Monday, December 27, 2010

Other Offline TCGs

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  Instead of talking about Forge's great features and its great gameplay and its great AI and its great new cards, I figured I would mention a few other trading card games (TCG) that you can play offline against the AI.  Please keep in mind that none of these games are as good as Forge but they try :-)

Blue Moon is a traditional card game where you choose from one of several decks and then play against the AI.  There are 8 decks that you can use and play against.  The AI is very sophisticated and uses neural networks. (Download links are at the bottom of the page.)

Another traditional card game (from the same programmer) is Race for the Galaxy.  Instead of having individual decks, both player draw from the same deck.  (Download links are at the bottom of the page.)

Both of these games have a nice user interface and a challenging AI opponent.  The rules for the two card games are very complicated and while I have mastered the rules of Magic, I have yet to master the rules for Blue Moon or Race for the Galaxy.  It's not that the rules are bad but they have many details like Magic.

While this next program isn't a card game, it has many related elements.  Carcassonne is a board game where you draw a game piece and build town and roads.  The rules are very simple while mastering those rules is challenging.

After you draw a random board piece you have to add it to the current map while keeping all roads and cities connected, which restricts you from adding a piece anywhere that you want to.  After you place your map piece, you may put a settler on that piece.  The program has a good AI and lets you play against one or more AI opponents.  The programmer also lets you play against other people on the Internet and writing network code is never easy.

I have yet to win a game against the AI even though I enjoyed the fun aspects of creating a new map.  I find myself wanting to be able to play a shorter game against the AI so I can evaluate my progress quicker.  Playing a game that uses all 60 pieces can be long, especially if you are losing.

All three of these games are quite good and will consume many hours.  Please tell me if you happen to beat the AI in any of these three games.

Blue Moon
Windows Executable
GTK Library (required) 
Programmer Homepage

Race for the Galaxy
Windows Executable
Programmer Homepage - Also has a Mac OS X version that you can download.

JCloisterZone - requires Java
Programmer Homepage

Keep on forging (my new catch phrase),


EOL (Eric O LEBIGOT) said...

I'd like to point out that Blue Moon is actually quite simple (players must essentially bid higher and higher cards). Race for the Galaxy is indeed a more complex card game, but its rules are nowhere as detailed and complex as those of Magic, whose ~200 page of Comprehensive Rules are hard to beat!

Kite said...

I have the cardboard version of carcasonne very entertaining to play with family. The trick that usually works is making alot of farmers (I spose that's what they're called) though they give you no points when you place them they can give a massive points boost at the end of the game.

sprechblase said...

Hey forge,

I really like the way how you support other tcgs as well. It's not like you claim your program as the one and only. Don't know if other programmers would do this as well. And therefore kudos to you !!!

stcrowe said...

Thanks for pointing out jcloisterzone. Me and my wife absolutely love Carcassonne, and I would never would have known a java app existed without this little post.

Also, I've been following MTG forge for as long as this site has been up. Love the work you guys have been doing.

Forge said...

Other people's programs are always impressive (well if I like the program, it is impressive). Programming is always hard, so I can see the time and effort that they have spent.

I found all three programs on forums. I'm sure that they mention other good computer programs, you just have to sort through the posts.

Forge said...

stcrowe - "Also, I've been following MTG forge for as long as this site has been up. Love the work you guys have been doing."

Thanks, Forge has turned out to be a great project that people enjoy using. It has really been a great experience all around and I would suggest that people should start their own projects (which people have).

Magic is also a great game and good "source material" :)

EOL (Eric O LEBIGOT) said...

@Forge: There is a whole list devoted to computer versions of card or board games, on BoardGameGeek:

Forge said...

@EOL: Yeah, that is where I found the three programs. These three programs were the best of the bunch that I've found so far but I'm sure that there are other good programs hidden in there.

Unknown said...

Right on! I've been a rftg and Carcasonne player for years now, good recommendations and keep up the good work!