Category Archives: Board

If you've been watching Westworld recently or just like your westerns, you should check out Colt Express [$6.99], 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 [$6.99] 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...

Carcassonne [$9.99] has been one of the best looking and best digital board games for many years now (and also has the best music ever), and it's a gift that has kept on giving. Today, we got three mini expansions that will give you more ways to enjoy the game. The first one is Abbot, which brings a new piece you can place on Cloisters or Gardens (a new tile that just comes out of nowhere and lands on some of the existing tiles). You can recall that tiny little Abbot at any point during the game while still scoring points even without finishing the Cloister or Garden. The second expansion is The Old River, an expansion that was actually the first expansion ever published for the physical version of the game back in 2001...

Reiner Knizia's Confrontation [$5.99 (HD)] is an entertaining board game by the famous German board game designer Reiner Knizia (in case you couldn't tell by the game's name), and it's about to get an expansion that should make it even more fun to play. If you haven't played the game before, the physical version of the game, which came out in 2002, was set in the Lord of the Rings universe, but the digital version did away with Frodo and his friends and, instead, went with the more generic Light vs Shadow theme. The most fun part of the game is that you can't see your opponent's units until you engage them in battle, which makes for fun strategic decisions...

If you like the idea of building castles (and if not, I want to know who ruined your childhood), then you should grab Castles of Mad King Ludwig [$6.99], the port of the Ted Alspach board game with the same name, which has gone on sale for the first time since it released. Castles has you, well, building castles, each turn adding onto your already-existing layout in an attempt to build a monstrosity that will bring you enough points to win the game. If you want to actually win, you'll have to try and set up your own room combinations while making sure your opponents don't get any good room combinations going. Our own Andrew Fretz liked it in his review partly because he liked the game's flavor and the ways the theme works well with the gameplay...

The digital port of the board game Tsuro [$4.99] was one of the prettiest board games on the App Store, offering a lovely, serene experience. I quite enjoyed it when I reviewed it, and the good thing is that the developers have continued to update it and make it even better. This latest update, which just released today, improves the multiplayer part of the game by adding Game Center support (not just Facebook) and automatched opponents. There's also retroactive stat tracking for offline games - so all your old games will be included in your stats - a visually-enhanced Solo Mode, and the ability to record, edit, and share moves (but only the latest devices can do this)...

Perhaps Playdek took the Cold War theme of its game a bit too seriously when it decided to stealthily unleash Twilight Struggle Mobile [$9.99 (HD)], its port of the classic board game, onto the App Store. Twilight Struggle, the award-winning, card-driven board game that simulates the Cold War, has been very eagerly awaited by board game fans, so I was expecting the iOS release of the game (it's been out for PC for a few months) to come with a bit more fanfare. Still, I'm not complaining one bit because this one might be a great game to play during my upcoming (very long) flight...

'Castles of Mad King Ludwig' Review - Some Assembly Required

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May 27th, 2016 1:30 PM EST by Andrew Fretz in $6.99, 4 stars, Board, Reviews
$6.99 Buy Now

Castles of Mad King Ludwig[$6.99] is a curiously accurate description for the monstrous architectural nightmares that are created in the midst of playing this board game that is new to iOS. I have a lot of respect when you can capture so much of a game's essence in the title. If you are unfamiliar with the game, you owe it to yourself to get acquainted and prepare to toss feng shui out the window...

Yes, you've read that right; another Warhammer game has hit the App Store, but at least this one is relatively different than most other Warhammer-themed games. Talisman: The Horus Heresy [$6.99] takes the Talisman rule system (which some love for its casual entertainment and others hate for its randomness) and uses it to bring the Warhammer 40K universe to life in the form of a digital board game. The game takes place during Horus Heresy, the galaxy-spanning civil war that ravaged everything in its wake but also became the reason why the Space Marine chapters were born. As with other Talisman games, you roll dice and move around the board and depending where you land, you have to take various actions, gain various benefits, suffer various penalties, and so on...

In September of last year, Deed - The Game [Free] officially launched in the App Store, but it wasn't until today at GDC that I'd even heard of it. There are a couple reasons for that, I think. For one, it's based on a physical board game named simply Sustainable Business that's popular in Brazil but not so much elsewhere. Second, Deed was somewhat positioned as an educational game, which is accurate as it's a simulation of global trading but that's sort of dismissive of the actual fun and strategy contained within. Well, it turns out that that initial launch of Deed was sort of a learning experience anyway, and so developer Sinergia Studios made the tweaks and fixes that the game needed based on feedback while it was live in the time since its launch, and in fact ended up even completely revamping the art style for the "real" launch of the game when a big version 2.0 update hit last month. ..

'Patchwork' Review - Greater than the Sum of it's Parts

Patchwork[$2.99] is a very cute game. It has a charming facade of quilty-buttony comfort that is really quite inviting and calming. It's almost a shame that the game is very much a game of cut-throat cold logic devoid of much wiggle room around the fact that the person who can plan ahead best will usually win. The master mind behind such board game greats as Agricola[$6.99] and Le Havre[$4.99], Uwe Rosenberg, followed the pattern with a really great strategic/economic design on this one...

'Forbidden Desert' Review - A Beautiful Desert Filled With Stories and Deaths

In a way, cooperative board games like Matt Leacock's Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert [$6.99 (HD)] are peculiar animals because for most players, playing a competitive game means competing against other players rather than alongside them. And yet, there are fantastic moments to be had when playing cooperative board games, and Forbidden Desert has plenty of them both because of its mechanics and because of its theme. The race against the ever-strengthening desert storm creates many moments of frustration when salvation is tantalizingly close and yet just out of reach. The port itself initially looks pretty basic, but then, just as the desert you'll be excavating, it reveals layer by layer a very well-made port that uses subtle animations to bring both the players and the desert to life. While the lack of online multiplayer is definitely a pity (hopefully it will arrive in a later update), Forbidden Desert is a great board game port that should offer many hours of mostly short-lived triumphs as you struggle to survive the desert storm...

Some games we play for the excitement, some we play for scares, and some we play for the challenge. And then there are games like Tsuro [$4.99], the digital port of the 2004 board game, that are all about introspection, the kind of game you play while lying on a couch with a glass of wine (or your spirit of choice) in one hand and the iPad in the other. Thunderbox Entertainment gladly took the challenge of bringing Tsuro to mobile and has done a pretty good job representing the abstract board game on the iPad and iPhone screens. Going with a "zero UI" philosophy, the developers tried to create a sense of immediacy between the player and the board and they have, mostly, succeeded. They tried to give us a faithful representation of how it feels to play the physical game, but at the same time also added 3 new ways to play the game, expanding Tsuro's challenge and replayability...

Nothing like starting off the week with a surprise, and I'd have to say that Dungeon Raid [$0.99 / Free] developer Fireflame Games releasing a brand new puzzle RPG is about as big of a surprise that there is. For a little backstory, Dungeon Raid was released more than 5 years ago in November of 2010, and basically dropped the mic on the match-3 RPG genre with an incredibly solid character progression system layered on top of a fun and strategic matching game. You can still feel Eli's excitement in his original Dungeon Raid review from all those years ago, but the kicker was that in the months that followed several major updates made the game even better than it originally was by adding things like new classes and two new game modes. This was truly the pinnacle of the match-3 RPG genre, and it was about as perfect as a mobile game can get...

We've had our eye on the iPad port of Forbidden Desert since it was first announced back in November, and somehow the scheduled release of the game just barely slipped past our weekly Out Now post. However, we aren't ones to get all bent out of shape over a little tardiness, so we wanted to let you know that Forbidden Desert [$6.99 (HD)] for the iPad is now officially available. In this game you'll be working on an expedition team in the desert discovering and uncovering different parts of an ancient flying machine. Being the desert, you'll have to content with a lack of water and things like sand storms that can really interrupt your flow of discoveries. It's a cooperative game, so you'll actually be working with your teammates in an effort to recover the flying machine...

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