The poplar strategy board game is now officially on iOS devices! (iPad version reviewed here) At first glance it looks like a cross between Othello and Chinese Checkers. But it’s really not. The object of the game is to push your opponent’s marbles off the edge of the board. You can move one, two, or three marbles at the same time as long as they’re next to each other. If you have more marbles of your color next to an opponent’s, you can push their marbles. But you can only move three. So a chain of four marbles against three won’t work. I know I didn’t explain that very well, but luckily the game does a much better job.
There are single player levels that challenge your strategy skills against varying conditions. You can even get new daily levels each day you play. In Free Play mode, you can choose the rules and play against the CPU or another human player. Two Player mode is just the standard game where two players can challenge each other with one iPad. Finally in Edit Mode, you can make your own marble arrangements to try.
The game does a good job of explaining the rules. Only problem is that sometimes the touch screen controls aren’t as responsive and you may end up sliding marbles around that you didn’t want to. Luckily, cancelling moves is easy. If you like strategy board games, you may want to try out Abalone. And you won’t have to worry about losing any marbles either (well, at least not literally).
Reading skill is a must for this game unless you already know how to play. Because of the high level of thinking and strategy involved, it’s really best for older kid gamers. If your kids can grasp the concepts in board games like chess or ‘Go,’ they’ll do just fine with Abalone.