Backgammon, Beautiful

App review by
Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media
Backgammon, Beautiful App Poster Image
Yes, it's beautiful, but imprecise controls mar experience.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The app includes a lot of instructions on how to play backgammon and explains the various optional rules. Touching a piece will highlight the points to which it can move, which is nice. However, it can be quite difficult to move a piece to the desired location, particularly on a small screen; often the piece just doesn't "stick" to the point. Also, the die roll button is right next to the menu button so it's easy to hit that by mistake.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Backgammon, Beautiful is a graphically impressive version of backgammon for mobile devices. The controls are imprecise, which can make the app difficult to use. The app only uses local two-player or a computer opponent; without an online component there are no privacy or safety issues.

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Is it any good?

BACKGAMMON, BEAUTIFUL is a very lovely looking version of backgammon, but despite the "HD" in the icon it does not have an iPad-resolution version. Instead, on an iPad you have to use the screen-doubling option, which doesn't look as clean. The game itself is well-done and has plenty of help screens to teach you the game, which can be played against the computer opponent (hard or easy) or against a friend using the same device.

The biggest difficulty is that the controls are imprecise -- it's often difficult to drop a piece exactly where you want it. Instead, the piece keeps snapping back to its original position, and it can be especially frustrating when you can't see the piece underneath your finger on a small screen. If the interface issues could be solved, this would be a fantastic version of backgammon. For now, it's pretty but gameplay is only adequate.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $1.99
  • Release date: May 13, 2011
  • Category: Dice Games
  • Size: 18.90 MB
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later

For kids who love board games

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