Top 10 boardgames we want on iOS and Android

Die another way

Top 10 boardgames we want on iOS and Android
First published: | Updated:

| Top 10 iPad charts

News just in: boardgames are cool again.

They're no longer the preserve of family gatherings where the conversation has run so dry you have no choice but to reach for that dust-encrusted copy of Trivial Pursuit.

No. People are once again discovering the simple joys of rolling dice, moving figurines, and wading through obfuscated rule books.

Of course, while a day-long session of Arkham Horror is ideal for players with lots of like-minded friends and time to spare, some people people prefer the digital experience, and enjoy games like the stellar Elder Sign: Omens and Forbidden Island on iOS and Android.

Using these titles as templates, we've sampled the top scoring wares of venerated website BoardGameGeek - getting to play as many as possible in the process - to find the titles we think would most befit a dice-less mobile conversion.

Letters from Whitechapel
By Fantasy Flight Games

A bloodthirsty personal favourite that's due to get a new edition later this year. This is the definitive Jack the Ripper-themed boardgame.

Set in the ("Cor blimey Govna', there's a lot of dead ladies of the night 'round 'ere") streets of 1888 Whitechapel, one player must take on the role of the world's most famous serial killer and polish off five more victims without being caught by his patrolling opponents (the Policemen).

A tense battle of wits, tactics, and grisly murder takes place in every game and it should work with AI controlling either Jack or the coppers too.

By Guillotine Games

Yes, City of Horror might be what all the cool kids are playing these days, but its bartering / pleading for your life mechanics can't really translate onto a tablet.

Zombicide, on the other hand, is about working collaboratively with other survivors - all with unique, upgradable abilities - to fend off an overwhelming horde of the undead across maps that can be randomly configured for a new experience each time.

By Z-Man Games

It's the perfect antidote to the dark pleasures of Plague Inc. In Pandemic you have to actually stop the spread of deadly diseases rather than unleash them.

Played across a global map, once again players must work collaboratively as specialists with unique skills (the scientist, for example, can eradicate bugs, but he needs an Operation Specialist to build a research station first).

It's a dramatic race against time, especially when Epidemic! cards pop-up to accelerate or intensify the plagues.

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

By Fantasy Flight Games

One of 2012's mega boardgame hits, this space combat title appealed to every Star Wars fan's desire to pit miniature Rebel X-Wings against the nefarious squads of Imperial TIE fighters.

While a mobile version might struggle to recapture the tactile magic of manoeuvring the ultra detailed miniatures yourself, the game's streamlined tactics and dynamic strategy would make for the perfect turn-based tie-in.

Mansions of Madness
By Fantasy Flight Games

In the H.P. Lovecraft mold of Elder Sign: Omens, Mansions of Madness is a slightly more user-friendly take on the ultra serious Arkham Horror game.

A handful of player-controlled investigators must explore the cursed environments (schools, monasteries, manors, and the like) to uncover the truth behind strange events before being killed themselves by the game-, and monster-, controlling Keeper.

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery
By Battlefront Miniatures

It was a tough call over which sex and violence-obsessed TV drama tie-in to pick for this list, with A Game of Thrones: The Board Game only losing out because it doesn't feature miniature gladiator combat.

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery pits players against each other as heads of rival houses vying for control of the Roman city of Capua. You plot nefarious scheme against rivals, trade assets in the market, and - at the climax of each round - send your best gladiators into battle and bet on the outcome.

Kings of Air and Steam
By Tasty Minstrel Games

Steampunk and video games go together like peanut butter and bread, making this Kickstarter-funded sensation a must for a mobile conversion.

Similar in design to the glorious Ticket to Ride, which is a must-buy on iOS too, Kings of Air and Steam tasks players with piloting a model airship to gather goods from factories before delivering them to cities by rail.

The challenge comes from competing with other players to construct the best delivery network to build your business empire upon.

By Asmodee

Like a turn-based version of Sid Meier's Pirates!, the massively successful Libertalia is all about who can net the biggest plunder.

It's an ultra-competitive strategy game, in which rival pirates battle to loot a ship by deploying the unique powers of their crew at key moments to turn the tide of battle.

It will appeal to any iPad owner with a fondness for eye patches, rum, and reluctantly requesting a "Parley".

Escape: The Curse of the Temple
By Queen Games

This is the closest a boardgame can get to recreating the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Escape: The Curse of the Temple involves exactly what its name implies.

Played out in real time for added tension, with a soundtrack to keep things moving, players must work co-operatively and simultaneously roll dice to explore and loot magic gems.

At key points, including the dramatic dash for the exit, a countdown starts and players have to race back to the safe room or risk losing a vital die. Tense stuff.

By Z-Man Games

If you need a breather after the frenzy of escaping cursed temples, then the gently pastoral pleasures of, multi-award winner, Agricola should suffice.

Starting with nothing but a little shack and a farmer and his wife, over 14 rounds you take incremental actions - from building fences to having children to increase your workforce - to improve your farm and improve the yield of your regular harvests.

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
A newspaper reporter turned games journo, Paul's first ever console was an original white Game Boy (still in working order, albeit with a yellowing tinge and 30 second battery life). Now he writes about Android with a style positively dripping in Honeycomb, stuffed with Gingerbread and coated with Froyo