Another bit of news that happened while I was gone, which falls into the “have a little bit of crap in your caviar dinner” category, is that the Lords of Waterdeep app from Playdek received a major update last week.
First, it became a 64-bit app and thus was saved from Apple’s “Thou Shalt Not Have Any Apps That Are Only 32-bit or We Shall Smite Thee” edict for when iOS 11 hits. (Stately Play already took the best term, “Appocalypse”, but mine wins in the “way too many words” category). Without this update, Lords of Waterdeep would have been unplayable when iOS 11 hit.
This update also brought the game out for Steam and Android finally, for those who have been holding your breath for it (I hope you weren’t holding it too long or that could be deadly).
However, for us long-time players on iOS, the update brought about a major change that really detracts from the game.
The app is now entirely in landscape orientation, and it looks like shit.
It’s not as bad as some people have made it to be, but it is way too cramped, especially on the phone (on the iPad it looks just as bad, just more readable).
One of the best things about portrait mode for this game was that the playing board looked like the real playing board. It was sprawling! Things didn’t look like they were jammed into a mosh pit fighting for position. All of the buildings were in their own spaces! They weren’t layered one on top of the other.
When you tapped on an opponent to be able to see their quests and adventurers and other publicly-available information, you didn’t have to be pinpoint-perfect on where you tapped in order to do so.
Look how small my opponent’s name is on this screen!
Sadly, there is no option to change it back to portrait.
Playdek has said they had to get the update done to beat the iOS 11 deadline, and I hope that was just one of the casualties and they will eventually put it back in.
That being said, they did add one major thing as well that I love (though none of my opponents are using it yet): in-game chat!
There is also chat in the lobby where you can find opponents, which is also a very nice addition. But I mainly play with my friends, so it’s nice to be able to say something to them in the game (if they will actually respond…hint hint).
Even with this design misstep, Lords of Waterdeep is one of the best boardgame digital adaptations out there.
I highly recommend it if you like the game. It’s well worth the money.
Even if it now looks terrible.