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Daily iPhone App: For the Win is a Board Game Geek's dream come true

That headline is more literal than you might think: The recently released iPhone app For the Win was project managed and user interface-designed by one Bradley Cummings, perhaps better known as the iOS editor on the popular site BoardGameGeek.com. Cummings has been covering iPhone games over there for a while now, and with For the Win, he's decided to release one of his own, with some publishing help from Tasty Minstrel Games and Michael Eskue.

As you might imagine from a game put together with help from BoardGameGeek, For the Win turns a set of relatively simple rules into a complex proposition: The core idea is that you're laying down tiles on a board (that features geeky standbys like aliens, monkeys and pirates), trying to make all the tiles of your color touch each other. Each tile type has a special ability, and players trade turns, laying down tiles and using abilities, until one side or the other meets the winning conditions.

Unfortunately, while the game works great and is suitably complex, it's probably too mechanical for a really wide audience. If you read BoardGameGeek, you'll probably like it, as there are a lot of different wrinkles that show up as more tiles hit the board. But for more casual players, the mix of mechanics might be a little esoteric, and all the different abilities might be a little tough to figure out how to use together for, as they say, the win.

That's not necessarily a bad thing -- folks interested in a well-designed and complex tile game will find a lot of interesting fun in For the Win, available right now for US$1.99. But if your idea of board games is more Candyland than Carcassone, this one might be a little too complex for your tastes.

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