By Tom Schulz
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Hive is a board game with a difference. There is no board! The pieces are added to the playing area thus creating the board. As more and more pieces are added the game becomes a fight to see who can be the first to capture the opposing Queen Bee.
The soldier ants battle to keep control of the outside of the hive, whilst the Beetles climb up to dominate the top. Spiders moving into holding positions as the Grasshoppers jump in for the kill. Keeping one eye on the hive and the other on your opponents reserves, the tension builds as one wrong move will see your Queen Bee quickly engulfed; .... game over!
Hive's unique gameplay is suitable for players of all ages. The game is quickly learned but hard to master like other classic games of its genre. Interface elements clearly indicating where a player may move or place their pieces makes this version easier for the novice to learn than the tabletop version, and players without a partner will be challenged by the AI opponent.
Hive is a beautiful 3D game that allows the player to choose from different sets of pieces and different colored backgrounds. While Hive is not traditionally played on a board, users may display a hex grid to aid their visualization of the game's possibilities and movements.
This version of Hive includes the Mosquito, a parasitic new Hive piece that takes on the abilities of its neighbors. Use your Mosquito cleverly as an extra Ant, Beetle or Spider. Tournament rules forbidding placement of the Queen Bee as the first move are also an option for each game.
The single player mode features four levels of difficulty. As the player defeats each level, the next is unlocked. Two players can also play each other using one device in hotseat mode.
What's New in Version HIVE003
Fixed multiplayer crash.
AI and GameCenter / Online issues
Hive is a great game as many have said and the app does justice to the game. The two big problems are (1) that the AI on hard is still too easy to beat and Army of Frogs / Gen 42 games has not updated the app at all. And (2) there is nothing to speed up online play. A simple implementation would be that if a player doesn’t move for a period (say 48 or 72 hours), they forfeit the game. This would help when someone doesn’t move a last move because they have lost. (2+) It would also be nice to have an online leaderboard, or have games with a clock (for actual live games - 30 or 60 seconds per move). Games like Cribbage Pro have excellent online play, rankings, and various settings to promote quick play and ratings. So much potential. So little ambition.
Good, but has problems.
Hive is one of my favorite games, so I was pretty stoked to get the app. The game runs smoothly for the most part until you try online play. So far I've had games that glitch and leave an "island" piece not connected to anything, and I currently have a game going in which, try as I might, it will not register my move. It's been like this for days.
Unfortunately, the only option when this happens is to quit the game, and because I can't send messages when the app glitches it looks as if I forfeit. The other complaints I have are minor, not really deal breakers. The AI isn't terrible, but it rarely wins even on the "hard" setting. Also, there is no ladybug.
Ultimately, I just hope they fix the glitches!
Very good, but AI and online play need work
This is a very good implementation of a great game. It is chess-like, but i don't feel it is quite as deep. This is a good thing though, as you can play several games in one sitting and try out different strategies.
Each piece has different movements, with one of them (the mosquito) that clones the movement of pieces next to it. Legal moves for each piece are displayed when you touch the piece, making it very easy to learn.
After a few games you may find that the AI is too easy to beat, even on "hard." this leads to the second problem: online play is painfully slow, because other (random) players may not be on the same schedule as you are. This is an issue with the other people playing, not with the game itself. Playing against friends will probably be fine unless they are slow too.
My final comment is about the graphics. I play on an iPad and the pieces look a bit jaggy on the edges, but this in no way detracts from gameplay.
This has inspired me to look at getting the physical boardgame.