Small World, The First Ever Board Game On The iPad, Finally Gets a Sequel

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Days of Wonder‘s Small World was the first ever cardboard-and-plastic board game to jump the digital chasm and become an iPad board game; the game actually made its debut the same day the iPad went on sale, over three years ago.

In the intervening years, Days of Wonder has neglected the digital version of Small World somewhat, and instead concentrated heavily on its best-known title, the massively popular Ticket to Ride (of which there is now a bewildering assortment of variations — both physical and digital — available for play).

But now, finally, the indy game company has come back to the game that started it all and released Small World 2 on the iPad — a huge, socially rich sequel that should make board-game fans very happy once the sticker shock has abated.

Among the improvements are many more ways to play the game, new races and special powers and Facebook integration.

Small World 2 now allows for three, four or five-person games instead of the original’s limit of two. Games can now also be played by asynchronously in turns, or in realtime. There’s also a local hot-seat mode so that up to five people gathered around a coffee table can play.

Over 20 new races and special powers (that correspond with the physical game’s expansion sets) have also been made available through in-app purchase. Unusually, SW2 will also allow games to be played with the extra races or powers available to both (or all) players if even just one player has bought them.

Finally, SW2 allows iPad players to play others who are playing on the Facebook version of the game, as well as through GameCenter. Days of Wonder say this is a pretty big deal, and that they developed “a first-of-its-kind, dedicated server that combines the best of synchronous and asynchronous online play.” Which basically means they’ve gone to great lengths so that you can play more people, more smoothly.

Now for the sticker shock part: The game is $10, a considerable amount of money to spend on a game. Then again, owners of the original Small World get the sequel for free — and if Days of Wonder have loaded Small World 2 (which I haven’t played) with the fun and attention to detail they loaded Ticket to Ride (which I play incessantly) with, $10 is a pretty good deal.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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