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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

iPad Board Gaming, Late 2013 edition

by Ken Newquist / December 9, 2013
Cover art for Lords of Waterdeep. Credit: Wizards of Coast.

One of the things I love most about the iPad is how many board games have made it to the iOS platform. Classics like Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, and Settlers of Catan blazed the trail, but now we're seeing another wave of releases with games like Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy and Lords of Waterdeep. Here are some of the games I've come across recently, but I'm always looking for more. Add your own as a comment or email me at nuketown@gmail.com.

  • Pandemic: Awesome board game about working together to cure viral outbreaks. Unfortunately this version does not include asyrcronous play
  • Zombies!!! A cartoony take on the classic you-vs-the-zombie-world board. I dislike the plastic army man style movement of the characters, but it seems loyal to the original game.
  • Small World 2: An updated version the Days of Wonder board game. It now supports turn-based play online, though I don't know if it's async or not.
  • Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy A galactic exploration game that combines 4X-style play with board game mechanics. It has a clean, streamlined interface, but it's a hard game to master.
  • Forbidden Island: Work together to explore an island before it sinks beneath the waves. No async play, but my friends say the pass-and-play implementation is quite good.
  • Lords of Waterdeep: My new favorite iOS board game, from Playtek (Ascension, Agricola, Fluxx. It looks great, offers solid game play and does allow async game play.
  • Fluxx: My kids love regular Fluxx, which is a card game where the rules change from turn to turn. I can see them liking this one as well, and it could make those long road trips go by faster.
  • Space Hulk: Space Marines. Gene Stealers. Ancient hulks drifting through space. What's not to love? Well, since I asked ... the 1.9 GB size means I won't be downloading it, since I don't have enough room. It also appears to be very buggy, so at this point it's not worth clearing off enough space to install it. I'll be watching this one though.
  • Device 6: This isn't a board game. Instead it's an interactive book that's reminicent of the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" flipbooks and the strange, puzzle-filled environment of Myst.