Board Game App Review: Lords of Waterdeep

9/10 Top-notch worker-placement, a steal on sale

Available on:
Steam for PC — $9.99
Apple — $7.99
Google Play — $6.99

This week, I’m reviewing several different board game apps. These reviews are primarily looking at the quality of the app and content. Previous reviews:

This is the first game in this roundup that I’ve not played in person. I’ve known of it, of course, but I’ve preferred other games in its specific sub-genre of mission-oriented worker-placement. Specifically, Yedo and Champions of Midgard. But the app looked good (it’s by PlayDek, afterall—a well-established developer of board game apps), was well-reviewed, and was pretty cheap on discount for $5. Also, neither of those other two have an app. I had to learn LoW from the app since I had never played before, and the tutorial is excellent, split into multiple parts to teach each aspect of the game through playing. At the end, you’re free to complete the tutorial match on your own (a particular tutorial style I really appreciate).

Information is clear, easy to find, and you can even open or close panels for your cards while a pop-up is on-screen, such as when making decisions in the middle of an action. The only fiddly bit is that sometimes the app can’t seem to read when I’ve clicked and am dragging a card. But you can click the card and select it manually if needed. And when a lot of buildings have been built, you have to scroll through them on the board to find them all. The UI, a little big for a desktop screen, doesn’t scale but isn’t as claustrophobic as other iOS ports. But those are really the only—very minor—complaints that I have. The presentation is nice, it has good music, the board changes from day to night, it’s easy to follow what your opponents are doing, and it has adjustable AI difficulty. And equally important are the two expansions which are already available for the app. It also has easy-to-follow scoring at the end of the game and a detailed final score screen.

It’s an easy-going game that plays pretty quickly on the app, developed by one of the best at translating tabletop games to the computer. I didn’t see any reported issues of connectivity for multiplayer either. And the availability of the expansions can’t go understated. It still doesn’t feel like D&D though.

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