App O’ The Mornin’: Ingenious

I could write about only Reiner Knizia Apps for two weeks and still not cover them all.  The man isn’t just a prolific designer, but his games and uniquely well-suited to the App format.

Among Knizia’s dominoes variants, Ingenious is probably the most famous. Tiles are comprised of two conjoined hexagons, with each bearing one of 6 colored symbols. Players earn points by laying tiles on an Agon board to create lines of matching colors. The unusual scoring mechanism means that “highest lowest score” wins. Thus, the person with the highest score for their weakest color is the victor.

For instance, if your lowest scoring color is green with 5 points, and someone else has a lowest scoring color of red for 6 points, then they win. This creates unusual strategies for tile placement and even blocking.

The iPhone/Touch version is a straightforward and effective port of the original game, with an AI that should give even seasoned players a fine challenge. A solitaire variant is also included, as you compete against yourself for highest score.