Little Go is a free and open source iOS application that lets you play the game of Go on the iPhone or iPad. You can play against another human (on the same device), or against the computer. The computer player is powered by the open source software library Fuego (http://fuego.sf.net/). The minimum requirement for running this version of Little Go is iOS 9.0.
- Board sizes between 7x7 and 19x19 (start a new game to change the board size)
- Let the computer player suggest a move or immediately play the move for you
- Calculate the score at any time during the game (area scoring is the default, territory scoring can be selected at the start of a new game)
- Adjust the computer's playing strength and resign behaviour by selecting from a number of presets, or by fine-tuning advanced settings
- Play even games, or games with 2-9 handicap stones (fixed stone placement)
- Select from 5 pre-defined rulesets when you start a new game, or adjust game rules to your preference (komi, ko rule, area/territory scoring system, number of passes to end game, resume play by alternating/non-alternating play, four passes end game)
- Place arbitrary black and white stones for initial board setup before a game starts
- View board positions for moves played earlier during the game (no support for game variations, though)
- Discard moves (aka "undo")
- Display move numbers and coordinate labels
- Zoom & scroll board
- Display player influence (aka territory statistics) for an estimate who owns an area
- Computer vs. computer game for entertainment
- Save & load games to/from the archive
- Use iTunes file sharing to transfer saved games to/from your iOS device
- Import/export game files from/to other apps on your device (e.g. Mail, DropBox)
- In-app user manual (text-only)
- Submit bug report email from inside the app (yes, this *is* a feature :-))
- For the technically inclined: Watch what happens behind the scenes when Little Go and Fuego talk to each other over the Go Text Protocol (GTP)
Your contribution in any form (coding, UI design, testing, bug reports, creating an app video preview, website design) is welcome - please contact me or visit the support website to find out more.
A note about the project state: Several years of development have gone into Little Go since its inception in January 2011. The app now has a feature set that is, I believe, quite nice :-) for a free program. My main focus therefore lies on fixing any remaining bugs (of which I am sure there are plenty) and keeping the app running under future versions of iOS.
Little Go is released under the Apache License 2.0 (http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0).
This is the Little Go feature release 1.6.0. An overview of the changes follows, for more details read the in-game Changelog
- Added an SGF parser (#112). Among other things you can now see if an SGF file in the archive contains more than just one game (#338). A number of user preferences give you some control over how SGF files are processed (#337).
- Added a new user preference "Discard my last move" to the "Board position" settings screen (#99).
- Added a new entry to the "More game actions" menu that lets you play a rematch without showing the "New game" screen first (#313).
- Added a new user preference that lets you choose what kind of computer assistance you would like to receive. With this you can now tell the computer to only make a suggestion how to play instead of immediately making a move on your behalf (#28).
Improvements and changes
- The buttons that let the user navigate between board positions have now more space between them (#346), making it less likely that the user taps the wrong button. Thanks to Dan Hassin for both reporting the issue and implementing the fix.
- Improved error handling when loading a game from the archive.
- When a game is saved to the archive the current player names are now written to the SGF data (#237).
- The user interface has been adapted to newer iOS devices with a sensor notch, rounded corners and/or a Home indicator instead of a Home button (#336).
- The app now supports Dark Mode (#345). A new, darker wooden background for the board still needs to be found (#360).
- When Little Go is newly installed from the App Store the default computer player is now weaker (#358). This should give more users a positive first app experience. Users who want a challenge can still increase the difficulty by switching to a stronger computer player. A side effect of this change is that the default computer player no longer uses the "Pondering" setting, which means that the iOS device's battery should now be used up a lot less.
- Added another predefined computer player that has "Pondering" disabled. Users who already have the app installed need to select "Reset to defaults" in the "Players" settings screen to see the new player.
- The app's user interface no longer exposes GTP engine profiles as a separate entity, instead the user interface now only displays players (#211).
- The app no longer crashes when a game with many moves (500 or more) is archived or unarchived (#357).
- The app no longer crashes when a game is loaded while an ended game with non-alternating dispute resolution is present (#361).
- Speculative fix for a potential app crash when an SGF file is imported (#362).
- The information which player resigned is no longer lost when the user switches to an earlier board position (#341).
- On iPhone devices with larger displays, when the device is rotated while the activity indicator is displayed in the status view the activity indicator is now still displayed after the rotation (#343).
- All iPhones: When board setup mode was added in version 1.5.0 a bug was introduced that made it possible for board position lists to show erroneous information when moves were discarded and then replayed, or when games were restarted with different characteristics. This bug has now been fixed (#359).
- iPhone devices with smaller displays: When iOS 13 or newer was installed on these devices the current board position view stopped responding to taps. This bug has now been fixed (#344).
- See Changelog
Ratings and Reviews
Outstanding (learn the setting)
While out of the box the computer will mercilessly defeat a beginner, this is a FREE amazing learning tool. You MUST read the instructions and understand how to adjust it to your skill level otherwise prepare for a very uneven match that will make the most stubborn challenger want to give up. After tweaking I found the features quite useful and the game is now addictive in ways i can only describe a three hours of satisfying gameplay I that was traded for sleep or time with my family.
Fun Learning Tool
As a beginner, I have a lot of fun with this app. Even on weaker difficulty, I really struggle to keep up with the AI, and that’s great. Anytime I mess up I will consistently get harshly punished and it has really opened my eyes to the weaknesses in certain play styles. I’ve learned so much from this app and I’ve gotten to watch the margin of loss drop more and more as I keep playing. Sometimes it is frustrating to lose all the time, but every game I learn something and get a little better.
I noticed that the game is open source, but I haven’t gotten a chance to check out the algorithms used. It surprises me that there isn’t a way to tweak the difficulty level to easier levels, as that’s usually pretty easy to do from a developer standpoint. I’ve read that Fuego uses MCTS to make its moves and there should be parameters one could tune to make playing a little easier.
Thanks again for this tool, its really great!
Developer Response ,
Oh, but there are *so many* options to tweak the computer player‘s strength!
First of all you can play against the pre-defined computer player „Fuego (weak)“, which is substantially weaker than the default player that is just named „Fuego“.
Second you can change a large variety of options in the profile that is behind a computer player. 1) Call up the settings screen. 2) Select "Players & Profiles". 3) In the lower section titled "Profiles" select the profile you want to change. At the bottom you see which computer players use that profile. 4) Near the top of the screen you can select between five different preset playing strengths. 5) For a deep dive select "Advanced configuration". The in-game manual (available under „Help“) tells you what each setting does. 6) When you have finished changing a profile start a new game and make sure to play against one of the computer players that uses the profile. Enjoy.
MUCH TOO HARD, not fun at all
Give up. You're going to lose. You were going to lose within the first few moves. Even with the engine on the weakest setting, you are going to lose badly, very quickly, every single time. It is not fun at all. Don't even bother playing. You lose. And in case there are some random chance you might accidentally win, don't worry, the computer gives itself seven points ahead of you, even though you don't get a handicap with extra pieces to start like you're supposed to. Or, if you find a very well hidden the setting that allows you to get a couple of extra pieces is a handicap for the other player, the very first time you take one of its pieces, it simply resigns. So, I hope you like losing, and losing badly, because that is all that's going to happen in this game. If you think having even the slightest chance of winning is fun, forget it, because it will quit the minute it thinks there's even a tiny chance you will win. You lose.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for your review. It mercilessly but truthfully points out what are probably the main shortcomings of the app: 1) The default profile is too strong for beginners. 2) The computer player does not always act as a human player would, this is especially obvious when it comes to resigning. 3) The app is too technical for the casual user. Although configuration options exist that allow the user to weaken the computer player down to a suitable playing strength and to change its resign behaviour, these options are not available at a single, easy tap, but must be found and explored by an investigative user. Although everything is documented in the in-app manual, reading the manual requires a significant amount of time.
Apart from point 1 there's not much I could or would change, though. Sorry for that, but you will have to find a different app that suits you better. A final word regarding komi and handicap: You can easily adjust those when you start a new game. Please take the time to have a look at the settings in the "New game" screen.
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- Patrick Naf Moser
- 32.2 MB
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 9.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.
- Age Rating
- © 2011-2021 Patrick Näf
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.