Some board games tend to have a lot of complex rules, and many also have several official variants. Sometimes the mechanics of a mobile device (iPhone, Android, iPad), make implementing some rules cumbersome. In these cases, do the mobile versions take liberties with how faithful of an adaptation they implement? Do they tend to also implement rule variations? When things are changed, are the changes generally received well, or do gamers, in general, feel let down by the changes?
closed as not a real question by Gregor, bwarner, gomad, Pat Ludwig♦ Aug 14 '12 at 16:32
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As user1873 says, a full answer to this question would take a tremendous amount of research.
But I think the general rule is that many (most?) representations are perfectly faithful to the original rules or are clearly laid out as variants. The mobile versions of Chess, and Zombie dies are true to the rules. The mobile Go games can get slightly quirky for scoring for complicated board positions (deciding whether a shape is alive or dead), but the game play itself is true to the rules and the automated scoring as close to perfect as possible (many have a fallback of letting the humans decide).
As The Chaz points out even more modern games with complicated rules often have true-to-rules adaptations.
So in short, I suspect most adapations are true-to-original when they are amenable to being adaptabled and those that are simply not amenable to being adapted (pictionary? Charades?) are simply not adapter. There are certainly some exceptions, but I suspect they are just that.
You are probably going to have to perform more research to find an answer to your question.
Yes, mobile application developers take liberties. I would guess that few mobile app developers implement variations, official or not. no one is going to waste development time on version 1 implementing a variant that might not be played. (but the only way to verify this would be to find all mobile apps for Boardgames and figure out which of those have game variations in physical form, then figure out what percentage of those have mobile app variants)
Are mobile apps that behave differently received well? Don't know. Do you know of a polling company that does this kind of research? Do you have a list of all liberal implementations of board games, such that a poll could determine that 50% or more of those games were received poorly/well?
I don't think your question can be answered without considerable effort.