Igowin HD Review – a 4000 years old game in your iPad

By
On December 28, 2011

App Type: Uncategorized

Igowin HD Review – a 4000 years old game in your iPad

Our rating:

By: David Fotland

Version #: 1.1

Date Released: 2010-12-10

Developer: Smart Games

Price: 9.99

User Rating:
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I’ve been playing Go (a board game also known as weiqi or baduk) on and off for almost 10 years. In case you don’t know, Go is a board game with very old roots, that can be traced back to at least 3500 years ago, probably a lot more. Very popular in Japan (known as Go or Igo), Korea (baduk) and China (weiqi), it has been slowly spreading among the west during the last 30 years.

It is a very hard game for a computer: harder than chess. In chess, the top computer program is close to beating the world champion, but the top computer program in Go is easily defeated by amateurs. And it’s not for lack of encouragement: there used to be a 1.400.000$ prize for a Go program that can beat a professional player with ease.

Igowin HD is the iPad port of one of the strongest computer programs in the world, known as The Many Faces of Go. It features a complex AI, mix of hand-coded and trained for many years mixed with a Monte Carlo based system. Top notch. The mix proves to be very effective against both humans and computers alike… And the AI adapts to your level, through very careful tweaking by playing in standard internet servers. Or at least this is what they say. The app also includes a tutorial to get you playing in no time.

The ranks in Go start at 30 kyu and progress until 1 kyu, then you become 1 dan and raise until 9 dan. Igowin HD rates me as around 4k, which is quite an exaggeration since my current rank is 8k. Maybe I’m just good against it, or I can catch its blunders easily. Anyway, it’s a very good AI to play while on your commute or lying in the sofa. Of course, you can use it also as a virtual board to play with your friends, which is a nice addition to this app.

If you are a beginner, you can get a free version, which plays the game in a smaller (simpler) board to get a knack of the game, before buying this version. But even if you are a beginner you will enjoy playing against Igowin HD.

Quick Take

Value:High

Would I Buy Again:Yes

Learning Curve:Depends on your knowledge of Go

Who Is It For:Go players or wannabe go players

What I Like:The engine is pretty good

What I Don't Like:I'm not sure about the rankings it gives

Final Statement:One of the best Go games is now available for iPad. Grab it!

Read the Developer's Notes:
The ancient strategy game of Go meets cutting edge technology with Igowin HD! With the most powerful Go software available for the iPad, Igowin HD will challenge you no matter what your level, and keep you at the top of your game, on small boards or full size. Its user friendly features make Igowin HD the perfect app for beginners and experienced players alike.

??Igowin HD uses the same Go engine as The Many Faces of Go, the three time world computer Go champion. It draws on more than two and a half decades of experience, a massive knowledge base and the newest research, as well as modern Monte Carlo techniques to help you learn and grow as a player. Designed specifically for the iPad, it takes full advantage of the iPad’s faster processor to bring you the strongest computer Go opponent available anytime you’re ready.??

Igowin HD supports play on 9x9, 13x13, or 19x19 boards. This flexible program lets you set your rank as you like. Game parameters can be set up automatically based on your playing level, or you can choose whatever opponent strength or handicap you want.

Article By

Ruben Berenguel is finishing his PhD in Mathematics while writing in mostlymaths.net about being a 'geek of all trades'. He also happens to be the senior editor in the What's on iPhone network: any complaints go to him!

ruben has written 169 awesome app reviews.

You can read other great content from ruben at http://www.mostlymaths.net