Geek-Craft: Digital Board Games
It’s been a while since my last update, but I have still been playing games. Oddly enough, I’ve done a lot more gaming on my iPhone. I’ve enjoyed a number of apps, some of which are very well done.
I have over 50 board game and board game like apps on my phone. They don’t all get regular play or use, but I’ve enjoyed a number of them recently.
I love the Oniverse series, and this digital implementation makes it so easy to play a quick game during a lunch break. It doesn’t have any expansions, but it seems like Asmodee Digital is listening to find out if adding them would be something players want. The really nice thing about this app is that while the physical game doesn’t take up much space, shuffling a digital deck of cards is so much faster than a physical one. It guides you through the actions you can take and just makes the game fun to play. I really enjoy it and it’s a whole $0.99 (as of now). If you’ve been curious about Onirim or are looking for a great little solo game that you can pick up and play easily, this is worth your money. It’s available on iOS and Android.
I’ve played a lot of games, but Terra Mystica is one I just haven’t ever had a good opportunity to check out. When Digidiced put out this app, I contacted them for a review copy, and they were kind enough to grant my request. I haven’t played the full game so far, but the tutorials seem to be pretty well done and the user interface, while busy, makes sense. Of course, there’s a lot going on in the game, and to fit it all on my screen is impressive. It’s available on iOS and Android.
I love playing Star Realms. I’m not good at it, especially recently. I’ve won only 32 of my last 100 games… That’s just sad. But that being said, the interface for Star Realms is very well done. It’s also a free app, with a pay wall to gain access to multiplayer play and more single player content. It also charges for expansions, but given that I’ve played over 1,300 games, it’s been worth the cost. There are also a number of tournaments and competitions on BoardGameGeek and Facebook, which leads to more playing and more competition. Available on iOS, Android, and Steam.
Race for the Galaxy
This one isn’t out yet, but I am helping beta test it. As a big fan of Race for the Galaxy, I love this interface. It feels sleek and gives you enough information when you want it but doesn’t overload you with too much. The two player experienced player version also works very well. I think my favorite part of the digital version is that it automatically applies all appropriate bonuses and scores the 6 cost developments before they get played. This lets the player focus on the game and not worry about missing out on a small detail. You can read more about the digital implementation here.
I was given a code to review and check out Colt Express. I have mainly played with the Story mode, which has good and bad parts. The interface and way the digital experience feels is excellent. The two-dimensional characters are fun and the overall appearance is wonderful. The Story mode is fun, but it can be rather frustrating. The player is usually given a goal, which is sometimes contrary to the normal goal of the game. Unfortunately, the AI characters are still acting with the normal goals in mind, which can ruin the player’s chances at completing the alternate goal of the episode. If you enjoy Colt Express, I would give it a shot for the multiplayer, but I’m not a huge fan of the Story experience. The other issue is that the online mode requires at least 3 human players with no AI option. Available on iOS, Android, and Steam.
This may be the silliest “need” for a digital game, given that the real version is a wallet game that is made of 18 cards. That being said, it’s well done and helps make sure the players don’t make mistakes. It also gives the player a way to play against a CPU opponent, meaning more games can be played quickly. The game feels right at home and works well. Now if only I could do well in it. Available on iOS and Android.
Arguably the weirdest digital app, given that the physical version is at least similar to Bejeweled and any other number of gem drop games. That being said, it’s very well done. The way the resources magically move around and the other effects in the game are wonderful. The game play is challenging and works well, keeping players striving for a better score. Having it all digitally also means no marbles rolling all over the place. Not that I’ve ever had that happen. Ever. Available on iOS and Android.
I enjoy roll and write games, despite not doing well at them. The digital version of this game is wonderful in many ways. You can play a solo mode, you can do two players, you can have it act as your score card during a regular game. It offers up the Gemixxt boards as well, giving players a chance to mess around with something a little different. It’s simple, well done, and quick to play. I really enjoy it and have had a lot of games against my wife. I believe the only official version is on iOS.
While not technically a published board game, it certainly feels like it. I heard about it on Low Player Count and gave it a shot. I really enjoy it, with the way the events happen and the way the game knows that I can’t roll well at all. It’s pretty easy to pick up and fun to play. If you enjoy light war style games, you might want to give this one a shot. Available on iOS and Android.
Lots of games are out there. What are your favorite digital implementations of board games?