iOS, Android •
If you’re not aware, there are two [actually three, you dolt -ed.] different Spiel des Jahres awards each year. One for a ‘family’ game that tends to be a little lighter than I prefer, and the other is the Kennerspiel des Jahres which awards more complex titles. Considering that my tastes run in the Vital Lacerda/Martin Wallace/18xx vein, these games tend to still be on the light side for me, but I still try to at least give them a go once or twice. Two years ago the award was won by Isle of Skye and it remains one of the few KSdJ winners that I’ve never played. In fact my only contact with the game came at Gen Con in 2016 when I was working the BGG Game Room and had people returning it to the library. As a rule I would be told two things about the game: it was great and the printing was really, really small and hard to read. Well, now Digidiced and Asmodee Digital have teamed up to bring it to digital and here’s hoping they blew up that text out so even old farts like me can read it.
One thing I know I can’t read is the press release from Asmodee announcing the Isle of Skye release today. Not because the text is too small, but because I didn’t receive one. So goes it with a tiny blog. Anyway, thanks to Suzanne, I learned of the release and dug into it and, what do you know, it is available right now for Android but nowhere to be found on the App Store.
Contrary to what you may think, Isle of Skye refers to a real island in Scotland and not one of the floating islands of Pandora or some other fantasy world. Anyway, you lead a clan trying to conquer the Isle by laying tiles and making it look like Carcassonne. At least that’s what it looks like in all the pictures I’ve seen. Let’s get an official blurb so I can stop talking:
Five clans are fighting to rule over the Isle of Skye. Only the chieftain who develops the best clan territory and trades wisely will be king!
When leaving your castle, build up the Isle of Skye by adding green hills, perfect beaches and mountain ranges. Raise livestock, produce precious whisky, build forts and ships… Expand your territory tile by tile, pay to keep hold of your tiles or sell them to an opponent for the price you’ve set… Tile price setting, purchases, sales, and structures are the key to becoming the ruler of the Isle of Skye!
Every game is different and will see you developing different strategies and tactics! With changeability and easy to learn rules, Isle of Skye is the perfect game for all types of players.
• Both simple and tactical game mechanics, adapted from the award-winning Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King board game by Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister
• 1 to 5 players
• Play in single-player with challenging computer opponents, against your friends in local multiplayer, or face clans from all over the world in online mode!
• Choice of objectives: Select 4 of 16 different objectives for a unique gameplay that changes every time
• Learn the rules with our Interactive tutorial or even watch games of the top players on your device!
• Take your time in asynchronous game mode with push notifications and never miss a turn.
• See fabulous illustrations by Klemens Franz, which make for a true Scottish atmosphere!
Hey! They actually mention asynchronous play in the app description! I’m truly amazed that it’s taken this long for a publisher to just lay that info out there instead of just saying “online multiplayer” and making us guess until we can try it for ourselves. Thank you, Asmodee, and let’s keep it up!
Also, I think we all know Asmodee as a “asynchronous play = naughty no-no” publisher, but this game as well as Scythe both have async. Maybe there’s hope that Asmodee changed their mind and is letting the devs make that decision? I don’t know, but I do know that seeing a port by Asmodee doesn’t immediately make me assume the multiplayer will suck anymore, and that’s a good thing. Of course, the devs for Isle of Skye is Digidiced and we’ve already seen that they make quality ports, so <insert shrug emoji before publishing>.
The app is currently available for Android but isn’t on the App Store yet. The assumption is that it’s taking longer to go through Apple QA before it has to trickle through their servers, so we should see it soon. Or at least as soon as Apple wants us to see it, I guess. I’ll try to keep an eye out for it and will add the link to this story when it arrives. [sure you will… -ed.]