iOS Board Games

Among the best things in life is playing printed games in person with family and close friends. When those are not convenient we like iOS Board Games. News, reviews, previews, and opinions about board gaming on iPhones, iPads, iPods and even Android devices. (iPhone board games, iPad board games, iPod board games, Android board games)

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Hybrid Lab: Imperial Assault - Legends of the Alliance

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We continune our coverage of hybrid board games with this semi-regular feature: the Hybrid Lab.

Imperial Assault - Legends of the Alliance
App Availability: iOS, Android
Store Links: iOS, Android

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Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:05 pm
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App News Bits: Scythe Trailer, Roll for It Beta, Axis and Allies?, Meteorfall Next Week and Acram Tease

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App News Bits



Scythe Trailer Drops on Steam Listing
As you know, Scythe is coming to digital platforms, published by Asmodee Digital. Last week the game got an official listing on Steam along with a brief trailer which you see in this tweet:


The release date on Steam says Q1 2018. We'll let you know as we learn more!



Roll for It! Enters Beta
We received an email this week letting us know that Roll for It! is entering beta. Thunderbox Entertainment has been at work on the game for a while and we're looking forward to checking it out.

Here's our latest look at the game from Gen Con 2017:




Axis and Allies Possibly Going Digital
W. Eric Martin informed me of a possible hint that Axis and Allies may be coming to digital. According to an interview in Glixel with Chris Cocks, it looks like a digital version of Axis and Allies could be coming in the next 12 to 18 months.

Here is the full quote:
Quote:
My interest, bringing some of these vastly complicated, long-to-set-up titles to the iPad or computer, seem to also align both with a larger call for ports and Wizards of the Coast’s experiments. Cocks points to The Lords of Waterdeep, which was published by Wizards in 2012 and then released on iOS a year later, as a good example of that. “I love what Playdek did with that,” he says. “We’ve found that if we can bring new fans in and give them something fun to play, they will generally reward us. There is a great synergy between digital and table-top players.”

But why, I ask, hasn’t Axis and Allies come to tablet yet? “I think we will be correcting that in 12 to 18 months,” he says. “We might throw some fun variants in there as well. I want to to make new games. I want to make variants of existing games. What about Axis and Allies and Zombies?”



Meteorfall is Releasing January 25th
Next week Meteorfall is releasing worldwide. This game has an Adventure Time esque style and has rogue-like and deck-building elements. I haven't been able to try it yet but it looks amazing. Check out some of Dave's impressions on Stately Play.

Here is an amazing launch trailer:




Acram Teases Something New in 2018
Acram Digital started the year by teasing us with this tantalizing tweet:


What could it all mean? Time will tell!
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:05 pm
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App News: Dresden Files Coop Card Game Comes to Mobile and a Recap of Stuff You Already Know!

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Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game Now on Mobile
Sorry for the long absence, folks. I'd like to blame it on holiday travels or whatnot, but the truth is that I'm just a lazy bum.

With that tear-jerking explanation out of the way, let's talk about something new. Something involving wizards, Chicago, and books I haven't read. Yep, it's the Dresden Files and the digital version of The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game by Evil Hat Productions has landed on the App Store and Google Play.

The digital version is a faithful recreation of the tabletop version, and has been available on Steam for a few months now. I've been playing it on my laptop for a bit, but it feels right at home on my iPad.

This is a very hard cooperative card game that doesn't feel like any other card game I've ever played. It feels more like a puzzle than a game, but there's enough randomness to mix things up so that even the best laid plans can go south.

Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game is available for iOS Universal and Android, and comes with decks for the first five novels. Additional characters and decks for later books are available via IAP. While I'm quite enjoying the game solitaire, there are multiplayer options: pass-and-play, LAN, and online multiplayer for up to 5.

- Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game for iOS Universal, $7
- Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game for Android, $7
- Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game for PC/Mac/Linux, $20




Old, But Very Cool, News
There were a couple big releases on the App Store while I was away. You probably are already aware of them, but I thought I'd post them anyway, just in case. Also, I need to make my word quota or Brad will have me flayed.


Civilization VI released on iPad
The big news right before the holiday was the surprise release of a major AAA title on iPad, Civilization VI. This is the real deal, the full version of Sid Meier's latest foray into 4X, and it's not some cheap, poorly done port. Aspyr Media, Inc. has done something remarkable, making a game as dense as Civ VI work on the iPad and not be a battery-draining nightmare. My iPad doesn't even get warm and I can play for, literally, hours with my battery still above the 50% mark.

The only difference between this and the full game is the graphics have been downgraded, but it's still not bad. We still get unit and tile animations, and there's a fairly easy way to implement retina graphics via a back door that Apple seems to either not be aware of, or doesn't care about. I'll assume the former. This backdoor also allows the uploading of mods, meaning the mobile version and PC/Mac version aren't too far apart.

The mobile version is still stuck at the Spring 2017 patch, so it's a few iterations behind the PC version, but even without the updates it is just so damn cool to be playing a game of this depth and quality on my iPad. The game does include the Aztec civ which was originally DLC, so it looks possible (probable?) that the newer civs and patches will become available down the road.

As you might expect, the game requires some hefty hardware so only those with iPad Air 2 or later need apply. It's also priced like its Steam cousin. You can download the app for free and play the first 60 turns (a truly short time in a game of Civ) but if you want to unlock the full app it will run you $60. It was on sale for $30 until early January, so perhaps it will go on sale regularly like the PC/Mac version does. We'll have to wait and see. It's good enough that $60 isn't that bad of an investment, but that's just my opinion. Civ VI is one of my favorite titles ever, so your milage may vary.

- Sid Meier's Civilization VI for iPad, free
- Sid Meier's Civilization VI for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $60





Antihero Comes to Mobile
Antihero is a really fun original board game that was released on Steam last year with a mobile port promised down the road. We've reached the end of that road, as the mobile version landed late last week.

Antihero is a 2-player game in which you'll control rival guilds vying to be the first to nab a set amount of victory points. VPs are earned by bribery, assassinations, blackmail, and other unsavory means. It's incredibly clever and works well as an asynchronous online game.

The mobile version is available for iOS and Android and has all the features of its Steam cousin. There's a short single player campaign that acts as a tutorial, but the real meat are skirmish games either against AI or real humans.

If you're looking for a new board game with cool mechanisms and a fantastic art style, you can't go wrong with Antihero. The game is complete at purchase with only some cosmetic offerings available via IAP.

- Antihero for iOS Universal, $5
- Antihero for Android, $5
- Antihero for PC/Mac via Steam, $15


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Tue Jan 9, 2018 9:12 pm
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First Look: Antihero

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Antihero
Availability: iOS, Android, PC
Store Links: iOS, Android, Steam


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First Look: Civilization VI (on iPad!)

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Civilization VI
Availability: iPad
Store Links: iOS

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Wed Jan 3, 2018 8:47 pm
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First Look: Lotus

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Lotus
Availability: iOS, Android
Store Links: iOS, Android

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Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:48 pm
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App News: Lotus Released for iOS/Android and Burgle Bros. Gets Some New Features

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Lotus Now Available for iOS and Android
Renegade Game Studios and Dire Wolf Digital are slowly becoming one of board gamers' dream teams. The pair was responsible for the much underrated Lanterns: The Harvest Festival as well as the companion app for Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure. Today they released a new app, Lotus.

Lotus is a game about building flowers and scoring points via area control. I think. I've never played it, but reading the rules that seems about the gist of it.

Dire Wolf Digital wrote:
In Lotus, players take turns adding petals and utilizing guardians to control and nurture these mystical flowers to maturity. Collect special abilities as you grow to aid you on your quest, and gain wisdom points for each completed bloom. At the end of the game the player with the most wisdom points will emerge from the garden that much closer to enlightenment!

Vibrant visual effects, skilled AI, meditative environmental music and smooth touch play translate the serenity of Lotus to your phone or tablet.


We saw it in action at Gen Con this year and my kids instantly fell in love with it. I plan on downloading it tonight and playing the hell out of it through the holidays with them.



The game is available for iOS Universal and Android and offers both solo play vs. AI and asynchronous online multiplayer either against friends or strangers via ranked play.

- Lotus for iOS Universal, $5
- Lotus for Android, $5



Burgle Bros. Updated With Ability to Make Custom Wall Layouts
Earlier this morning the grand heist game, Burgle Bros from Tim Fowers, was updated with a pretty cool new feature.



That's right, you can now customize your walls however you want instead of going with one of the AI's layouts. Why would you want to do this? I'm not sure, but from Tim Fowers' example, it's so you can revel in your masochism.

Burgle Bros. is available for both iOS Universal and Android.

- Burgle Bros. for iOS Universal, $5
- Burgle Bros. for Android, $5
- Burgle Bros. for PC via Steam, $5
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Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:37 pm
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App News: Terra Mystica Getting Fire & Ice Over Holidays and 7 Wonders Heads to Small Screen and Android

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Terra Mystica Getting Fire & Ice Expansion as "Open Beta" Soon
If there's one thing that constantly losing at Terra Mystica has taught me is that the game needs more complexity. I mean, I'm barely grasping what's happening at any point in games I play now, so why not shake it up a bit? I'm kidding (kind of), but TM might be the most complicated game I have on my iPad. Digidiced UG's port is pretty great, but that complexity still remains and I don't think there's really much Digidiced could do to make it easier. It's just how TM is.

In the next day or two we should prepare for a little more complexity because the Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice expansion is coming to our mobile devices via an open beta that will be available to all TM owners as soon as Apple gets off their duff and approves it.

The open beta will give all mobile users access to Fire & Ice over the holidays, allowing them to create and play in games both solo and online. Yes, this includes all six new factions, the new board, and more. It's the full deal, but it is still in beta which means not everything is guaranteed to work exactly as it should. Our job is to make sure it does then they launch it for real.

While the expansion will be free over the holidays, once they're done it will head to its favored terrain: beyond the paywall. (Yes, I used this same joke over at Stately Play. Come at me!) You will be able to buy the expansion and continue any games you were in the middle of during the open beta and, I assume, keep playing as much as you want from that point forward.

For those of you who are wondering when we'll get more than just the Easy AI, they talk about that as well:

DIGIDICED wrote:
We’ve also been hard at work with the AI! Machine learning is a new field for our team and we’ve been taking considerably more time than we were anticipating. Additionally, it turned out to be impossible for us to use the games of the Snellman platform to train our AI. Luckily, we now have a few thousand games of our own and started training the AI. It’s still too early for any result and we’re not confident yet as to announce when it will be ready. But we’re working on it with full speed!


If you already own TM, keep checking the App Store or Google Play for the update to go live (if you play via Steam, it's already out there via Early Access, which means it's not free). If you don't own TM, now might be a good time to give it a go and try our Fire & Ice at the same time.

- Terra Mystica for iOS Universal, $10
- Terra Mystica for Android, $10
- Terra Mystica for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam, $15



7 Wonders Heads to Android and Phones
When 7 Wonders finally made it to our iPads last month there were a few reactions. First of all was the checking of the calendar to ensure it wasn't April 1st and, secondly, when is it coming out for iPhone? To answer the first question, no, it wasn't a joke. The answer to the second question is today.

Today Repos Production updated the iOS version of 7 Wonders to make the app Universal, meaning you can now play it on both your iPad and iPhone. They also released the Android version, which should make everyone happy.

The update also included updates to the UI, so I'm curious to see what's changed. Then again, they might just mean changes so it would fit on a phone. If you get a chance to take a look, let us know if you notice any differences in the comments!

- 7 Wonders for iOS Universal, $5
- 7 Wonders for Android, $5
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Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:11 pm
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(Gift Guide) Top 10 Apps Every Board Gamer Should Own - Community Final Top 10 List

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Thanks to everyone for following our gift guide this year and thanks to all those who voted. It appears there was a bit of lobbying this year...which hopefully we can avoid next year (my mistake for not stating this when we posted the poll).

As a reminder, here are our lists for this year:

Mina (not ranked!):
10. Galaxy Trucker
9. Jaipur
8. Cottage Garden
7. Splendor
6. Potion Explosion
5. Ticket to Ride
4. Hanafunda
3. Le Havre: The Inland Port
2. San Juan
1. Small World 2

Matt:
10. Talisman
9. Race for the Galaxy
8. Ticket to Ride
7. Potion Explosion
6. Jaipur
5. Paperback
4. Hearthstone
3. Twilight Struggle
2. Through the Ages
1. Galaxy Trucker

Dave:
10. Xenoshyft
9. Sentinels of the Multiverse
8. Agricola
7. Dream Quest
6. Twilight Struggle
5. Race for the Galaxy
4. Galaxy Trucker
3. Elder Sign: Omens
2. Pathfinder Adventures
1. Through the Ages

Brad:
10. Age of Rivals
9. Tsuro
8. Onirim
7. Talisman
6. Warhammer Quest 2
5. Lords of Waterdeep
4. Race for the Galaxy
3. Hearthstone
2. Carcassonne
1. Galaxy Trucker

Here is the Community List:

Number 10




Devices: iOS
Purchase Links: App Store


Number 9




Devices: iOS, Android
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play


Number 8



Devices: iOS, Android,
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play


Number 7




Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam



Number 6




Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam


Number 5




Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam


Number 4




Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam



Number 3




Devices: iOS, Android
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play


Number 2




Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam


Number 1




Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam
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App News: The Harbinger Expansion Arrives for Talisman, Brink of War Comes to Race for the Galaxy and Legends of Andor Coming to Mobile (I think?)

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Talisman: Digital Edition Expands Again with The Harbinger
Nomad Games Ltd (II) has been rocking our iPads with Talisman: Digital Edition for over four years now and have provided so many different expansions and characters that I can't keep track of all of them. Yesterday they released another expansion, but not really. That is, their new publisher, Asmodee Digital, released a new expansion: Talisman (Revised 4th Edition): The Harbinger Expansion.

This expansion is a small-box expansion, so you know it's board-free, but contains enough cards to choke a unicorn. The theme revolves around the mysterious Harbinger, an NPC that wanders the board, who is a sign of the end of days. To ease the apocalypse there are four Omen decks, each with its own theme, and if seven Omens are played, that's all folks! Each of the Omen cards changes something in the game, and not for the better. Some of them even change the layout of the Talisman board, and there are Terrain cards to shake things up a bit.

There are also Harbinger cards which replace Event cards if you land on the space containing the Harbinger. These cards are much worse than the Event cards ever thought of being, so you probably don't want to do this too often.

Of course, there are also the obligatory new endings, new spells, and three new characters. The new characters are the Celestial (good), the Divine Ascendent (neutral), and the Possessed (super evil!).

The Harbinger is available via IAP on all platforms right now.

- Talisman: Digital Edition for iOS Universal, $4
- Talisman: Digital Edition for Android, $4.50
- Talisman: Digital Edition for Kindle, $3
- Talisman: Digital Edition for PC/Mac via Steam, $8





Brink of War Expansion Comes to Race for the Galaxy
One of 2017's best, Race for the Galaxy from Temple Gates Games LLC, was upgraded yesterday with more content, specifically Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War.

Brink of War adds four new start worlds and 36 new planets and developments. It also introduces two new mechanisms, Prestige and Search. The Search mechanism is easy. Once per game you can spend Prestige to search the deck for a card matching certain criteria. Prestige itself is a little more complicated.

Prestige is another resource you can spend or hoard, with the latter directly earning you VPs. If you're not a packrat, you can spend your Prestige to upgrade your actions, making them more powerful. For example, you can spend Prestige on the Settle action to make planets cheaper or to add some Military.

The Brink of War is available on all platforms via a $4 IAP.

- Race for the Galaxy for iOS Universal, $7
- Race for the Galaxy for Android, $7
- Race for the Galaxy for PC via Steam, $7



Legends of Andor Coming to Mobile (Maybe)
I awoke this morning to a press release in my inbox that was from the folks at United Soft Media (USM) and was written completely in German. Now, I took German back in high school, but that was many years and beers ago and the press release was a bit beyond my skill level. That's where the "Maybe" from the title comes in. I've passed the release through Google Translate, and it is definitely announcing a mobile version of Legends of Andor, but the details are a bit fuzzy. Let me quote Google Translate for you:

USM wrote:
The cooperative fantasy board game, which was published by KOSMOS Verlag and won the prestigious "Kennerspiel des Jahres" award in 2013, is already enthusing millions of fans around the world. The players take on the role of different heroes and together defend the land Andor from the attack of evil creatures. In addition to the five legends of Andor, which are included in the more than 300,000-selling base game, players expect numerous additions to brand new exciting and fantastic stories.

So also in the mobile version, because the game arranges itself into the history of the board game and tells a Nebenplot to the main action of the basis play. There is much to discover for Andor fans as well as for newcomers. Well-known characters are waiting for the players to face a new threat. The player controls a group of heroes and must use the different strengths and abilities of his character as well as his companions optimally to avert the terrible fate that threatens Andor.

With the version for smartphones and tablets, the favorite game is always and everywhere, even if no other players are present. The mobile game is strongly based on the board game and also uses the possibilities of the digital media to bring the world of Andor to life.


So, it's coming to smartphones and tablets, that much is clear. I will be pinging USM to see if I can get more information and, hopefully, can fill in some of the details.



We also know it's being developed by USM and Klonk with the guidance of designer, Michael Menzel. It's still in the prototyping phase, so we're a long, long way from seeing it live on our phones, giving us lots of time to figure this whole thing out!
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Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:09 pm
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