iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac •
Back in April, Czech Games unleashed the online beta for Through the Ages, the app that we’ve all been waiting for since before iPads were even a thing. Several Stately Players were in the beta and it was all very fun for a time, but then other games arrived, and, with the beta remaining somewhat stagnant, most of us moved on. A few weeks ago, the beta added the ability for AI bots to join multiplayer games if someone dropped, which had been the biggest advancement we’d seen. The latest beta update, however, pushes TtA into a whole new realm of awesome.
The latest update brings the TtA beta as close to feeling like a complete product as we’ve seen. The game now has full local options such as solo play against 3 different levels of AI. Good AI, too. I’ve played two games thus far, one against two medium AIs and I came in third, and one game against an easy AI where I lost by 4 points. They’ve also added Challenges, which are single-player scenarios with a bit of strangeness tossed in. There are straight-forward scenarios such as “beat an easy AI”, but then there are ones where all the cards are cheaper than usual, or you only get one leader throughout the entire game. You get the idea. The challenges are incredible for solo gamers who want a little more than just hunting down the most culture point and, best of all, there are a ton of them (29) all ranked from Easy to Hard.
The other major addition is the inclusion of a 16:9 format, meaning that the game is now Universal and works on phones. Cards in the card row are a bit tiny on the small screen, but you can always tap and zoom on them if you need to see what’s what. CGE has also added a bunch of animations, most noticeably on the main menu where trebuchets fire, confetti flies, ferris wheels spin, and more. Of course, there are the obligatory bug fixes and tweaks as well, but that all feels like small potatoes compared to the major additions we’ve been talking about.
If you were in the beta before, but haven’t checked in a while, now’s the time to redownload and test this thing. It’s feeling very much like a finished product, so let’s test the hell out of this thing so we can get it out the door. I’ll be talking with Czech Games at Gen Con later this week, so I’ll see if they have any news to share about TtA’s release or if there are any other additions coming down the road.