Friday, July 1, 2011

An IoS Find: Ascension

So, that game I talked about Tuesday, Ascension? Turns out they just rolled out an iOS version (for both ipad and iphone). It's $5 and it's fantastic, highly recommended.

Now, some of my enthusiasm is because it's a great game. It's not a CCG, so there's no infinite booster purchasing, but the game is extensible with supplements (which are not in the app yet). Gameplay is fast and fun, and the time consuming elements (setup and scoring) are reduced to nothing with the app.

But I'm also enthused for reasons that have nothing to do with the game - this is a really well designed app, and it gives me a lot of hope for future card game apps. A few things of note:

* It works startlingly well on the iphone. That it works on the ipad is no great shock - lots of real estate after all - but I've played a few hands on my phone, and it's been elegant as heck. Dealing with constructs is a little trickier, but otherwise, it worked great.

* There's more than one way to do things. For almost every card in the game, you can use it by either double-tapping it (which zooms in to read) and tapping a button that appears next to it (which reads "Play", "Capture" or whatever's appropriate. However, you can also use card by dragging them to the appropriate area (play area, discard pile and so on). Either option would work just fine, but having both makes play much more smooth.

* The AI's pretty good. Good enough that kicking it up to the medium level resulted in my ass getting kicked.

* Haven't tried multiplayer yet, but I'm hopeful

Honestly, my only complaint is that (unlike, say, Carcassone) it's hard to watch the AI and learn from it. I could probably accomplish this by slowing down the game (it's in the options) but half the fun is the zippy gameplay, so I'll take that tradeoff.

Anyway, thes developers behind this, Incinerator Studios, have another game in the pipeline, an IoS port of Summoner Wars, and if Ascension is any indication of the quality of their work, then I;m eager to see what they do next!


  1. Very cool. Too bad it clocks in at 20.4 MB! Half a meg smaller, and I'd be downloading it over 3G right now!

  2. To balance out my slightly negative previous comment, I've returned to say that I got the game Friday night have been enjoying it immensely. The asynchronous online game play and short turn structure are a great match for filling a few moments here and there when you're doing something else.

  3. Been loving the hell out of this game. The AI scales great. Dominated 1 AI at 1st level after a few. Can now handle 1AI at 1st level and 1AI at 2nd level on a 50/50 basis. 2AI both at 2nd level kicks my ass pretty regularly.

    As for learning from AI, I've found the log helpful. I'll go back and look at a round or two and see what the computer is acquiring.

    If you're up for an online game, ping me.


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