Tavla5: Five Versions of Backgammon in One Great App


Price: $1.99
Tavla5: Written iPhone Game Review

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say that games are the most downloaded apps for iPhone and iPad. If you can think of a scenario, it’s likely in game form on the App Store. However, sometimes it’s fun to go old-school and use our state-of-the-art devices to play games that have been around for thousands of years.

Tavla5, developed by Boyan Paskalev, brings popular board games such as backgammon and Gulbara to your iPhone and iPad. Whether you want to play against the AI or a friend, this is the perfect app for those who enjoy these classic games.

Concept and Gameplay:

One of the coolest things about Tavla5 is that it’s five games for the price of one. Not only can you play backgammon, but also Tapa, Narde, Nackgammon, and Gulbara. You can choose which game you’d like to play on the main screen, along with tournament type and other game options.

Starting a game is incredibly easy. All you have to do is choose your game type, whether you’d like to play a single game or best of 3, 5, or 9, and if you’d like to allow doubles or the ability to undo moves. From there, it’s no different than playing the actual game.

The game board is very simple to read and looks identical to the actual game. Smooth animations and neat sound effects definitely enhance gameplay in Tavla5, making the game even more fun. Tavla5 also keeps track of game scores and even allows you to resume a game that’s in progress if you happen to close the app.


Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

For those who enjoy customizing games, Tavla5 features a few cool HD game skins which are a visual treat. From the beautiful blue Circuit skin to the dreamy summer beach theme, you’re sure to find something to make your games even more beautiful.

Another neat feature is the ability to play against friends via Bluetooth or by passing your device between each other. This not only makes it a bit more convenient to play against something other than a computer, but also brings the same fun of playing a board game together to your device. This is definitely refreshing and more personal than playing against someone halfway around the world.

Lastly, there are different difficulty modes if you’re playing against the AI. You can choose from defensive or aggressive mode depending on your level of experience or gameplay style. The only feature I wish Tavla5 had is a quick info screen that would explain the rules of each game. This would be great for those who are familiar with backgammon but not the other games.


As I mentioned before, you’re getting five games for the price of one. At only $1.99, that’s a killer deal. Tavla5 is very refined and well developed, and I imagine it’ll only get better with future updates. It’s also universally compatible with both iPhone and iPad. If you’re looking to play a classic board game like backgammon and its variants, you can’t afford not to check out Tavla5!

 Tavla5 is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

The iPhone App Review’s rating:

“The best iPhone apps and the best iPad apps are reviewed by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

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