After a massively successful Kickstarter campaign which completed back in April (at 263% of its $150k goal, Days of Wonder finally launches the huge new v2.0 update to their iPad digital release of the tabletop game Small World.
Small World 2 (as it is being called due to the massive nature of the update) is not a new game, nor a sequel, but instead an entirely revamped and rejuvenated release of the studio’s existing app, with loads of new features and content. Despite the game being one of the very first iPad board games, Days of Wonder freely admit that they left it to gather some dust while they focused on the iPad release of their other huge game property Ticket to Ride. Until today their Small World app hadn’t received an update in nearly two years!
The great news is that instead of releasing a brand new app, Days of Wonder did right by its earliest supporters and made this a FREE update for existing Small World app owners. So if you own the App just go to the App Store now and down load the update to get Small World 2.
If you are unfamiliar with the tabletop game, Small World is a strategy game “inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth.”
To date Days of Wonder have sold more than 650,000 copies worldwide across its digital and physical versions, generating more than $20 million global sales (including its expansions) which is quite a feat considering in the tabletop world we are told that a “hit” independent/hobby board game typically sells between 5k and 10k copies. I’m curious to see how much sales of the physical board game increase after today’s release goes out into the wild. Days of Wonder’s founder Mark Kaufmann has said in the past that their digital versions tend to help drive sales of the physical release instead of cannibalizing them. A fact that I wholeheartedly agree with after having finally played the physical release of Ticket to Ride for the first time, and then immediately adding it to my birthday wish list.
There are loads of new features, probably the biggest of which is online multiplayer, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out this complete list of new features:
Loads More Ways to Play
- Where the original Small World only allowed 2 players to play head to head, Small World 2 lets you challenge 3, 4, or 5 friends.
- Play Online games in real-time or via turn-by-turn asynchronous play, with friends & strangers from the world over;
- Play Local games with up to 5 friends via “Pass-n-play” mode on a single iPad or with each player playing on their own iPad over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
- Play Solo against up to 4 challenging built-in AI opponents.
- And for players with a competitive bent, Small World 2 also offers scores of ranking ladders, with daily, weekly and permanent rankings, in 2, 3, 4 and 5 player combinations, in Solo, Face-to-face and Online modes.
New Races and Powers
- 20 new races & special powers to master through in-app purchases of “Cursed!” and “Grand Dames”
- Brand new to digital: “Be Not Afraid” expansion is also now available
- If you get the expansions, your friends can play them too! The game operates under Days of Wonder’s new “Friendly Share” policy, which lets the initiator of any game share their races and powers with all other players in the game. This balances gameplay and allows everyone to be playing with the same abilities.
- Players can learn more about each race and their back story with the comprehensive Small World 2 Encyclopedia detailing all rules, races, special powers, icons & more.
Facebook Integration and “real-time” Asynchronous Play
- The original release only supported local multiplayer, now players can challenge friends to play via GameCenter, Days of Wonder Online Buddies, or (for the first time in any Days of Wonder game) Facebook.
- When playing Small World 2, players can challenge any of their Facebook friends to a game via their entire friends list. If that friend already owns Small World 2, players can issue a challenge and play in real-time or via asynchronous turn-by-turn play. If their friends don’t already own Small World 2, they can invite them to download the game and play.
- The overwhelming success of the Kickstarter campaign, means that Steam and Android (to be released later this year) versions are also in the works and (if anything like the Ticket to Ride model) iOS players should be able to go head to head with those players as well.
- To simultaneously give Small World 2 players the responsiveness of a real-time game and the convenience of a turn-based game, Days of Wonder developed a first-of-its-kind, dedicated server that combines the best of synchronous and asynchronous online play.*
* This means that, when players are online with their opponents, the game operates in real-time, with each turn taking place one right after the other. When a player has to leave the app, the game switches seamlessly to asynchronous mode, allowing games to be picked back up and played at the player’s convenience.