By Patrick Näf Moser
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
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 8.1.
- 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.
A note about the project state: Several years of development have gone into Little Go since its inception in January 2011. The app now has a feature set that is, I believe, quite nice :-) for a free program. My main focus will therefore lie on fixing any remaining bugs (of which I am sure there are plenty) and keeping the app running under future versions of iOS.
Little Go is released under the Apache License 2.0 (http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0).
What's New in Version 1.3.1
Version 1.3.1 is a bugfix release that contains only one change, an important fix for a long-standing bug that sometimes caused ko detection to fail when an old board position was viewed (#307).
This was the root cause for the dreaded alert message "Your move was rejected by Fuego", which must have popped up on quite a few people's devices, but which I had never been able to reproduce despite the bug reports that were kindly sent to me by some of the most patient users. Yesterday, however, I received a report that finally gave me a reproducible case which allowed me to pinpoint and fix the coding error. Many thanks to everybody who sent bug reports, but especially to Manuel Braun for submitting the crucial last bug report.
MUCH TOO HARD, not fun at all
Give up. You're going to lose. You were going to lose within the first few moves. Even with the engine on the weakest setting, you are going to lose badly, very quickly, every single time. It is not fun at all. Don't even bother playing. You lose. And in case there are some random chance you might accidentally win, don't worry, the computer gives itself seven points ahead of you, even though you don't get a handicap with extra pieces to start like you're supposed to. Or, if you find a very well hidden the setting that allows you to get a couple of extra pieces is a handicap for the other player, the very first time you take one of its pieces, it simply resigns. So, I hope you like losing, and losing badly, because that is all that's going to happen in this game. If you think having even the slightest chance of winning is fun, forget it, because it will quit the minute it thinks there's even a tiny chance you will win. You lose.
A great go ai
Little go is a well designed program with a fun ai to play against as a practice partner. Admittedly the default ai (even "fuego weak") can be a bit daunting for beginners but you can specify your own custom ai settings and can also give yourself up to a 9 stone handicap.
I have found that since the ai will resign once the game is lost I never really fully practiced the endgame. Against humans I lost a lot of endgames due to careless moves. You can specify a no-resign ai to play against though (resign behavior is customizable)
Way too difficult!
It's impossible to win, even on the weak setting. It really needs a beginner's mode or just more options in general as far as difficulty goes, then it would be just fine.