By Tom Schulz
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
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.
Hive is a great game - sort of Chess crossed with Dominos, I always say. It is great to have the game hive on the iPhone – however there are several problems with this particular app. For one, the AI is far too weak. I am not a very strong player, and yet I could beat the hardest level after a couple of days. Should they should have three more levels at least doubling the strength. Even more importantly, it doesn't have the ladybug or the pill bug extension. Furthermore, it appears to be abandoned. They put very little effort into this app as opposed to the game on steam, and put up such a fuss when someone made a good iPhone app with this game and strong AI. It really needs to be updated at this point, in those two changes would be very easy to do. I gave it four stars because it is such an excellent game and a very nice board and interface. But it badly needs an update and not having one is unconscionable at this point.
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!