, how is the randomization in this game?

Since this game has no discernible card/dice, is it PURE strategy or are there still randomized aspects other than the player's chosen moves?

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