I challenge everyone

Outstanding word deck-builder, Paperback, adds asynchronous multiplayer

iOS Universal, Android •

Paperback is one of the better board game apps released in the last couple years, but not because of the app. I mean, the app is fine and works great if all you want to do is build words against the AI, but it falls short in one area that Stately Players demand in their board game conversions: multiplayer. Originally released with only pass-and-play capabilities, last night the app was hit with a stealthy update that adds what we all wanted, asynchronous multiplayer.

For those of you who have steered clear of the solo-only version of Paperback, it’s a fairly easy game to explain. Think Dominion, but with letters. Each card contains 1-2 letters and you make words which allow you to add more cards to your deck, allowing for bigger and better words as the game progresses. Many of the letter cards also have special abilities such as allowing you to draw more cards or earn extra cash. The cool thing that designer Tim Fowers did, however, was make wild cards ubiquitous. They don’t earn you any money toward new cards, but the amount of wilds you start with and earn via VP cards throughout the game, make forming words easy even if vocabularies differ wildly between players. I play all the time with my kids and, thanks to wild cards, they have no issue making words and scoring points.

The multiplayer addition isn’t just some quick add-on, but seems to have all the functions you’d expect from a multiplayer title. Friend list? Check. Private or Public games? Check. It’s also asynchronous and you can play games with up to three other players for a full 4-player experience. Oh, and if someone drops out, they’ll be replaced with AI, so you shouldn’t have a ton of games standing open.

Paperback is one of those games that seems made for your phone. Open it up, think of a word, then wait for your turn to come back around. It’s basically multiplayer solitaire, so you’re not missing anything by not watching your opponents ponder their cards and try to craft the most expensive word.

In order to invite friends, you simply have to add them to your friend list by typing in their moniker. Let’s fill the comments with our Paperback handles, and let’s get the games going! You can find my under Neumannium, of course!

Hat tip: AppAddict

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Notable Replies

  1. Hey app developers, take note: this is the kind of thing that makes a game go from "wishlist" to "owned" in an instant.

    Regarding the game, the mechanics are simple for me to grasp since I'm very familiar with deck builders, but I do have one question: how are the piles made? Unlike games like Dominion where each pile is made up of the same card, when I buy a card in this game it seems to be replaced with something random, unless I am missing a pattern. Does anyone know?

  2. The cards are separated by cost and randomly shuffled. I think Tim Fowers determined which combos of letters and powers are equivalent and based their cost on that. Thus, you'll get a random assortment of letters in each stack, but their value should be relatively equal. Does that make sense?

  3. I've been playing asynchronously on my phone ever since I saw the story on your site last night. :slight_smile:

    I even had a few turns while I was writing the story, so it seems that the phone version (or, at least iPhone version) is okay.

  4. I'm whovian223 there as well, and would definitely be up for a game!

  5. Is anyone else not receiving turn notifications?

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