iTavli – Three backgammon like games (backgammon, blockgammon, narde)
iPhone Game Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com
Backgammon, in case you didn’t know, is a board game in which two players move their pieces around twenty-four triangular points according to the throw of dice.
The winner is proclaimed once one of the players has successfully removed all of their pieces from the board. Now that we’ve got that all squared away, it’s time to introduce iTavli, from i-SmartSolutions.
iTavli is a well-packaged backgammon app that comes in riding high off of the i-prefix wave popularized by Apple, and the wildly popular Backgammon legacy.
The app sets itself apart by offering peer-to-peer competition, in particular letting you play backgammon against your Facebook friends, and also by offering Backgammon spin-off games, in addition to the original.
iTavli does a nice job of including advertisements, but making sure that the majority of the app is dedicated strictly to gaming. Once you zone in on the board itself, you’ve the option to play against your friend, or the computer, utilizing three varying degrees of competitive difficulty.
In addition, one of the aspects of Backgammon that makes the game much more interesting, is the ability to bet during the game.
You can play offline, play online, play with a local friend via Bluetooth, or you can also play against friends anywhere in the world online. As already mentioned, we like the fact that the Social Media integration lets you challenge any of your Facebook friends to a game.
Also, and most importantly, the game offers the choice of different Backgammon alternatives. These include ‘Plakoto’ or ‘Blockgammon’ (which allows a blocking technique not traditionally allowed), Portes, Feyga or Narde. While none of these names may initially ring a bell, they all posses slight differences from one another, and are worth a try.
Concept and Functionality:
Once you open up the iTavli app, you’ll see that the concept is sound and the functionality is on-point. However, something about the formatting and the ever-present in-app advertisements don’t resonate all that well. Although to be fair, it should be mentioned that you can remove the ads by purchasing a game.
A three dimensional experience might actually provide the user with more captivating gameplay than it’s current 2-D utilization, and perhaps a different advertisement technique would be less taxing overall.
Something seems to detract from the gameplay when you’re constantly being solicited to play another game, or purchase the latest this or that. How am I supposed to learn the nuances of “Plakoto” if I’m distracted with all of these in-app plugs?
Still, when it comes to the nuts and bolts of Backgammon, I’ve got no gripes with iTavli, which gets the job done relatively seamlessly.
Again, with a three-dimensional format and less advertisements, this app would probably have a near-flawless rating. Because of some crude formatting and ubiquitous solicitation for business, we’ve got to take iTavli down just a peg.
Even still, it does a great job of providing fans with a solid Backgammon app, and even goes above and beyond by providing some alternatives as well.
iTavli requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. A small expedite fee was paid to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone App Review Rating:
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