by Staff Writer
February 9, 2011
Board games have found a great home on the iPad, but we can only play the classics so many times. It would be great to see some board games specifically designed for the iPad, and taking advantage of its unique capabilities. Game House has answered the call with their first game Marble Mixer, and now has a new one called Table Twister for iPad (iPad, $1.99). The game gives you three different game types in one, and all for up to four players gathered around a single iPad. The first game is word list where random letters rotate around the screen, and you try to be the first to make a three, four, and five letter word. Next is Rolling Poker where playing cars rotate around, and you try to form hands, and score the most points in the given time with each type of hand worth a different amount of points. Finally there is Rancho which has farm animals rotating around, and you try to collect the same ones like five pigs, and try to collect as many bunches of the same animals as you can. Table Twister embodies an iPad board game with every action touch based, and games allowing for quick sessions. Each game type takes 75 seconds, and you try to reach the requirements, so you can play a number of games consecutively, and interchange between modes effortlessly. Each game type offers up a different challenge, and there is so much variability between the modes while still relying on the same mechanic. The game is just drag and drop the various pieces to your section, and it's a race against your competitors right across your iPad. It can be frenzy on the center of your iPad with all players trying to grab pieces in their section. The pieces are always rotating, and go from one players section to the next so you can miss a piece, and then it will show up to the next player. There is a constant risk/reward strategy involved for each mode as you have to choose to make tougher more valuable hands, or bigger matches, or longer words. The longer you wait to enable you to achieve the tougher, more valuable matches, the other person could make more matches worth less, and pull ahead. You have to balance time and point value as does every player, and there are multiple strategies involved which is great to see when competing against others. The game includes very well done visuals across each mode, and it mimics playing on your coffee or dining room table. Each mode has a different style from cartoon to more authentic and there are different soundtracks and sound effects to fit each particular theme. There is a lot of polish in the game exemplified by the game mode select dial which Canberra spun around between the players. Table Twister for iPad is a great board game with exciting and varied gameplay that fits the iPad perfectly. It's a should buy for $1.99, and a great way to gather people around an iPad. There is also an iPhone/iPod Touch version for $0.99 which offers head to head play.