Category Archives: Board

GDC 2013: A Look At 'Las Vegas,' A Cool Board Game Port

The studio behind Puerto Rico and a bunch of other brilliant board game-to-mobile ports, Ravensburger Games, has a new one coming down the pipes called Las Vegas. Appropriately, it's a dice-based title that tasks users with rolling and then placing dice in different casinos in an effort to win the most money. (This'll make a lot more sense after you see the video we've included from our demo at GDC.)..

When I first got my iPad, I hadn't been playing physical board games for long. Sure, I played Monopoly and its ilk as a kid, but it wasn't until I got into things like Arkham Asylum and Carcassone as an adult that I really understood the appeal. Before that, they seemed slow, finicky and sort of lame. Afterwards, they seemed slow, finicky and kind of fantastic. The iPad let me dream of board games that kept the quality and ditched all those slow, finicky bits...

I sometimes wonder if we play Monopoly more out of habit, or some sense of nostalgic obligation, rather than because we actually want to. There’s barely a half-functioning family in the world that doesn’t have some kind of annual board game tradition, and at some point during the year we all give Monopoly a dusting off and joke, between yawns, about how great it’d be if this were real money...

Earlier this morning, Eli and I spent some time with Shufflepuck Cantina [Free]. It's a little like Poker Night at the Inventory, except with aliens and, uh, air hockey. In the game, you play as an outsider who finds himself stuck in a space cantina. Your task, for some reason, is to beat everyone in the cantina at air hockey. As you play, you'll learn the backstory behind every character and unlock special moves for doing so...

Lost Cities [$3.99] is a game that's hard to quantify. It's built on Reiner Knizia's formidable game design talents, and made into an impressive asynchronous experience by The Coding Monkeys, developers of board game delight Carcassonne [$9.99]. It has a robust single-player campaign and most of the online tools one could hope for. It looks great, too. All of that sounds pretty glowing, but we're only a few days in and I'm already making excuses not to take my turns...

Back in the day, say like in the ‘80s, people use to gather at each other’s houses to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. Oftentimes a fun game to play would be Pictionary, the game where you draw pictures of something on a big white tablet of paper and other players try to guess what it is. It’s a fun game, an absolute classic, and it was one of my favorites as a kid when my parents had their social gatherings...

It was a little more than a year ago that Days of Wonder launched Ticket to Ride [$2.99 (HD)] on the iPad, a digital version of their mega-popular 2004 board game, and we thought it was pretty phenomenal in our review. It came with the original USA map and the option to buy expansion maps for Europe, Switzerland, and USA 1910 from within the game. A wonderful online multiplayer mode and a well-designed local pass-n-play mode (added later with an update) made Ticket to Ride one of the top digital board games available on the App Store...

'Le Havre' Review - Feed Your Workers, Reap the Profits

You know what makes the world go round? Food. Especially in the town of Le Havre [$4.99]. You can have all the Francs you want but if you can't feed your workers, you're going to be in a world of pain. After all, hungry men don't make money, they make medical bills...

Itadaki Street has been around for over twenty years on various gaming systems but Fortune Street Smart [Free] is the first in the series to appear on iOS. While this title does a great job preserving the classic board game mechanics of the series, various other issues, along with an iffy DLC plan, keep it from being a sure hit...

The success of the digital version of a physical board game hinges on three things: the quality of the base game, the accuracy of the representation of said game and if both of these things are pulled off well enough to sustain a community long after you’ve tired of getting beaten by friends and family. With that in mind, is Scotland Yard [$4.99] a successful iOS port of a classic board game? No, but it could be...

It seems my favorite board games are about the end of the world. We've talked about my love of Elder Sign [$3.99 / $6.99 (HD)], the game about stopping (or failing to stop) the rise of the ancient ones. And now I have a new sweetheart: Yggdrasil [$5.99 (HD)], a game about stopping the forces of evil from destroying the world tree and changing the fate of Ragnarok. While it has a decidedly more Norse spirit than its eldritch cousin, Yggdrasil is more familiar than it first looks...

Into the whole Chthulu mythos but not that interested in obscenely lengthy, difficult board games? Then this is the perfect time to hop in to Elder Sign: Omens [$3.99 / HD]. The dice game made its original transition to iOS with only one Ancient One, Azathoth. As we mentioned in our review, Azathoth has a habit of devouring the lives and sanity of every team of investigators you bring in until you happen on a great team and some good luck...

Ticket To Ride Pocket [$1.99] has received a little more loving by way of content today. In a fresh update, Days of Wonder has dropped 1910 as an expansion for $.99. 1910 adds three modes, all of which seem to offer unique ways to engage with the classic board game. Classic mode rewards players with the largest number of tickets. Mega mode expands destinations from 35 to 69. And Cities keeps it simple by only offering a few cities to work with...

Ticket to Ride Pocket [$1.99], the iPhone and iPod Touch-specific version of the wonderful board game translation, has received a huge update. Starting now, users can now rock out online for the first time in a new asynchronous mode that allows up to four games per user. Less excitingly, local play has received a few tweaks: games no longer just quit out whenever there's a disconnect, and an AI or two can now join in on the fun...

Caylus [$4.99] is an outstanding game, consistently ranking in Board Game Geek's top 10. It plays like Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth as you take on the role of a master builder tasked with winning the favor of a ruler and building something great. Your world revolves around struggles for resources, money, favor and opportunity. Big Daddy's Creations, the folks behind Neuroshima Hex [$4.99 / Lite], have put together an equally outstanding port - as long as you're prepared to play locally...

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