Lords of Waterdeep Review

The Lords of Waterdeep Have Arrived on the iPad

Lords of Waterdeep provides an addicting mix of fantasy, intrigue, and strategy, with enough choices for the skilled player to pull ahead of the unskilled, and enough random elements to keep every game from feeling the same.

Based on the Wizards of the Coast board game of the same name and developed by Playdek, Lords of Waterdeep takes place in the port city of Waterdeep, which is ruled by a secret council. Known throughout the Forgotten Realms as a city of danger and intrigue, a common game among its citizens is to guess the identity of those masked lords.

But don't worry, this isn't the guessing game played by Waterdeep's citizens. You'll take on the role of one of these secret lords, using your agents in a plot further your own power. These agents will help you hire adventurers, gather resources, purchase buildings, embark on quests and hinder your opponents with acts of intrigue.

The Game Play

The game plays out in eight rounds, each of which consists of using your agents to carry out your plans. You begin the game with a card unveiling your Lord, who will give bonuses for certain types of quests and in-game actions, two Quest cards, two Intrigue cards and two agents to use each round. And it is your use of these agents that will determine whether you emerge victoriously or go down in defeat. Should you position the agent in the Field of Triumph to enlist adventurers, or perhaps Waterdeep Harbor, which allows you to play an Intrigue card and reassign the agent at the end of the round? Don't like your current quests? Perhaps you should send your agent to Cliffwatch Inn for a new one.

Between the Lord being randomly assigned and Quest, Intrigue and Building cards being randomly drawn from a deck, the game plays out differently each time you play it. In one session, you might focus entirely on gathering warriors and priests, in another session, your strategy will be to buy as many buildings as possible.

If you've never played the Lords of Waterdeep board game, don't worry. The game will start you off with a series of tutorials aimed at teaching you both how to play the game and the basic underlying strategy. You can play offline against computer opponents, use pass-and-play to go up against a friend or go online for multiplayer. Lords of Waterdeep is available on the App Store for $6.99.

Note: Lords of Waterdeep now has two expansions that can be purchased.  Undermountain adds a new city area for more variety in gathering adventurers as well as new quests while Skullport adds a brand new element to the game: corruption.  The corruption track gives you a tradeoff of gathering more resources during the game and taking a penalty at the end of the game, which can be reduced by reducing your corruption.