Loved by millions, played for centuries, backgammon is a two-player strategy game quite unlike any other. The goal is simple: race to get your checkers off the board first. The deceptively deep rules and rhythm of backgammon has secured it as a favourite among casual and veteran players alike.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (48 reviews) - 64% of the 48 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 12, 2015

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May 25

Free copies as a thank you to our customers

We are a little behind the curve on this announcement because we wanted to be sure everyone got their free copies first - be terrible if we announced and you didn't have them! Anyway, we appreciate that the best way to enjoy Backgammon is with friends, which is why we have gifted each of you two free copies to give away and help build a community.

Nomad Games on behalf of Voofoo Studios

15 comments Read more

March 25

Help break a record this weekend!

This Easter weekend you can play Backgammon Blitz for free on Steam to help us set a world record for the number of backgammon games played over 1 weekend. Players simply install the game and play between Friday 2pm (PST) – Sunday 2pm (PST) to count as part of the record attempt.

3 comments Read more

About This Game

Backgammon's back... with a bang!

Loved by millions, played for centuries, backgammon is a two-player strategy game quite unlike any other. The goal is simple: race to get your checkers off the board first. The deceptively deep rules and rhythm of backgammon has secured it as a favorite among casual and veteran players alike.

Whether in single, local, online, multiplayer or blasting through the madness of Blitz mode: one taste and you'll be hooked. Rendered in a gorgeous style - harnessing cutting-edge technology - this version of backgammon isn't merely a faithful adaptation of the game it's a world you want to reach out and touch, a place and atmosphere you want to relax in.

Graduate from pupil to master, or veteran to.... show-off!

Features:
• Authentic, immersive Backgammon game play
• Stunning HD photo realistic visuals
• Challenge your friends locally and online
• Pair-up with opponents in real-time with Quick Play
• Take on challengers across the Globe with online ranking leader boards
• Asynchronous game play
• In-game Voice-Chat between players
• Blitz Mode adds arcade excitement with fun power-ups
• Tutorials for beginners
• Featuring exclusive board design from Alexandra Llewellyn
• Standard rules and variants included

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista
    • Processor: 2.0GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT or AMD Radeon HD 4600
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0C Compatible
    • Additional Notes: Xinput Supported Controllers
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2.0+ GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 or AMD Radeon HD 6800
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • Additional Notes: Xinput Supported Controllers
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (48 reviews)
Recently Posted
thesul
31.9 hrs
Posted: July 19
Unfortunately this is not very good. Firstly I found it difficult to find people to play online. Secondly, after finding someone to play the game constantly errors with 'game slot already in use'. This error is across multiple machines and therefore I cannot play online. Support have been absolutely awful. Playing the computer even on the hardest setting isn't much of a challenge as the AI (if you can call it that) is pretty stupid. It also crashes if I try to 'undo' a move. All in all this is about as bad as it gets.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Two Clicks
11.6 hrs
Posted: June 21
THE DOWNLOW:
Backgammon Blitz is a boardgame adaptation of a timeless classic. The objective of the game is as simple as the game is to play, by moving your pieces (checkers or blots) off the homeboard with the appropriate die roll while trying to hit your opponents pieces to the bar where they must be removed first before any active checkers can be moved.

This version has several modes including; online versus, local versus and singleplayer vs the AI, which has three difficulty levels. It also includes optional rules, the ability to set victory thresholds and a rewards system where the bullion is earned and can be spent on power-ups in-game to boost your blots on the board or hurt your opponent. Actions include: freeze or protect a counter for a turn, use one die, swap counter positions with opponent, roll a double and more.


THE GOOD:
+ Very polished graphics. They are crisp, colourful and very nice to look at. With five board types lovingly recreated.
+ Expert A.I. provides a very good challenge, in terms of moves and gameplay.
+ Only a dozen or so easily obtainable achievements. Only one needs a moderate amount of grinding (playing games.)
+ Nice variety of optional rules extend gameplay beyond the basic game. I really liked the addition of earning bullion to use on power-up to limit your opponent or help your situation. Even if they have to be unlocked before they can be used.
+ Recently given two free copies to share... a sign that perhaps the game has not sold that well or isn't being played enough for a community to flourish.
+ Games are completed fairly quickly and can be saved mid-game.

THE BAD:
- Bad dice rolls. In my experience too many "fortunate" rolls favour the A.I. To a lesser degree even human opponents. 9/10 starting rolls seem to go for the A.I. I like to see the game A.I. put up a challenge but not when Im barely getting two or three doubles and the A.I. gets between 5 and 10.
- Not enough online players to play this regularly with humans.

AND THE ORDINARY:
* Solid gameplay mechanics. Well what do expect from a game that been played for eons...!?
* Well-made music soundtrack but most players will probably mute and play either own music. A facility for players to talk to each other would have been a nice addition.
* Controls work well with k/m. The only minor negative I encountered was not being able to double-click to send counters home for a score.
* I did not have any problems myself but a few players experienced stability issues running the game but these were fixed quickly with a timely update.


VERDICT:
Backgammon Blitz is an excellent adaptation of a classic boardgame that Ive loved to play, even if Im not very good at it. It has a bit of everything you would expect from a videogame, with enough modes to cater for almost everybody. Everything from the graphics, sound and music, optional gameplay extras & rules, controls and interface make playing it a joy. Perhaps the worst aspect I encountered was the die rolling alot more doubles that it did for me. Which did not even out over time or the number of games played. Still if you pick-up the strategy aspects of the game you will do fine.

With that said, if you enjoy playing backgammon or want to try to learn in your own time, then this game could be for you. So to if you want a game where you can attain 100% achievements if a fairly short amount of time. If you are not sure you will get your monies worth at full-price I would suggest to wait for a sale. Get it then, if your interest is piqued!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
silversuriv
1.7 hrs
Posted: June 18
Product received for free
Portable Description
Backgammon Blitz succeeds in allowing you to play the strategy board game Backgammon on Steam utilizing different match parameters, including local/online coop and solo play with various difficulty levels. With automated rule enforcement, a great sound track and beautiful visuals, Backgammon Blitz will provide hours of checker-capturing fun.

Gameplay
Rules
As a player that has never played Backgammon before, Blitz’s native tutorial manages to sufficiently teach the basics needed to play the game in a friendly manner. Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known, and the goal is to move all of your checkers (pieces) off of the board before your opponent does. A player rolls two die and moves their checker(s) according to the face values, or sum of the two values, of each die. If a double (two of a kind) is rolled, two additional die with the exact same values will be added for movement.

Upon moving a checker, the only spaces that a player may place that checker is: on an empty one, on a space occupied by other checkers owned by that player, or on a space with exactly one enemy checker. Strategy comes into play due to the ability to capture enemy checkers. An enemy blot, single checker sitting alone on a point, is eligible to be captured by moving a checker of your own onto its space. Captured checkers must be moved before moving any others. Blockades can also be deployed by occupying spaces on an enemy’s home board (starting point of a captured checker). If there is a captured checker and a fully blocked home board, the opponent’s turn is passed.

Game Modes
Blitz provides the ability to: play against AI with multiple difficulty levels, pass and play for local coop, or play online against other users.

Solo Game Settings
  • Blitz Mode - pay to use power-ups (unlocked by playing a certain number of games/paying bullion). Various power-ups include:
    • Bodyguard (protect a blot for one turn)
    • Frozen (prevent a checker from moving), etc.
    • Power-ups are unavailable while bearing off - time them wisely.
  • Point Target - required number of points to win.
  • Player 1 Plays - choose the color.
  • AI difficulty - Beginner < Intermediate < Master.
  • Undo Moves - unavailable in online or blitz mode matches.
  • Doubling Cube - change the stakes by doubling the amount of earned points per win.
  • Beaver/Raccoon/Murphy/Jacoby/Crawford Rules - toggle inclusion of each rule regarding the doubling cube.

The Game
After configuring the game settings, the next option that must be decided before starting is the selection of a board. There are multiple board themes each with a distinct style and aesthetic. Some are very royal and elegant, while others are more rustic and traditional. The artwork and visuals of the themes are truly magnificent, as seen in the Store page screenshots.

The rules in Blitz are automatically enforced, making it very easy for casual players to enjoy. Checkers that are not blocked will be highlighted, along with the possible spaces that checker can move to. To aid in helping color-blind players, floating markers are also presented above possible move locations upon mouse-over. At any point in time, you may save and quit the game. Upon resuming it, the game will show you the last couple moves before you quit as a refresher.

Online Play
When starting an online game, you may either: challenge a Steam friend, challenge a recently played opponent, or enter a matchmaking lobby. In a busy world, it may be difficult to find the time to play an entire game in one sitting. Fortunately, Blitz provides the ability to utilize asynchronous play for online matches – the two players do not have to play at the same time; make a move and come back later.

Conclusion
Current State of the Game
There doesn't seem to be many people playing online; it is difficult to tell without a game browser. To help remedy this, the developers/publishers have gifted all current owners of Blitz two additional copies to give to their friends. The announcement about this generous action was only posted about 3 weeks ago, so the state of the population is still a bit hard to determine. The publishers and developers still show continued interest in supporting the game, as seen in the developer responses to player support in the Discussions board and Nomad Games’ break-a-world-record event.

Advised Suggestions
There are a couple suggestions that may improve gameplay; these are listed below.

  • Allow the ability to skip the move animation; or option to turn it off.
  • Provide a quit without save option: removes an extra prompt when starting a new game.
  • Increase difficulty intensity/add more difficulty levels - Master is too easy to beat.
  • Use a game browser instead of matchmaking - makes it easier to see if anyone's online. Can even add the option to make a note/send chat messages so that others can know when a game owner will be online. Even without it, due to asynchronous play, it would be wise to allow a player to create a custom game and leave it open in the browser (can also add an option to automatically roll the dice).

Verdict
Backgammon Blitz is the most authentic and immersive version of Backgammon to date on Steam. It's also pretty uncommon to see PC versions of board games on Steam with a solid AI. If you like strategy board games at all, and don’t mind playing the AI, I definitely recommend getting this game. For those that only want to play online matches, I would recommend waiting for a sale and getting a couple copies for you and a friend.

Review copy provided by Nomad Games

Before You Buy – analyses of newly released indie games
Helpful? Yes No Funny
phylome
10.6 hrs
Posted: June 18
The game obviously focuses on the excellent graphics rather than on the AI. It makes really fun to play with these beautifully designed boards! With the well-selected music it creates a very backgammon-like atmosphere. I'd really like to play it against online players - if there were some! Hope they'll show up after a while. The AI is unfortunately way to weak to be a pleasure to play against it.

There are some minor design mistakes which do not conform to the standard Backgammon rules which will certainly annoy serious players. The doubling cube should, when used, reside on the player's side who accepted the double. Also, the checkers on most of the boards are too small, especially on the leather board. They should nearly cover the base of the points - have a look at some high-quality boards to see the relations.

I don't like the way how to move checkers. The game should support dragging the pieces and move them by a single click, e.g. like in gnubg. This is pretty standard in all modern Backgammon clients out there. Clicking twice for selecting the checker and pointing to the destination is too slow and not enjoyable.

Concluding, I recommend the game for online playing. It really creates a nice atmosphere and is certainly the most beautiful computer Backgammon game. The weakest points are the AI and the small number of online players.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SooFluffy#1824
7.5 hrs
Posted: May 27
Not a very smart version of backgammon. Master (the highest AI level) is pretty easy to consistantly beat. I'd look for something else if you are looking for a solo challenge.

Bliz mode is just silly its still not hard to beat (even with out using the bliz moves) it just feels like the AI is cheating and still can't win.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
battleshipcd
4.0 hrs
Posted: May 26
This is really beautiful Backgammon simulation.
I would say, if you like backgammon, you will love this game. If you don't like Backgammon, you won't.

At its heart, Backgammon is a board game about rolling dice and trying to get your pieces around the board while stomping on your opponent's pieces to send them back home. Now, in my opinion, it is just about the pinnacle of that style of game. It has strategy, action, and a lot of pressing your luck. If a board game with all of those things that's been loved for millennia sounds exciting, you'll probably really like this version of the game.

The A.I. is good and the graphics are beautiful. I really want to try it on multiplayer, but I haven't had the chance yet. I didn't like the controls at first, but then realized that there were multiple ways to control everything, and I was happy with the controls I eventually found. An all-around great board game simulation.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TeeJax <3
4.5 hrs
Posted: May 22
Backgammon Blitz is a simple online version of Backgammon with two game modes along with single player, online versus and local versus.

General Gameplay
I’ve always been a fan of Backgammon, it’s something I look back on fondly as I used to play it a lot with my family when I was younger so I was pleasantly surprised to see a Steam version. It’s everything I expected, traditional Backgammon that i’m able to play against an AI on various difficulties or a friend locally as though we had a board.

It’s been a few years since I’d played last so I went through the interactive tutorial which does a great job of explaining everything you need to know about playing. This means that people who aren’t familiar with the rules can play comfortably without prior knowledge of any of the game.
You can play Backgammon Blitz in two modes, the first being your run-of-the-mill backgammon. The second mode is Blitz and this mode allows you to use the various power-ups in the game. There are things like the Joker which will automatically bring one of your pieces back from the bar and into play, or Switch which will allow you to switch the place of one of your nips with your opponent. These add a little more replayability to the game as playing the same thing over and over can get boring just like it would with a physical copy.
There are also five rules to choose from in regards to the doubling cube (explained in game) ranging from the Beaver rule to the Crawford rule. If you’re a seasoned player you’ll know what most if not all of these mean but if not there is an explanation for each of these when you create a game.

Sound & Graphics
I like the music in Backgammon Blitz a lot but what I really appreciate is the ability for me to pick which music I want to hear whilst playing. There are four playlists (Classical, Jazz, Upbeat and Smooth) and you can choose which you’d like to listen to. I personally have only Classical and Smooth enabled for full relaxation.
The graphics are also very nice with the added effect of them feeling like you’re playing at an actual board. There are multiple different boards you can pick from so you’ll find something that suits your fancy no matter what your tastes are. It’s nice there are different sound effects for each board also, such as a metallic clank on the workshop board and the soft thud on the wooden boards.

Cons
The ingame currency ‘Bullion’ is really slow to earn meaning it can take a very long time to unlock the power-ups. I feel this feature was added so there was some form of progression but it’s not needed nor does it do anything to enhance the game. I don’t feel that in a game like backgammon I should have to grind for 12 games to unlock a power-up especially since I can only use three per game anyway. The only other downside is the multiplayer. There just aren’t enough players online so finding a game is near-on impossible.

Summary
If you can grab it on sale and are content with only single player and local matches then it’s a great buy but if you’re looking for something multiplayer then this might not be the game for you. Backgammon Blitz fills my backgammon needs perfectly and is a great buy for any of you who enjoy digital board games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
<Mark>
6.0 hrs
Posted: May 21
Hi --- I (a 59year old man) play Backgammon most everyday online with others or by myself useing another program/s.

We need to build a community
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EdenStarGazer
12.9 hrs
Posted: May 15
A video game version of a traditional board game that has all the features of playing face to face except for the ability to flip the board & coffee table over when you rage quit.
Backgammon Blitz is a healthy dose of nostalgia for ports from the card & board game generation like myself.

Gameplay:
Loading the game is quick & easy. You have a variety of options for personalizing your experience with game boards & music. My favorite game board is the stone version of course, because it just looks neat! But, unlike many games, here you are also allowed to tick & untick the boxes for music style. You can choose all of them or just one or two if you like, and music will play randomly from those categories. You have a variety of gameplay options as well, & can choose whether to play with your pieces on either side.

A full set of tutorials are provided so that you can play in just minutes, even if you’ve never played backgammon before. The rules are really quite simple. But, there are a variety of special game rules that can be chosen to enhance the gameplay as well. The sound effects make the game more satisfying because it has the old familiar clink of pieces on a game board. The achievements are simple & easily achieved.

My favorite part was the local 2-player mode. You are able to play with friends beside you, just like with the old game boards. I didn’t try the multiplayer online option, but that should be fun for people who are looking for that feature.

Art & Graphics:
The game boards are pleasing scenes with coffee mugs to the side, and other personalization features that contribute to the nostalgia of board game simulations. The card art includes backgrounds with the various game boards as well. The game loads easily, & plays smoothly. There were instances where the game crashed for no reason. But, other than that it was a very good gaming experience. I did notice that the crashing tended to happen only in longer games, & usually right before the end. So, I just sped it up and played faster to prevent crashing.

Backgammon Blitz will provide hours & hours of fun. I recommend it for those who love board game simulations.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kozmo
4.5 hrs
Posted: May 15
In few short words
It's what you'd expect when you see a game with the word 'Backgammon' in the title.
It's nice, pleasant, and i feel it gets more addicting every time i play a match.

Gameplay
You can play against the AI, or you can play against a friend, locally, on the same computer, but you can also play online.
I played quite a big number of matches in just 3 hours of playtime, both against the AI ,and with my girlfriend, locally (Yes, she hates me now)

The game seems pretty polished to me, i didn't encounter crashes, or game-breaking bugs.
However, on my computer i can't launch it unless i play Windowed with VSync on, but i am pretty sure it's more of an isolated case, as i didn't see others complaining about this, but to be honest, it doesn't bother me that much.

To be honest, i am not sure what i could say anymore about this game, because, as i said, it's what you would expect from a Backgammon game.
I believe it does deserve the price tag, and i really like it, i like the atmosphere, and whoever designed the tables is a genius (My favorite ones are 'Workshop' and 'Leather'.)

Music & Atmosphere
I normally talk about the music in games when they have a very elaborated OST, and not just some music to bring on some atmosphere, but in this case, i will make an exception.
Why? Because i admired how the devs let you choose between music genres, you can keep all the genres mixed, or you can choose just one.
There aren't many of them to choose from, but who would be that harsh to complain about this?

Atmosphere overall goes along perfectly with the pace of the game, and even with the visuals as every element in this game has the tag 'Classy' glued to his back.

The Devs
I am not sure if i should have this section in my review, but to be honest, i believe we should acknowledge when devs do care about their games, and their community.
In this case, i noticed how the devs are involved on the Steam forums, they are active in the game by providing updates.

These devs seem to be friendly, and they seem to care alot, so, keep that in mind.
Looking forward to play 'Pure Pool' aswell.

Pros
  • Very beautiful, aesthetically speaking.
  • Has local multiplayer
  • Has some variety so it won't get boring after some time (You can change between music genres, and between tables, which, also changes the game sounds)

Cons
  • If you want to play online via Quickmatch-ing, you have to wait some.
  • From time to time, selecting/moving pieces might not feel so smooth.
  • Perhaps, the difference between difficulty levels is too big.

Final score: 85/100
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
32 of 34 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2015
Backgammon Blitz review

Pros
+ Beautifullu designed and detailed boards.
+ The variations in the rules are a welcome change
+ The various power-ups are there if you're into that sort of thing
+ Good, simple and short series of tutorials, which do a good job in teaching you the basics of the game

Cons
- The AI is very easy to beat, even on Master difficulty
- Can be seen to make obvious mistakes and wrong moves

In my 1 hour of playtime, I have played about 10 matches and won them all against the AI, which did not put up much of a challenge.

As I haven't tried the multiplayer, I cannot speak as to whether it works or not, but I am sure that this is where the game will shine in regards to challenging gameplay.

I will update this review as I play more.
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25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2015
I played the game only once...i was expecting a lot...but my hope is in weeks it will be better...

As a proffessional backgammon player first i played against "master"...but it was too easy to be a master. Made several huge mistakes which we call "blunder"...and also AI didn't used a lot of rules likes "crawford" even it was "enabled"...also when he rolled 4-3...he played only 3 instead of playing first 4 then 3...it is really hard to tell this situation by writing :) also when you roll a double (like 6-6) you have to play them one by one...you can't double click two checkers and move them to another place...

Of course it is a new game and needs some updates...but to be honest i am happy that now i can have achievements by playing my favourite game :)

graphics and musics are marvellous...nothing to say about them...

If the developers need asistance about the game / rules or anything else...i am here to help...without expecting anything...backgammon is my life style and i will be glad to help if needed...

keep the good work...when i find new pros / cons ... i will post new reviews...hopefully more pros less cons ;)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
A video game version of a traditional board game that has all the features of playing face to face except for the ability to flip the board & coffee table over when you rage quit.
Backgammon Blitz is a healthy dose of nostalgia for ports from the card & board game generation like myself.

Gameplay:
Loading the game is quick & easy. You have a variety of options for personalizing your experience with game boards & music. My favorite game board is the stone version of course, because it just looks neat! But, unlike many games, here you are also allowed to tick & untick the boxes for music style. You can choose all of them or just one or two if you like, and music will play randomly from those categories. You have a variety of gameplay options as well, & can choose whether to play with your pieces on either side.

A full set of tutorials are provided so that you can play in just minutes, even if you’ve never played backgammon before. The rules are really quite simple. But, there are a variety of special game rules that can be chosen to enhance the gameplay as well. The sound effects make the game more satisfying because it has the old familiar clink of pieces on a game board. The achievements are simple & easily achieved.

My favorite part was the local 2-player mode. You are able to play with friends beside you, just like with the old game boards. I didn’t try the multiplayer online option, but that should be fun for people who are looking for that feature.

Art & Graphics:
The game boards are pleasing scenes with coffee mugs to the side, and other personalization features that contribute to the nostalgia of board game simulations. The card art includes backgrounds with the various game boards as well. The game loads easily, & plays smoothly. There were instances where the game crashed for no reason. But, other than that it was a very good gaming experience. I did notice that the crashing tended to happen only in longer games, & usually right before the end. So, I just sped it up and played faster to prevent crashing.

Backgammon Blitz will provide hours & hours of fun. I recommend it for those who love board game simulations.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Product received for free
Portable Description
Backgammon Blitz succeeds in allowing you to play the strategy board game Backgammon on Steam utilizing different match parameters, including local/online coop and solo play with various difficulty levels. With automated rule enforcement, a great sound track and beautiful visuals, Backgammon Blitz will provide hours of checker-capturing fun.

Gameplay
Rules
As a player that has never played Backgammon before, Blitz’s native tutorial manages to sufficiently teach the basics needed to play the game in a friendly manner. Backgammon is one of the oldest board games known, and the goal is to move all of your checkers (pieces) off of the board before your opponent does. A player rolls two die and moves their checker(s) according to the face values, or sum of the two values, of each die. If a double (two of a kind) is rolled, two additional die with the exact same values will be added for movement.

Upon moving a checker, the only spaces that a player may place that checker is: on an empty one, on a space occupied by other checkers owned by that player, or on a space with exactly one enemy checker. Strategy comes into play due to the ability to capture enemy checkers. An enemy blot, single checker sitting alone on a point, is eligible to be captured by moving a checker of your own onto its space. Captured checkers must be moved before moving any others. Blockades can also be deployed by occupying spaces on an enemy’s home board (starting point of a captured checker). If there is a captured checker and a fully blocked home board, the opponent’s turn is passed.

Game Modes
Blitz provides the ability to: play against AI with multiple difficulty levels, pass and play for local coop, or play online against other users.

Solo Game Settings
  • Blitz Mode - pay to use power-ups (unlocked by playing a certain number of games/paying bullion). Various power-ups include:
    • Bodyguard (protect a blot for one turn)
    • Frozen (prevent a checker from moving), etc.
    • Power-ups are unavailable while bearing off - time them wisely.
  • Point Target - required number of points to win.
  • Player 1 Plays - choose the color.
  • AI difficulty - Beginner < Intermediate < Master.
  • Undo Moves - unavailable in online or blitz mode matches.
  • Doubling Cube - change the stakes by doubling the amount of earned points per win.
  • Beaver/Raccoon/Murphy/Jacoby/Crawford Rules - toggle inclusion of each rule regarding the doubling cube.

The Game
After configuring the game settings, the next option that must be decided before starting is the selection of a board. There are multiple board themes each with a distinct style and aesthetic. Some are very royal and elegant, while others are more rustic and traditional. The artwork and visuals of the themes are truly magnificent, as seen in the Store page screenshots.

The rules in Blitz are automatically enforced, making it very easy for casual players to enjoy. Checkers that are not blocked will be highlighted, along with the possible spaces that checker can move to. To aid in helping color-blind players, floating markers are also presented above possible move locations upon mouse-over. At any point in time, you may save and quit the game. Upon resuming it, the game will show you the last couple moves before you quit as a refresher.

Online Play
When starting an online game, you may either: challenge a Steam friend, challenge a recently played opponent, or enter a matchmaking lobby. In a busy world, it may be difficult to find the time to play an entire game in one sitting. Fortunately, Blitz provides the ability to utilize asynchronous play for online matches – the two players do not have to play at the same time; make a move and come back later.

Conclusion
Current State of the Game
There doesn't seem to be many people playing online; it is difficult to tell without a game browser. To help remedy this, the developers/publishers have gifted all current owners of Blitz two additional copies to give to their friends. The announcement about this generous action was only posted about 3 weeks ago, so the state of the population is still a bit hard to determine. The publishers and developers still show continued interest in supporting the game, as seen in the developer responses to player support in the Discussions board and Nomad Games’ break-a-world-record event.

Advised Suggestions
There are a couple suggestions that may improve gameplay; these are listed below.

  • Allow the ability to skip the move animation; or option to turn it off.
  • Provide a quit without save option: removes an extra prompt when starting a new game.
  • Increase difficulty intensity/add more difficulty levels - Master is too easy to beat.
  • Use a game browser instead of matchmaking - makes it easier to see if anyone's online. Can even add the option to make a note/send chat messages so that others can know when a game owner will be online. Even without it, due to asynchronous play, it would be wise to allow a player to create a custom game and leave it open in the browser (can also add an option to automatically roll the dice).

Verdict
Backgammon Blitz is the most authentic and immersive version of Backgammon to date on Steam. It's also pretty uncommon to see PC versions of board games on Steam with a solid AI. If you like strategy board games at all, and don’t mind playing the AI, I definitely recommend getting this game. For those that only want to play online matches, I would recommend waiting for a sale and getting a couple copies for you and a friend.

Review copy provided by Nomad Games

Before You Buy – analyses of newly released indie games
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2015
I am giving this a thumbs up, but there are issues that need resolution. First, there is no means to undo a move. There should be an option to allow you to ask your opponent's permission to undo a bad move and if your opponent is okay with it, then you can do it. Also, trying to find someone online to play with is almost impossible unless you find a friend on Steam who plays and you make arrangements to play in advance. That is probably the most disappointing part of this game and it almost caused me not to recommend the game. However, with a little tweaking this could be a winner. It needs an undo and it needs to make finding other players easier. Also, when I finally did find someone to play with online, the servers were not that good. I expect these issues to be resolved.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 22
Backgammon Blitz is a simple online version of Backgammon with two game modes along with single player, online versus and local versus.

General Gameplay
I’ve always been a fan of Backgammon, it’s something I look back on fondly as I used to play it a lot with my family when I was younger so I was pleasantly surprised to see a Steam version. It’s everything I expected, traditional Backgammon that i’m able to play against an AI on various difficulties or a friend locally as though we had a board.

It’s been a few years since I’d played last so I went through the interactive tutorial which does a great job of explaining everything you need to know about playing. This means that people who aren’t familiar with the rules can play comfortably without prior knowledge of any of the game.
You can play Backgammon Blitz in two modes, the first being your run-of-the-mill backgammon. The second mode is Blitz and this mode allows you to use the various power-ups in the game. There are things like the Joker which will automatically bring one of your pieces back from the bar and into play, or Switch which will allow you to switch the place of one of your nips with your opponent. These add a little more replayability to the game as playing the same thing over and over can get boring just like it would with a physical copy.
There are also five rules to choose from in regards to the doubling cube (explained in game) ranging from the Beaver rule to the Crawford rule. If you’re a seasoned player you’ll know what most if not all of these mean but if not there is an explanation for each of these when you create a game.

Sound & Graphics
I like the music in Backgammon Blitz a lot but what I really appreciate is the ability for me to pick which music I want to hear whilst playing. There are four playlists (Classical, Jazz, Upbeat and Smooth) and you can choose which you’d like to listen to. I personally have only Classical and Smooth enabled for full relaxation.
The graphics are also very nice with the added effect of them feeling like you’re playing at an actual board. There are multiple different boards you can pick from so you’ll find something that suits your fancy no matter what your tastes are. It’s nice there are different sound effects for each board also, such as a metallic clank on the workshop board and the soft thud on the wooden boards.

Cons
The ingame currency ‘Bullion’ is really slow to earn meaning it can take a very long time to unlock the power-ups. I feel this feature was added so there was some form of progression but it’s not needed nor does it do anything to enhance the game. I don’t feel that in a game like backgammon I should have to grind for 12 games to unlock a power-up especially since I can only use three per game anyway. The only other downside is the multiplayer. There just aren’t enough players online so finding a game is near-on impossible.

Summary
If you can grab it on sale and are content with only single player and local matches then it’s a great buy but if you’re looking for something multiplayer then this might not be the game for you. Backgammon Blitz fills my backgammon needs perfectly and is a great buy for any of you who enjoy digital board games.
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2015
Not recommended since it just misses the mark in so many big ways. Top 3 examples:

1. A backgammon game with on Offline mode should at least offer challenging gameplay and decent AI. This doesn't, even on Master mode it makes very elemental mistakes and bad decisions. Never at any time did I even feel remotely threatened of losing a game using the most challenging settings. Just go for the doubling cube right out of the gate since you are pretty much assured a win.

2. A backgammon game with on Online mode should at least be able to connect to a server...but this game only very occasionally is able to connect. most of the time it simply fails (as reported by many other reviewers). All my other Steam multiplayer apps work just fine.

3. Lastly, any computer-based backgammon game should at least offer an "Undo" feature to allow for mistakes or unintended moves which can easily be made due to shortcomings and learning curves with the user interface. And the user interface in this game is far from intuitive, it's clunky really, and ends up taking away from a smooth gameplay experience... so the lack of an Undo button in this game becomes even more noticeable due to the heightened ablity to click on something incorrectly. On the bright side, the authors may have figured it wouldn't matter much since you can make plenty of mistakes and still win due to the over-agressive and poor AI.

And after finally trying "Blitz mode".... makes an arcade game out of backgammon with powerups and a Gameshow-themed announcer. Won against AI using no powerups while it threw everything it had at me, If you like slugfests with tons of pieces going on the bar I guess it's entertaining.

Pros: Gameboard graphics are very nice. Two player local mode, human-vs-human would offer a good experience probably but at that point why not just get the real board out from the closet?

If you are a new backgammon player and looking for something fairly easy to win and maybe different in an arcadeish way this could be something to try out, but you also may not end up learning much from the AI.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2015
Without doubt the prettiest and best sounding implementation of backgammon you've ever seen. If you know how to play you will be playing in two button clicks, but if you're a newbie Backgammon Blitz's tutorial will get the job done very well.

I'd especially like to point out that matches are amazingly customizable-I'd never even heard of the Raccoon rule or Jacoby rule, for example, but I know about them now! This game unfortunately does not appear to be particularly popular, since finding an online match seems to be a pain.

There is room for improvement. The biggest problem is that the automatic bearing off of checkers is broken when there are enemy checkers in your home board: the computer will expose you to capture instead of the correct play of moving the checker to another point further down. Also turning on automatic dice rolling removes your ability to use the doubling cube.

I also like that the developers added in keyboard shortcuts, which are welcome for those of us who enjoy the opportunity to play quickly. It's too bad there isn't a similar way to move chekcers without using the mouse, which can be temperamental.

One final suggestion: it would be a relief to have an option that greatly speeds up or entirely removes the dice rolling and checker movement animations. This would greatly speed up and enhance play!

EDIT:

I finally played a match online with my brother, and I have to say the clunky interface is especially painful in multiplayer. You will end up waiting what seems like a very long time for the other person even to cast dice. Sometimes a minute or longer will pass until you realize that actually he's been waiting for you to roll. Part of the problem is that the interface's display of the Roll Dice action is the only indication that it is your turn.

The extremely finnicky checker selection and movement is even worse in multiplayer because of a slight delay after each checker movement, as if the game were waiting to confirm each movement with the server. Playing multiplayer convinces me that the controls are fundamentally flawed, and I think this game would do well to take cues from the open-source GNU Backgammon and implement a less frustrating way to move checkers. In GNU, clicking once on a checker will move it intelligently, and it also has an Undo feature which is lacking in Blitz.

While we're comparing Blitz to GNU, it must also be said that the AI in Blitz is atrocious in every possible way. If you're not familiar with GNU Backgammon, it is meant for serious players and comes with a world-class AI. But Blitz doesn't play competently even on Master level, exposing checkers in its own home board and capturing the player's checkers with no rhyme or reason. On the other hand, a single screenshot will be enough to tell you that GNU does not hold a candle to Blitz's graphics or sound.

It's a shame to say it, but at this point I'd say the only thing bringing me back to Blitz are the gorgeous graphics and sound and the ability to play over Steam with my noob brother. The program is really ideal for drawing in new players with its interactive tutorial mode and fantastic presentation. But after about an hour or so or play, you will realize that the AI just doesn't cut it and online multiplayer is nerve-wracking. Get it when it goes on sale again to satisfy your curiosity, but if you've been playing backgammon somewhere else and thinking about Blitz, you will not be satisfied with the package at the full price tag.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
In few short words
It's what you'd expect when you see a game with the word 'Backgammon' in the title.
It's nice, pleasant, and i feel it gets more addicting every time i play a match.

Gameplay
You can play against the AI, or you can play against a friend, locally, on the same computer, but you can also play online.
I played quite a big number of matches in just 3 hours of playtime, both against the AI ,and with my girlfriend, locally (Yes, she hates me now)

The game seems pretty polished to me, i didn't encounter crashes, or game-breaking bugs.
However, on my computer i can't launch it unless i play Windowed with VSync on, but i am pretty sure it's more of an isolated case, as i didn't see others complaining about this, but to be honest, it doesn't bother me that much.

To be honest, i am not sure what i could say anymore about this game, because, as i said, it's what you would expect from a Backgammon game.
I believe it does deserve the price tag, and i really like it, i like the atmosphere, and whoever designed the tables is a genius (My favorite ones are 'Workshop' and 'Leather'.)

Music & Atmosphere
I normally talk about the music in games when they have a very elaborated OST, and not just some music to bring on some atmosphere, but in this case, i will make an exception.
Why? Because i admired how the devs let you choose between music genres, you can keep all the genres mixed, or you can choose just one.
There aren't many of them to choose from, but who would be that harsh to complain about this?

Atmosphere overall goes along perfectly with the pace of the game, and even with the visuals as every element in this game has the tag 'Classy' glued to his back.

The Devs
I am not sure if i should have this section in my review, but to be honest, i believe we should acknowledge when devs do care about their games, and their community.
In this case, i noticed how the devs are involved on the Steam forums, they are active in the game by providing updates.

These devs seem to be friendly, and they seem to care alot, so, keep that in mind.
Looking forward to play 'Pure Pool' aswell.

Pros
  • Very beautiful, aesthetically speaking.
  • Has local multiplayer
  • Has some variety so it won't get boring after some time (You can change between music genres, and between tables, which, also changes the game sounds)

Cons
  • If you want to play online via Quickmatch-ing, you have to wait some.
  • From time to time, selecting/moving pieces might not feel so smooth.
  • Perhaps, the difference between difficulty levels is too big.

Final score: 85/100
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2015
They need to work on the gameplay until someone other than a complete novice would find it interesting. Main issues:
- moving the pieces - look at most flash games online - they got it mostly right
- when auto bear-off is enabled - it doesn't take into account other player's position
Graphics look good but it's not enough.
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