iOS, Android, Windows Phone • If someone pinned me down, held a gun to my head and asked me to name the best mobile board game port ever created, I would have to say Galaxy Trucker (unless the person holding the gun to my head was Strangiato, in which case the answer is definitely Twilight Struggle). It manages to bring the feel of the tabletop version to the touchscreen while adding great single player and multiplayer extras that you just couldn’t do with a cardboard version. One of those tweaks is happening this weekend in celebration of International Tabletop Day. Czech Games Edition has added a new mission in which you can win real, cardboard copies of their games as well as putting the app on sale through Monday.
iOS, Android • If you’ve been wondering where we’ve been the last few days, you’re not alone. I’ve been trapped with my family in a minivan for the past 24 hours and I’m not sure where I am, either. I think we ended up in Florida, but I feel like I asked to see Saw Garrera and have been transported across the country with a bag over my head. I could be anywhere, but considering that I’m looking at palm trees and the Indian River, Florida is a good bet. Spending this much time with my kids in a vehicle would drive most adults insane, but I had a secret weapon to help through the rough times. Czech Games Edition has started the online beta for Through the Ages and it’s so good, it almost prevented me from going completely bonkers.
iOS, Android • Terra Mystica is a tabletop behemoth and, even though it sits at #4 on BGG’s list of the best board games ever made, my group likes it about as much as a fart in an elevator. As such, my pimped out copy with acrylic everything lies dormant in my basement, silently waiting for me to man up and get a new game group. Sorry, cardboard monstrosity, but you’re going to be waiting a long time. First of all, I kind of like my game group and, secondly, in a week I’ll be able to play as much Terra Mystica as I want without any eyes rolling or noses turned up in disgust. Actually, I’ve received a pre-release copy, so I’m playing TM right now, you damned old box filled with wood and plastic. Take that! Don’t worry, I talk to my games quite a bit. It’s a combination of being alone all day and staggering levels of mental illness. I’ve taken my pills, and I think it’s time to share a bit of how the digital version of Terra Mystica is shaping up. That, and we have the trailer just on the other side of the jump.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • As a huge fan of the tabletop version, 1775: Rebellion was one of my most anticipated board game ports in 2016. When it launched in November, it managed to capture the light brilliance of its forebear, but as Matt mentioned in his review, was a bit subpar in terms of AI and other glitches here and there. Fear not, fellow gamers, for HexWar has been on the case and has just released a massive update to the PC/Mac version that will soon also be coming to the App Store.
iOS Universal, Android • Shortly after this review was published, Funforge updated Tokaido, notably adding the previously missing two-player option. Because two-player local play was my ideal use case for the game, this pleased me greatly, and it deserved special mention. My thanks to forum-goer “Misguided” for directing my attention to the improvement. Tokaido crystallizes thinking about the merits and challenges of digital translations of tabletop games. The cardboard version features lovely art, evocative of stylized watercolors, which sets the mood for a pleasant walk along a scenic road in ancient Japan. Not content to simply replicate these static images, developers Funforge created a 3-D, animated version which captures the artistic impact of the original–given the extent to which this is the game’s greatest asset, that’s genuinely impressive. Unfortunately, the very quality of the presentation highlights limitations of both the app and the underlying game.
iPad, PC/Mac • When Commands & Colors: The Great War was released earlier this year for PC/Mac, HexWar assured us that it would only be a matter of time before we could play the Commands & Colors title on our tablets. True to their word, yesterday The Great War was unleashed on the App Store.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Although there are many 4X games with a sci-fi bent in the tabletop world, only one has made a big splash on mobile, Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy, and that was released way back in 2013. We’ve been told by GMT that Space Empires 4X is in the works and have secretly been hoping that Fantasy Flight would, someday, grace us with a digital version of Twilight Imperium. As of now, though, it’s Eclipse or nothing. That’s set to change this summer when Offworld Games launches Exodus: Proxima Centauri for iOS, Android, and PC/Mac.
iOS, Android • Last year we learned that several members of the Rodeo Games crew had gone and started another game company, Perchang. Their first, eponymous title was a fairly light twitch/puzzle game that was incredibly successful and seemed to close the door on any chance Rodeo might get the band back together and give us more classic mobile fare like Warhammer Quest or Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion. Turns out a Rodeo reunion wasn’t necessary, as Perchang has announced a sequel to Rodeo’s Warhammer Quest, Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times.
iOS Universal, Android • One of the more prolific board game designers out there is Antoine Bauza. He’s won the SdJ twice (the Kennerspiel des Jahres in 2011 for 7 Wonders and Spiel des Jahres in 2013 for Hanabi), and can always be counted on to craft solid titles with unusual themes. He’s made it to the App Store already with his often overlooked Ghost Stories, a cooperative romp in which Taoist monks protect a village from some of the best boardgame artwork ever created. Today another game of his has launched for iOS and Android, Tokaido.
iOS Universal, Android • Boardnaut Studios has quietly been translating quality print-and-play and small box tabletop games to digital for a bit now, titles like Maquis and Land 6. Their latest has just landed on the App Store, and it’s a port of another print-and-play game, Constantinople.