Developer: Lumarama
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

I can hear it through the walls. The creeping advance of that horrifying thing; the thing that has been chasing me from the moment I woke up in this nightmarish place; the thing that keeps eating my friends. Somewhere ahead of me, through the twists and turns of the tunnels, past the roving bands of others, there is a sanctuary. I have to get there, have to be safe, have to make it back alive.

IMG_0459IMG_0457Damn Little Town is a tile-placement game, combining the tried-and-true map building and unit placement mechanics of many board games and adding villager-eating monsters. The game takes place in two phases, with players placing tiles and villagers in the first phase to construct the board, and then trying desperately to move those villagers to safety from the advancing monsters and opposing player units in the second phase. Players move both their own pieces and the monsters, trying to destroy their opponents’ villagers while saving their own. It’s a game that comes down to simple strategy, combined with a little luck – drawn tiles are random, and monster spawn points can’t always be predicted. The board size and number of players are restricted in the free download, and can be increased by unlocking the full game via in-app purchase. It is important to note that in there is no multiplayer in the free version.

My complaints about the game are fairly minimal, like the game itself. Though the simplistic visuals are perfectly serviceable, it would have been nice to have had slightly more atmospheric aesthetics to back up the theme – in particular the monster tiles look quite campy. The music does what it can with its eerie ‘child’s music box’ starkness intended to add to the unsettling atmosphere, but once the monsters show up and we’re all running for our lives the music goes unchanged, isn’t thrilling, and actually feels a little cheesy. Finally, the theme is almost completely tacked-on. If this had been Flooding Little Town and the spreading danger was water the game would play identically. More could have been done to add some thematic elements.

IMG_0461 IMG_0462Damn Little Town is a fun game with good solo and pass-and-play potential, and online multiplayer will be available to unlock via purchase once the upcoming 1.1.0 update goes live. The strategic elements take a few playthroughs to get ahold of, but once you have a sense of your tactics Damn Little Town becomes a Fun Little Diversion. Though it certainly has room to grow, as it stands it is a worthwhile addition to your iOS board game library.

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