By Patrick Näf Moser
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
*************************** HELP WANTED **************************
Please contact me if you are interested in contributing an app video preview that can be placed here in the App Store. If I seem to ignore you, your message may have been blocked by my spam filter. Please comment on GitHub issue #288 instead (https://github.com/herzbube/littlego/issues/288).
Little Go is a free and open source iOS application that lets you play the game of Go on the iPhone or iPad. You can play against another human (on the same device), or against the computer. The computer player is powered by the open source software library Fuego (http://fuego.sf.net/). The minimum requirement for running this version of Little Go is iOS 7.0.
- Board sizes between 7x7 and 19x19 (start a new game to change the board size)
- Let the computer player make a move for you
- Calculate the score at any time during the game (area scoring is the default, territory scoring can be selected at the start of a new game)
- Adjust the computer's playing strength and resign behaviour by selecting from a number of presets, or by fine-tuning advanced settings
- Play even games, or games with 2-9 handicap stones (fixed stone placement)
- Select from 5 pre-defined rulesets when you start a new game, or adjust game rules to your preference (komi, ko rule, area/territory scoring system, number of passes to end game, resume play by alternating/non-alternating play, four passes end game)
- View board positions for moves played earlier during the game (no support for game variations, though)
- Discard moves (aka "undo")
- Display move numbers and coordinate labels
- Zoom & scroll board
- Display player influence (aka territory statistics) for an estimate who owns an area
- Computer vs. computer game for entertainment
- Save & load games to/from the archive
- Use iTunes file sharing to transfer saved games to/from your iOS device
- Import/export game files from/to other apps on your device (e.g. Mail, DropBox)
- In-app user manual (text-only)
- Submit bug report email from inside the app (yes, this *is* a feature :-))
- For the technically inclined: Watch what happens behind the scenes when Little Go and Fuego talk to each other over the Go Text Protocol (GTP)
Your contribution in any form (coding, UI design, testing, bug reports, creating an app video preview, website design) is welcome - please contact me or visit the project website (http://littlego.herzbube.ch/) to find out more.
Little Go is released under the Apache License 2.0 (http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0).
What's New in Version 1.2.0
Version 1.2.0 is a feature release that contains the following changes:
- iPhone 6/6+ are now supported with their native screen resolution (#263)
- iPhone 6+ has a redesigned user interface that makes better use of the available screen estate (#253). iPhone 6+ also supports holding the device in landscape.
- When starting a new game, it is now possible to select from several predefined rulesets, which allows setting many game rules at once with a single tap (#274). This makes the "New game" screen less cluttered and more user friendly. Rule enthusiasts can still adjust each individual game rule by calling up an "Advanced settings" screen.
- Gameplay mechanics at the end of the game have been significantly revised:
- It is now generally possible to resume play after two pass moves without having to discard ("undo") the second pass move
- 3 new game rules were added that govern gameplay mechanics at the end of the game. These rules allow to play games under AGA or IGS rules (#221, #223), but also under Japanese and Chinese rules where non-alternating play is possible to resume a game after it has ended after two pass moves (#275).
- As a consequence of these new gameplay mechanics at the end of the game, a much wider array of .sgf files can now be loaded from the archive (e.g. files with games that were played on IGS). Thanks to Norbert Langermann for the suggestion that triggered the development of this feature.
- One more thing: When placing a stone a magnifying glass is now displayed that shows the area of the board that currently under the user's 'fingertip (#271). This feature replaces the old "stone distance from fingertip" feature, which confused and was hated by many users.
Improvements and changes
- Disable Fuego pondering in human vs. human games (#281). This saves *a lot* of otherwise wasted battery power. Thanks to Ben Jackson for the suggestion. Unfortunately, a nasty piece of code was required to upgrade existing user preferences, which may result in unnecessary player and profile backup copies cluttering the upgraded preferences. Users will get an alert if this happens so that they can clean up their preferences.
- A couple of buttons have gotten new icons (#269). Thanks to David Helfand for the suggestion.
- Other minor improvements (#265, #268, #277)
- The app now correctly synchronizes handicap stones with Fuego when board positions are changed (#279). This is the most important bugfix of this release because it fixes another source for the infamous "The computer played an illegal move" and "Your move was rejected by Fuego" alerts. Many thanks to Laurent Guanzini for providing step-by-step instructions that helped me with diagnosing the problem!
- The app no longer crashes when a game is loaded from the archive that contains a board that is larger than 19x19 (#283). The game still cannot be loaded, but an error message is displayed instead of crashing.
- The app no longer crashes when the last game in the archive is deleted (#286)
- It is now possible to place a stone when viewing an old board position, even if the game has already ended (#278). It is thus possible to resume play at an earlier board position than the last.
- The user interface no longer rotates while a stone is being placed (#272)
- The status view now correctly displays "_color_ passed" when a computer vs. computer game is paused (#266)
- If the user attempts to make an illegal move, the status view now displays the intersection of the move (#261)
- The device statusbar at the top of the screen no longer disappears when some screens are displayed (#256)
- iPad only: The board is now rotated correctly even if it is not visible at the time that the device orientation changes (#255)
- A number of other bugs were fixed that may have caused crashes (#192, #284)
- Other minor bugfixes (#209, #257, #258, #262, #273)
Don't buy for solo learning
The AI in this game, despite having a weak setting, if far too strong for a beginner. Despite me being able to play solid games with others, the AI will always beat me despite my efforts. A disheartening app that does nothing to encourage others to explore this deep and simple game.
The interface is somewhat confusing, but rarely crashes and is responsive. The sound of putting your piece down is startling in the silence of it all and makes me dread putting a piece down.
However, the accuracy and responsiveness f the actual placement and its non-existent price tag make this great if you have a human pal who wants to play.
*Highly customizable games and AI
*You have to press somewhat hard to place stones
*Forward/fast forward buttons are too close together, so often you end up skipping to the end of a game
*Add a rematch button, or a rematch option under 'game actions'
Thanks for making a very cool, free, open source Go game.
Real-time area control is very cool :D