Category Archives: Board

Well, it's been a journey, hasn't it? After many trials and tribulations and years of development, the award-winning board game 7 Wonders [$4.99 (HD)] is finally on the App Store, and it looks very promising. Just to give you an idea of how long this game has been in development, we wrote a story about it looking for beta testers more than two years ago and then again about 4 months ago. But nevertheless, despite the game taking more time to come to the App Store than it took to build the pyramids, it is now here, and it looks really good. 7 Wonders has won a ton of awards (its publisher claims it has won the most awards in the world) and has a ton of fans around the world...

I like playing card games like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends, but sometimes I get the itch for some more tactical gameplay, which is why I've been waiting to get Duelyst on my phone for quite some time now. Stormbound [Free], a game that has released globally this week after a few months in soft launch, brings to the table a fun combination of card collection and tactical gameplay that looks simple at first but has enough tactical depth and interesting ideas to scratch that itch. I've been playing it quite a bit this week, and I've been having fun playing both against the AI and against others. My only reservation is that matches take a bit too long and that the threat that is pay-to-win does rear its head here and there...




Brain Good Games is making a name for themselves by developing interesting and engaging digital board games. Axes and Acres and Militia [$3.99] have both done well on Steam, with the latter making the leap to mobile back in March. Now their latest title, Minos Strategos [$3.99], has also launched on iOS and Android. In Minos Strategos you are the commander of the defense of the ancient city of Minos. Unfortunately, a horde of Minotaur invaders are looking to make that job pretty tough of late. You move and attack with your units using battle-formation cards which dictate exactly where you can do each. Tabletop fans will see some resemblance to classic two-player strategy game Onitama, though you have more cards from which to act than in that game...

If you want to feel like an emperor who's accidentally pushed the fast-forward button on the world clock, then you should grab the just-released Eight-Minute Empire [$4.99], the port of the award-winning game with the same name. The game's name gives away the idea behind it: you have to build a whole empire in a very short span of time. Specifically, this fast-paced card game will have you doing the usual actions you'd expect from an empire-building game: recruiting troops, conquering parts of the map, collecting goods to get stronger, building castles to establish your dominance, and so on. It's not the most ground-breaking empire-building game by any means, but it's definitely fun and quick, which is always a good combination for mobile games...

When we talked about all the games we're losing once iOS 11 hits on September 12th (or thereabouts), we saw many of you complain about Playdek's Lords of Waterdeep [$9.99] going away, but we finally have good news on that front. Playdek just announced that the game is getting a 64-bit update on iOS today and is also releasing on Android. And, as you would expect from Playdek, you will be able to play across platforms, so that should make it easier to find players willing to run around Waterdeep with you. The Android version will also have the Undermountain and Skullport expansions available for purchase today. To celebrate the 64-bit update and the Android release, Lords of Waterdeep has dropped in price for a limited time, so if you don't own it, now would be a good time to pick it up...

Released back in 2014, BattleLore: Command [$6.99] brought Fantasy Flight's board game BattleLore Second Edition to digital life. The tabletop game is fun and one of the better two-player unit-based warfare games out there. The iOS version features the same tactical warfare found on your tabletop and of course offers the opportunity to take on the AI in a single-player campaign or another human being via online multiplayer. A just-released version updates the game to make it 64-bit compliant, thus saving it from the digital dust bin of history. Fantasy Flight is working through their iOS hits, having updated Elder Signs: Omens [$3.99] earlier this year...

'Bottom of the 9th' Review - Handelabra Knocks the Cover Off the Ball

Handelabra Games, known for their digital adaptation of the cooperative tabletop card game Sentinels of the Multiverse [$6.99], has a brand-new offering in the App Store. This time they've tackled the dice-rolling baseball game Bottom of the 9th [$4.99], yet another tabletop to digital transformation. As the name suggests, Bottom of the 9th focuses on the pivotal final half inning of a tied ball game. The scrappy, overachieving home team is surprised to find themselves on the doorstep of victory against the powerhouse visitors and are hoping to pull out a win by scoring a run. They know they had better do it in this half inning because they lack the steam to hang with the big boys in extra innings and would most certainly lose. It's baseball distilled to its central idea—the duel between pitcher and batter...

Tabletop board and card games are a natural genre to get a remake into digital life. Such transitions don't always go well, but when they do it sure is satisfying to be able to play great tabletop games on your phone or tablet. Tsuro - The Game of the Path [$2.99] is, thankfully, an excellent example of the physical-to-digital conversion done right. In the game you lay tiles onto the game board to create a path. Your goal is to travel as far as possible, in actual game board centimeters, and to complete as many loops as you can while doing so. Your opponents, either AI or live humans in the digital game, are seeking to do the same and to disrupt your best efforts. Today, for the first time since its release, Tsuro is now available to download for free on the App Store...

Tim Fowers, creator of the tabletop and digital novel-writing game Paperback [$3.99], just released a brand new title to the App Store. Burgle Brothers [$4.99] is yet another tabletop to iOS conversion and plays out like a classic heist movie. You pick your crew ala Ocean's 11, each potential recruit has unique abilities to bring to the party, and figure out a master plan to pull off a daring and high-value heist in a very secure building. Naturally no plan of thievery survives contact with the mark and much of the game is about how you adapt and extract yourself from difficult circumstances...

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...

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