Game Table (iPad) – realistic board games with freestyle play

Game applications with sophisticated AIs are great if you want to challenge yourself.  But not so good when you’re learning the ropes, which is what makes this app so wonderful.  There’s no game logic!

At first, you might be turned off by this, thinking the developers got lazy and didn’t finish the app.  But the flip side of that Othello piece, is that this gives you a chance to play the board games with your child and teach them.  Having the children learn the wrong moves is half the battle and if the program provided all the answers, your child wouldn’t be challenged to learn.

The first game we tried out was Othello/Reversi.  The pieces are realistic looking, you can move them anywhere you like, and it is up to you to find all the appropriate pieces to turn over.  It is simply an excellent recreation of the real life game.  Complete with the lack of scoreboard (which is probably the one item I wouldn’t have minded – but allows one to get some practice with estimates).

Checkers, Chess and Go are all similarly well crafted and open ended.

The poker setup is a little confusing and less suited for this format, but if you ever need a simulated deck, there is a free one here.  It is just hard to “peek” at your cards on a shared screen and not let your opponent see the cards.  You can put your hand over them to shield them, like they do at the real tables, but that doesn’t seem quite right here.  Though again, if the focus is on learning, then all the cards would be shared anyway and this format is fine.  It just didn’t strike us as natural as the rest of the games.  Perhaps because it’s less physical?

Regardless, this app is a great “board game” to bring around, without the worry of losing any of the pieces (our Othello set is missing 2 pieces).

Cost: FREE!

Related posts: