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.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Ryan Laukat is the Leonardo da Vinci of the board game world. Not only does he design interesting and much-loved games, but he also does all the artwork, graphic design, and publishing. He’s a true renaissance man, and it was only a matter of time before one of his designs made it to digital. Turns out the first digital title is also one of his first physical titles, Eight-Minute Empire, and it’s coming this summer.
iOS, Android • Handelabra Games is well known around Stately Play as the creators of the always entertaining (and growing) port of Sentinels of the Multiverse. For the last couple years, that’s all Handelabra has been known for, but that’s changing. Coming soon we’ll also have them to thank for a digital version of the baseball dice game, Bottom of the 9th.