Carcassonne now available for Xbox on Windows Phone complete with online multiplayer

It’s always nice when a game launches a bit earlier than its Wednesday release date. Last week, Cracking Sands appeared in the morning (facilitating our timely review the next day), and now Carcassonne from Exozet and Microsoft Studios has done the same. Are you ready for some board game goodness?

Carcassonne is a board game in which players take turns placing land tiles, trying to build cities, complete roads, and score the most points. There is a great variety of land tiles, allowing you to construct differently shaped roads, rivers, and more. The Windows Phone game includes an expansion called ‘The River II’ that adds extra tiles which can be used to create a large river. The game also teases a future expansion, which we can assume will be distributed as PDLC.

Each player gets seven human followers to place. Put a follower inside a city and then complete it and the city becomes yours, earning you mad points. However, other players can contest incomplete cities by placing their own followers on other parts of the city. In that case, the player with the most followers when the city gets completed gets it, plus a handy Achievement.

Learning aids

Carcassonne includes a couple of tutorials that will teach people unfamiliar with the board game how to play. Oddly, the confirmation button does not like to work during the tutorial. I often had to press it multiple times before the game accepted the press and moved on, even though the icon changed color with every press. During actual gameplay it didn't seem to be a problem.

Also, the tutorial mentions cloisters but doesn’t teach you what they are. You’ll need to know in order to earn a couple of Achievements. Luckily, the separate and more comprehensive Help section does explain them. Cloisters contain a single large building and may or may not have a single road. Check out the image above to see what both varieties look like.

Tiles with friends

Carcassonne supports both local and online multiplayer games (real-time, not asynchronous) for up to six players. In my quick test, matchmaking did not find any open games, but of course the game isn’t even officially out yet. One downside to the matchmaking is that it segregates players using the included but optional ‘The River II’ expansion from players not using it. I get the feeling that will make it harder to fill up public games than necessary.

To host a public game, choose Play Online from the main menu, Select players, tap at least one open player slot, scroll all the way to the bottom of the player list, and then set that slot to Open for public. Not the most intuitive system, but it works.

Carcassonne also comes with a free ringtone which you’ll find by swiping to the right in the Help & Options menu. Not a bad value for $2.99, especially considering how EA is selling the much simpler and less-skillfully coded Connect 4 for the same price. Get Carcassonne here at the Windows Phone Store.

Thanks to Mark Tepper for the tip!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Sweet! Love this game!
  • Finally...
    Great game!
  • no crossplatform support? 
  • No, Xbox Live games aren't allowed to have cross-platform multiplayer with non-MS platforms. Unless you meant cross-platform with the XBLA game, but unfortunately that version comes from a different developer, so the answer is still no.
  • Awesome! I have been looking forward to this, and I didn't have to download I through WiFi or a PC, so I can play it now and not when I get home!
  • I've heard so many good things about this game (obviously not specifically the WP7 version, but in general), definitely will be giving it a try.
  • A-@#$%&@-MEN
  • LOL
  • Sweet! Love playing the board game, love the xbox game - hope this version works well, too! Will be the first app I've purchased in a long time if it lives up to the other versions.
  • So the online play requires you to leave the app open all the time?  No toast notifications or Live Tiles when it's your turn?  What happens if you switch to another app, re-launch or switch back to Carcassonne?
    Love the game, but I'd appreciate more details - and if it doesn't support asynchronous play, I hope it's something the developers will add shortly (can you ask them?)
  • Ugh....that is disappointing to hear.
  • Downloading the trial now. Will probably buy, but I always trial first. :-)
  • Sweet
  • It's very slow on my Omnia 7... :(
  • I wish I had room on my phone for this.
  • Great game and great port. Boardgames are my main reason for keeping an iPad over a Surface, hopefully Microsoft will be able to convince developers.
  • I purchased this the moment I saw this article. This is fantastic news!! For the longest time Uno and Carcassonne were the only games I enjoyed playing on XBL. I still love playing them. :)
  • any word on what's Dotw? The Games hub says pac man kart ralley, but the price of that is still 2,99 (that surely can't be the discounted price for such a horrible game).
  • I disagree about Pac-Man Kart Rally's quality, but it's definitely not the DOTW. We'll have an article up soon.
  • The game is great! Very similar to the XBLA version. The online multiplayer is the best feature IMO. However, I calculated it, and comleting all of the achievements will take no less than 40 hours.
  • does it finally have a 'friendly rules' option?
    something that would prevent players from blocking constructtion by placing tiles that make it impossible to finish a city, road etc?
    me and some friends regularly play carcassone on the 360. but with a small rule: you may not block someones construction. you may try to steal it, but not block it...
    after a couple of games you know which pieces exist and which can never come.
    but maybe it's just us... maybe destroying someones 20+ city by placing a road in the right (/wrong) place is the way others play this game...
  • It's not correct what WP Central is saying. Carcassonne DOES also feature asynchronous multiplayer.
  • I have this game on my 920 and everytime I play, my phone gets extremely hot. Has anyone else experienced this problem?