Not an appy experience
Release Date: OUT NOW!
Two players | £ 65.00 Designer: Jordan Weisman Publisher: HBS Games
Kickstarter has had
an energising effect on gaming, and for that we geeks are thankful. But where goes success, goes also failure, and this Kickstarterfunded title is suckling at failure’s bitter teat.
Golem Arcana has fine production values, including nice models representing the titular magically- empowered battle automata, and the game mechanics are sound. It would have made a good collectible miniatures wargame, or a cool tablet game. Unwisely, it tries to do both.
The game comes with a Bluetooth stylus that reads data from the game components. The idea is that a tablet app runs the game mechanics for you while you play. But: oh dear. Never mind that you need expensive tech, and that the app crashes a lot, but jabbing at the models with a pen is literally clumsy.
Tablets are a useful adjunct to the kind of complicated game we love. Interactive rules, army lists, character sheets, maps… bliss. But the tech isn’t there to integrate the physical with the digital. And why would you want to? This kind of gaming’s a tactile affair. Here there’s so much attention on the tablet that the board and models feel superfluous.
If the app worked faster and cleaner on a wider range of devices, Golem Arcana might possibly be a winner. As things stand, it’s a no- hoper. Guy Haley