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Play Your Totems Right And You May Own All The Land

March 15, 2013

Totems ($0.99) by Timecode is a turn-based land grab game that lets you enjoy board game quality play without the complex rules of Risk or Carcassonne. Divide and conquer in this game of strategy.

Players start by placing a totem on land. Depending on which map you are using, the board will consist of a certain number of territories that are separated by dividing lines. Imagine the U.S. divided by individual states. When you play a totem in a territory. It becomes yours and it changes to your color. When you play matching totems next to each other, you capture all territories that are connected.

For example, if you place two eagle totems on two territories that are adjacent to each other, they will both become yours. If you place a third eagle totem next to them, all three territories become yours.

Here is where it gets sticky. You can steal other players’ land by placing a matching totem next to theirs, and they can steal yours.

Lets say you have three eagle totems across three adjoining territories and your opponent places one of his eagle totems next to one of yours. He then captures all four territories at once.

The strategy is in placing your totems in such a way that your opponent is backed into a corner and has to place a totem at an inopportune time. If the other player starts to realize your strategy, you may be out of luck and out of totems.

This game is similar to chess in the way players try to outsmart each other on the board. However, the randomness of the totems in your hand makes it more akin to a card game like War. It is very exciting to see that you may be able to grab a whole chunk of land if only you can pick up one more matching totem. It is also a huge upset when your opponent picks up that last totem and you lose it all in one shot.

You can play against up to three more computer players or against real players over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can also play online against friends or random players through Game Center. There are as many as eight totems and 48 territories, depending on which board you choose.

Fans of land grab games will enjoy the simplicity of this app. It is heavy on strategy, but light on rules. Fans of turn-based board games will enjoy the ability to play against others either online or over local Wi-Fi. It only costs $0.99 to download and you will be guaranteed endless amounts of fun.

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