I needed a break today and tried out Jamzu, an iPhone app which has been adapted from the original PC Version that was included in the “Top 10 Great Board Games Vol. 2″. Jamzu is a board game
I tried out Jamzu against the computer as I was friendless at the time and didn’t want to tweet “Does anyone wanted to Jamzu online?”. I jumped into the game and initially was hit by an onslaught of moves that I could not make, so I backtracked and found the “HELP” section which I read as “HEY IDIOT! HERE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS” (I’m glad the developer went with the former title – plus it allows for a larger font since it’s much shorter).
Brief Game Instructions:
Race your runners (red or blue pieces depending on your side) across the board and block your opponent with the jammers (black pieces). The jammers are both your allies and your enemies as both you and your enemy can move them. They move diagonally and can riccochette off other jammers and the sides. Runners can only move forward.
It’s much simpler to briefly read through the instructions and begin to play.
- Game play
- Mono vs. Computer, Mono vs. Mono (via internet)
- 8 games can be paused at the same time
- Different difficulty levels
Many of the options that Jamzu offers ought to be exemplary in all iPhone and iPod Touch board game apps. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, which makes me want to scream from the rooftops, “Bravo Jamzu!” This did not happen of course as I had neither ladder, nor the realization that these were all to be praised. As with many successfully designed apps, the features are so seamless and logical that it takes a moment to stand back and notice that this is exactly as it ought to be.
The game play of Jamzu is quick to learn as the true value of this game (and most good board games) lies in the strategy you must learn. I commend Jamzu on the hints as these delve not only into immediate moves, but also will suggest strategies. In Jamzu, the help section is your friend.
Soon you may invite your friends to download Jamzu as well. You don’t have detain your Jamzu battles to robots, as you can play up to eight games at a time (four single player games, and four in Local WiFi mode). If I had four friends who would play this, I might consider becoming the Jamzu master. As for now, I’ll probably stick with one game versus a computer (for ninja-Jamzu training), and a second to beat the socks off my unsuspecting girlfriend.
I pulled some material from the developer’s website and found this to be more promising than my usual Changes section filled with what I’ve noticed. This game has been done so well that the only changes I would like to see in addition to what the developer has listed below is a different look to the game. Maybe offering different “skins” for the board, pieces, overall game look. This is a minor change though, as aesthetic differs per individual and Jamzu is done very well.
Some features that will be showing up, sooner or later:
:::: Move Clocks. Choice of 30, 20, 15, 10 and maybe even 5 second (ouch!) move clock. Move clock will be optional.
:::: Doubling Cube. When playing for points, the doubling cube in Jamzu would work very much the same as in backgammon.
:::: Color Themes. Some choices in addition to the classic red/blue/black.
:::: Character Themes. Fun little animated character icons for your runners and jammers. Carrying the themes over to the lane control x marks, board, animation, and other areas.
:::: Stronger AI. The current AI is pretty tough, but we’ll always be trying to make it stronger. This may involve things like genetic algorithms to train the computer player, and/or neural nets, as well as various improvements to the current algorithm.
:::: Localized Versions. The ones we would like to start with first are likely German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and French. More would follow later.
*When using the promotion code to download for free, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. Out of courtesy, please leave a comment below mentioning you’ve used the promotion code.
- First Jamzu Press Review :: 4.5 out of 5 Stars « Real Fun Art
- Jamzu 1.1 Submitted to the App Store « Real Fun Art
- Jamzu 1.1 is in the App Store « Real Fun Art
- Jamzu 1.2 Submitted to the App Store « Real Fun Art
- Jamzu 1.2 is in the App Store! « Real Fun Art