Istanbul: Digital Edition

Last updated on June 2nd, 2023 at 04:20 pm

Istanbul: Digital Edition


Istanbul: Digital Edition is one of the best $6.99 to play game in the App Store.
Developed by Acram Digital Sp. z o.o., Istanbul: Digital Edition is a Strategy game with a content rating of 4+.
It was released on 30th July 2018 with the latest update 31st March 2021

Whether you are a fan of Strategy, Entertainment, or Board games, you will find this game interesting and will absolutely like it.


379 people have rated 1.1.13

You can download the game Istanbul: Digital Edition from APP STORE.


The official digital adaptation of one of the best board games in history – Istanbul.

Istanbul is, without a doubt, one of the best board games to have ever been published. The long list of its awards and honors speaks for itself:

2015 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Best Expert Game Nominee
2014 Swiss Gamers Award Winner
2014 Meeples’ Choice Nominee
2014 Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner
2014 International Gamers Award – General Strategy: Multi-player Nominee
2014 Hra roku Nominee
2014 Gouden Ludo Winner
2014 Golden Geek Board Game of the Year Nominee
2014 Golden Geek Best Strategy Board Game Nominee
2014 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee

In our 2018 digital version we have maintained all of the features that made Istanbul the fan favorite that it is, but also expanded upon it with a number of tools and features only available on the digital platform. We maintained the authentic board game feeling with the convenience you can expect from an electronic device.

So what is the game about?

Can you be the first merchant to collect a certain number of rubies?

  • Run, collect and trade goods across the bazaar
  • Take control over your assistants
  • Increase your wheelbarrow capacity
  • Acquire special abilities to increase the advantage over your competitors
  • Buy rubies or trade goods for them

In Istanbul, you lead a group of one merchant and his four assistants through 16 locations in the bazaar. In each such a location, you can carry out a specific action. The challenge, however, is that to take an action, you must move your merchant and an assistant there, then leave the assistant behind to handle all the details while you focus on larger matters. If you want to use that assistant again later, your merchant must return to that location to pick him up. Thus, you must plan ahead carefully to avoid being left with no assistants and thus unable to do anything…

What can you expect?

  • Official Istanbul game – 100% original rules
  • Adaptation of TOP 100 board game of all time by BGG ranking
  • Play with AI, with friends or both
  • Great artwork by Andreas Resch
  • Languages: English, German, Dutch, Polish, French, Korean, Japanese, Chinese Simplified, Spanish
  • Pass and play mode
  • Cross-platform online multiplayer with synchronous and asynchronous modes
  • Opponents’ last moves replay
  • 3 levels of difficulty AIs with individual strategies
  • Preset or random generated game boards
  • Atmospheric music and sounds
  • Unique, original board game experience
  • Intuitive gameplay
  • Colorblind mode
  • Over 70 achievements
  • iPhone X support

Updated on 31st March 2021

Improved text boxes (chat, name, etc.)

Istanbul: Digital Edition Reviews

Good game. Now we need Istanbul Dice!

Great game, 5 stars but just have an issue with the online invite system to play with friends. We’ve started playing Istanbul with some friends online but we seeing issues with the invitation system. There are 5 of us and we are all friends online in the app. When someone sets up a game and invites the others we all seem to get an iPhone notification for the invite but after clicking that and going into the game there is often no game invite showing in the lobby so cannot join the game. When we look at alerts (the bell icon) we can see an alert about being invited to a game but there is no way to join. Sometimes it works but usually with 5 people at least one person doesnt get the invite properly. Please help as otherwise we love the game.

The game UX is awesome. Loved it. But the online community is so dead that we regret making this purchase. Maybe spend some marketing money to fix this problem.

Does not allow creating or joining online games. Gives an indecipherable error when creating room.

No way to pop out locations easily to see them. Ok if you really know the game already maybe.

Beautiful implementation. Runs great on our iPad running 12.3.1 Easy access to the rules, information on the tiles and cards with just a tap, undo, etc. We really enjoy it.

09/25/19 we have to keep uninstalling and reinstalling this wonderful game, because the localization file is broken and after several games the words change into a weird programming style language. We have an iPad Air 2 and iOS 12.4.1. Its a 5 star game when the language is in normal English and the developers customer service is excellent. Hopefully they can fix this soon. Istanbul is a new game for us. The tutorial is extremely well done, the artwork is fabulous, the gameplay is great. Its definitely worth the purchase price. Its a very fun strategy game. Carcassonne, Pandemic and Agent A are our other favorite iOS games besides Istanbul. After updating our older iPad to the current iOS, Istanbul had visual issues where almost all its text was in a strange programming format, yet the gameplay was unaffected. Thankfully uninstalling Istanbul and reinstalling fixed that issue and its back to working seamlessly. Yay!

… We just played a game in which we purchased the 5th assistant mosque tile. At a later point in the game we returned to the fountain, chose return selected assistants, and found we only had 4 assistants total. One had disappeared.

The latest version causes this otherwise fine game to crash immediately.

There is no reset your account name or set up a new one with your original email! All you can do is reset your password. Fix this ASAP.

We’ve played half a dozen games now and haven’t had any problems with gameplay of app stability. However, we think there are a few small issues that if resolved would make this a great app. First, the turn notifications don’t follow the ios notifications setting, instead they’re hidden under the "my account" settings. Second, there are a ton of loading screens when playing an online game. Our iPhone XS takes about 15 seconds across two loading screens to load the game after tapping the notification, and the same reload happens to go to sleep in the middle of taking a turn.

This has been an excellent app version of the board game. We play it frequently as it is much faster than setting up the actual board. We have never been any issues with bugs or crashes. Our only request is that they would add the expansions to the app.

This is a very nice, quick adaptation of the great board game. We love that you can randomize them board with one tap before the game and also randomize the number of opponents and their skill/difficulty level with one tap. Our only desire is for the addition of the expansions.

This is a great port of a great game. The unique aesthetic has been well-translated, the AIs are difficult and play well, and the game functions without a hitch. But, years after release of the base game, we really need the expansions: Mocha and Baksheesh, as well as Letters and Seals.

Im a big fan of the board so this is a good version of it. We just wish that they would make the expansions for it.

Playing with the AIs works well, but the online part of the game to play with other people is constantly full of glitches and bugs. Its never ending. So frustrating.

This is quite an elaborate game. We tried bcz of the high reviews, but gave up trying to understand it.

Update: March 2020 The Istanbul App is still extremely well made. It really is one of the best. However, theres been no word on the expansions being added in. The base game is good, but is more limited in the available options.l for each player. In short, the expansions make a good game a great one… So Im now providing 4 stars for the app (a good app, but short of great due to the missing expansions.) Original Istanbul App Review: INTRODUCTION: If youre reading this review, chances are pretty high that youre already familiar with the tabletop game. If thats you, feel free to skip ahead to the sections that may be more relevant for you. If youre unfamiliar with Istanbul (or modern tabletop / board games in general), then Ill try to provide a little bit of additional insight for you. WHAT IS ISTANBUL? Istanbul is a modern tabletop game (eg. Boardgame) in which you and your opponents are racing around the board trying to be the first player to collect 5 gems (6 in a two-player game). Basically, there are 4 different resources you collect to earn gems, or money to buy them, and youre trying to do this more efficiently/quickly than the other players. If youre new to modern tabletop gaming, the rules may at first seem overwhelming. But trust us, they will begin to click and youll quickly come to see why Istanbul is one of the most highly rated games today (currently in the top 100 on BoardGameGeek. That really is saying something since BGG has well over 10,000 games that are ranked.) IS THE USER INTERFACE ANY GOOD? The UI of Istanbul is perhaps one of the best, if not THE BEST of any digital adaptation of a boardgame we’ve played. And we’ve played a lot. A lot a lot. All 16 tiles are easily discernible, and the [I] logo on any tile or card can quickly bring up additional information to help remember the rules. Not only that, but the UI also shows a wonderful light-gray or white option under the board reminding you what you can do with the bonus cards in your hand. Its these small things that show just how much attention to detail the developers (ACRAM) put into this app. ARE THE AI OPPONENTS ANY GOOD? At this time, there are three levels of AI – Easy, Medium and Hard. As somebody who has played the physical version a good bit, we can honestly say that the Hard AI is really good. Honestly, we thought we were pretty good at this game, and the Hard AI has been a humble reminder that we still have some room to grow. HOW IS THE ONLINE PLAY? Confession, we havent played onlineyet. But we’ve got an account set-up and from what we’ve read, its a very smooth experience. Play async with family and friends, and we believe its cross platform as well. So if youre playing via iOS and others are playing Android, you can still play head to head online. IS THERE ANYTHING MISSING? If youre unfamiliar with Istanbul, you should know there are two expansions in the physical edition. The first expansion is titled MOCHA & BAKSHEESH and it introduces new action tiles, and a new way to purchase gems (coffee!). It also introduces Guild Cards. The second expansion is titled LETTERS & SEALS which grants yet another new way to purchase gems (Letters/Seals) as well as a handful of other new interesting actions. There are also a few PROMO tiles which mix up a few of the actions. ACRAM has noted that they MAY develop the expansions if demand is high enough and if they get the license for them. In other words, the more sales they get, the higher the chance well see the expansions available as an IAP in the future. While each expansion only adds 4-5 more tiles, the introduction to the Guild Cards, Letters, Kiosk Tiles, and more, all would take a lot of programming to get them coded. FINAL VERDICT: we give the Istanbul app a 5/5. Its seriously flawless in its execution of the tabletop game. The UI, AI, online play, artwork all work together seamlessly. WHERE DO we RANK IT WITH OTHER DIGITAL TABLETOP GAMES? This is an insanely difficult question to answer as were currently seeing an incredible number of modern games being ported to digital. That said, Istanbul is easily in our top 3. If youre interested in some other fairly easy to learn modern board games, then we can easily recommend the following: 8-Minute Empire Patchwork Ticket to Ride Splendor Pandemic (and/or Forbidden Island / Forbidden Desert) Onirim Jaipur Race for the Galaxy Roll for the Galaxy (coming soon!) 7 Wonders Carcassonne Paperback and/or Hardback Potion Explosion Burgle Bros Castles of Mad King Ludwig Colt Express Tsuro.

A phenomenal adaptation of an excellent game.

Pretty please make the Baksheesh and coffee version!!!! We know 4 other people who would also pay for this!!! PLEASE!

We have board game night with our friends and first started playing this game with our friends. Its one of our top favorite games weve played so far and weve played our fair share of them. The app is just as fun but we wish they would add the mocha and letter expansion!! So much more fun!

We love the tabletop game and this app has done a great job of adapting it for iPhone. Just the base game does get a little stale though after playing a lot, and the expansions for this game improve it SO MUCH. Great job so far developers, but please add the expansions soon if you can!

The app is true to the game. The sounds and graphics only enhance the gameplay. We love that there is zero setup and Im able to play one of our favorite games in seconds. This has one of the best multiplayer options for online play with friends. We hope the expansions are in the apps future.

Genuinely impressed by this port. No info is hidden, the music and graphics are crisp and clean. None of that slowdown featured in other board game ports. And of course, Istanbul is a phenomenal board game. Dont listen to the silly reviews saying they didnt implement the rules correctly. Clearly some people were playing with house rules and didnt know it. We highly recommend this port and game.

Love this game and the digital version is fantastic. Hoping the expansions will be available at some point too! Our only complaint is that the game seems to be a pretty significant battery drain. We’ve seen 20% or more in a single game.

Fantastic game with no bugs so far! Can you please add a companion tool so that people who own the physical boardgame can use the app to randomize the starting placement of location tiles? Thanks!

Game is great but the latest update substitutes the correct text for the labels they use in the software code to describe it. For example instead of Neutral Merchants in the setup screen the text says Rulebook_Subtitle_05_02.

Im a huge fan of the board game and am happy to have found this for IOS. Im not sure what could be done differently, but we find that we have to really get close to our screen to play this game well since strategy depends upon looking at the current states of each position on the board. Things like seeing how many assistants are left in a stack require zooming in and out. Its still fun, but not a super easy experience on a smaller phone (iphone 6/7). Note to developers – the small market doesnt deduct the right amount of resources when you purchase the first tiles. It should cost two and only deducts one from the inventory.

We really enjoy the unique movement mechanics in this game. The bright colors also help give us a cheery disposition.

Very very well done port of a fun Euro style game. The tutorial is a real help to newcomers, and the AI is balanced. If you start on easy, you will soon learn not only the mechanics of the game, but strategy. We really enjoy the achievements as well. Oh how we wish they would add the expansions as in app purchases… Buying that would be a no brainer. Well worth the $6.99 cost, especially considering that the physical game costs so much more, and you can p,ay without worrying with getting a game group up!

Great all around board game. We still havent figured out the online multiplayer, but the AI is really excellent tons pay against thus far.

Very impressed with the port to mobile on this game! Plays smooth, but we wish more players were online…

Easy to understand, tutorial is well designed. Online play is good once it is rolling but unless you specifically turn on notifications for it you can miss your turn.

Great implementation of great game. AIs in expert mode are pretty tough competition.

Some of the rules arent right.

Great game. Would be nice to have a way to go to next game without having to exit to lobby and also notifications don’t always work properly like clearing if you don’t go to lobby or settings after take your turn etc.

The game Istanbul has interesting mechanics. This app makes playing it intuitive. However, we uninstalled it because it depicts no women; its exotifying of Turkish people and society; and has the thematic element of sending the other players family members to prison which pairs poorly with the previous. On the whole it makes us feel a bit icky, and so avoidably so. Good game otherwise and a good app.

We were playing a match with 3 easy AIs on order and two of the AI at some point in the match went to the top left of the map and moved up and down each turn. They did this even though they had no assistants and couldnt pickup any. We hope you fix this, otherwise it is a great game.

VERY FUN VERY CHALLENGING VERY INTERESTING Just get it. It has online multiplayer as well but its insanely fun with local too.

We have played several online and offline matches, and have had no issues so far.

Would have been a five except for the lack of any notifications of player turns. Excellent port of the board game.

Game is very fun and UI is well done. Would be 5 Star if it offered a notification that it is your turn. Maybe just a bug…

The game plays close to the board version, but there are some mistakes. When the game starts you shouldnt be getting a free bonus card. When you visit the mosques, the game only subtracts one resource instead of the full price of buying a mosque The game will not run on older iPads that cannot be updated to the current OS.

Have yet to play a game thru. Someone always goes afk and then you wait. Copy risk model and this game will be more fun.

Just purchased this. IPhone X cant get passed the loading screen. Kicks it to the home screen. Dont download!

Love it so far! Found a bug though… Reproduction steps: send your cousin to the black market, choose pineapple, then choose skip to not use your mosque ability to reroll/set the dice. We did receive our jewels, but we didnt get our pineapple!

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