Stone Age

Published on February 15, 2013
By
Players:
2-4
Multiplayer:Yes, online and pass'n'play
AI:Yes, three levels of difficulty
Universal App:No
Purchase for iPhone:
Stone Age: The Board Game
Price: $6.99
Purchase for iPad:None available, but you can still play iPhone version in 2x mode
User rating:
GD Star Rating
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Stone Age is not, unfortunately, a game built for the iPad – if you have a newer generation, it will not be the most shiny-looking game. However, the game play is solid and if you can look past the graphics, you should be able to enjoy it.

Stoneage0 500x375 Stone Age ipad screenshot

Gameplay

The core mechanic of Stone Age is worker placement. Each player will have a team of stone age meeples that they will allocate in turns on various actions. Then in a specific order, those actions will play out when you take back those meeples into your pool; as this happens, the abilities of a given location is triggered which will contribute towards your success. The core strategy of game is to try and select the best action across the board, whilst also strategically blocking your opponent from their optimal placements. It often becomes a matter of fine judgment trying to make cost-benefit assessments of each placement, the probability of what may or may not be available when your next placement comes around, and which options not to leave open.

Stoneage4 500x375 Stone Age ipad screenshot

Your options for placement are one of three different huts, fields for resource collection, and various boats with specific rewards. The village has three different huts: the Farmhouse provides and extra field for more food; the Mating Hut produces an extra worker for the next round; and the Tool Shed crafts tools that become useful in harvesting. The resource fields provide food (the hunt), wood (the forest), clay (the clay pit), stone (the quarry), and gold (the river). Each is more labour intensive than the previous one, and so extracting those resources more difficult, but more rewarding. Finally, there is a sequence of boats that are placed in a linear order; those at the start of that line are cheaper, while those further up more expensive At the end of each round, there is a feeding phase where food and resources must be used to ensure that the workers are feed. Lacking sufficient food will require you to expend resources, and lacking that will incur great penalties.

I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by this game. I am often turned off by games with a high amount of randomness; on a first glance, I figured that this game was far too random to really enjoy much strategy. However, the mitigation of that risk is a central and engaging mechanism, which has made me seriously contemplate acquiring the real version.

Implementation

Stoneage2 500x375 Stone Age ipad screenshot

Despite the fact that this is an iPhone game that is maximised, you will barely notice the difference. As you can see from the images captured, the graphics are quite sufficient to enable immersion into the environment. Undoubtedly a version geared to an iPad would make much better use of the real estate, but what we have here suffices.

Beyond this, the range of features included into this game are broad and numerous. The developers have gone to lengths to code these features into the game with great care. Despite the fact that there is a large variety of objects and points of interaction on the screen, they are intuitive and easily navigable. The tutorial, and the written rules, are clear and should easily instruct new players into how to play.

Stoneage3 500x375 Stone Age ipad screenshot

Stone Age, 8.6 out of 10 based on 124 ratings

Review By: Angelus Morningstar

Completed a Masters of Jurisprudence at University of Sydney. I am an activist, dramaturge, and instigator of strange mind experiments. I’m a storyteller, and I mostly tell stories about people. These aren’t always stories you’ll find written down, they can be stories told over a coffee, told by firelight, told through art act and lifestyle. Of course, we all tell stories. We love our little fictions, lies and dreams – I just like to embellish a bit more than most. My current project of substantial size is called Eidolon. It can be found here: http://www.eidolon.me
Players:
2-4
Multiplayer:Yes, online and pass'n'play
AI:Yes, three levels of difficulty
Universal App:No
Purchase for iPhone:
Stone Age: The Board Game
Price: $6.99
Purchase for iPad:None available, but you can still play iPhone version in 2x mode
User rating:
GD Star Rating
a WordPress rating system
Share this review:

6 comments
gselfish
gselfish

The app is now universal, supports all ipad generations.

worshiphim1st
worshiphim1st

The universal update (ipad support) has been submitted to Apple and should be available Wednesday, March 27 according to the developer!  This will definitely improve the quality on the ipad! 

Markus
Markus

The graphics are really not pretty on an iPad... the gameplay is cool though. Really can't await that this app goes universal!

Nico
Nico

Hello,

BoardGameGeek blog says that the iPad version (in fact a new version of this app that will become universal) is in the works, to be released soon...

Regards,

Nico

Trackbacks

  1. […] Stone Age for the iPhone launched to critical approval in December last year, followed up last week by the hotly anticipated iPad release. Tom spoke to developers Campfire Creations to find out a little about the design process of adapting board games for iOS, the reasons for taking extra time on the iPad edition and the importance of dice. […]