Game-The Manhattan Project on iOS
Producer-Domowicz Creative Group
TL;DR– Great for multiplayer, problems with single player. 80%
Basics– BOOM BABY! It’s Manhattan Project on the iOS. It plays exactly like the original board game. Players take turns placing workers on the main board and placing workers on different locations on their own boards, or recalling workers from where they have been placed with the goal of building the most bomb points. For my full review of the base board game, check out this link: https://throatpunchgames.com/2013/10/29/ring-side-report-game-review-the-manhattan-project/ This is the iOS version of the game that my mother and I played on the iPad. Let’s break the game down.
Mechanics-The iOS game follows the same mechanics as the base game. What it does add are some nice animations as well as doing all the computations for the game well. The game functions pretty smoothly. What problem you will have are some things are not indicated well. Some items will glow if you can do them, but others like the construction area don’t. It’s not indicated if you can have multiple people on there. The game works well, but a few changes would really help things. HOWEVER, NO MATTER WHAT BAD THINGS YOU CAN SAY, THIS GAME HAS AN UNDO BUTTON! That makes life so much better! 4.5/5
Visuals/Sounds– The game looks nice, but it’s basically just the board game floating in space. It’s easy to read as you can zoom in, but it’s not suped up like some other board games on the iOS. The game looks like the developer just took the tabletop version and placed it on the iPad. That’s not bad, but I would like a bit more. The sounds are ok, but the music can get a bit repetitive. 4/5
Execution-This game is well done, but the major problems you will have boil down to a lack of instruction. Everything in this game comes directly from The Manhattan Project board game box: tokens, boards, and instructions. The bad thing is that there are no instructions for how to play the game on the iOS. If you’ve played a few of these before, you will be fine. Your first play through will be a bit of a mess because you have to learn as you go. That’s a pretty sizable problem. However, it’s a problem you will have only for your first play through. Nothing you won’t get past, but it will turn a few people away. The AI is a bit weak; I’ve never been bombed by the AI, had espionage happen, or even lost once! It’s fun to play, but if you’re a decent player, you will win. When you do win, the game doesn’t allow you to do anything or prompt you to quit. You have to manually quit. That’s not a problem per se, but a little bit more effort would really make this game better. As for the multiplayer, it does amazingly well with either the pass and play or internet versions. I had to explain to my mom how to play and start an internet game (see above), but once she understood how to play she was off to the races. So, great job on the multiplayer! 3.5/5
Summary– I love The Manhattan Project. It’s one of my favorite games that I can’t convince my local gaming group to play. I loved it before, and now I have the chance to play on my iPad. If Playdeck’s games are the A tier games, then this is a solid B game. The game is good, but you will be left wanting a bit more. It’s the game you want, but a little bit more would really knock this out of the park. The absence is what really notice and hurt the game: no iOS instruction, no prompting for things, and limited AI. What is here is the board game you want that works well and is fun. If you can get past the problems and know this game,then this is a great iOS title. 80%