Behold my icons and quake in fear!

Minos Strategos has come to iOS/Android

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.

Liked it? Take a second to support Stately Play on Patreon!

Notable Replies

  1. js619 says:

    You had me at Tash Kalar. One of my all time favorite games. It's on BGA if you'd care to try it out.

  2. Hardco says:

    Is this "inspired by" or a total ripoff? I'm assuming single player only as well?

  3. David, I want you to know, that you gave me brief hope that the game had been updated with landscape, but alas, that is not the case and that must be the pc trailer.

    Why would they take a game that was landscape on PC and make it portrait-only on iOS?

  4. Fse says:

    There actually isn't much of an AI in this game. Just a horde of minotaur zombies shambling towards the scoring points. Just like Militia. But still a good game.

  5. For the info: it doesn't look good on iPad Pro, and the text boxes are misplaced outside of the screen in the tutorial. I had to switch to the iPhone version to get through the tutorial.
    I've played Militia, Axes an Acres and now this one. A&A is my favorite of them (very smart game), although they are all quite fun.

  6. Single player only, yeah. I think it ended up pretty different from Tash-Kalar, but the seed of the idea was definitely "single-player Tash-Kalar". :slight_smile:

  7. iPad/universal update is currently under testing right now! If you want in, shoot me an email at braingoodgames (at) and I'll add you to the TestFlight list.

  8. Mostly made it portrait only because some iPhones are SMALL, man, and I couldn't figure out another way to have the board and the cards on screen at the same time and not look weird.

    Are you more interested in an iPad or iPhone landscape mode out of curiosity. Do you play most games in landscape?

  9. iPad. I play almost exclusively in landscape and have passed on quite a few games because they were portrait only. I have made exceptions at times.

    Having said that, there are people that are just as emphatic about wanting portrait. Ideally, an app offers both, but I respect that has a cost to the developer.

  10. For sure. I'll keep your perspective in mind making plans going forward :slight_smile:


  11. Fse says:

    A notable difference between Militia and Minos is in the difficulty scaling. Both games adjust the difficulty as you win/lose in order to provide a consistent challenge. But in Militia, you need to win three games in a row to advance, whereas in Minos you advance whenever you win.

    I think I prefer the approach in Militia. It seems to keep your win ratio around 60-70%, whereas Minos seems to keep you around 50%. I'm not sure if that's how it was designed, but Minos seems more punishing overall.

  12. Appreciate it.

  13. Thanks very much for the offer, but I'm a very bad beta-tester. So I would rather kindly decline. As for the topic of landscape vs portrait mode, I think most people prefer the landscape mode on iPad, while they would not mind playing portrait mode on their phones. That is only based on smart-ass assumption, not real statistic evidence.

    We could run a small scale research here:yum:, portrait vs landscape mode on tablets vs phones.

  14. js619 says:

    Fully agreed. iPad, landscape. iPhone, either or.

  15. I'll add my voice to the chorus: landscape on iPad, either on iPhone, although I do prefer portrait on a phone--that mode makes one-handed play much easier, IMO.

  16. I prefer landscape on iPad for games where it makes sense to do so. That being said, the reader view in safari is excellent in portrait mode, so I could easily see text heavy games or games that require vertical scrolling being better in portrait mode.

  17. Just a side note for anyone interested in Brain Good Games, Brett's most recent game, Solar Settlers, is a card-based empire builder sort of thing. It's rather different from his other games and I'm really digging it so far.

    I notice it has a "tablet mode" in the pc version, so hopefully we will see it come to iOS eventually.

Continue the discussion