From Table to Tablet: iOS and Android Board Games Catch All

A place to discuss digital versions of board/card games now available to play on iOS and Android devices. News, reviews, recommendations, most wanted games and organising GWJ mobile multiplayer​ matchups.

Could cover digital only games too I guess, those titles so very heavily inspired by printed games that they could have been plucked from the table top.

I've found a iOS Board Games blog on BGG that looks to be good for news on upcoming releases and sales which seems to cover Android too.

I've seen threads with recommendations in the OP, so I'll do that if there's a call for it and folk chuck them up.

My first thread opener, done

Race for the Galaxy was recently released on iOS (and Android, I believe).

For someone who's never played the physical version, how is it on mobile? How long does it take to play a game against the AI? Does it play well on a phone, or does it really want to be played on a tablet?

My wife and I play a number of board games on my iPad together. Our current games include Ascension, Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Pandemic.

I just picked up Race for the Galaxy but was somewhat disappointed in the game mechanics. I was hoping for something deeper for the price tag. I plan to teach my wife but I don't think this game will be something she would enjoy more than the previously mentioned games.

Does anyone have any other recommendations? I'd say pandemic and Ticket to Ride are the current favorites. We burned out on Catan last year and it's not as fun trading with npcs.

After getting the Sentinels of the Multiverse app I cannot go back to the cardboard version at all. It's a game I've always enjoyed enough to look past how fiddly it is. Once I could have that automated though I just don't want to deal with it anymore.

I'm also intrigued to try Race for the Galaxy, but at the price not sure atm.

Started the thread because only over the last year or so been getting back into printed games, with family up until now. That's led to me popping along to a good sized game group and wanting to play more... Physical games that is.

However after snagging the android board games humble bundle and a few others on top of that I'm seeing the tablet versions as a convenient way to sample and learn games cheaply. Am finding this only really works if the digital version has a decent tutorial in place, some don't and are designed I think for those who've played the table top version, or are happy to go away and watch some how to play vids... which I am but not ideal. Small World from the bundle being one that I don't think had a tutorial at all when started it up.

Anyhow... One from the bundle that did have a tutorial and simple enough a game to get into it quickly on tablet was Splendor. 10-15 mins a game, using the random matchmaking haven't had to wait for more than a minute at most to get in on a game.

Had a stab at Neuroshima Hex, looks good but one of those that will need to do a bit of homework in before understand it fully, having never played the physical game.

bigred wrote:

My wife and I play a number of board games on my iPad together. Our current games include Ascension, Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Pandemic.

I just picked up Race for the Galaxy but was somewhat disappointed in the game mechanics. I was hoping for something deeper for the price tag. I plan to teach my wife but I don't think this game will be something she would enjoy more than the previously mentioned games.

Does anyone have any other recommendations? I'd say pandemic and Ticket to Ride are the current favorites. We burned out on Catan last year and it's not as fun trading with npcs.

Terra Mystica is really good, same for Carcassonne. Le Havre, inland port is good I've been told (I much prefer Le Havre the full game, but be wary - it's insanely complex.) Have you tried Agricola? Playdek's conversion is really good.

Race for the Galaxy gets better with the expansions, especially Gathering Storm for the goals (gives more direction). There's also a lot more depth there than the app early exposes on first blush.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

Had a stab at Neuroshima Hex, looks good but one of those that will need to do a bit of homework in before understand it fully, having never played the physical game.

Neuroshima Hex is a puzzle, wrapped up in tactical trappings - or a tactical game with a big moving puzzle on it. Barring special abilities, remember that Battle! is the trigger for explosions. All things that can shoot on an initiative pass will shoot, and nothing gets removed until the end of the initiative round.

Your goal is to set up the board in a way that will allow you to come out on top with battle trades (and shoot the HQ). You don't have to destroy the HQ, you just have to have more health left than your opponent. Trade better than your opponent and you'll come out on top.

Start with Borgo(blue) - their high natural initiative gives them an easy way through the puzzle. Their natural enemy is Hegomony (Yellow).

I started playing the single player campaign of C'Thulu Realms. It's ok. I would classify it as a decent time waster.

I feel like there aren't very many meaningful choices in the gameplay. It's kind of a deck building/drafting game at its core. There's a little "order of play" in the app that I would ignore if I was playing with friends. I'm talking about some of the draw and discard mechanics. The "burn a card" mechanic is pretty thin. You simply burn the weak cards that you start the game with.

I've never played the physical version. It could be a fun game to play over some drinks with friends. I feel like it has the problem of being very light on strategy and surprisingly heavy on rules.

If I was having a game night with friends, I would rather just play Citadels or one of the many themed versions of Love Letter.

Oh. I just thought of something. What if they made pop-culture themed versions of Citadels? I could imagine a Game of Thrones version. Or maybe even Dragon Age! Orange is the New Black? Star Wars would be amazing!

RawkGWJ wrote:

Oh. I just thought of something. What if they made pop-culture themed versions of Citadels? I could imagine a Game of Thrones version. Or maybe even Dragon Age! Orange is the New Black? Star Wars would be amazing!

The Real Board Game Thread scoffs snarkily at your remark. Why would we want reskins of Citadels when we have our 3 hours of Star Wars Rebellion or the Game of Thrones:The Board Game.

athros wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Had a stab at Neuroshima Hex, looks good but one of those that will need to do a bit of homework in before understand it fully, having never played the physical game.

Start with Borgo(blue) - their high natural initiative gives them an easy way through the puzzle. Their natural enemy is Hegomony (Yellow).

Thanks, I'll give the Borgo a... go.

Another thinking of trying...How does Star Realms compare to playing the physical?

Small game with a cheap entry point that's supposed to be really good... I can see myself picking that up for table.

athros wrote:
bigred wrote:

My wife and I play a number of board games on my iPad together. Our current games include Ascension, Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Pandemic.

I just picked up Race for the Galaxy but was somewhat disappointed in the game mechanics. I was hoping for something deeper for the price tag. I plan to teach my wife but I don't think this game will be something she would enjoy more than the previously mentioned games.

Does anyone have any other recommendations? I'd say pandemic and Ticket to Ride are the current favorites. We burned out on Catan last year and it's not as fun trading with npcs.

Terra Mystica is really good, same for Carcassonne. Le Havre, inland port is good I've been told (I much prefer Le Havre the full game, but be wary - it's insanely complex.) Have you tried Agricola? Playdek's conversion is really good.

Race for the Galaxy gets better with the expansions, especially Gathering Storm for the goals (gives more direction). There's also a lot more depth there than the app early exposes on first blush.

Terra mystica looks interesting. I'm not the biggest fan of la havre and the other land/resource based games seem very similar to Catan.

I've been hovering with my finger over the purchase button for Lords of Waterdeep. Just haven't convinced myself to buy it yet.

Some favorites of mine as a response to bigred and a way to kick off my participation in the thread:

I'm currently playing a lot of Star Realms and Race for the Galaxy. Took me a while to grok Race's mechanics, but now that I do, I really enjoy the iPad implementation. Star Realms just got a major and very nice UI overhaul, and its campaign is pretty fun (and difficult).

Other go-to board games for me are: Ticket to Ride, Lords of Waterdeep, Carcassonne, Galaxy Trucker, Pathfinder Adventures. CCG-style games that are well done are Hearthstone, Elder Scrolls Legends, and Magic Duels. Finally, Galactic Keep is not a board game port, but it's very table-top-y, and I highly recommend it.

Carlbear95 wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

Oh. I just thought of something. What if they made pop-culture themed versions of Citadels? I could imagine a Game of Thrones version. Or maybe even Dragon Age! Orange is the New Black? Star Wars would be amazing!

The Real Board Game Thread scoffs snarkily at your remark. Why would we want reskins of Citadels when we have our 3 hours of Star Wars Rebellion or the Game of Thrones:The Board Game.

I have zero friends who are experienced table top game enthusiasts. Every game night that I host ends with everyone raving about how much fun they had. But it's like herding cats to get that first game started. Love Letter Batman is a fricken' godsend. It's the perfect gateway to a more crunchy game. Citadels Star Wars would be the perfect follow up.

Anyway, I'm far from a purist when it comes to these types of things. I have Adventure Time Monopoly, Munchkin, and Love Letter. And I love them all.

If you're interested in Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Anniversary sale...Looks like it's down from $7 to a single dollar right now on iOS, and apparently one day only at $1 on Android tomorrow. Spotted on that bgg page. linked. Of course $1 = £1 in app land.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

If you're interested in Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Anniversary sale...Looks like it's down from $7 to a single dollar right now on iOS, and apparently one day only at $1 on Android tomorrow. Spotted on that bgg page. linked. Of course $1 = £1 in app land.

WOOHOO!! Thanks for that. I might have missed it otherwise.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I have zero friends who are experienced table top game enthusiasts. Every game night that I host ends with everyone raving about how much fun they had. But it's like herding cats to get that first game started. Love Letter Batman is a fricken' godsend. It's the perfect gateway to a more crunchy game. Citadels Star Wars would be the perfect follow up.

Anyway, I'm far from a purist when it comes to these types of things. I have Adventure Time Monopoly, Munchkin, and Love Letter. And I love them all.

Heh I've never played those games either (Rebellion or GoT).. i do have Love Letter Batman though. Given what our location tags are, I find it my duty to be snarky to you.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

If you're interested in Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Anniversary sale...Looks like it's down from $7 to a single dollar right now on iOS, and apparently one day only at $1 on Android tomorrow. Spotted on that bgg page. linked. Of course $1 = £1 in app land.

Thanks! Never played it but with many good reviews and only a dollar, I'm in.

Yeah, sounds interesting. Thanks for pointing it out.

Carlbear95 wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

I have zero friends who are experienced table top game enthusiasts. Every game night that I host ends with everyone raving about how much fun they had. But it's like herding cats to get that first game started. Love Letter Batman is a fricken' godsend. It's the perfect gateway to a more crunchy game. Citadels Star Wars would be the perfect follow up.

Anyway, I'm far from a purist when it comes to these types of things. I have Adventure Time Monopoly, Munchkin, and Love Letter. And I love them all.

Heh I've never played those games either (Rebellion or GoT).. i do have Love Letter Batman though. Given what our location tags are, I find it my duty to be snarky to you.

I'm about an hour drive south of Los Santos. And I can get to downtown Los Puerta in about an hour and a half.

How are things up there in San Fierro? You enjoying all that fog and humidity?

Its a pleasant 76F down here, with a cool ocean breeze. I just took the puppy on a most wonderful walk around the neighborhood.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

If you're interested in Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Anniversary sale...Looks like it's down from $7 to a single dollar right now on iOS, and apparently one day only at $1 on Android tomorrow. Spotted on that bgg page. linked. Of course $1 = £1 in app land.

One of my favorite board games, and the Android version is something I've burned many, many hours on. Excellent port of the game.

Castles - bought 89 whole pence!

And...

J.C. in iOS thread wrote:

Jaipur just came out today and is a solid 2 player card game.

It's also out on Android and I think it's got cross-platform multiplayer and the asking price of $3 is a launch discounted price which will go up to $?

I was going to buy the physical at some point anyhow, perfect family fare by the looks. The chance to try it out cheaply first on the tablet is one I'll take I reckon.

It IS cross-platform! Really glad Asmodee went that way with their games.

Can confirm Jaipur app is very good. Really nice artwork, suits a tablet and easy to play.
Put a little over an hour into it already, going to be good value I reckon.

Onirim got updated today, adding an expansion which you can unlock for free if you log in to your Asmodee Online account.

Bubblefuzz wrote:

Can confirm Jaipur app is very good. Really nice artwork, suits a tablet and easy to play.
Put a little over an hour into it already, going to be good value I reckon.

Is it asynch? I like it, too, and would love to play.

Natus wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Can confirm Jaipur app is very good. Really nice artwork, suits a tablet and easy to play.
Put a little over an hour into it already, going to be good value I reckon.

Is it asynch? I like it, too, and would love to play.

I'm not sure that it is unfortunately. First time in the lobby I spotted someone saying "what this game needs is asynch with notifications". Maybe the games are too short for that?

Missed the Ludwig sale, I would like to check it out someday.

Ticket to Ride is good in app form.

I can give a strong recommendation to the Pathfinder game which is a deck/card driven RPG rather than a boardgame.

Haw anyone tried Suburbia on a phone? It's on sale for $1 for the next 2 days

Scaphism wrote:

Missed the Ludwig sale, I would like to check it out someday.

Ticket to Ride is good in app form.

I can give a strong recommendation to the Pathfinder game which is a deck/card driven RPG rather than a boardgame.

Haw anyone tried Suburbia on a phone? It's on sale for $1 for the next 2 days

Suburbia on a phone is a bit small for me; it works great on a tablet, but there's a lot of little bits of text on those tiles, and it's kind of a pain.

thejustinbot wrote:

After getting the Sentinels of the Multiverse app I cannot go back to the cardboard version at all. It's a game I've always enjoyed enough to look past how fiddly it is. Once I could have that automated though I just don't want to deal with it anymore.

I just bought this! Looking forward to giving it a go.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Suburbia on a phone is a bit small for me; it works great on a tablet, but there's a lot of little bits of text on those tiles, and it's kind of a pain.

It is a bit small, but you can zoom in and enlarge stuff. Just a couple extra steps.

Bubblefuzz wrote:
Natus wrote:
Bubblefuzz wrote:

Can confirm Jaipur app is very good. Really nice artwork, suits a tablet and easy to play.
Put a little over an hour into it already, going to be good value I reckon.

Is it asynch? I like it, too, and would love to play.

I'm not sure that it is unfortunately. First time in the lobby I spotted someone saying "what this game needs is asynch with notifications". Maybe the games are too short for that?

As far as I can tell it is not async. In fact you have 30 seconds to make your move. If not, you get booted out of the game and the computer takes over for you, so your opponent doesn't even realize it. I was playing with my wife last night online and she thought for a few seconds too long and it booted her. I dont' even see an option for increasing the 30 second limit.