Champion Go Crazy Stone Review – Probably the best in mobile go (baduk) playing

On November 19, 2011

App Type: Uncategorized

Champion Go Crazy Stone Review – Probably the best in mobile go (baduk) playing

Our rating:

By: Rémi Coulom - Unbalance Corporation

Version #: 1.0.0

Date Released: 2011-10-26

Developer: Unbalance Corporation

Price: 7.99

User Rating:

I’ve been playing Go (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.

Champion Go Crazy Stone is one of the latest games to come to iPad and iPhone, and sports one of the strongest AIs in town. Featuring the latest in boardgame AI research (Montecarlo tree search), it’s a tough contender trapped inside a computer.

How well does it fare in an iPad? Very well. It’s fast and responsive, and easily trashes me in most difficulty levels. Of course, you can choose board size (predefined at 9×9, 13×13 and 19×19), komi, handicap and player byo-yomi time. Let me remark one thing: it is very fast (on an iPad 1). This is a must for mobile board games, where you play in your commute or in just a few moments here and there. It is also decently fast in my iPod Touch 2nd gen (take advantage of its special sale for this month!!), and I bet it is perfect in a more recent version of iPhone or iPod Touch.

One of the most fun things I’ve seen is the “medal mode”, where you have to beat the AI in increasingly harder levels. You have a table, where the difficulty increases from left to right and top to bottom, your goal is to “win” in all situations. It is a fun way of having achievements and improving the quality of your play. And it is fun! In addition to this, you can play against a person sitting in front of you, using Crazy Stone as a board with “automatic counting”. As with all other playing programs in the App Store, you can not play in online servers (at least in the current version).

Having one of the best mobile go playing AI is just an App Store purchase away. Why are you waiting?

Quick Take

Value:Very high

Would I Buy Again:Yes

Learning Curve:If you know the game, inexistent

Who Is It For:Go players or wannabe go players

What I Like:The strong AI

What I Don't Like:More reviewing features are always welcome, but they are an addition, not a requirement

Final Statement:One of the strongest AIs in Go for iPad. If you are a player, it is very well worth it

Read the Developer's Notes:
Champion Go HD' , is the Go (also called as Igo, Baduk or Weiqi) game for your iPad.

Now, you can enjoy beautiful HD graphics and in 'Champion Go HD',
two super-strong thinking levels, Level 11&12, are added to the current iPhone version.
On 9x9 and 13x13 boards, one stronger level is added.

(The thinking time for the added levels may take some time on iPad1,
and so these levels are not used in Medal Challenge Mode.)

'Crazy Stone' is a popularly known Go engine, based on the Monte-Carlo evaluation technique,
combined with tree search, and has achieved 4d at KGS rating.
We have optimized this particular version for the iPad.

Article By

Ruben Berenguel is finishing his PhD in Mathematics while writing in 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!

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