The trick is figuring out which one are hosts.

Colt Express gallops onto the App Store

We’ve known about the flood of board game ports that tabletop giant, Asmodee, is planning on brining to digital. Time to grab your galoshes, because the flood is beginning today with the release of the 2015 SdJ winner, Colt Express.

Like most SdJ winners of late, Colt Express isn’t heavy fare. In fact, if you’re looking for deep strategy or even tactical brilliance, look elsewhere. Instead, Colt Express is organized chaos. Each player controls one bandit in a crew holding up a train in the Old West. Unfortunately, the crew doesn’t get along and everyone ends up being out for themselves and trying to grab more loot than their ex-comrades. Each player has an identical deck of cards, but only draws a small fraction of that deck each turn. Cards are actions such as “move”, “climb”, “grab loot”, and the most fun, “punch” and “shoot”. You also have cards that let you move the Marshall around the train as he tries to put an end to the bandits’ plans.

Gameplay consists of players playing cards to a central pile, sometime face up and sometimes face down. After all cards have been played, the pile is flipped over and cards drawn one by one to see how the actions play out on the train. You may have played a “shoot” card only to find there’s no one to aim at, or “looted” after someone else has snatched the cashbox from under your nose. Hence, it’s programmed movement but with a different spin than games like RoboRally.

On the tabletop Colt Express stands out because the train isn’t printed on a standard game board, instead it’s fully 3D and your characters are moved about from car to car and up on the roof, making for an attention getting display. The digital version does a good job of recreating that “wow” factor by incorporating gorgeous visuals that pay homage to the cardboard 3D train of its forebear.

The digital version offers online multiplayer with the original rules as well as a special variant for the digital version.  There’s also a single-player campaign with 30 missions in which you can unlock different variants along the way.

Colt Express is available for PC, iOS Universal, and Android.

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Notable Replies

  1. Can someone who has downloaded confirm if online play is live or async? Thanks

  2. Reviews on Google Play are saying users get to the Title screen and then nothing happens. I’ll hold off on Android until the fix lands for that, which Asmodee are apparently aware of and submitting a fix soon.

  3. Hardco says:

    I’ve been waiting for years for someone to put out a Roborally app. If this is async I’ll bite the bullet, as this is probably as close as I’ll get…

  4. Ive not seen a timer option in the multiplayer menu, although the game does request the use of notifications. Im not about to inflict my lack of gameplay knowledge on live players tonight to find out.

    The game seems to use the days of wonder login server, which is likely good and bad news.

  5. Ive played one live custom game and I dont see how this game would work in async. Gameplay consists of many small actions, but also involves memorising the order of the deck youre building. That could easily take weeks at around a move per day.

    I still reserve the right to go and make noise on their facebook or forum about async in future titles.

  6. It works ok async on Boardgame Arena, but it has the problem that you can’t quite remember what others have played if it’s been a day. It does note it somewhat, but there’s a lot of scrolling and figuring.

    I couldn’t figure out how to join a game on the app. I created one (but late at night and only a few people were online), but I couldn’t see a way to join a game that was actually waiting for people.

    Anybody know?

  7. rinelk says:

    Dude, I’m reviewing the game and I can’t figure it out.

  8. I tweeted at them as well as asked in response to one of their reps on BGG, and no reply to either one.

    Kind of annoying.

  9. Ive not figured out how to make private games.

    I have noticed games with specific variants and settings appearing in quickplay, so I assume theres no pseudo private game option by picking particular settings.

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