Version Reviewed: 1.2.22
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Ludo was the first patented version of the ancient game from India, Pachisi, made in England in 1896. In other places in the world, it is known as Chińczyk, Mensch ärgere dich nicht, or Fia-spel. People may commonly know the variations of this game as Sorry! or Trouble. Either way, this simple but entertaining board game has been around in some form since the 6th century.
YoAmbulante is the creative force behind this new iOS variation of Ludo, called Mr. Ludo. Not only does this version spice up the classic, it also gives it a bit of a story mode. In Mr. Ludo, players must maneuver their team of 4 office employees around the board in order to “sneak out of the office early,” while avoiding getting caught by other teams and sent back to their cubicle. The first player to get all of their Pencil Pushers out the door is declared the winner and the sneakiest of office managers. There are a couple of variations of the regular rules from Ludo, such as needing a 6 in order to get a piece on the board, but the core of the old game from India is intact in this digital re-imagination.
Mr. Ludo offers players a childlike experience that is fun no matter how old they are. Some of the game is done automatically, such as moving the pieces from point A to point B, so players really only need to worry about rolling the dice and choosing which of their pieces to move, should they have the choice. Most of the gameplay in Mr. Ludo comes down to deciding which piece to move in order to strategically grab more in-game currency, which allows players to place pieces on the board without rolling the die, taking out opposition’s pieces or even getting one's own office workers far away enough to avoid getting caught. The rules to this game are quite basic, and it goes over them pretty well in the beginning.
While Mr. Ludo offers internet multiplayer, in order to do local multiplayer one must conquer all of the in-game single player “career” levels to unlock the feature. Players have the option of challenging their Facebook friends via the internet as well, but getting into a game with strangers can have its issues; such as lag, finding a game in the first place, and people quitting early, which doesn't net any points.
Board games are popular on tablets, with hits such as Life and Monopoly selling like hot cakes on the App Store. But a game like Mr. Ludo should not go unnoticed. It’s fun style, corny background music aside, and simple rules make it something anyone from 8 to 88 can play. There isn't too much to complain about, other than the fact that players have to grind through the single player to get to local multiplayer. Luckily this game is good, so they shouldn't mind the experience too much as Mr. Ludo is simple enough for everyone, but challenging enough to keep them playing.