Computer Versions of Board Games
Shannon Appelcline
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There are a number of other lists of computer/board games, but in this one I've tried to do two things: be more complete (e.g., not just limit to high-quality games, human v. human games, etc); and give lots of info about each game *and* ratings.

Here's the descriptors I've used for each game:

--
GAMEPLAY. Some general facts about the game, including where do you play it (online or downloadable) and who do you play it versus (multiplayer, AI, solitaire).

Requirements. What you need to play the game. Usually a browser requirement (Java, Flash, etc.) or a specific OS (usually Windows). Also includes costs:

$ - Some limited version is available for free, and a full version for money.
$$- Can't play, or can only play for a trial period, without cost.

--
ONLINE CONNECTIONS. For games with an online multiplayer component, how do you connect to other players (central site means you connect up to somewhere; hosting means you run an instance of the game; hotseat means you can only play with other people at your own computer).

Critical Mass. How big is the player community for online games:

1- Almost impossible to get a game.
2- Games only possible once in a while.
3- Games sometimes possible.
4- Games possible except in middle of night, etc.
5- Always easy to get a game.

--
GAME RATING. How well is the game done (subjectively, 1-5). Includes the following sub categories, though it's also an overall measure of how enjoyable the computer game is to play. My general scale is:

1- Terrible, not worth playing.
2- So-so, occasionally fun.
3- Average, worth playing.
4- Above Average, well-worth playing.
5- As good as computer adaptations get.

Ai. How well does the AI work (if there is one). Note I give this more importance in the overall rating for games where there's no multiplayer option or no critical mass.

1- Plays terribly, making horrid moves.
2- Plays badly, wins once in a while if it gets really lucky.
3- Plays like a bad player, wins once in a while.
4- Plays like an average player, wins sometimes.
5- Plays better than most players, wins frequently.

Interface. How nice does the interface work and how good does it look.

1- Horrid interface.
2- Interface detracts from gameplay.
3- Not that great, but interface doesn't hamper play.
4- Looks & works very good.
5- Look great & having generally improves play of game.

--
COMMENTS. General comments on the game.

--
I'm very happy to have additions to this list, but please follow the format I've set out and only add an item if you've actually played it, and thus can rate it accurately.

Please also feel free to list alternative game versions in the comments, or give your own ratings, again using my standard format.

BSW is purposefully not included in this list, because that's a whole other ball of wax.
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1. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:5]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.phial.com/puerto-rico/

GAMEPLAY: Online, Multiplayer, AI
Requires: Curl

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site
Critical Mass: 3

GAME RATING: 3
Ai: 4
Interface: 2

COMMENTS: A worthy implementation of a good game. The Ais seem to play well. The problem with this implementation is the interface. It's pretty plain, but more importantly it's really hard to follow everyone's actions, because they're quick and subtle.
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2. Board Game: Le Havre [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:15]
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
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http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/42763

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, Multiplayer, Solitaire
Requires: Java 1.6

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Via Hamachi
Critical Mass: 5 (if you arrange to meet friends)

GAME RATING: 4
AI: 0 (none available)
Interface: 3

COMMENTS: Uses original graphics and has all rules implemented, even the special Essen bonus buildings. Might, from time to time, enormously slow down for an unknown reason (memory leak?). Should run smoothly on any system (if Java 1.6 is installed). Creates a legible log file of each game.
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3. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:125]
Jorgen
United States
Ferndale
California
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STEEL PANTHERS WORLD AT WAR
http://www.steelpanthersworldatwar.com/main.asp

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable (500Mb), AI, Online, PBM
Requirements: Windows, ~$

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Web, PBM

GAME RATING: 5
Ai: 4
Interface: 5

COMMENTS: Free game, about a 500mb download. If you don't want to download the game you can buy it on CD for about $60 USD, Windows 95/98/XP. It's a lot like ASL but without all the down time

It has Online play and Play By E-Mail, Online is not that popular but PBEM is

The AI kicks my ass every now and then. Interface is not one of the bests but it's damn good.

Replayability is through the roof: you can make your own maps and campaigns, there are mods to make it look beter, some people have even set up man-to-man combat instead of squads!

There is a killer comunity at www.spwaw.com and http://www.warfarehq.com/

Also IIRC the game is easy to run on Virtual PC so you people with Macs can play too .

There are/is also the SPCAMO games which are two of the older games but are not as good and are not going to be released for windows till spring
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4. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:26]
Shannon Appelcline
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Berkeley
California
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http://www.carcassonne-online.com/elgrande/

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, Multiplayer, AI
Requirements: Windows, $$

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site, Hotseat
Critical Mass: 2

GAME RATING: 4
Ai: 3
Interface: 4

COMMENTS: A professional version of El Grande by the same company that did the Carcassonnes. The feature sets are very similar, but El Grande isn't nearly as polished of a game.

The interface is fairly cleverly done, with lots of text and graphics showing you what's going on, but it goes by really fast, and so often I end up with only a partial view of what happened (though I could go back through a player's turn step by step if I wanted).

The AIs are the only serious problem in the package: they're either bad or slow. The bad ones can win, particularly in a 5-player game, but you grit your teeth at some of their actions, such as choosing Galacia for no good reason whenever that secretly-choose-a-region-and-score-it card comes up, and even worse always sending their cubes from the Castillo back to their courts. They also always seem to think the king is the best card to take, period. The slow ones do a depth search and can really get tied up if they decide to do an intrigue. The delay can be 1-3 minutes, which can be an eternity in a computer game. Nonetheless the bad AIs can, as I said, win despite their (occasional) stupid moves and the slow ones are pretty good.

Mildly recommended, I supporse, especially for the 10 euro current cost.
 
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5. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:104]
btrhoads
United States
Pennsylvania
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Game File: http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/comp_list.php?showID=1028&lett...
DOSBox: http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/download.php?main=1

GAMEPLAY: Multiplayer(hotseat), AI
REQUIREMENTS: DosBox, PC, Mac

GAME RATING: 4
AI: 4
INTERFACE: 3

COMMENTS: The game plays fine and is good for scratching that 18XX itch when there is no one to play with. The game is an emulation of the 1995(?) version, so the graphics are of that vintage. I played a lot in the mid 90's and I still like to play it now.
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6. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:33]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.tigrisgame.com/#play

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, Multiplayer, AI
Requirements: Java w/Swing

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Hotseat

GAME RATING: 3
Ai: 2
Interface: 2

COMMENTS: Not a very good implementation, but playable. The Ai rating drops to 1 if you try and play with more than 2 players.
 
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7. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:50]
Kai
Germany
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You can play it on http://www.yucata.de

GAMEPLAY: online, human vs human (turnbased)
ONLINE CONNECTIONS: central site
Critical Mass: 4/5
REQUIREMENTS: Browser with activated JavaScript. Java not needed!

Language: german, english
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8. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:63]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.ticket2ridegame.com/
http://www.skotos.net/games/wonder/TTE/

GAMEPLAY: Online, Multiplayer, AI
Requirements: Java, $

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site
Critical Mass: 5

GAME RATING: 5
Ai: 3
Interface: 5

COMMENTS: This is the official game offered by Days of Wonder. It's playable from the same interface as Ticket to Ride: you just choose the USA or Europe map. AIs are slowly getting better for both games, though they're still not good.
 
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9. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:84]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.ticket2ridegame.com/
http://www.skotos.net/games/wonder/TT/

GAMEPLAY: Online, Multiplayer, AI
Requirements: Java, $

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site
Critical Mass: 5

GAME RATING: 5
Ai: 1
Interface: 5

COMMENTS: This is the official game offered by Days of Wonder. Like all of their games, it's very professional and plays quickly. Does not include the Mystery Train Expansion, nor any extra maps.
 
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10. Board Game: Space Hulk [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:269]
Andy
United Kingdom
Stockport
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http://home.swiftdsl.com.au/~dtaylor/spacehulksp.html

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, AI
Requirements: Windows, Visual Basic runtime 6.0 SP-5

GAME RATING: 4
Ai: 4
Interface: 3

COMMENTS. Clean and simple windows implementation of the boardgame, based on second edition Space Hulk rules. Game view is non-scalable, which is a pain if your running at very low or very high res. Player can ONLY play as the marines.
 
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11. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Andy
United Kingdom
Stockport
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http://www.carcassonne-online.com/

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, Ai, Multiplayer (LAN or online)
Requirements: Windows, $$

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: 4

GAME RATING: 5
Ai: 5
Interface: 5

COMMENTS: limited demo version available to download for free. Full version can be downloaded for not_much_$. Default language is German, but editing a config file can set it to English (hint for this on the website). There are several different AI's of varying difficulties, allowing solo play with multiple opponents and at varying skill levels.

This is a high quality offical retail PC version. You can also buy the 'add-on', which is a seperate program, allowing play using any combination of the first 2 main expansions (+ "king" for a further small fee).
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12. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:129]
 
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.klear.com/samurai/index.php

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, Multiplayer, AI
Requirements: Windows, $$

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site, Hosting, Hotseat
Critical Mass: 1

GAME RATING: 5
Ai: 3
Interface: 4

COMMENTS: An entirely professional production. Multiplayer play is pretty much a bust, but fortunately the Ai are good enough to keep you interested, particularly if you play a 3 or 4 player game, which increases the chaos level enough to give them a chance.
 
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13. Board Game: Samurai [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:129]
ts ts
Poland
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https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.hexmind.sho...

GAMEPLAY. You can play with AI or play multiplayer on one device.

Requirements. Free game for Android devices.

GAME RATING. 4

Ai. 4

Interface. 3

Shogun Hex is a fast game inspired by board games: Reiner Knizia's Samurai and Dirk Henn's Shogun.
The aim of the game is to dominate the economy, military and religion in a feudal Japan. You gain points by influencing cities by placing strategical establishments. You can also use special elements that raise a cities value (nō theatre) or make it worthless (geisha) or even forbid other players to influense a city (peasants revolt).

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14. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:148]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.tabberer.com/sandyknoll/more/venture/

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, Multiplayer, AI, $
Requirements: Windows or OsX or Os9

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Hosted

GAME RATING: 3
Ai: 4
Interface: 3

COMMENTS: freeware version is a little bit crippled. Has a few play variants.
 
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15. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:189]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://hilinski.net/games/online/tajmahal/

GAMEPLAY: Online, Multiplayer, AI
Requirements: Java

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site
Critical Mass: 2

GAME RATING: 3
Ai: 4
Interface: 2

COMMENTS: Interface is unfortunately a bit clunky, hiding info across three screens, and graphics are also low-res in places. However, the game plays quite well if you're familiar enough with it to overcome these issues.
 
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16. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:146]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.hivemania.com/vgame/

GAMEPLAY: Online, AI
Requirements: Java

GAME RATING: 4
Ai: 4
Interface: 4

COMMENT: A simple game, but a nice implementation of it, with well done Java and closely integrated help files on what everything does.
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17. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:165]
Mr. D
United States
Oneonta
New York
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www.s3dconnector.net

GAMEPLAY: Online, Multiplayer

Critical Mass: 5

GAME RATING: 5
Ai: --
Interface: 5

Comments: A wonderful online version of Settlers. Includes all Seafarer maps and some Das Buch variants.
 
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18. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:157]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.westpark-gamers.de/index.html?/download/sp_pc_e.p...

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, AI
Requirements: Windows

GAME RATING: 4
Ai: 4
Interface: 2

COMMENTS: A nice implementation, though the fact that you can't see everyone's cards at once detracts from play.

 
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19. Board Game: Web of Power [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:315]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.onlinebrettspiele.de/old/kuk/Default.asp?en

GAMEPLAY: Online, AI
Requirements: HTML

GAME RATING: 3
Ai: 2
Interface: 3

COMMENTS: On the one hand, you have to admit this is very clever because it's written entirely in simple HTML. On the other hand it's horrendous watching the board get rendered via a gazillion tiny images, and the AIs aren't terribly smart. Worth playing mainly because it's a 5-minute diversion.
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20. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:212]
Kai
Germany
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You can play it on http://www.yucata.de

GAMEPLAY: online, human vs human (turnbased)
ONLINE CONNECTIONS: central site
Critical Mass: 4/5
REQUIREMENTS: Browser with activated JavaScript. Java not needed!

Language: german, english
 
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21. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:184]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://snapper.rooms.cwal.net/modart.zip

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, AI
Requirements: Windows

GAME RATING: 4
Ai: 5
Interface: 3

COMMENTS: A clever little download. The interface makes good use of abstraction, but also manages to hide some useful info (like how much you overbid everyone in a closed-fist auction, how much people earned in each round). The AI appears to be quite good, as tends to be the case in this sort of logistical game.
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22. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:162]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/8217 -> Files/San Juan.zip
http://www.bggfiles.com/viewfile.php3?fileid=5873

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, AI
Requirements: Windows

GAME RATING: 3
Ai: 4
Interface: 2

COMMENTS: Solely lacking in interface design; very utilitarian and also hard to follow what everyone's doing. Still, the Ais are half-decent players, which is really the point of this particular implementation.
 
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23. Board Game: Schotten-Totten [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:389]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.flexgames.com

GAMEPLAY: Online, Multiplayer
Requirements: Java

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site
Critical Mass: 2

GAME RATING: 4
Interface: 4

COMMENTS: Pretty nicely done, though not spectacular. Main problem is lack of players.
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24. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:283]
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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http://www.carcassonne-online.de/jus.shtml?C2C

GAMEPLAY: Downloadable, AI, Multiplayer
Requirements: Windows, $$

ONLINE CONNECTIONS: Central Site, Hotseat
Critical Mass: 4

GAME RATING: 5
Ai: 4-5
Interface: 5

COMMENTS: A fine, professional implementation of Carcassonne: H&G, presumably using the same code as Koch Media's Carcassone game.

There are around 10 different AIs on this, which run the gamut from decent to brilliant players. There's also a lot of other nice features here like rating systems and a few different skins for the tiles and the wood bits. Definitely an example of what a profesional implementation of a board game should be.

And it's just 8 Euros! The german site is a little intimidating to order from, but well worth it.
 
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25. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:385]
David Seddon
United Kingdom
Congleton
Cheshire
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Vinci is available here:

http://user.cs.tu-berlin.de/~nieser/vinci/spiele.html

It's a German online-site and you have to join of course, but it works well. You can arrange to have emails sent to prompt you when it's your turn.
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