Spoiler alert! Outwitters may be the ultimate digital board game. Think of battleship with multiple boards and dozens more moves. For a few dollars more you can add a variety of characters, board and game options, but the free version can be plenty of fun. Four Stars.
Digital board games too often require too much thinking or too much money. Unless you are a serious gamer, you often spend a lot of time learning the rules of game play only to be disappointed when you finally master the moves. If you don't put the game down after a couple of tries.
Players position their pieces without being able to see opponents' pieces. Once play begins only pieces within striking distance are visible.
Outwitters is easy to learn and a lot of fun. It's a step up from battleship style gaming while keeping your opponent's pieces hidden until they're in range of attack. It resembles chess, but is much easier to play. You can play online or pass the iPad between two and four players.
The object is to strike your opponent's base with enough power to destroy it while protecting yours. The game tiles are six-sided, which allows you to move diagonally. You can add as many armies as you want, but you can only use so much energy each turn. Each piece can move once and attack once, and moves and attacks spend energy.
Players can also buy additional game pieces and boards for $2 apiece. Different sets allow players to take slaves or teleport friends.
It also takes energy to create new armies. But your pieces vary in their abilities (much like chess pieces) and how easily they're destroyed. The pieces that can move more quickly do less damage and are far more easy to kill. Others, such as snipers, do more damage at longer distances but have limited range.
Since you can only see players within attack range, you have to be doubly aware of the board. Not only do you have to protect your base, but you can also be ambushed if opponent's shield their pieces in hidden zones until you stumble onto them.
Outwitters comes with two two-player maps and one four-player map. You can also buy two additional sets of pieces with their own three-map game play. The enhanced sets also come with additional strategies. One set turns opposing pieces into slaves, a second set teleports allies. One of the sets is Star Brite cute, presumably so girls will want to play.
I imagine those girls will be just as happy with the pirate theme.
Jenny Manytoes rates Outwitters
Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Outwitters. She would purr even more if she could play a computer opponent when the internet's down. And also if she understood the rules. But as human games go it's kind of cool.
The Jenny Manytoes Rating System
Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
- When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she's in heaven.
- When Jenny purrs over a product she's very happy.
- When Jenny naps next to a product it's okay with her.
- When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
- When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don't think I need to explain this one.
The only thing keeping me from a five star rating is the lack of an AI option that would allow you to play the computer when your internet connection is down or unavailable. But for rivalry gaming, Outwitters is really fun.