Board Games on the iPad

BattleLoreI’ve been rewarding myself for finishing revision phases by getting some new board games for my iPad, and I just thought I’d take a minute to tell you all why you need to be doing this, too. (Other than so I can have more people to play against, of course.)

I love board games, but I don’t get to play them as often as I’d like. When I lived in Utah, I had a fellow board game junkie who lived just a few minutes away. Better yet, he had time when I had time–a key ingredient to successful gaming. (You sure you don’t want to move out to Maine, Dan? What if I try and get a guarantee that you get a fluff calling for the first year? Hymnal Coordinator? And don’t feed me any garbage about Brandon and your writing group all being there in Utah still. Have them move, too.)

Anyway. Now that I’m in Maine, there are still some gamers around, but my time is significantly diminished. House projects, full time jobs, revisions–all of that gets in the way of what’s really important: proving strategic superiority in life via a succession of games that involve far too many small plastic pieces and dice rolling.

Enter my iPad.

I can play asynchronously against people across the country. I can play against the computer. I can play against myself. When I want, how often I want–you name it. Better yet, the games I like are usually expensive. $50+ per game, easy. On the iPad? Less than $5. Oh yeah. So what do I have? (Warning: I’m going to get quite geeky here for a second, name dropping board games I don’t expect you’ll have heard of. I’d take a minute to explain them . . . but I don’t have time. If you’re a fellow afficianado, you should recognize all of these. If not, then go to boardgamegeek and start checking them out. Then come play against me.)

  • Viking Lords–A clone of BattleLore. I’ve just started it, but so far I’m really liking it.
  • CatanHD–Settlers of Catan on the iPad. I’ve got Seafarers, too.
  • Blokus
  • Neuroshima Hex–really good version of it
  • Ingenious–I haven’t sprung for the HD version yet. Just have the iPhone one.
  • Carcassonne–Great version
  • Small World–Fantastic. Just wish you could play with more than 2 players.
  • Samurai–Good from what I’ve tried. I need to get into this one some more
  • Scrabble–For playing against the computer
  • Words with Friends–For playing against friends
  • Boggle–For playing solo and unsuccessfully trying to play against friends
  • Yahtzee
  • Conquist (Risk clone)
  • Life (for the kids)
  • Parcours.robo (RoboRally clone–the first bit’s free. I haven’t paid for the upgrade just yet)
Look at all that. Clearly I like this stuff more than is healthy, but if you can get beyond that, it’s remarkable that there’s that much great board gaming on the iPad. Add to that the fact that I can do my crosswords, reading, movie watching, music listening, internet surfing, check sports and weather, and more, all from one device? WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE IN THE WORLD HAVE ONE?
Oh yeah. They’re expensive. Then again, for the price of one refurbished iPad right now ($350), I could only buy seven or less board games. If you’ve seen my game closet, you know I have more than seven games. Yes, most were gifts over time, but now I can try out a game ahead of time–have its tutorial teach me the rules, so I can decide if I like it or not. Then, once I’m well-versed, I can buy a physical copy and teach it to other people without having to do a bunch of page flipping and rule checking. Nice.
Oh yeah–and more games are coming all the time. Ra, Tichu, Dominion, Race for the Galaxy, Tikal–all here or on their way, and all less than $5. BGG has a good page describing what’s out there now ( and here’s a page of what’s coming:
Anyway. Time’s up. Why don’t you go out and get an iPad, download some of the games, and challenge me? Email me when you’re ready. Already got one and want to play? Drop me a line. Between this and March Madness, it’s amazing I have any life at all. (Don’t comment on that, please.) 🙂

2 thoughts on “Board Games on the iPad”

  1. Very true. Honestly, I think I might have still considered selling my original iPad to upgrade, but my wife really wants my old one, and so I couldn’t exactly sell it to recoup the cost. Besides, iPad 3 will be here sooner or later, most likely with a better screen resolution, better cameras, and the ability to make donuts and clean the dishes. If I upgraded now, I’d just want to upgrade then, too.

Leave a comment