By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
There’s two paths that can chosen when converting a board game into an
iPad product and both can be fraught with as many dangers as the streets
and back alleys of Waterdeep.
The product can faithfully recreate the board game experience as
completely as possible. Or it can go for an enhanced or slightly different
experience completely. Considering the astounding popularity of Lords of
Waterdeep from Wizards of the Coast, this choice was probably not a
Playdek, one of the premier companies at producing quality board game
conversions for the iPad, worked closely with Wizards to make the ios
version of Lords of Waterdeep as close in every detail as was possible.
For those not familiar with the board game, players take on a role as one
of the Lords of Waterdeep. The object is to recruit adventurers and other
resources to fulfill quests, which earn that Lord victory points. Once
eight rounds have been completed, the game ends and the most successful
Lord is the winner. Each Lord gets different bonus points for doing
specific things within Waterdeep.
This game is, at its heart, a worker placement game, meaning that players
will put agent pieces on the board to do whatever action is associated
with that area on the board. There are a limited number of those agents
and that number varies depending on the number of players in the game. The
fewer the players, the larger the number of agents.
Playdek’s adaption of this game for the iPad is stellar. It is hard to
image a better rendition of the game electronically than this one. Those
new to the game will especially appreciate the numerous tutorials
available before playing.
Because each player needs to keep track of the number of each type of
adventurer to which he or she has access in their tavern, along with gold
resources, quests not completed and completed, intrigue cards and agents,
it is necessary for some of the details of that to be minimized much of
the time. But a simple double click of a particular icon will make those
Some other additions to the game make it a quicker and easier game to play
than the tabletop version. One of those features is that each quest card
that a player can complete is highlighted to alert that player.
The game can be played offline solo against up to four computer players of
varying skill, by two or more players passing the iPad around or online
against human foes who are linked together through Playdek’s reliable system.
Perhaps the one complaint that the tabletop veterans of the game might
raise is that the number of buildings that can be erected in this version
is limited to the spaces on the board. That isn’t the case with the
tabletop version. Wizards of the Coast worked with Playdek and approved
Otherwise, this is a faithful and graphically spectacular version of the
Lords of Waterdeep. For those who wish they could get the game to the
table more often, this will indeed fill a gaming void is a completely
The game is available in the iTunes store and sells for $6.99.