Runes of Ardun brings a new twist on the ancient Japanese game Shogi to your mobile

Runes of Ardun brings a new twist on the ancient Japanese game Shogi to your mobile
  • Runes of Ardun is a unique take on Japanese game Shogi
  • It lets you play the game with less complex pieces and advanced AI
  • The game was also made by a former cryptography service

Runes of Ardun, the latest game from cryptography service turned indie puzzle game developer Symbolic Software is a unique twist on an ancient Japanese puzzle game. This stylishly drawn and hand-crafted game boasts responsive, smart AI and a way to learn something that's eluded many Western board game fans for years...the ancient Japanese game of Shogi.

But what exactly is Shogi, and what's this about a cryptography service starting to make games?

Show me what shogi is

If you're not familiar with Shogi, here's a basic overview as we understand it. Shogi is a bit like the Japanese version of Chess, although it features a number of additional pieces not present in that game. For example, along with kings, rooks, and bishops, you'll also have pieces like the Gold and Silver Generals. Runes of Ardun follows the example of many beginner-friendly takes on Shogi by showing pieces replaced with iconic symbols instead of Japanese characters; in this case owls, rabbits and whatnot.

Indeed, once you scratch the surface, on places like the game's official website it's clear that Runes of Ardun is very much a take on shogi in a more friendly way. But don't let that put you off thinking this is some mere reskin, as with beautifully drawn backgrounds and pieces it's a very welcoming way to introduce yourself to this ancient game. 

It's also pretty interesting to see a company like Symbolic Software - which previously specialised in cryptography consultancy - pivot to making games. Runes of Ardun isn't their first foray into the space, of course, as they previously also released Piccolo: Othello, another unique take on a classic game. I guess there must be a lot of crossover between advanced cryptography and puzzles...and if that isn't making you quiver in your boots at the thought of taking on the advanced AI they boast about you're a braver player than me.

And if you're interested in puzzle games, why not check out our list of the best puzzle games on mobile? Test your brain against games such as Puzzles & Survival or Puzzle & Dragons with our extensive coverage!

Runes of Ardun icon
Download now!

Iwan Morris
Iwan Morris
Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.