As the clock ticks down to our seasonal celebration, shopping deadlines are being measured not in days, but in hours. Didn’t make FedEx’s cut off? Not to worry, iPadBoardGames.Org is here with the perfect gift guide for last-minute holiday madness!
The New Hotness
This fantasy re-imagining of the classic Command & Colors engine combines the best that strategy and tactics have to offer. You’ve got plenty of deep decisions to make, but a small number of actions per turn to avoid analysis paralysis. You’ve got fantasy themes but squad-level minis flavor. You’ve also got a single player campaign and a full skirmish mode to keep you busy while we wait for the App Store workers to come back and bring us new games again.
Not content to be yet another licensed deck-builder, which seems to be the thing for comic book properties, Greater Than Games built their own universe of comic book characters, and then made a great little card game detailing the epic battles therein. The digital version of Sentinels takes care of all the fiddly record keeping and frees you up to enjoy the theme and tactics, presenting it all in a slick comic-inspired presentation that perfectly captures the flavor. Even existing owners of the card game can find a lot to love here.
It’s hard to take a game that’s almost designed to be played with beer and pretzels in hand, shouting at your buddies across the table, and turn it into a successful digital experience. Galaxy Trucker not only manages that with grace and aplomb, it also implements an action-point-based turn structure that makes the game work just as well on the Internet as it does face to face. Add in a single player campaign that nails the game’s offbeat sense of humor, and you’ve got a fantastic value that can now ride on your iPhone as well as your iPad!
Oldies But Goodies
You almost want to call it Sim City the Board Game. Released last year with a host of launch problems, Suburbia has been the constant recipient of some much-needed TLC. The core game of strategic tile laying to build the most popular borough had no real issues, and now that the app has been given a much-needed face lift and there are even more puzzle-based single player missions to choose from, the value Suburbia represents has only continued to increase. With this kind of track record, any urban planner on your list should be busy for quite some time.
Arguably the game that introduced Americans to the concept of cooperative gaming, Pandemic heads up best-of lists across the Internet and has for years. The iPad implementation is about as good as you could hope for, serving equally well as a solo experience or the hub of a co-op group game. Toss in a few of the roles from On the Brink for even more options.
Small World was one of the first truly good iPad board game ports, but while it was beautiful, it suffered from very arbitrary-seeming limitations. Once the Kickstarter fiasco died down, the game was re-imagined and reimplemented as a bar-setting app experience. Play from 2-5 players, with any number of AIs, online or off, even across platforms, and with or without the first 3 mini expansions. Fans of this board game will be right at home, and it also serves as a great introduction for new players.
Tis the season to be…gingerbread? One of the oldest apps on the App Store to be continuously updated, Carcassonne this winter picks up the Winter tiles expansion. This recasts the game’s base tiles with snow, and features a happy little Gingerbread Man who bounces around and brings bonuses to uncompleted cities. A great way to put your feet up by the fire after a long day of opening gifts.
If a simulation game in which you play a malicious, deadly virus tops your list of Christmas must-haves…well, first of all you scare us a little, but second of all, know that Ndemic creations is right there with you. They’ve introduced a new Christmas scenario for the Neurax Worm plague type, in which the governments of the world have outlawed fun. It’s up to your plucky virus to spread gifts and happiness in time for Santa to do his thing!
And what would the ChristmaHannaQuanzaYule be without some marked down madness?
Playdek has everything on sale. Literally. Too many cool things to link to. Just check out Playdek in our search bar if you don’t believe us.
Codito does too. They are sort of the official ambassador to Reiner Knizia on the iPad. Again, too much stuff, just do a search.
That’s it for this holiday season! Jingle on, enjoy your celebrations, and we’ll be back with new games in the new year.