Review: Yahtzee Adventure


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Jul 5, 2008
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Yahtzee! I remember saying those words while playing Challenge Yahtzee with my family while growing up. So I saw Yahtzee Adventure in the App Store, and decided to give it a try.

When you start up the program, you are presented with the option of enabling or disabling sound within the program. Let me just say, I love this approach, and wish more designers would use it in their games or apps. I love being able to disable sounds before the program actually starts - it is much easier than trying to turn down the volume, mute the phone, or try to find some configuration switch within the game itself.

Anyway, when you get to the first screen, you are presented with a menu of options: adventure, play now, custom play, extras, options, more games, help, and exit. This is the first application I recall seeing on the iPhone that has an actual "exit" option (instead of just hitting the home button) - I don't really know if it serves a purpose or not.

The play now is for a quick, single player game of Yahtzee. I won't go into detail here, but will just say that unlike some games, playing Yahtzee by yourself can be just as much fun as against somebody, as you can try ot beat your various high scores.

The "extras" button will let you look at your various awards (given in adventure mode), biographies of the characters you are playing against, the results of various challenges (from both adventure mode and regular game mode), and you overall statistics (highest score, % of games won, etc).

The "more games" button is just for an advertisement of other games. Unfortunately, you don't get any demos of those games included (that would be great advertising) or any discount for buying them via the advertisement (again, great advertising).

Options lets you change the various options - music, sound, tutorial, shake to roll the dice, etc. And help mode is just that - helps you with the game.

So that leaves Adventure Mode and Cuustom Play. I will start with Adventure Mode first.

In Adventure mode, you go through various levels, competing against former students of the "sensei" who is teaching you how to play Yahtzee. Presumably, each student has a different style of play (although I couldn't really recognize any difference) so you need to "learn" how to compete against each style. I don't really know how effective it was - I never really changed my style of play, and I sometimes won, I sometimes lost (maybe I would have won more if I adapted, who knows). Eventually, you need to beat the sensei himself. After you beat each level, you are awarded a set of dice to represent that challenge you defeated. Once you have beaten the entire adventure mode (which can happen relatively quickly) you can go back and play any of the students at any time.

In custom play mode, you can choose the type of game you want to play (classic, duplicate, battle, or rainbow). I am not going to go into the differences of those game types, but they all have their fun points. You can choose the number of opponents, and if you are playing against the iPhone characters, you can choose them as well.

The game play is very straight-forward. The one problem I had was occasionally I would tap an area of the field to reroll the dice, when I really was trying to choose the dice to keep. But beyond that, there were no real problem wit hthe gameplay or the interface. It is a very polished game overall.

While you can play multiplayer, you are playing on the same iPhone. It would be nice to have some sort of wifi or networked multiplayer option (or even playing people over the web) but I am glad to see that there is some sort of option to play against someone. While playing yourself or the characters is fun, part of the fun is playing against someone.

Pros: Fun game modes, good interface

Cons: Nothing aside from some minor issues about multiplayer mode

All in all, this is a nicely polished app with a good interface, and is fun to play. No real drawbacks aside from a couple of minor quibbles. For $4.99, I would consider this a good deal if you like to play Yahtzee. Four and a half out of five stars.

Rating scale:

* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benfits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.
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