iOS Board Games

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iOS Board Games Gift Guide 2012

Brad Cummings
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Welcome to the second annual iOS Board Games Gift Guide. Here you will find a collection of great board game apps that you can give as gifts to friends and family this Holiday Season. This is also a great place to start if you are looking for strategy game purchases for your new iPad or iPhone. We hope it is of interest and helps you get in to the gift giving spirit.

We have done our best to include great examples (not include every app), but we are bound to have missed something. If you want to mention something we missed, please add it to the comments below.

Happy Holidays from Brad, Dave, Gabe, and Mark.

What's In This Guide
• Family
• Children
• For Gamers: Hot Titles from 2012
• For Gamers: All Time Favorites
• Party/Dexterity Games
• War Games
• Board Game Tools
• Add-On Devices



Family


Family games can be enjoyed by young, old and everyone in between. All of these games are highly accessible, very well implemented, and great for the whole family to play tablet-style.


Army of Frogs is a simple and enjoyable abstract game that can be played by both children and adults. The iOS adaptation features cute design and is fun to use.

Device: iPad, iPhone Universal
Price: $2.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Army of Frogs
Based on BGG Entry: Army of Frogs
Review by iOS Board Games




One of the rare examples of an app that actually manages to match its physical game, Hey That’s My Fish is fun family game that feel right at home on a tablet device. It is quick and easy to introduce to children of all ages.

Device: iPad, iPhone Universal, Android
Price: $4.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Hey That’s My Fish
Android Market: Hey That’s My Fish
Based on BGG Entry: Hey, That's My Fish!
Review by iOS Board Games




Co-op games are fairly new development that work great in a family setting as they encourage cooperation rather than competition. Forbidden Island is the best example of a co-op game for families available now on iPad.

Device: iPad.
Price: $4.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Forbidden Island
Based on BGG Entry: Forbidden Island
Review by iOS Board Games




Take It Easy is a fun puzzle game that is all about placing your tiles in the best locations. The game can be enjoyed on many levels from adults to children. It is a great family game.

Device: Universal
Price: $0.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Take It Easy
Based on BGG Entry: Take it Easy!
Review by iOS Board Games




Children


These apps are accessible to the youngsters, but still provide challenge enough to keep the parents interested too!


Can’t Stop is a fun push your luck game that can be enjoyed by all ages. It is a great way to teach basic probability. This is a great game for all ages but really seems to appeal to children.

Device: Universal
Price: $0.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Can’t Stop
Based on BGG Entry: Can't Stop
Review by iOS Board Games




Monster Chase is a memory game with the goal of stopping monsters by finding the toy that they do not like. The app does a great job of creating a thematic setting for the game mechanics. It is for younger children and a great fit.

Device: Universal
Price: $0.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Monster Chase
Based on BGG Entry: Monster Chase
Review by iOS Board Games




The Look and Find book series is beautiful on iPad. They do not have the gamification of say Where’s Waldo on the system, but they feature intricate and quality drawings

Device: iPad
Price: $2.99
Players: 1 or shared.
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Look and Find “Our Big City




For Gamers: Hot Titles from 2012


2012 was a banner year for iOS board games. These are some of the hottest and most anticipated titles of the past year.


Le Havre is a deep and complex strategy game. There is a lot to learn and master, but the process is rewarding. Codito has managed to make this deep game accessible on iOS.

Device: Universal
Price: $4.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online play
iTunes: Le Havre
Based on BGG Entry: Le Havre
Review by iOS Board Games




Alien Frontiers was the breakout Kickstarter success and now it is available on iOS. This version may not have every bell and whistle but it is a great way to enjoy the game.

Device: iPad
Price: $4.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Alien Frontiers
Based on BGG Entry: Alien Frontiers
Review by iOS Board Games




Summoner Wars was long awaited and finally arrived this year. It is an excellent online multiplayer experience and a must have for any strategy gamer.

Device: Universal
Price: Free (with IAP)
Players: 1-2
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online play.
iTunes: Summoner Wars
Based on BGG Entry: Summoner Wars
Review by iOS Board Games




Stone Age is a very recent release but will soon become an essential for every iOS board gamer. It features complex gameplay with excellent UI design.

Device: iPhone, iPad at 2x
Price: $4.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online multiplayer.
iTunes: Stone Age
Based on BGG Entry: Stone Age
Review by iOS Board Games




Lost Cities is an excellent two player game and a perfect fit on iOS. The tight multiplayer gameplay fits great on the portable iPhone. This is highly recommended if you enjoy online competition.

Device: iPhone, iPad at 2x
Price: $3.99
Players: 1-2
Multiplayer modes: Online Multiplayer
iTunes: Lost Cities
Based on BGG Entry: Lost Cities
Review by iOS Board Games




San Juan is an excellent card game and its quick gameplay fits on iOS. The ability to play this against challenging AI or online with others will provide hours of fun for old and new fans alike.

Device: Universal
Price: $7.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online multiplayer.
iTunes: San Juan
Based on BGG Entry: San Juan
Review by iOS Board Games




For Gamers: All Time Favorites


Of course, there are modern classics of the iOS board game genre. Some are just classics of the Euro-era in board games, while others are now classics of the iOS board game era, setting the bar for great experiences of board games on iOS.


This game is one of the most popular family games of the last decade and the app adaptation of it provides the same great experience in a portable and online package. Ticket to Ride is a great choice for families of all ages.

Device: iPad and iPhone as separate versions.
Price: $6.99 (iPad), $1.99 (iPhone)
Players: 1-5
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride Pocket
Based on BGG Entry: Ticket to Ride
Review by iOS Board Games




This is the classic of iOS board gaming that all others are compared to. It presents this classic tile laying game in a near perfect design package and with online multiplayer that has yet to be beaten.

Device: iPad, iPhone Universal
Price: $9.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Carcassonne
Based on BGG Entry: Carcassonne
Review by iOS Board Games

Note: There is an Android version of Carcassonne that is a completely different implementation. Still, we think it merits a Gift List mention for Android Apps.
Price: $4.99
Android Market: Carcassonne





Elder Sign Omens is a rare example of a board game port that becomes much more than that. The development team was not afraid to stray for the direct rules of the board game and rather created a unique iOS experience.

Device: iPad and iPhone as separate versions.
Price: $6.99 (iPad), $3.99 (iPhone), $3.99 (Android)
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: For iPad and For iPhone
Android Market: Elder Sign Omens
Based on BGG Entry: Elder Sign
Review by iOS Board Games




Neuroshima Hex is an excellent tactical battle game. The app is very well designed and has a lot of replay value.

Device: iPad, iPhone Universal.
Price: $4.99
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Neuroshima Hex
Android Market: Neuroshima Hex
Based on BGG Entry: Neuroshima Hex! 3.0
Review by iOS Board Games




This app has transcended and expanded the popularity of the game it is based on. Ascension provides one of the best experiences in both interface and online multiplayer on the platform. It is a must have for any iOS board gaming library.

Device: iPad, iPhone Universal
Price: Free (usually $4.99)
Players: 1-4
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Ascension: Chronicle of the God Slayer
Based on BGG Entry: Ascension: Deckbuilding Game
Review by iOS Board Games




This game is one of the most respected strategy board games of all time. Puerto Rico HD is a great example of the “Euro-game” genre on iOS and will be a must have for any strategy gamer receiving an iPad this holiday season.

Device: iPad.
Price: $7.99
Players: 1-5
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Puerto Rico
Based on BGG Entry: Puerto Rico
Review by iOS Board Games




Party and Dexterity Games


Loosen up. Laugh a little. Act a little silly and enjoy the company and personalities of your fellow human beings with party game apps! Great for a festive holiday crowd!


This unique and hit party game fits very well on iOS making it a portable experience that can be passed around a group.

Device: iPhone and iPad (at 2x size)
Price: $4.99
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Time’s Up
Based on BGG Entry: Time's Up!




Lauded as one of the most interesting party games from last year, Reverse Charades fits perfectly in your pocket with this convenient app.

Device: iPad, iPhone Universal.
Price: Free (with IAP)
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Reverse Charades
Based on BGG Entry: Reverse Charades




Disc Drivin' has been around for a while now and is one of the easiest board game apps to learn and play. Similar in game play to PitchCar, you simply flick your disc on your turn. First to finish three laps is the winner. Of course, the guys at Pixelocity Software LLC bring the video game flair with power ups like turbo, jumps, bombs and more.

Device: iPad, iPhone.
Price: $1.99, $2.99
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Disc Drivin' HD and for iPhone
Unofficially Based on BGG Entry: PitchCar




Jenga is a nice light dexterity game for when you have a few minutes to kill, or to play with friends pass and play. Good graphics makes it look like you have a tower of blocks right in your living room. Don't knock it over.

Device: iPad, iPhone, Android Phone
Price: $0.99
Multiplayer modes: Pass and Play, online
iTunes: Jenga and Jenga HD
Android Market: Jenga
Based on BGG Entry: Jenga
Review by iOS Board Games




Spaceteam is a quirky look at the spaceship simulator. Unlike something more serious (Artemis), this game is about silly fun and will get the players up and moving. You need several iOS devices to play, but if you have them it is great fun.

Device: Universal
Price: Free
Players: 2-4
iTunest: Spaceteam




War Games


While this genre took a while to find a place on iOS, 2012 is the year when it really arrived. There are now several great titles to scratch that desire for large scale war simulation.



Battle of the Bulge is what chit based wargaming should be on iPad. It matches the visual style that you love but embellishes it with the amount of quick hit information you expect from a video game.

Device: iPad.
Price: $9.99
Players: 1-2
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Battle of the Bulge
Review by iOS Board Games Coming Soon[/url]




Autumn Dynasty is an RTS game but features the ability to pause and plan out your moves. This is a great example of the genre on iOS and features amazing controls.

Device: Universal.
Price: $4.99
Players: 1-2
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play and online
iTunes: Autumn Dynasty
Review by iOS Board Games




This famous solitaire war game is now available on iOS. The implementation is very literal but it may be the best way to play this game as it tracks everything for you and is very portable.

Device: iPad.
Price: $14.99
Players: 1
Multiplayer modes: None.
iTunes: Phantom Leader
Based on BGG Entry: Phantom Leader
Review by iOS Board Games




Board game tools


iOS devices are great companions to board game night, whether it's for looking up rules, viewing player aids, or even determining a start player.


Start player is a simple randomizer that can help you determine the player to start any game. It is big help with game that do not give a rule to determine this.

Device: iPad, iPhone Universal.
Price: $0.99
Multiplayer modes: Tablet play
iTunes: Start Player
Based on BGG Entry: Start Player
Review by iOS Board Games




This app is essential for those interested in the new Star Wars games coming from Fantasy Flight games. It is hard to replace dice, but this is useful in a pinch when dice are not handy.

Device: Universal.
Price: $4.99
Multiplayer modes: None
iTunes: Start Player
Based on BGG Entry: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
Review by iOS Board Games




This companion for 7 Wonders can serve many purposes. It can keep score, act as a player board, and even features a unique wonder. It is wonder-ful.

Device: Universal.
Price: $1.99
Multiplayer modes: None
iTunes: 7 Wonders Companion
Based on BGG Entry: 7 Wonders




Add-On Devices


Who says you can't have an iOS device in a classic tabletop gaming experience? These game use your device as just part of the print board game.



Monsterology uses a cool piece of tech to allow you to tap cards on your iPad screen and have the characters on the cards appear in game. The game is great for kids and the tech is fun to check out.

Device: Universal
Price: $19.95 (packs of fewer cards are also available)
Apple Store link: Monsterology




The Heroclix TabApp is not Heroclix on our iPads in full glory, however, it is a fun toy for kids and can get them interested in Heroclix.

Device: iPad.
Price: $14.99
Amazon Store link: Heroclix Tabapp
Based on BGG Entry: HeroClix
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