Home Digital Board Game Reviews Viticulture Digital Review

Viticulture Digital Review

1251
3
Digital Board Game Review by: :
Tony Mastrangeli
Price:
$8.99

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On Aug 6, 2020
Last modified:Aug 6, 2020

Summary:

We review the digital version of Viticulture for iOS, Android, and Steam. Publisher Digidiced has brought this excellent worker placement games to our computers, tablets, and phones.

Viticulture DigitalIt’s been about 7 years since I reviewed the worker placement game Viticulture here on Board Game Quest. It’s hard to believe it’s actually been that long, but since then, Stonemaier Game’s first offering has not only had a large expansion (dubbed Tuscany), but also been updated with the Viticulture Essential Edition. This version incorporated a few quality of life improvements as well as a handful of items from the Tuscany expansion.

And that’s the version of the game that developer Digidiced has brought to our tablets, computers, and phones. So, fire up your Pixels, iPads, PCs, and other technical doodads as we take a look at the digital version of Viticulture.

Gameplay Overview:

If you want the full ins and outs of Viticulture, you can hop back to our original review of the board game, as it’s largely unchanged (other than the small changes from the Essential Edition). But the quick of it is that you are competing winemakers racing to be the first to 20 victory points. Each round of this worker placement game takes place over 4 seasons:

  • Spring will have you selecting turn order for the round, with those going later in the round getting better benefits.
  • Summer has you placing your workers to build up your farm buy building structures, playing summer visitor cards, and planting grapevines.
  • Fall lets you draw a new visitor card.
  • Winter has you placing your remaining workers to harvest grapes, play winter visitor cards, make wine, and fulfill orders.

As players fulfill a wine order, they’ll earn victory points and residuals (yearly income). Once a player has earned 20 victory points, the game ends at the end of the round. The player with the most points wins.

Viticulture Digital Spring
Each Spring and Summer you will send your workers out to do different actions.

Digital Game Experience:

Overall developer Digidiced has put together a solid offering of the Viticulture board game. Players have the option for online play, offline vs an AI, or pass and play among friends. From the technical end, the app worked well, and I didn’t experience any issues or crashes. This app uses Digidiced standard game engine that has powered a number of board game apps (Terra Mystica, Cottage Garden) and still works well. I will say that it is starting to feel just a tad clunky and dated, especially compared to slicker engines from other developers. It could probably use a facelift sometime in the near future.

Viticulture Digital Build
There are several different structures you can build for your farm.

If you are a newcomer to Viticulture, the app does offer a tutorial to get you started. Unfortunately, I found it a tad lacking for brand new players. It feels more like an abbreviated rulebook vs a guided walkthrough. It falls into the same trap that hurt the Imperial Settlers Roll and Write app in that it tells you what to do, but not really why. Fortunately, I’ve played over a dozen games of Viticulture over the years, so it worked fine as a refresher for me. But a new player is definitely going to feel a little lost at the start.

When playing offline, you have three levels of AI to choose from. I must say, Digidiced did a really good job of programming the AI, because even the easy AI offered a nice challenge. Once I got back into the groove of playing the game (it has been years), I felt more comfortable facing the medium AI. But I would probably reserve the harder AI for true Viticulture die-hards.

Graphically, Viticulture is nice looking and uses the art lifted right from the board game. It has a few graphical embellishments, like clouds in the background, but not too much other than that. Thankfully, there is also a way to speed up the action, as games with multiple AI opponents were painfully slow. However, it is buried pretty deep in some menus, so be sure to hunt around for that if you value your free time.

Viticulture Digital Wine
The goal is to use your grapes to make wine and fulfill orders.

Final Thoughts:

As I said earlier, this is a solid offering of an overall excellent board game. While Digidice’s interface may be showing some age, it still runs the game quite well. The AI opponents offer a nice challenge, and there is online multiplayer (both async and real-time) to fit almost anyone’s play style.

My only real gripe was the mediocre tutorial that might leave new players a little lost. But once you are up to speed on the gameplay, this is a great way to experience one of Stonemaier Games’ best offerings. If you want to try it out, Viticulture digital is available for iOS, Android, and Steam depending on your digital preference.

Final Score: 4 Stars – A great way to play this worker placement game, although you might want to seek a tutorial video online first.

iOS 4 Star RankHits:
• Smooth, bug-free experience
• Offline, online, and local play
• Challenging AI

Misses:
• Tutorial was a bit lacking
• Engine is starting to show its age

Get Your Copy

3 COMMENTS

  1. you probably got it for free.

    Its prices differ 13 on steam, 9 on android, 8 on ios.

    Another user is less positive: “I love Viticulture, it’s one of my top 3 favorite board games, I have been hyped for digital Viticulture’s release. Unfortunately the AI’s turns are too slow it’s practically unplayable. I played a 2 player game with 1 easy AI to try out the app. Their turns were a minute long wait. I timed it, 65 seconds until it triggered my turn again. And that’s with just the “ai is computing” wait, that’s not even them taking lengthy involved actions and decision with a changing and interesting screen to look at. They don’t actually make moves until the final seconds.

    I look forward to playing the game, and really hope the AI turns get quicker. Cause as is it’s irritating the play and it takes a really long time to play. I can’t imagine how long playing with multiple AI’s will take. Which is a shame cause the game is without Tuscany’s vastly improved board (which has bonuses at the 1st spot) So to unlock bonuses you’ll need a minimum of 3 players or 2 AI’s.

    Lastly, it was not super clear during the mama & the papa setup that the game was waiting on a actual choice on the papa card to progress. A highlight around the two box options would be most helpful. I could only imagine how confused brand new players would be.”

    • Yes, I was provided a review code for iOS. Not sure how that is relevant.

      But I can assure you, that, at no point, did the AI take 60+ seconds to make a move. At most, it was probably 5 seconds.

      I can’t speak to what that user experienced, or even what device they were on. I can only talk about my experiences with the game, which I did. I even played a game vs multiple AIs and never had any issues with the AI talking a long time to take a turn.

      And for anyone else who thinks there is some grand conspiracy at work here, I made a quick video of the AI’s taking their turn. 2 AIs both took their turn in under 10 seconds:
      Link

      • The AI speed would definitely be a function of the processing speed of the device (spoken not just as someone who plays the app, but also a software engineer). I’m playing on an Amazon Fire 10 and it’s never more than 1 or 2 seconds of AI thinking. That’s PER AI, so yeah, if you’re in a slugfest against 5 expert level AI it might be a minute or two before your turn comes around again.

Leave a Comment