Gaming Digitally: Ascension - Inside Up Games
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Gaming Digitally: Ascension

Gaming Digitally: Ascension

As I am sure for many of you, social distancing has affected the way games can take place. In my situation, getting games to the table hasn’t been nearly as accessible as it was. In an effort to find some new options, I ventured into uncharted territory this past week. While I have played many digital implementations of board games, I have steered clear of games that involve Bot players. I had never seen a reason to have computers simulate another player when I could find someone to play a game with. Not to say there is anything wrong with it but playing this way has never seemed appealing. Go a few weeks without gaming with people though and this option became extremely attractive.

Now, the real question, what game I should play. When looking over the list of games available in the Google Play Store, it can be overwhelming. That said, I have always heard that deck-builders implement incredibly well with a digital format and, with the reduction of shuffling and sorting, become less of a hassle to play. For this reason, I decided to start my search there. Looking at the available deck-builders, Ascension was free and has a digital implementation that has been regarded highly from many reviewers. I had also never played Ascension (crazy right?) so I thought now would be a great time to give it a shot.

After a few moments of downloading, I was able to install Ascension. The directions are available on the App for the base game as well as every possible expansion. Additionally, the game has an incredibly easy to follow tutorial and being familiar with deck-builders made it all the easier. Within 10 minutes, I was ready to run my own games against the Bot player and get some plays in. Since then, I have probably played about 50 games!

Playing digitally is absolutely fantastic! My only consideration moving forward is which expansion I should purchase. The implementation is so smooth and let me tell you, I don’t miss the setup and break down time of a deck-building game at all. Cranking out games is so quick and easy, and it has really filled the need to get something to the table. It certainly doesn’t beat coming together with a bunch of friends to play a game, but it definitely scratches that itch to play game.

Honestly, I realize I have been talking a lot about how the quarantine has changed things, but it has really opened my eyes to facets of gaming I would have never been involved in otherwise. I have been able to see the hobby in new ways and explore the ways others are interacting with the hobby. What things have you discovered regarding board games in this time? Have you been able to game and what are you playing to stay sane? Lastly, what is your favorite digital implementation? I need to fill my digital library!

Thanks for reading and keep on gaming,

Matt Pioch

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