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(Gift Guide) Top 10 Apps Every Board Gamer Should Own #10 and #9

Brad Cummings
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Welcome to the 2017 Gift Guide!

In 2016 it occurred to us that the gift guide is basically just a collection of some of the best games we feel every digital board gamer should own. So, we decided this year that we would instead make a Top 10 List of Apps Every Board Gamer should own. The concept is the same, only the format has changed. If you open up an iOS or Android device this Christmas or just want some digital recommendations, this is the place to start.


To help us in this endeavor, we’ve enlisted Milena Gubernic and Matt Thrower two big board games fans and lovers and digital board games.

Today we start with #10 and #9 from our lists. Note: Mina’s list is not ranked, so I am just choosing two to share each day.

Number 10

Mina



Galaxy Trucker is a BOMB game and this is a BOMB app! Literally! This game is a hoot to play in physical form, but the app makes it even better! It is filled with hilarious animations and stories and campaigns and all manner of crazy spaceship-exploding wonder! This app is a true work of art!

Devices: iOS, Android
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play


Matt



The original game is sprawling and random but it is a fantastic generator of fantastic tales. Shoehorning the lot into an app means you can jettison all the baggage and just sit back to enjoy the wild ride.

Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam


Dave



Xenoshyft is the little app that could, a game I should hate but keep finding reasons to go back and give it another go. Released in the summer of 2015 it was ugly and unintuitive with a UI that made iTunes look almost usable. Over the next two years it's transformed into a slick title with victory conditions that are nearly impossible (I cannot remember winning a game, ever) and yet draws you back with the feeling that, somehow, you'll pull it off the next time you fire up the app.

Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam




Brad



Age of Rivals is a drafting game created with digital in mind. It borrow elements from games like 7 Wonders but manages to transcend them. This is a digital original but is also one of the best digital board games I’ve ever played.

Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Price: Free(ish)
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam



Number 9


Mina



I bought the physical version of Jaipur when it was first released and loved it so much that I took it on a few trips to Japan to play with my partner on the plane. Yes, we fiddled with all the chits and cards on those tiny, flimsy airplane trays. Lucky for us, the app has eliminated the need to fiddle with anything to play this great card game for two on the go. In fact, the app is so beautiful and multi-functional that it is one of my top go-to games. With solo, pass-and-play, and online duel options, as well as a great campaign mode, the Jaipur app gives players much to explore and is suitable to resolving many boredom binds. With gorgeous, vibrant illustrations and bouncy background music, this app is a ray of sunshine in a cloudy situation. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a simple and quick playing, and yet somewhat thinky, app card game for two.

Devices: iOS, Android
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play


Matt



It took a decade but with the blast-off on to mobile, Race for the Galaxy finally found a justification for its wretched iconography. With the symbols helping you follow the game on a phone screen you can now build your own galactic empire in record speed and time.

Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam



Dave



When Handelabra released Sentinels of the Multiverse back in 2014 they did the unthinkable: they made Sentinels playable. I mean, you could play it on the table, but it was such a fiddly mess that 5 minutes in I'd rather be playing Container (which is saying a lot for me). Simply by handling all the conditions, multipliers, additions, etc., the app became a must have for fans of the genre. Handelabra did even better by making the UI intuitive and adding multiplayer, not to mention staying on top of all the expansions and making sure everything works together in a way that I'm still surprised by. Much like Xenoshyft, it's a game I never win, but mixing and matching from the seemingly endless amount of heroes and villains always makes each game feel different and the losses hurt a little less.

Devices: iOS, Android, Steam
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play, Steam


Brad



Tsuro is a game that took a while to grow on me. With introduction of the AR feature this year, it really went over the top for me. It is a unique take on what a digital board game adaptation can be and has become the perfect way to demo the concept for people. This light family game is a prefect fit for any collection.

Devices: iOS, Android
Purchase Links: App Store, Google Play


Lists So Far:

Mina (not ranked!):
10. Galaxy Trucker
9. Jaipur
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.

Matt:
10. Talisman
9. Race for the Galaxy
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.

Dave:
10. Xenoshyft
9. Sentinels of the Multiverse
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.

Brad:
10. Age of Rivals
9. Tsuro
8.
7.
6.
5.
4.
3.
2.
1.
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