Whether you are playing with your family in the living room or with friends across the world, these are the best digital board games to play on your iPad.
Board games have always been a great way to pass the time, and many are made better with digital conversion. Playing on your iPad means a quick start, no setup, no cleanup, and no missing pieces.
Digital games have their upsides — play alone against AI or multiplayer across the internet. Some games offer “play and pass” modes where you can play with multiple people on a single device.
This turn-based strategy board game has evolved into a full-fledged video game with various modes. In Battleship you can play the classic game with friends or against AI on a virtual game board.
Choose where to place your fleet then try to sink enemy ships by guessing where they are placed on the battlefield. The original version of the game took place on a square grid and players could either hit or miss each other’s ships.
Because this is a virtual version of the game, game boards can be configured into different shapes for new kinds of tactics. A new alternate mode called “Commanders Mode” brings all new gameplay elements and special abilities.
In Tokaido you play as a traveler who journeys along the East Sea road in Japan. You and your friends compete to live the most interesting journey by the end of the game to see who wins.
The digital version of the game has a graphical interface to bring the beautiful scenery to life. Between a great soundtrack and good visuals, players can lose themselves in the zen board game.
Play solo, against friends online, or against an AI. You can also play with friends locally using pass and play.
Sentinels of the Multiverse
While it isn’t a DC or Marvel licensed game, this highly rated superhero title offers plenty of high-flying, comic-style excitement. Initially launching in 2011 as a tabletop card game, it made its way to iOS in 2014.
The game is cooperative, allowing three to five people to team up as a collective of superheroes, battling villains throughout the journey. During each turn, you play a card, use a power, and draw a card — a simple premise that can become more complex as you add combos and special abilities.
Sentinels of the Multiverse supports solo play with three to five heroes, pass-and-play support with local friends, and online multiplayer.
The iOS version of Clue lets you figure out if it was Professor Plum with a candlestick in the ballroom or Colonel Mustard with the rope in the conservatory. The mobile port of this board-game classic stays true to the original mystery game, while adding 3D visuals and storyboard illustrations to add to the sense of immersion.
You can play Clue either in online multiplayer or solo against AI.
The game costs $3.99 in the App Store, with optional in-app purchases for different themes. The full game using the classic theme is included in the base purchase.
Pandemic: The Board Game
Pandemic is a co-op strategy game where you and a friend must strategize how to stop four deadly diseases from wiping out humanity. Choose from a variety of experts who’s skills will help solve the crisis.
You can choose between five levels of difficulty. Each game you play is different, so you can play again and again for different challenges.
You can play alone or with a friend locally or online. Expansion packs are available as DLC for more content.
Suburbia is like a board-game version of Sim City, making this iOS adaptation a video game based on a board game that was inspired by a video game. The 2012 tabletop version of Suburbia won numerous awards, including the Mensa Select Mind Games award. The digital port landed on iOS in 2014.
You’ll compete with friends or against AI as you each control a borough in the same city. It uses a complex market scheme, where your moves will affect the market for other players’ tiles, and vice versa. Choose a strategy to build sprawling residential, industrial, commercial, and government areas.
Suburbia supports two-to-four-player local pass-and-play, and it also includes a single-player campaign against AI.
Game of Life 2
Hasbro’s Game of Life 2 is an evolution of the original board game. With a new animated game board and more modern content, this digital sequel is an enhanced take on the classic.
Customize your game piece and find your career among new choices like blogger or bran surgeon. Start as a teen and earn new qualifications for your choice career. Or adopt several cats and retire early.
You can play alone against AI or online. There is also a pass and play option for local games.
There are in-app-purchases for new themes, character accessories, and a season pass. The game is updated regularly with new content.
Race for the Galaxy
The iOS version of Race to the Galaxy stays faithful to the award-winning 2007 tabletop card game it’s based on.
It may be a bit on the complicated side for casual players, but there are plenty of thoughtful gameplay mechanics for those seeking deeper card-based strategy. Each player is in charge of a burgeoning galactic empire, racing each other to finish with the most victory points.
One unique gameplay element is that, at the beginning of each round, each player choose one of five phases: explore, settle, develop, produce, or consume. They then reveal their choices simultaneously, so other players can only strategize against their opponents’ previous moves, rather than their current turn. The way it unfolds also allows for asynchronous online play.
You can play Race for the Galaxy either solo against AI or with two-to-four online multiplayer, including private matches with friends.
As was mentioned in our previous board game roundup “Monopoly” is a classic board game thats been around since 1935. The iPad version of the game continues to receive updates on a regular basis.
The game has online and local multiplayer as well as pass and play. You can play on the classic Monopoly board or purchase different themes.
The game unfolds with 3D representations of classic game pieces. The properties burst with life and have animated sequences as you play.
There is a collection of games from Marmalade Game Studio for $8.99 that bundle “Monopoly” with the other classics mentioned like “Clue,” “The Game of Life 2,” and “Battleship.”
These are just some of the best board game conversions for your iPad, but there are many more options out there. Exploding Kittens (App Store $1.99/Amazon $19.99) is a fun card game, or Risk (App Store Free/Amazon $23.97) a strategy game where you take over the world. You can find other kinds of board games with digital-only options like Card Thief for $2.99 or Two Spies for free with in-app-purchases.