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What's it about?
CARCASSONNE -- TILES & TACTICS is the official digital adaptation of the popular Carcassonne city/land building board game, and is available for download on iOS and Android based mobile devices. Players take turns placing random terrain tiles and building up a medieval landscape filled with cities, fields, cloisters, and roads. They'll need to close their builds and claim territories, but watch out. Your opponents are also vying for territories, ready to swoop in and take control of the land with one well placed tile. It'll take all of a player's skill, strategy, and even a little luck to win the day. In the end, will it be you that controls all of Carcassonne?
Is it any good?
This land-building strategy title has been a staple of the board game scene for two decades. Carcassonne has endured by following the tried and true formula of being simple for newcomers to pick up and play, while still rewarding those that take the time to learn the intricacies of placing the right tile in the right place at the right time. This isn't the first attempt to bring the board game to the digital sphere, but it's definitely the best to date. From a presentation standpoint, Carcassonne – Tiles & Tactics does a pretty solid job of faithfully recreating the physical board game. The tiles are colorful and detailed, with only a few extra visual flourishes here and there to guide players along.
Players already familiar with the game should feel right at home. But the initial tutorial for the game is too vague in explaining the mechanics to newcomers. Reading the in-game "How to Play" does a better job of explaining in more detail, but the best way to really learn the game is through practice. If you can find a friend or family member already familiar with the game to practice against in local matches, all the better. Online matches, on the other hand, can be brutal on multiple levels. Even if players don't wind up pitted against opponents of much higher skill levels, many online matches wind up against opponents that rage quit, forget to make a move, or are otherwise leave the match to linger and die in the online queue. At least the game's solo mode against computer opponents is always available for players looking to get in a quick and challenging match.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about using games to bond. How can games be used to help bring families together? How could a regular family game night be used to open communication between parents and kids?
What are some of the advantages that digital gaming can have over physical games? What are some ways that physical games might be better?
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