Board game ports are a popular genre on the App Store, and while some are fun, not all of them strike a good balance between retaining the feel of a board game and taking advantage of all the digital realm can offer. I'm glad to say Colt Express [$3.99], the port of the award-winning board game, manages to bring the board game to life on digital by adding enough animation and sounds to make it pleasing to the eye while keeping the spirit of the board game intact. In fact, the developers have done something unusual in this port; they've transformed the 3D trains of the board game into 2D ones that look made of cardboard.
Usually, the transformation goes the other way around, with 2D board games gaining another dimension on digital, so I was glad to see the developers daring to be different and succeeding. Colt Express is definitely one of the best ports out there and brings to the table loads of content, entertaining characters, and mechanics that make it unpredictable enough to keep players coming back for more.
Colt Express takes place on a moving train during the time of the Old West, and the main mechanic is quite simple, but that doesn't mean the strategies are simple too. Each player gets a number of cards that let their characters move across the train cars, climb on the roof or climb back down, shoot other players, punch other players, steal treasure from the floor, or move the Marshall around. In the first phase, each player plays one or two cards each turn, and once that phase is over, the characters play out those cards in order, which leads to all kinds of silly situations.
For instance, you might play a card that moves your character to the next car, and then when your turn comes again, play the card that lets you steal some treasure. While your character might indeed move to the car just fine, by the time the action of your second card is actually executed, you might have been punched away from that car. So when you bend down to get that treasure you...