It’s kind of like Major League, only it’s not Renee Russo under there.

It appears Acram heading to Istanbul, not Constantinople

IOS, Android •

Right after 2018 was ushered in, the fine folks at Acram Digital decided to tease us about a new game coming in 2018. Which board game it might be was completely up in the air, but my guess was another Martin Wallace title to follow-up the rather wonderful Steam: Rails to Riches. Turns out I was wrong, and Acram is instead working on a different euro, this one from Rüdiger Dorn. It’s 2014’s Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, Istanbul.

Well, to be fair, they haven’t made an official announcement and, instead, are running a little contest via their Twitter feed where a piece of the puzzle is removed each day, revealing more and more of the game’s cover. Because it’s a euro, the cover obviously has to have a man on it staring at the players as if begging to be freed from their cardboard prison.

I recognized the sleeve as being remarkably similar to my copy of Istanbul, but today’s reveal of the Hagia Sofia in the background clinches it.

If you’re worried that Istanbul is just another soulless euro, I can reassure you that it’s actually not. In fact, it’s one of my favorite KSdJ winners of the past few years and one of those euros that hasn’t managed to overstay its welcome.

I spot some similarities

You take the role of a rich Turk and his assistants traveling through the bazaar, shopping for rubies. You move along with your assistants, dropping them off at locations on the randomly generated board and performing that action. When you move on again, your merchant remains in the spot to finish the deal while your merchant moves forward. You can’t take the actions of a space without both your merchant and an assistant present, so you’ll have to backtrack and, eventually, pick up assistants you’ve left behind. Thus, there is a lot of planning on where and how you move, and trying to find the most efficient routes between spaces that give you the best combos.

Of course, you’re not the only player looking for those hot spots, so you’ll be bumping into the other players’ merchants as well which can grant bonus actions and more.

While Acram is still holding back on details, we do know that Istanbul will be coming to mobile in 2018. How soon is another question, but we’ll eventually make ‘em talk.

I’m sure my explanation of Istanbul was subpar, so here’s Starlight Citadel’s overview and review of the tabletop version.

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Notable Replies

  1. Oh, that is awesome!

    I really like this game, and haven’t played it on the table much. Would love a digital adaptation of it.

    And since there’s really nothing “interactive” about your player turn, it should be easy to do asynchronous multiplayer.


  2. Hardco says:

    I’m a big fan of this game, and not a very big fan of any Martin Wallace games I’ve played, so this news brings multiple levels of joy!

  3. You’re dead to me.

  4. Now now…be reasonable. Let’s see which ones he’s played first.

    Then we can hang him. :stuck_out_tongue:

  5. The only exposure I’ve had to Martin Wallace has been on iOS, though I did have Via Nebula in my hands a few days ago, if that counts. I cannot figure out Brass and the 3 games I’ve played have been baffling. I need to keep plugging away. Steam excited me at first, and it is a decent design, but games are starting to feel a little samey, and they all seem to last 1-2 rounds too long for me.

    My requirements for iOS are simple, though - if a game is well-made, I’ll likely buy it if for nothing more than to demo the game. I bought a hard copy of Terra Mystica thanks to the app, so Instanbul will certainly get a look.

    My only complaint with Acram is that I have issues with their notifications system. I don’t remember what, exactly, but I know there are no sound alerts, and I don’t think there are app badges, either.

  6. Hardco says:


    In production order:
    Struggle of Empires
    A Few Acres of Snow

    To be fair, the only one I would refuse to play is Struggle of Empires, but I wouldn’t be excited to play any of the others…

  7. Funnily enough, the only one of those I’ve played is Brass and Steam, and neither is my favourite.

    He has such a wide range, I don’t know if I could ever say that I would not like any of his games.

    The ones I have/have played, besides Brass & Steam:

    A Study in Emerald (2nd edition) - Love it
    London (2nd edition) - love it
    Discworld: Ankh-Morpork - really like it
    Automobile - only played once, made my brain hurt. Need further analysis

    The top 2 are just wonderful designs, in my opinion. Good card games, a little bit of deck-building in Emerald, great mechanisms, and imaginative.

  8. js619 says:

    A Few Acres of Snow was great, imho.

  9. Hardco says:

    I was intrigued by using the deckbuilding mechanic for a wargame, but the deckbuilding ended up not being too exciting. I definitely didn’t give it enough of a shot though. But I realized that Dominion was perfect the way it was, and the world wasn’t a better place by absorbing deckbuilding mechanics into other games…

  10. That’s it! Everyone at my house Friday night and I’m teaching you all Automobile! I’m going to force you to all love Martin Wallace or die trying!

    (Trails off grumbling in an old man voice about having to do everything around these parts…)

  11. Brass is my favorite board game (and app).
    but 3 or 4 plays will be needed to fully appreciate the depth and beauty of the design.

  12. I just read the caption on the photos on the main page of this article (I have just recently started to get into the habit of reading these posts on the main page so that you get the clicks, as before I used to read them in the forum posts).

    As a Major League fan, I have to correct your Rene Russo caption. That wasn’t her who was slowly being revealed in the movie. It was the owner of the Indians.

    Of course, Russo is more recognizable, so maybe that was the joke that I completely missed. :stuck_out_tongue:

  13. Ah, you’re right. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, even though I was a drunken extra in some of the stadium scenes when they filmed at the old County Stadium in MKE.

  14. Seriously? That’s so cool.

    Can we actually see you?

  15. That is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.

  16. Nah. A bunch of my friends and I went there with a cooler of beer and hung out in the stands doing what the director told us which was mainly “cheer”. They had everyone sit about 3-4 seats away from each other, saying that they can film it in a way to make it look full? I never understood how that worked.

    Anyway, My friends and I did not make it into the final movie much to our chagrin when we saw it on opening night.

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