Carcassonne — The Dragon and the princess, soon for ios

Dragon and Princess

A new expansion for Carcassonne

As the end of the year draws nearer and nearer we all await the most anticipated event for young and old: A new Carcassonne expansion!

Just kidding. But even if Christmas, New Years or generally the holidays are perhaps a little bit more eagerly awaited, we hope you are also looking forward to the next chapter of one of the most long lived iOS games, ever. We do, and we are finally able to share a sneak preview of what is going to come just in time before the App Store closes down for the yearly inventory. I always imagine little Apple elves taking stock of the available apps during that down-time, but maybe that’s just me being silly.

A typical game scene involving dragon, fairy and magic portal. (Download screenshot)

The next Carcassonne expansion is going to be “The Princess and the Dragon”, we kinda hinted a few times already about that. We chose it based on community feedback which wished for the Dragon by a considerable margin. Be sure to let us know what to tackle next! It was challenging to develop, as there are quite a few new rules and game mechanics in it. In any case, we feel it was quite worth the effort, as the game breathes new life with these additions. Also, it breathes fire now, on occasions.

Anyways… It is Carcassonne’s third year on the App Store now — a dinosaur by app standards — and it is still going strong. Very strong, indeed: 3.2 Million Online Games have been played, and every day players meet in the in-game lobby to start Quick Games or Friend Games. With no end in sight, Carcassonne for iOS has become the most complete and most active community to play Carcassonne on electronic devices. It is, to say it with one word, a classic.

With the number of expansions growing we want to make it easy to join in on the action. For that we are reducing the price of Carcassonne for the first time ever for a limited time, so new players can catch up. If you were still on the fence or have friends that don’t play Carcassonne yet, now’s the time!

But let’s focus on what’s ahead: I’ll give you a preview of the new rules and mechanics in Carcassonne — The Princess & the Dragon!

The Dragon

An embroidered dragon, used in Carcassonne’s user interface

In the world of Carcassonne dragons live in volcanos. When a tile with a volcano is placed, the dragon swoops in and nests in the volcano immediately. Even the bravest meeple knights would be too scared to take post there.

My mental image of the dragon being summoned. YMMV.

So far, so good. However, when a card with a dragon symbol is placed, this attracts the dragon and it is rampaging through the landscape (for a length of six tiles!), eating all meeple in its way. I figure those dragon tiles maybe contain hidden gems, that attract dragons. We all know dragons love to feast on gems. Or collect them, if you are subscribing to a more Tolkien-ian way of believing in dragons.

The magic portals

Also new in this expansion: Magic portals. If you draw one of these you can place a meeple on any card of the board, in accordance to standard placement rules. Think of it as a teleportation spell for your meeple.

The Princess

The princess adds an important strategic mechanism to city building: If a tile with a princess symbol is added to a city, one of the knight meeple inhabiting the city has to leave — picked by the player placing the tile.

The Fairy

When a player choses to not place a meeple during his turn, the fairy appears and grants one of his meeple a wish. She protects them from being eaten by the dragon, adds a bonus point just for being with a meeple and also increases scoring of landmarks with 3 bonus points.

A fairy game piece

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in this expansion and especially the dragon phase really adds a nice change of tempo to the game in my experience. There are also 30 new tiles with feature like tunnels or cloisters within cities to mix things up even more.

Hope you are as excited as we are about adding a new chapter to the Carcassonne saga!