Now seems as a good a time as any for a confession. Before I got my grubby hands on Backgammon Blitz, I hadn’t played, or knew how to play the game in the slightest. Fortunately for me and my lacking faculties, Backgammon Blitz is a solid, if unspectacular take on this strange little game of board hopping checkers that, aside from a few unneeded wrinkles, should nevertheless prove to be an enticing prospect for both willing newbies and hardened ‘gammon veterans alike.
A modestly presented endeavor from the outset, it’s pretty clear that VooFoo Studios understands the boundaries of its ambition in simply providing a robustly playable, digital representation of an age old game enjoyed by many across the globe.
For the most part the developer is remarkably successful and largely restrained in its adaptation of the near 5,000 year old game. Certainly, initial impressions indicate an inclination to the conservative; a functional menu free of the sort of cloying aesthetics that other developers might have been tempted to cram in.
Get into a session of Backgammon proper and the reason for its evergreen appeal swiftly reveals itself as a compelling contest equally dependent on skill and deft strategy as much as it is on the whim of a chance; with sometimes the most meticulous of stratagems falling to ruin on account of a well-placed quartet of opposing six numbered dice rolls.
Satisfaction and smug victories often make frequent bedfellows with sore defeat and frustration on the easy setting. The AI presents a steadfast and aggressive challenge which necessitates the application of shrewd tactics and foresight to tip the scales in the player’s favour. Increase the difficulty and the AI foe quickly becomes a punishing entity, requiring the sort of mastery that isn’t quickly obtained without a good deal of social-life destroying play.