My Top 20 iOS Board Game Conversions
Mike DiLisio
United States
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So, I've been meaning to start this thread for a while, but it's been a bit agonizing. I feel extremely lucky that two of my passions (board gaming and iOS gaming) have built such a symbiotic relationship over the years. Indeed, it's iOS conversions of board games that have re-awakened my love for board gaming which had gone dormant for a while. Some of these iOS games have compelled me to go out and get the physical versions which is how I prefer to play with other people. I suppose I should get that out of the way right now...I only play these iOS games solo. I'm not a big async lover, so that will certainly explain why I have some of these games higher/lower than people who feel like async play is a must for these conversions. Another brief note, I limited myself to board games. If I had to throw card games into the mix (Lost Cities, Ascension, etc.) the list would have been impossible to keep to 20. So without any further ado, here's my list, and here's hoping this will spark other lists to follow:

1) Elder Sign: Omens - The pinnacle for me. I LOVE this game. I bought the physical version, which is certainly great, but this is one example where with all of the digital expansions, it may actually be better than the physical version.
2) Kingsburg: Serving the Crown - I've played the heck out of this. Love it, but would love it even more if they would make it a universal build.
3) Dominant Species - It took me a while to understand everything that's going on, but once it clicked, I was hooked. I LOVE the theme on this one.
4) Ticket to Ride - Maybe not my favorite game, but the implementation of this game is unimpeachable. With the expansions, it's almost perfect.
5) Kingdom Builder - This one has become a fast favorite. It plays fast, and I just seem to keep coming back to it.
6) Alien Frontiers - This is another one that I thought was a lot more complicated that it really is. The tutorial isn't the best, so I watched a video of the physical version being played, and then it all came together. LOTS of fun.
7) Pandemic: The Fourth Seal - Not an official version (since none exist), but seems to have the blessing of the developer as long as it's free. Not the best conversion, and some small bugs, but the game is such a blast that it rates this highly.
8) Forbidden Island - Actually very similar to Pandemic, but a bit easier. This conversion is stellar. Artwork, graphics, everything almost exact to the physical version.
9) Carcassonne (2010 / Mobile) - I'm actually not a huge fan of the core game play itself, but the conversion is so great, that I bought all of the expansions, and have found a new appreciation of it based upon those. Probably the best tutorial of all of them.
10) Yggdrasil for iPad - At this point, you may have noticed that I like cooperative games. This is another of those, and it's also really well done. I really like the theme on this one.
11) Puerto Rico HD - This is a game that has been a slow-burner for me. I didn't play much when I first got it, but I'm starting to log more plays, and the more I play it the more I like it.
12) The Jam - Obscure Russian board game. It's awesome! You're making jams and pies. I know, right? But trust me, it's fun.
13) Reiner Knizia's Qin - Knizia's latest, and quickly becoming my favorite of his.
14) Ghost Stories - This game is a lot of fun, but I have LITERALLY never won. I've actually only gotten to the final ghost once! This game is brutal, but fun.
15) Collapsible D: The Final Minutes of the Titanic - A game that I would actually rate higher if it was in English! The production values were so good that I went to the web site for the physical game and printed out the rule book. With that I was able to play the game in Italian, but I'm still waiting for the promised translation. If you're willing to go through the trouble I did, you may find it worth your while.
16) Tikal - This game was plagued with bugs upon release, but they've ironed those out. I really like it now.
17) Medici - More Knizia goodness with nice bidding mechanic.
18) Reiner Knizia's Ra - You could actually use the description for #17 here too. Why is Medici ranked one higher? I don't know really, it's kind of a toss up.
19) Small World 2 - Great production, but here's another game I can't seem to win. I've won maybe twice, and the problem is that I don't really know what's wrong with my strategy. That being said, it's still a lot of don't always have to win!
20) Stone Age: The Board Game - A fun worker placement game that also is screaming out for its promised universal build.
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