Tuesday, August 31, 2010

App O' The Mornin': Reiner Knizia's Money Review (App Version)

Whenever I review an app version of a tabletop game, I plan to post a review of the game itself as well. I did this yesterday, in my coverage of Gryphon's reissue of Reiner Knizia's Money!.  (The exclamation point doesn't appear on the box, but seems to appear everywhere else.)

This is a pretty simple review, since the app is a straight-up port of the original game. It plays like a version of any common card game in the app store, with cards laid out on a green felt table and crisp, clear graphics. Your hand is displayed along the bottom of the screen, bids are made simply by touching the cards and hitting the "bid" button, and lots are collected by sliding your bid on top of the desired cards.

From the very beginning, I was pleased the look and control of the game. It offers a respectable AI with a choice of difficulties, and the option to play with 3 or 4 players. The screen layout precludes a fifth player, even though the tabletop game itself supports up to 5. The apps also lack any multiplayer features. It doesn't even have pass-and-play.

Even with maximum available RAM, the app can slow down at times, and has erratic pauses. It's otherwise stable, and I have not yet encountered any hard crashes. The developers used the same engine for their conversion of Knizia's High Society, and I don't find that game slowing down as much as a Money.

Despite these limitations, I still enjoy the Money app, largely because it's just a good game. If you're not sure about laying out the fully $25 for the conventional version of money, then $3 will give you a taste of what it's like.


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