A roundup of a few shortish iPad games I played recently:


I was super impressed with Guildlings when I first played it. The only downside was that it was episodic, and only the first episode was out; I figured, though, that I’d have to wait maybe a couple of months and then I’d have more to play.

A year later, the developers finally released the next episode. Which is a really long time to wait if it’s only another three hours of content? But the release notes said “This massive expansion completes the current story arc”, so I figured that it was a longer episode that ended at a more satisfying place.

That turned out to totally not be the case: the second episode is just as short as the first episode, and ends at the end of a random location transition, it’s an even less satisfying ending than after the first episode. And this idea of waiting a year for three hours of content totally doesn’t work for me: I ended up having to replay the first episode because I’d forgotten the details of both the mechanics and the plot, and when I hit the end of the second episode, it mostly just felt like a waste of time.

No idea what happened here – did the team always plan to take a year between episodes, or did their funding or tools or something force them to drastically slow down their plans? At any rate, I think I’m done with the game; maybe if it ever finishes, then I’ll do the whole thing, but I’m not even sure about that.


Pilgrims is a point-and-click adventure with a card-playing interface replacing the pointing and clicking. It’s a nice interface, made a little richer than normal with the existence of characters that join and leave your party that can interact with your inventory and environment in different ways; charming art, too. A pleasant way to spend two or three hours, a limited enough inventory and set of rooms that I didn’t ever get too stuck hunting for what to do next, and when I got done, I saw a bunch of achievements that I’d only gotten a third or a quarter of, so there are more routes through the game than I’d realized at the time.


One of my board game playing coworkers suggested we play Root, so I got the iPad version and have played a few times with coworkers online and a few times against the app. It’s a four-faction asymmetric board game; I’ve never seen that level of asymmetric play before, and it’s quite well done. I’ve only tried three of the four factions out, but each of them feels quite different: they have some concepts in common, but each of them has a completely different core victory point engine. I don’t know that I’m going to end up going super deep into it, but definitely glad to have given it a try, and I do expect us to keep on playing it long enough for me to try out the fourth faction.

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