Category Archives: Board

Carcassonne [$9.99] is easily one of the best iOS board game ports ever, with Coding Monkeys doing a great job translating the game into the digital world. The Android version, though, was a whole different story since it didn't have the magic Coding Monkeys touch. So, Asmodee Digital has decided to remedy that and is bringing a whole new version of Carcassonne to Android. And in order to get that app right, they are looking for beta testers. If that sounds interesting to you, you can go apply here...

We are definitely living in the golden age of board game and card game digital ports, and today we got another popular one, Jaipur [$4.99]. Jaipur is a fast-paced two-player card game that's all about becoming the most powerful trader in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. As you can imagine, the game has you taking and selling the right cards at the right time and is a blend of—as the designer puts it—tactics, risk, and luck. The digital version of the game adds a tutorial for those who've never played the game as well as a mobile-exclusive campaign mode...




If you're looking for a fun board game port to play, check out Castles of Mad King Ludwig [$6.99], which just dropped to $0.99, its lowest price ever, to celebrate its first anniversary. The sale will only run for a couple of days, so make sure you grab the game while it's still cheap. If you haven't heard of the game yet, Castles was designed by Ted Alspach, who also designed the pretty fun Suburbia board game. Your goal is to design a castle by adding various rooms to it as you go along while trying to mess with other players' design aspirations. While you might start playing with the hopes of designing a masterpiece, you might end up with a castle that looks like it came straight out of Twilight Zone...

Good news for those who enjoy board games as the classic Race for the Galaxy [$6.99] is now available for iOS and Android. In this board game you try to advance your empire by playing cards to build technological developments or settle planets. As with similar Euro games, you try to have the most victory by the time the game ends, so you'll be trying to build a strong economy. You secretly and simultaneously decide which one of the seven phases you'll lock in, then you reveal your picks at the same time, and then execute the various phases in the order decided. You can take all kinds of action like investing in exploration to settle valuable planets or going down the military path...

A few days ago, we wrote that the digital port of the popular board game Tokaido [$2.99] was almost upon us, and today the game is finally available. Tokaido has you traveling along the East Sea Road connecting Kyoto to Edo, stopping at the various stations along the way to buy souvenirs, taste the local cuisine, and meet interesting people. There's a lot of emphasis on the joy of traveling and the experience of learning as you go along, which is a nice break from war-oriented board games. You'll have to be quite strategic during your travels because the order of play goes from the one who's farthest from the destination to the one who's closer; in other words, you won't just be traveling as fast as possible along the road...

'The Warlock of Firetop Mountain' Review - Warlock Has Changed

Ever since prolific gamebook developer Tin Man Games acquired the Fighting Fantasy license a few years back, there were a couple of releases many fans were waiting for. Tin Man has done a wonderful job of choosing books to adapt from the well-known line, but the more they released, the more a couple of titles really stood out by their absence. Well, I don't know when we'll see Deathtrap Dungeon, but if it turns out anything like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain [$4.99] has, I'm willing to wait as long as it takes...

Ankama, of Krosmaster and Dofus fame, has given us another interesting mobile game called Krosmaga [Free], and it looks pretty fun. This CCG will remind you a lot of Mojang's ill-fated Scrolls in that you use cards to place units on a battlefield and take out the other player's towers while protecting yours. In Kromaga, you play as a god and can unleash godly - and probably ungodly - powers upon your poor opponent. As with every CCG, you collect cards, build decks - or go with the premade ones the game offers - and go for either the PvP or the single player mode...

After a small delay, the digital port of Potion Explosion [$2.99] has finally made its way to the App Store this morning. If you haven't heard or played the game before, Potion Explosion puts you in the shoes of a witch or wizard as you try to beat everyone in class by creating the best potions ever. Think of it as Hermioning those poor dimwits, Harry and Ron. In order to get those potions brewing right, you try to collect the correct ingredients to make potions like the Elixir of Blind Love, the Potion of Prismatic Joy, or the Sands of Time. And you can occasionally consume those potions to get all kinds of boosts or mess with your opponents in magical ways...

Announced this past November, and slightly delayed last month, the iOS port of award-winning murder mystery board game Mysterium [$4.99] is now available in the App Store. Mysterium is a cooperative board game that has one player playing the ghost of a murder victim who uses various types of cards to give clues to the other players–who are paranormal psychics by the way–as to who, where, and how they were murdered. It's up to those other players to use those clues to ultimately solve the mystery of the murder...

'Colt Express' Makes Robbing Trains Fun and a Treat for the Eyes

Board game ports are a popular genre on the App Store, and while some are fun, not all of them strike a good balance between retaining the feel of a board game and taking advantage of all the digital realm can offer. I'm glad to say Colt Express [$4.99], the port of the award-winning board game, manages to bring the board game to life on digital by adding enough animation and sounds to make it pleasing to the eye while keeping the spirit of the board game intact. In fact, the developers have done something unusual in this port; they've transformed the 3D trains of the board game into 2D ones that look made of cardboard...

Ted Alspach's city builder Suburbia [$4.99] is one of the best board games on the App Store, and now it's finally available for the iPhone after a universal update. If you haven't heard of or played Suburbia, this pretty good port of the award-winning board game has you building your city by placing hexagonal tiles with various buildings next to each other. While that might sound like a simple mechanic, the way you match those tiles has a huge impact on how your population grows and how much money is left in the bank. A few wrong moves, and you'll be broke before you know it...

Twilight Struggle [$9.99 (HD)] is one of the best board games around and of the best digital ports you can get your hands on. Personally I enjoy it because I'm a history buff and like the history behind the Cold War. So, Playdek has decided to give fans of the board game all kinds of Christmas presents. First of all, the game is coming to Android on December 19th, so that part of the mobile world is also getting in on the Cold War action. The price will normally be $9.99 but will be down to $4.99 for a limited time as will the iOS version price. So, get it while it's cheaper because the game is definitely a bargain at $5 or even at $10...

If you remember the scene in Star Wars when R2-D2 is playing Holochess with Chewbacca, then you'll immediately recognize HoloGrid: Monster Battle [Free], a game created in collaboration with Academy Award VFX Director Phil Tippett, the guy who actually designed and animated the Holochess scenes from both Star Wars and The Force Awakens. We wrote about the game back in March, talking about how Tippett wanted to shift from making monsters on screen to making them for games. At its core, the game is a hybrid between a board game and a CCG, but it also uses AR technology to make it feel more alive and closer to the Holochess experience...

If you've been watching Westworld recently or just like your westerns, you should check out Colt Express [$4.99], the digital adaptation of the award-winning board game with the same name. Colt Express is a turn-based strategy game where you plot your actions using cards that have you move around a train, jump from wagon to wagon, take down other players, and, of course, collect the loot. You'll have to pick the right card at the right time to grab the most loot you can while not letting the other ladies and gents do the same. The game comes with an extensive story mode, where you follow 6 characters through 30 chapters. As you play through the single-player mode, you get to unlock game variants, a feature I like since it gives you more reasons to play the single-player part...

If you like board game ports, then you truly can't go wrong with Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy [$6.99 (HD)], especially if you enjoy playing a relatively-streamlined 4X game on your tablet. The game has been out since 2013, but it's now free for the first time ever, so this is a great time to grab it. Mind you, when I say the game is relatively-streamlined, I say that within the context of 4X games; Eclipse is still a pretty complex game, but it's made easier to play because of the limited options and a set game length. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but once you do, all the systems play together quite well and combine to make Eclipse a very entertaining 4X game...

The game of chess may well have been one of the earliest examples of a game being easy to learn but hard to master. Learning how all of the pieces move and putting together a basic strategy towards getting a checkmate isn't that difficult, but the unpredictable nature of human behavior makes chess a game that always has something new to offer. There's almost always a move to make that could be considered the best, but it's only the best if your opponent reacts in the textbook way themselves. A strong chess player needs to study their opponent almost as intently as the board. That said, there's a lot to be said for learning some fundamental strategies, just in case your opponent plays things by the book. As an added bonus, that knowledge will help you if you decide to play Moveless Chess [Free]...

'Really Bad Chess' Review - Rook No Further

It would be extremely easy to start this review by alluding to the ironic self-deprecation of the title, and affirm how Really Bad Chess [Free] is actually a Really Good Game. However, in truth, the title is not too far off the mark. Compared to the balance, strategic depth, and elegance of the age-old board game, Zach Gage’s most recent release is really bad chess. It is highly likely you will start a game with an abundance of the most powerful pieces versus a far weaker opponent, and it will likely not take as much tactical meticulousness to break down their defence; anyone looking for a chess simulator will undoubtedly be disappointed. However, once preconceptions of similar titles are left behind, Really Bad Chess manages to turn a tiresome, tricky and intimidating game into one perfectly suited for the immediacy of mobile gaming. While it may share similarities in the pieces, and how they can move, to the game it takes its name from, Really Bad Chess is an entirely different beast. Through prioritising unpredictability and offensive play over experience, Zach Gage has crafted an essential puzzle experience for anyone even remotely interested in strategy games on the App Store...

If you want three very good digital board games, especially if you like 2-player ones, you should pounce on the Digidiced sale. The games on sale are Agricola All Creatures Big and Small [$4.99], Patchwork: The Game [$2.99], and Le Havre: The Inland Port [$4.99]. All three games are focused on one versus one and are very well made. Agricola All Creatures Big and Small is a 2-player adaptation of the famous Agricola board game and is a much more focused experience than the complex Agricola. Patchwork is an award-winning game where you try and combine various fabric pieces into a patchwork, and it's a great combination of theme and gameplay...

We've written a couple of times in the past about Pirates War - The Dice King [Free] and about the way beta testing in our forums helped the game improve prior to its launch. So, after a fruitful beta period, the game is out worldwide and you can go check it out yourselves. If you haven't read any of our previous stories, Pirates War - The Dice King combines elements of a board game and a card game. You play as a pirate captain trying to build your own pirate crew and plunder other players. There are numerous captains, crew members, and ships, and each provide you with different bonuses and skills. Once the game starts, you go around buying, upgrading, and collecting taxes in a manner that will remind you of Monopoly...

We really liked the digital adaptation of the famous board game Splendor [$4.99] when it originally came out, although we did note the lack of online multiplayer as a factor that took away some of the port's shine. That is not an issue anymore, though, since the latest update has finally added online multiplayer, and it comes with plenty of features. The online multiplayer part is cross-platform (you'll need a Days of Wonder account to log in and play) and includes both ranked and unranked games from 2-4 players. You can even make private games by adding a password to your game...

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