iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux •
Minos Strategos is an abstract digital board game that traces its roots to a physical board game from none other than Through the Ages designer, Vlaada Chvátil. The game is called Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends and is one of the very few Vlaada creations I haven’t played. That’s because it’s a two-player, head-to-head battle game which, in my home, are less likely than Monopoly to hit the table. Luckily, Minos Strategos has an AI to play against so I don’t have to rely on my kids and, better yet, it’s now on mobile, so I can play on my phone.
Minos Strategos is the creation of Brain Good Games who you might remember from their previous title, Militia. We talked about it earlier this year, and it seems to have been well received in the comments. Like Militia, Minos Strategos is light on the graphics side, using icons to represent pieces and creatures. Instead, all the development time has gone into the gameplay and AI, making it a very competent solo game with that never-ending goal of climbing the ladder.
Having not played Tash-Kalar, I’m not going to try and summarize gameplay. That’s what blurbs are for:
Inspired by the board game “Tash-Kalar” by Vlaada Chvátil, Minos Strategos has players creating, matching, and utilizing unit formations on an ever-changing battlefield. Unlock collectible command cards to summon powerful threats, clear large swaths of enemies in an area of effect, and form powerful chaining combos to play multiple cards in a single turn.
Well, they make it sound like a hell of a lot of fun, don’t they? While it looks more like chess than the battle game described above, my guess is the gameplay is actually a lot of fun. Brain Good has been known for making some interesting strategy games like the aforementioned Militia and Axes and Acres, not to mention the connection to Vlaada Chvátil. The mobile version of Minos Strategos isn’t a Universal app, meaning it looks great on an iPhone, but needs to be played at 2X on an iPad. To be honest, with the graphics being as they are, it’s not a big deal.
We have Zac Belado taking a look at this one, and we’ll hopefully have a review up sometime this week if you want to see what we think before you hit the buy button.