Board games are fun, but it can be challenging to manage all those boxes, pieces, and cards. Some people prefer having the physical assets, but others find it them to be more trouble than they're worth. That's why some game developers have adapted board games into video games. The core concept is intact, but the help of everything stored digitally can make things more flashy and manageable.
There are a lot of digital board games, but we'll be looking at 10 of the best. Keep in mind these are only digital adaptations of board games, so they must be based on a pre-existing physical board game.
Ticket to Ride isn't a difficult game to play. Players have to make railroads across the United States with certain objectives that they must achieve along the way. The player with the most points (given by tracks and completed objectives) wins the game. The Ticket to Ride digital game compresses the board game into an equally simplistic yet well-managed video game. It also has several DLC expansions which add different locations, giving players new places to build on without having to store several different boards in their closets. It's available on mobile and PC with easy crossplay between those versions.
Onirim is a simple card game that was designed for one person to play. Players are stuck in a labyrinth, and they must combine cards and play them properly to unlock doors and escape. That makes it a great fit for mobile devices, which is why the Onirim digital version is so good. The video game adds a few visual presentation elements to help keep the setting alive and make it feel more real. It also better displays a player's current progress, which is something that can make solo games a bit drab otherwise. The best part is that the game is free with two $1 expansions.
Pandemic is a cooperative board game in which players must work together to find a cure to stop an incoming disease from destroying the entire world. The Pandemic video game takes all of the board game's elements and lays them out in an attractive, enhanced fashion.
The video game gives better presentation and helps players feel the urgency of trying to save the world. Pandemic doesn't support online multiplayer, but considering that board games are incapable of doing the same, that's not a serious problem by any stretch. That said, that makes this game for the fans who want to play with friends on the couch.
Scythe is a complex board game set in an alternate Cold War. Players take control of four different factions with their own leaders and set out to take over the land for themselves. There are resources, obstacles, and enemies to keep track of. With so many moving pieces and elements, the Scythe Digital Edition can be a welcome alternative for board game enthusiasts. The digital edition can help players learning the game, as it essentially serves as a guide, not allowing players to bend the rules. The only downside is that there is no expansion for it like the board game, but it does only cost $19.99.
If you like the game of RISK, then RISK Factions might be your next video game. It takes the classic combat of RISK and applies its own spin on it. There are five different factions that include anthropomorphic cats, robots, and even yeti monks. It plays out like a goofy Saturday morning cartoon, but that's precisely why it's so much fun. There are also tons of boards to choose from, featuring many unique layouts as well as the classic RISK format. Players can experiment with unique rules or choose a few new ones of their own. These differences make it one of the best digital board games.
LIFE is a classic board game all about living life to the fullest and making wise decisions. When translated to a digital version, it wasn't without its difficulties. There are two games called THE GAME OF LIFE, but the newer, all-caps version is the one to get. It takes the board game into a simplistic, charming, animated-filled ride. Players can still have all the decision-making that they lived, but also get to witness the visual impact of their results. It supports online play, local play, minigames for friends, and a few different game modes just to keep things fresh and interesting.
Carcassonne is a popular game about placing tiles and building a French city with more resources than your opponents. Its design necessitates the use of many different pieces, which may prove challenging for some. That's why the Carcassonne video game is a worthy buy as well. It scratches that Carcassonne itch, even going as far as simulating tabletop play while still keeping everything in an easy-to-navigate place. The digital version has several expansions, just like the board game, and everything can be purchased together for just over $20. If you're ready for the complete Carcassonne experience, then this is the way to go.
Twilight Struggle is one of the highest-ranked board games of all time. Players will battle during the Cold War as the US or the USSR and try to come out on top. It can be complex and difficult to understand for new players, which is where the digital Twilight Struggle has an advantage.
Twilight Struggle not only walks new players through the process quickly, but it also presents everything in an easy-to-understand layout. Many complex digital board games can have frustrating navigation systems, but Twilight Struggle is an exception. It makes things a lot smoother while keeping the core gameplay intact.
Splendor is a well-known card game that you've probably played if you're into board games. Getting the jewels before other players is a rush that no other board game quite captures. Take all that fun in a digital format with the Splendor video game. It uses music and visual tricks to help the presentation, but it's mostly focused on capturing the feel and spirit of the original while aesthetically enhancing it in minor ways. It's a solid and well-made version. The only downside is that it can't be played online but, again, that's not a serious problem at the end of the day. Just make sure that you've got friends ready to join the action.
If there's one thing that digital board games can't do, is simulate the experience of playing with actual pieces and a board. That's where Tabletop Simulator comes in. Having a lot of classic and popular board games already loaded in, the draw here is that everything is based in a physics engine. Players are given total freedom to what games they play and how they want to play them. Do you get mad and flip the board? You can do that in Tabletop Simulator. The game also has Steam Workshop support, leaving the door wide open for all sorts of crazy experiences.