Version Reviewed: 1.4.3
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch 2nd Generation
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Backgammon Masters is an accurate rendition of the classic board game. It’s a solid game that offers many styles of play, good controls, and a lot of match-making options.
The game play is what one would expect. Anyone who has played the classic board game will find rules haven’t changed. There is the option to place bets before the first dice roll, which stay with each player through multiple games. A nice touch is that shaking the device rolls the dice, which is reminiscent of the real thing.
For the uninitiated, there is a pretty lengthy instruction page which explains all of the rules of backgammon. I would have preferred an interactive tutorial, but the instruction page suffices. The controls are simple and well done. Simply tap a checker and the possible moves are highlighted. Tap one of the pips, and the checker moves there.
The game includes 5 backgammon types: Backgammon, Narde, Nackgammon, Old English and Tawla. Thankfully, the app includes instructions for each variant.
Backgammon Masters offers 5 different match-making options. Players can choose to play against an AI opponent, another person on the same device, against a friend via a blue tooth connection, a random person online, or a friend from Game Center. The sheer number of different options really shows that the game designers put a lot of effort into the game. However, every time I tried to play online the number of players was pretty low. Eventually I was matched and could begin playing.
The graphics in the game are spot on. The board and checkers look just like the real thing. There is an in-game shop where players can purchase other boards with a different visual look.
In summary, the game is exactly what a backgammon app should be. It has a great look, detailed instructions, and is faithful to the original game. The number of match-making offerings is impressive and the controls are easy to use.