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The best board game apps

Collage of multiple mobile board games
Suzanne Humphries

With board games gaining in popularity, it makes sense that so many of them have made the journey to smartphone app stores. Now, with these digitized versions, you can download your favorite board games and play anywhere without having to deal with tiles, cards, tokens or find a gaming table big enough to play on.

The digital versions of these games are incredibly convenient to play. You don̵

7;t have to worry about keeping (or losing) game equipment over the years. In addition, these versions are common a lot of cheaper than their physical counterparts. In most cases, the digital versions also have tutorials and built-in guides to help you when you are new to the game or have forgotten a particular rule.

Establishment building: Catan

Catan gameplay with player settlements and resource cards

Catan (Free on iOS / Android), also known as Settlers of Catan, is arguably one of the most famous board games out there outside of the Milton Bradley catalog. The game is loved for its simple concept – gathering the resources you need to build your settlement – and the mechanics it incorporates – doing this both faster and better than your opponents so you get enough points to complete the game. pronounce victory.

The dice and card game itself is easy to set up, with its stylish and colorful tiles, cards and pieces. Before each game, shuffle the 19 hexagonal resource tiles – including grain, wool, brick, wood and ore – and place them in the order you draw them within the six coastal frame pieces. Players then take turns choosing where they want to place their first two settlements, and if there is only one thing you learn Catan, let it be: placement is everything. You can try to use all sources if you can, or try to get a good mix of sources.

Victory is achieved by scoring the agreed number of points, which is usually 10. You can earn points by building new settlements and cities, by creating (and holding onto) the longest way, by having the largest army, and by taking point rich development cards.

And, of course, the real kicker of it Catan is that you have to work with your opponents as well as you oppose them. You will have to trade the resources you don’t need for the ones you do in a way that will (hopefully) only benefit you, so be careful what alliances you make or with whom you trade your sheep or lumber. Don’t let the cute design fool you: like Monopoly Catan has the ability to challenge even the most cordial friendships. Good luck!

Download from the Apple App StoreDownload it on Google Play

So lifelike: the game of life

The main Game of Life screen with game options

Originally made in 1860, The game of life ($ 2.99 on iOS / Android) was the first popular board game in the United States. It is also now part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and an inductee of the National Toy Hall of Fame. Even today, the game remains fun for children and adults alike.

The game offers a simulated journey from college to retirement, with options for marriage, work, kids, pay raises and other adventures and surprises along the way. Players will take turns spinning the wheel to determine how many spaces they will advance.

Players can choose to start by taking out a loan and going to college or by dropping out of college and pursuing a career right away. There are important stopping places – such as getting married and buying a house – where every player must stop, regardless of how many they have spun the wheel.

As you make your way The game of life, you will have the opportunity to experience great vacations, change careers and even expand your family as you retire. Once all players have arrived, take turns adding up your wealth and debt to see who comes out on top with the most money.

Download from the Apple App StoreDownload it on Google Play

Strategic placement of tiles: Carcassone

Carcassonne example game with tiles

If you are a fan of tile games, Carcassonne ($ 4.99 / iOS, Free / Android) is the perfect game for you and up to four additional players. The game is named after the medieval fortified French settlement in southern France, which is famous for its city walls. Likewise, you will spend your turns tending and building on these walls, along with the roads and fields connecting them.

The game starts with only one of the dozens of terrain tiles face up in the center of the board. During each turn, players draw a new tile and decide where to place it. That tile must be placed next to a tile that is already in play, and he must extend the tile he touches, i.e. a space connecting to a space, a city to a city, and so on.

Players must then decide to place one of their meeples on that new tile, which will allow them to claim one of its attributes and work on completing a feature (such as a road or city). However, players only have seven meeples, so planning skills and meeple retention is a must.

Functions completed are how the final score is determined, where roads and cities have no unfinished edges, and monasteries when surrounded by eight tiles. Fields are a bit different; you get points for each completed city adjacent to the field. The game ends when no more stones can be drawn and the winner is the one who scores the most points. CarcassonneIts simple mechanics and fast playing speed make it a delightful choice for anyone new to board games.

Download from the Apple App StoreDownload it on Google Play

A Fight for the Biggest Kingdom: Yellow & Yangtze

A game by Yellow & Yangtze with sparring countries that play side by side
Yellow and Yangtze

If you’ve ever played Tigris and Euphratesyou will love it Yellow and Yangtze ($ 9.99 on iOS / Android). The beautiful civilization building game is a classic love regions board game title. In it, you work to grow your kingdom in four colors, but scores are determined based on who has the lowest score of those colors.

The point-based game has a lot of potential for conflict as you actively build out your hexagonally tiled terrain (including the two eponymous rivers). In it, you play as a warlord in the Warring States period in ancient China. You get five leaders – governor, trader, solder, craftsman, and farmer – that are used to accumulate victory points within the same categories.

The pleasure of Yellow and Yangtze starts when neighboring civilizations collide with the board. And to win the game, you have to figure out a way to survive any conflicts you face, while growing your civilization to be strong and keep the peasants from revolting. For this you need to bring your best strategic skills to the table!

Download from the Apple App StoreDownload it on Google Play

Play a Journeying Traveler: Tokaido

During Tokaido you will collect a collection of artifacts and works of art

Tokaido ($ 1.99 on iOS / Android) is a game packed with stunning, colorful art that literally focuses on the journey rather than the destination. It is based on the real Tokaido – a historical arterial road in Japan during the Edo period – connecting Tokyo to Kyoto.

In Tokaido, players travel along this legendary road, stop wherever they want, and complete an action that will eventually reward them with points. Possible actions include eating meals at an inn, collecting various artworks, retrieving artifacts, and donating to temples.

There are plenty of unique strategies for winning the game, but the most popular is to stop anywhere so you can block the location from other players and slowly accumulate much-needed points. While players move Tokaido, they also move their corresponding token across the travel point tracker. And scoring is simple: whoever has the most points wins.

Download from the Apple App StoreDownload it on Google Play

Short Train Adventures: Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride game with competing railways on the map
Ticket to drive

The only thing better than a scenic train ride is a railroad-themed board game, and that’s just the thing Ticket to drive ($ 6.99 on iOS / Android) offers players. The original version of the game contains a map of the United States and Canada, while localized versions (available in the app) contain maps of other regions around the world.

In the thrilling game, players work on collecting and playing train car cards as a means of claiming routes across the map, earning them points. Points are based on the claimed track length, whoever creates the longest continuous track and whether a player can connect multiple distant cities, determined by drawing ticket cards.

Ticket to drive is fun for kids to play, with its simple rules and straightforward scores. However, it still manages to challenge adults too, as players can choose between scoring points or disrupting their opponents’ routes (and other well-designed plans), or even managing the balancing act between precious failures and mission. rewards. The game is a non-stop fun-filled journey for all types of players.

Download from the Apple App StoreDownload it on Google Play

Race against time and disaster: pandemic

Pandemic gameplay victory card with healings

Despite the concept having become a bit too real over the past year, Pandemic ($ 4.99 / iOS, $ 5.99 / Android) is still a solid game in its own right. And unlike many other board games, where you compete against the other players, Pandemic you guys are all working together to – you guessed it – fight the pandemic.

Players will take on the role of specialists such as Operation Expert or Scientist who fight against the four diseases that currently plague the world. In fact, playing starts with multiple diseases that already have infected populations (with intensity and location randomly determined for each game). Players will travel the world to stop outbreaks, discover cures and eradicate the world’s diseases before they spread and consume everything.

Each reel offers unique bonuses that make it a little easier to do things like travel and discover healings. However, it is just as easy for a disease to quickly spiral out of control. PandemicThe mechanics are well thought out and the gameplay gets incredibly intense. Unfortunately, it also takes a bit of luck to win, so collect all the four-leaf clovers you can find!

Download from the Apple App StoreDownload it on Google Play

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