Things of No Interest: 50 iOS Boardgames - 5 at a Time (15-11)
There are a lot of app conversions of boardgames out there - believe me, that was the sole reason I got an iPad back in the day and why I upgraded to a new iPad last year. While I do more than just play boardgame apps on my iPad, playing boardgame conversions was the main reason for my getting one. This series will do a countdown of my top 50 boardgame apps - five at a time. I took 50 of the best and dropped them into Pub Meeple's Ranking Engine so I could sort them and here is what I got...
** Note: There are a ton of boardgame apps I never purchased, and a huge number that I have, but that are currently not playable on iOS 11 - I'm only covering those that I can play and still have installed on my iPad.
As I have previously noted, the following list is pretty interchangeable as far as rankings go. I might pick any of these over the others depending on my mood and the amount of time I have to dedicate to playing.
BGG just recently released their Top 10 Apps Every Board Gamer Should Own compilation and this game was not in any of the contributor's lists and I'm not sure why. As far as I know, this is the only Command and Colors based app in existence and it is pretty well done. Someday we might finally see Command and Colors: Ancients, but for right now, this is what is available. There is a decent campaign mode, multiplayer option etc. If you are a fan of the C&C system or BattleLore 2nd edition, you should give this a look, because you won't be disappointed.
Ascension is one of those boardgames that I have no real interest in playing on the tabletop. It is a deckbuilder with a bazillion cards (thanks to an endless flood of expansions). For what this game is, it would not be worth my owning nor the time it would take to spend playing it. However, as an app on my iPad, this is one of the oldest and better apps I have. It is a GREAT five minute diversion. And where all of the expansions might just overwhelm the tabletop game, they are a boon to a game where you can whip through the same cards game after game in minutes. Sure, you can play online async (or essentially realtime), but this game shines as solo quickie. It is also a shining example of a great user interface that is easily and intuitively accessible.
If you've never played Galaxy Trucker on the tabletop, you are missing out. This is a real time, race against the clock (and other players) puzzle game. Players are racing to grab parts to build the best ship possible for the upcoming race. In the race, players will face a variety of obstacles as well as opportunities to grab cargo for a bonus payday (should they finish the race). The game is hectic, chaotic and crazy fun. How in the world would you manage to translate that into an application for tablets and phones? Well, first, you offer the game in all its real-time glory. Then you offer a new mode - an action point based / turn-based system - which sounds like it would ruin the game by taking away what is a fundamental mechanism of the game. Except that the new mode is actually fantastic. This new mode of playing is perfectly suited for electronic devices and allows you and your friends to play an extended asynchronous game. The app interface is fantastic and still gives you a great experience (the race is actually better and faster when the device does it all for you). I honestly think I prefer the action point way of playing (though I'd not want to play that way on the tabletop). This one really shines and if you have never played Galaxy Trucker before, you should take a look at this app.
The first of two Uwe games in my top 15, Patchwork is a little two-player game where players are trying to fit oddly shaped pieces of fabric onto their boards in an effort to make the most complete and non-hole filled quilt. Honestly, I think this is unlike any other game he has done (and really, it is not like any other I can think of either). The app does a good job of quickly handling bookkeeping and allows you to match up against an AI or friends online for async play. I liked the implementation enough to dump the tabletop version because it is simpler for my love and I to just play on our iPads.
The other Uwe game in my top 15 is one of his classic worker placement / engine building games in Le Havre. Not only is this a top notch game, the implementation is a nearly perfect adaptation of the tabletop game, right down to the layout and art work. It literally looks like someone put a camera over the game setup on a table. The game play is smooth and supports solo and multiplayer options and is a great way to get in that heavy euro-game fix when you need it. I understand why Agricola was in the voter's Top 10, but I personally prefer Le Havre and this app is such a good port that your brain has to spend zero time going between the real game and the electronic version.
Next time I'm going to finish with the FULL TOP 10! See you soon