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Friday, December 28, 2012

Ten Board Games for Android

Board games remain some of the time-tested classics of the gaming world today, despite the advances in technology. What’s even better about them is that you can get a whole bunch of them right there on your Android device.
The digitization of board games is an incredible feat, but not all were ported successfully; this roundup contains only what we think are the best digital alternatives while on the fly or away from the real thing.

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Drisk (Droid Risk)

Drisk is a classic Risk game coupled with online and local play. It comes with 26 maps, supports 2-6 players and uses pass-and-play. The game has been engineered especially for Android, meaning it runs pretty fast.
The online multiplayer ties in to Scoreloop player accounts which is awesome if you already have one. Risk has always been one of my favourite board games, and to see it readily available on Android is pretty cool. I advise any Risk fans to get this excellent Risk-style game.
Price: $1.99
Requires: Android 2.1 or above
Google Play Link: Drisk (Droid Risk)
Developer: Brian DeWolff
Board Games roundup: Backgammon


This version of the infamous Backgammon game has a user-friendly interface along with strong AI, meaning you’ll need to bring your wits about you when you challenge them. It has two boards, piece sets and full match play for a complete experience.
One thing I enjoyed about this game is that it offers hints to help you when you find yourself in trouble, so you won’t be stuck for long. It also has a 2 player hotseat and stats to see if you’re improving in your game. To top it all off, it’s designed for both tablets and phones.
Price: $0.99
Requires: Android 1.5 or above
Google Play Link: Backgammon
Developer: AI Factory Limited
Board Games roundup: THE GAME OF LIFE


The Game of Life is a very unique board game — as the title suggests, it involves dictating your characters life, i.e. whether they get married, buy a house, have children and many more life-changing tasks. It presented a very unique spin on gameplay and made its name as the first ever parlour board game.
You can play with up to 3 friends in the digital version of LIFE as you navigate animated tokens through an aesthetically pleasing backdrop. It has easy to use, simple touch controls and immersive gameplay that doesn’t disappoint — a great way to kill time on a long journey.
Price: $4.99
Requires: Android 2.0 or above
Google Play Link: THE GAME OF LIFE
Developer: Electronic Arts Inc
Board Games roundup: Catan


Settlers of Catan is a board game known for its in-depth strategy and time-consuming tendencies. This digital adaptation is a superb way to get into the game if you haven’t already, thanks to a scrollable game board with zoom that looks true to the original as well.
You have the ability to compete with up to four players for settlements, roads and armies. Trading between players is also possible. And if you’re short of people to play with, you can battle with the game’s AI, all of which have their own individual characteristics, making each game a unique experience.
Price: $3.99
Requires: Android 1.6 or above
Google Play Link: Catan
Developer: USM
Board Games roundup: Carcassonne


I’ve only recently discovered Carcassonne through a friend’s recommendation and I’m really enjoying it. In Carcassonne, players create a landscape by placing tiles with roads, cities, fields, and cloisters. You then deploy followers — knights, monks, thieves, or farmers — to earn points. You win by having the most points once the game is up.
The game features 12 challenges, unique AI opponents with individual strategies and a local multiplayer mode for up to 5 players, meaning you can get your friends in on the action too. The concept sounded a bit boring to me at first, but after playing for a little while, I got addicted swiftly.
Price: $4.99
Requires: Android 1.6 or above
Google Play Link: Carcassonne
Developer: exozet games
Board Games roundup: Chess for Android

Chess for Android

I’ve had a thing for chess for a while, playing game after game with victory in sight. Chess is a time-honored way to out-strategize your opponent, keeping 1 or 2 moves ahead at all times. For a chess lover like me, this app is invaluable for filling in time, however I’d also recommend it for new Chess players as it is also a great way to get started!
Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.5 or above
Google Play Link: Chess for Android
Developer: Aart Bik
Board Games roundup: Battleship


Just looking at Battleship’s title gives me feelings of nostalgia. This hit-or-miss classic has been one of my personal favorites, and I was thrilled to see it ported to Android with gameplay that’s true to the original.
I will admit, i was a little bit undecided at first; the app doesn’t initially seem like the best of its kind, however the developers are always updating it, and online gameplay will be coming very shortly, which will add a lot to its replay value.
Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.2 or above
Google Play Link: Battleship
Developer: Paweł Oriol
Board Games roundup: Solitaire


Solitaire became known to most people thanks to its Windows game, and is probably the defining card game of the tech world — not that there are many others.
If you don’t know how to play, Solitair will teach you the rules. It has multiple scoring capabilities, with Standard and Vegas modes available. The game also offers a multiplayer mode. There isn’t much more to say apart from that — it is solitaire, and it is executed well.
Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.1 or above
Google Play Link: Solitaire
Developer: MobilityWare
Board Games roundup: Ruzzle


Ruzzle is a game similar to the popular Boggle, where you have a 4×4 grid of letters and you have to make as many words as possible by connecting adjacent letters in any direction. You play this game against random people throughout the world or against your friends, when they’re available to play.
Ruzzle is strangely addicting; I’ve played it much more than I had anticipated when I first downloaded it. It draws you back because each round only takes two minutes to complete, and could lead to a satisfying victory. Sometimes, you might also get lucky with some letters and come across a word by accident that you’ve never seen before it, thus expanding your word knowledge.
Price: $1.99
Requires: Android 2.2 or above
Google Play Link: Ruzzle
Developer: MAG Interactive
Board Games roundup: Board Games

Board Games

To top this roundup, Board Games that combines many of the classics already mentioned in one. This is the best option for people who like an all-in-one alternative and prefer the classics such as Backgammon, Parchis, Snakes and Ladders and a whole lot more.
There are AIs of varying difficulty so you’ll always get a run for your money no matter how experienced you are. It has board zoom and auto zoom, different playing speeds for pieces and dice and can be played in landscape too if you prefer that view.
Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6 or above
Google Play Link: Board Games
Developer: minkusoft
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