Hey, That’s My Fish! is today’s Amazon Free App of the Day, and Carcassonne is my Editor’s Pick App for today. Both are turn-based strategy games where the goal is to control as much of the game board as possible. First up:
Hey, That’s My Fish! (4.5/5 stars, all ages) – From Amazon:
The international bestseller is now available for Android! Engage in a cutthroat competition to collect the largest stockpile of delicious fish while outmaneuvering other penguins on a rapidly shrinking ice floe.
Hey, That’s My Fish! brings the classic strategy board game of ravenous penguins searching for sustenance to Android phones and tablets! Play against the computer or compete with up to three friends in a fun-filled race against time.
With a variety of maps to choose from and nearly infinite starting setups, Hey, That’s My Fish! offers endless hours of fun. Can you supply your colony with enough food to win the day, or will your cunning opponent leave you drifting out at sea?
“As a casual strategy game, Hey, That’s My Fish! is easy to recommend.” 4/5 stars from 148apps.com
“Fast-paced and well-suited for the touch screen”
4/5 stars from Gamezebo.com
“Whenever I’ve introduced the game to friends they’ve all walked away impressed.”
4.5/5 stars from Android Game Reviews
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Since Hey, That’s My Fish! is free today, there’s no risk in picking it up to give it a try. But my Editor’s Pick, Carcassonne, is currently priced at $4.99 and the best way to get an understanding of how the game works is to play it, so you may want to use the Free Test Drive feature on its Amazon product page to see what it’s all about before you buy. That’s what I did, and I was hooked after one round!
Carcassonne (4/5 stars, all ages, currently priced at $4.99) – From Amazon:
The award-winning tile-based board game by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede is now available for your mobile phone! Just a few years after its release, Carcassonne became a modern classic and a must-play. Turn by turn, the players create a landscape by placing tiles with roads, cities, fields, and cloisters. Deploy your followers – knights, monks, thieves, or farmers – and try to score the most points to win the game. The ever-changing landscape makes each game a new experience. With the official expansion “The River II”, clever AI opponents, local multiplayer and 12 challenges, this is an essential title for board game enthusiasts.
PocketGamer.co.uk – MOBILE GAME OF THE YEAR 2012
PocketGamer: Readers’ Choice Awards – MOBILE GAME OF THE YEAR 2012
PocketGamer.co.uk – Silver Award: “A great adaptation of a great board game”
PlayAndroid.com – 24/30: “This really is one of those must-haves that you’ll keep returning to, time and time and again.” – “I had never played the game before, but now I’m hooked.”
Gamezebo.com – 4/5: “Carcassonne for Android is a great adaptation of the popular board game”
DroidGamers.com: “If you looking for a enjoyable, easy to play, well built, inexpensive strategy game, I recommend you download Carcassonne for Android in the Market.”
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I’d never played, or even heard of this game before trying it out, but apparently it’s very popular in Europe as a classic board game. In a nutshell, the way Carcassonne works is this:
Players take turns placing tiles on the game board to build roads, cities, cloisters and farms. Tiles are dealt by the computer, randomly, one at a time; you have to play the tile you’re dealt on your turn. Players gain control of the items they build by placing ‘followers’ on them—whoever has the most followers on the item gets the points—, but you only get 7 followers to start so you must plan carefully before placing them on the board. Players get varying levels of points for each different item; point values are explained in the game tutorial. Items are scored as they are completed (e.g., if you place a tile that closes a city wall, that city is complete and will be scored immediately; if you play a tile that creates an endpoint or intersection for a road, that road is complete and will be scored immediately; etc.) and any player followers that were placed on the item are returned to them.
So in terms of strategy, you must strive to complete and control items for yourself while avoiding completion of any items where the other players’ followers will score points for them. You also don’t want to complete items controlled by others in order to delay the return of your opponents’ followers for as long as possible. The computer deals a game board tile that has some feature on it (e.g., a piece of a road, a piece of a city, a field, or a cloister).
You can play against real-life opponents or computer opponents with various skill levels and personalities. This video will give you a better idea of gameplay, but again, I strongly suggest you use the Test Drive feature to play a tutorial round yourself. It’s a lot of fun!