The Cardboard Hoard: My Favorite Android Board Game Apps, Part 2
Almost a year ago, I posted my favorite Android board game apps, and while I still enjoy them, tons more board game apps have been released for Android. Here are ten new favorites, measured as a combination of how much I like the game and how much I like the digital implementation:
A favorite of mine on the table, I was very excited when the digital implementation was released. The app has lived up to my expectations, with smooth gameplay and lots of options as far as characters and levels. Unfortunately, this does not support online play (yet?).
Lords of Waterdeep
I know this has been on iOS for a long time, so this is probably not exciting news to most of you. But for other Android folks like me -- it’s finally here, it’s a great implementation, and it has online play!
Just like regular Onirim, but without any shuffling -- so even better. And as the game is a solo game, it loses less than most in its transition to digital. Plus the app has added expansions.
Smooth gameplay with multiple difficulty levels and a campaign mode, as well as online play, makes the digital version of this classic two-player trading game a winner.
Despite some early stumbles with online play notifications, which have long been resolved, this app is a solid implementation, and honestly, a lot easier to play than setting up the physical, marble-laden cardboard dispenser version.
A beautifully done production with music and animations that really help sell the zen nature of the game. Like most listed, this too supports online play.
Race for the Galaxy
Do you prefer Race for the Galaxy over San Juan? Well now you can play it online, like San Juan fans have been doing for years. With multiple levels of difficulty and online play, this is great for an intergalactic engine-building fix.
Sentinels of the Multiverse
This app, which is intuitive and attractive, fixes all my issues with the fiddliness of playing this game on the table, but the one downside is that I find it works much better on the larger real estate of a tablet, and I do most of my app gaming on my phone.
Bottom of the Ninth
This sits near the bottom of the list solely because I just got it and haven’t dug in too deep with it, but from what I can see, Handelabra has done a nice job with this one, both mechanically and thematically.
Baseball Highlights 2045
This app version of this near-future baseball deckbuilder has two difficulty modes and a world series simulation against its AI -- CPU Stengel. While it’s not the prettiest, and doesn’t have the amount of options as many other apps on this list, it’s perfectly functional, and fun to play.
Honorable mentions that I don't personally like for one reason or another:
The app is slick, the tutorial is great, and the game plays just fine. But this is exactly the kind of game that loses something not being played on a table with its physical, overproduced three-dimensional components.
Eight Minute Empire
Again, my issue isn’t with the app implementation, which works as intended. I just think the game is a bit dull, like a less interesting El Grande -- and I say that as a huge Ryan Laukat/Red Raven fanboy.
Playing this on the table is a relaxing and pleasurable experience. Playing this on the app, despite how pretty it is, was a stark reminder of how few decisions are actually made and how much the game plays itself, as my AI opponents never over the course of an entire game skipped over a space on a move.
Apps available on Android that I haven’t yet played:
Brass, Terra Mystica, and Through the Ages -- For some reason, I just don’t play these heavier games using their app implementations, although I will play all three of these games using browser-based PC implementations. The most likely culprit is my mobile not being as conducive to these meatier games, or at least, my perception of that likelihood.