I grew up addicted to Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, so my knowledge of Parcheesi or its U.S. iteration Sorry! is rudimentary at best. Mr. Ludo is a modern day version of this classic board game, but it uses the frustration of the office work environment as its central dynamic. Anyone who has lived in a cubicle infested floor can understand the need to break free and simply call it a day, so this app, though simple in concept, holds a slight level of resonance.
The game begins with four of your workers yearning to clock out, but each of them must roll a six on die to begin their gradual exit. The goal is to circle the entire office, return to their starting point, and land perfectly in the center of the board. Since getting six on a die several times needs a bit of luck, a push of your VIP button, which uses up some of your currency, will place one of your employees on the floor. The goal is to get all of your men into the hub and out of the workplace before your opponents.
During this online battle, I've moved my red guy five times, leading to a pretty cool in-game achievement. Unfortunately, I didn't win the 93 gold coins, as my guys eventually lost out to the green team.
Although much of Mr. Ludo is a game of chance, there is enough strategy to keep one's interests afloat. If a competitor lands on the same white square that's temporarily taken by one of workers, he's sent back to his cubicle and will have to start over. Colored squares are safety zones, so neither you nor your enemy will get kicked out if they occupy the same area.
The strategy kicks in when you must decide when to move your respective pieces. If you send them out at the same time, they could get overtaken by some of the opponents nipping at their heels. If you're too scared to move and remain on a colored space, you may watch all your rivals pass you by and win the contest. Even though it is a cute app with a die roll mechanic, lady luck is extremely alluring once a bit of thought is thrown into the mix.
Mr. Ludo can be played against the computer, your Facebook friends, or random online strangers. Although I've had my share of fun playing online, getting a match to start can get a bit frustrating. After my initial match, I've tried online mode several times only to enter an empty room. As more gamers get wind of Mr. Ludo, hopefully this lag time won't be such an issue.
Even with its online flaws, Mr. Ludo is an engaging, free to play app which caters to board game lovers. There are more ambitious apps out there in the iOS universe to play, but sometimes a simple roll of the die is all it takes to have some fun. Who doesn't want to leave a cubicle and head out into that great unknown? Mr. Ludo needs a break, so please hit that six and brighten his day.