Le Havre: The Inland Port

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Le Havre: The Inland Port App Poster Image
Harbor builder hits troubled waters with confusing gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

It takes a while to understand even the basics of the game, particularly things like the convoluted way resources are stored and managed in the warehouse. Some mechanics and strategy also make very little practical sense.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Le Havre: The Inland Port is a digital board game available for download on iOS and Android based mobile devices. The game is based on the award-winning physical version of the two-player board game of the same name. Players build structures and manage resources with the goal of earning more money than their opponent at the end of twelve rounds. The digital version allows players to compete solo against computer-controlled opponents of different difficulty levels, against friends or family with local play, or against other live opponents around the world in global online matchmaking. There's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.

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What's it about?

LE HAVRE: THE INLAND PORT brings the classic harbor-building board game off the table and onto your favorite mobile devices. Two players compete to collect valuable resources, construct new buildings, and develop a strong commerce in the iconic French port of Le Havre. Players will see who has amassed the most wealth after twelve days to win the sole business rights to the entire harbor. You can go solo against computer controlled A.I. opponents that range from easy, entry level competitors to high difficulty opponents with shrewd skills to challenge even the savviest of harbormasters, or bring in the human element with both local and online matches, playing whoever, wherever, and whenever you choose.

Is it any good?

Usually, an advantage of digital board games is that players don't have to worry about misunderstanding the rules because the computer plays referee and sticks to the law of the board. The problem with something like Le Havre: The Inland Port is that the rules and the gameplay are so convoluted, you can't help but wonder if it's simply making things up as it goes along.

The game has a tutorial that's limited in its usefulness. While it walks players through the steps of a game, it doesn't do a great job of explaining why it has players do the things they do. For example, during one turn, it has players use the resources and go through the motions to build a market, only to turn right around and sell it off. By the time players get through the whole tutorial, they've technically made just about every move available, but still have very little understanding of anything they've done. Over time, players will start to get the gist of what the game wants and be able to navigate the waters a bit better, but it never quite makes any sense.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using board and card games to bring families together. What are some ways that families can use board games and card games to come together and bond?

  • What are some of the types of skills that kids can learn from board games? How can learning games like chess translate to helping kids in the real world?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: 3.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: November 10, 2015
  • Category: Board Games
  • Topics: History
  • Size: 199.20 MB
  • Publisher: Asmodee Digital
  • Version: 1.42
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or higher; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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