There’s A Virtual KALLAX Full of iOS Digital Board Games We Are Excited To (Hopefully) Play This Year

There’s A Virtual KALLAX Full of iOS Digital Board Games We Are Excited To (Hopefully) Play This Year

kallax-shelving-unitThe digital board game space has really been heating up in the past few years.

As I already stated in my 2015 wrap up, while on the whole 2015 was admittedly a bit of a let down with regards to new iOS board game releases, there were a few standout titles including newcomer, Digidiced’s top-notch iOS adaptation of Le Havre: The Inland Port, Asmodee Digital’s release of Splendor (even though it lacks online play) and of course, my game of the year, the unique solitaire game Card Crawl, just to name a few.

Not to mention the big updates to existing games including Asmodee Digital’s total rewrite of their already stellar Ticket to Ride app to support asynchronous play and vertical maps, and Magic The Gathering’s brand new Universal app which will for the base for all future content updates instead of new app releases each year. Hearthstone got Universal support and Galaxy Trucker, , SolForge, Sentinels of the Multiverse and Star Realms all got some big content updates.

While I hope that these existing titles continue to get content and feature updates in 2016, it is the new titles that often get people the most excited. In 2016, there are quite a few rumored and confirmed new iOS digital board game releases headed our way, including a couple of Kickstarters which were supposed to delivered last year.

Many of the games I’ve selected for this list are ones that I personally have been really wanting to try. However, not having a regular gaming group, it’s unlikely that I’ll get the physical versions to the table any time soon. Plus, outside of having someone sit down and teach you the game or viewing an episode of Watch it Played, I’ve found that digital releases can often be one of the best ways to learn new games and they have the added benefit of being able to play anytime, anywhere.

These are some of the upcoming digital board game releases that have me the most excited in 2016…

baseball-highlights-2045_1003138996_ipad_01.jpgBaseball Highlights 2045

Designed by Mike Fitzgerald (Diamonds, Mystery Rummy series), Baseball Highlights: 2045 is a fast playing strategic and tactical futuristic baseball card game in which our national past time has all but taken over by robotic players. You start with an initial team of players with varying abilities and over time draft new players to replace your old players, gradually improving and specializing their skills to build the best team possible for future games.

Painstakingly crafted by a single developer Peter Kossits, the digital release of this unique card drafting take on America’s pastime offers players both solo play using the solitaire rules from the cardboard version, as well as two-player same device pass-and-play.

After hearing nothing but great things about the game, I have been interested in checking out the physical version for some time, so I’m really happy to finally be able to experience this fun, yet challenging little game.

You don’t have to wait long for this one, since the digital (iPad) release just launched on iOS THIS WEEK and is available to download NOW!

tsuro-screenTsuro

In just a few short days, Thunderbox Entertainment will be releasing their gorgeous looking 3D port of Calliope Games’s strategy game, Tsuro. In Tsuro, players take turns placing tiles and then sliding their stones along the path that is created, while trying to avoid falling off the edge of the board, or being pushed off by other players and becoming the last player left on the board to win. Thunderbox’s upcoming digital implementation is tactile and nearly photorealistic. In fact it looks like it could very well become the new gold standard with rich graphics and animations, online, local and solo play. This is a game I’ve been exited to try since seeing it’s sequel played on Tabletop. Just check out the Thunderbox’s latest release trailer and prepare to drool when the game releases on February 4th.

patchwork_ios-03Patchwork

Designed by Uwe Rosenberg, Patchwork sees opponents attempting to each build their own patchwork quilts by purchasing and placing oddly-shaped Tetris-style pieces on their 9×9 player boards. The game is very approachable and fairly quick, yet still offers some great decisions and strategic play. My 8 year-old daughter and I really enjoy this game. I’m really happy to see that Digidiced, the same developers behind last year’s excellent aforementioned port of Le Havre: The Inland Port is the team behind this iOS version of Patchwork. From the couple of screenshots I’ve seen thus far, the game looks like it’s coming along rather nicely and will support solo play against multiple different levels of AI opponents as well as both local and online multiplayer options. According to BoardGameGeek, we are likely to see this one release by the end of February.

A big thanks to @425suzanne for the screenshot(s) and @Neumannium for alerting me to this release.

king_of_tokyo_boxKing of Tokyo

At Gen Con last year, IELLO had said that they would be launching a Kickstarter campaign in the Fall to fund the digital port of Richard Garfield’s very popular dice-chucking monster battling game, King of Tokyo. However as far as I can tell, that campaign seems to have been pushed out (never coming to fruition in 2015). Hopefully the digital port of King of Tokyo is still on track for a 2016 release, but it’s possible we may have to wait a little longer. In the meantime, iello’s successfully Kickstarted hybrid fantasy board game, World of Yo-Ho, in which players’ smart devices act as their ships as they sail the high seas in a pirate-filled adventure just hit retail shelves last week.

ghhc-cardsGreat Heartland Hauling Company

Designed by Jason Kotarski and first published in 2013 by Dice Hate Me Games (an imprint of Greater Than Games), The Great Heartland Hauling Company is a fun pick-up and deliver game where player take on the role of Midwest truck drivers hauling goods back and forth across the country trying to (hopefully) sell them for a profit. This is another title that my daughter and I enjoy playing with each other and it should make a for a great turn-based digital game. On both his State of Games and The Geek All Stars podcasts, Dice Hate Me Games’ owner and founder, Chris Kirkman, hinted that they have been working on a digital version of this game. Now I just hope that we see it get released sometime this year, especially given that Greater Than Game’s digital version of Sentinels of The Multiverse has seen a good deal of success and just got its big Shattered Timelines content update this week.

7wonders7 Wonders

Asmodee’s long-awaited digital release of Antoine Bauza’s popular card drafting game 7 Wonders, should (hopefully) finally be arriving on devices this year. It should feature both solo play as well as online multiplayer and we’ve heard rumors that they are developing one or more of the game’s expansions as well.
In July of last year the app entered Beta, but we still haven’t gotten an official release. I’m not sure what the hold up is as you can see the game being demonstrated to the folks at BoardGameGeek at last year’s Spielwarenmesse, the annual international toy fair held in Nuremberg, Germany.

Hopefully if this does go well, we’ll see a digital version of the recent 2-player reimplementation, 7 Wonders: Duel as well.

castles-of-mad-king-ludwig-dCastles of Mad King Ludwig

In Bezier Games’ Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are attempting to build the most impressive castle (one room at a time) for King Ludwig of Bavaria. The game features an interesting mechanic by which in each round of the game, one player (known as the Master Builder) must set the prices of the available room tiles for the other player(s). Points are awarded for achieving particular goals and varying set of King’s demands and the castle earning the most points win. The digital version is being developed by Jeremiah Maher, who previously developed Bezier Games’ iOS versions of Suburbia and the One Night Ultimate Werewolf/Vampire companion app.

longshot02Long Shot

The odds are good that in 2016 we will finally see the digital port of Chris Handy’s popular family-friendly, strategical horse racing game, Long Shot. Players race, buy and bet on horses, rolling dice to move the horses and playing cards to speed up the action. With the physical release seemingly out of print, I think our family would love to play this digital release.

qwixxQwixx and The GAME

On their Facebook page, Outline Development has hinted that they are working not only on a digital release of GameWright’s delightful dice puzzle game, Qwixx as well as the cooperative Spiel des Jahres nominated numbers-driven card game The Game. Last year Outline Development released a digital version of Spiel des Jahres winner, Camel Up.

On their Facebook page, Outline Development has hinted that they are working not only on a digital release of GameWright’s delightful dice puzzle game, Qwixx as well as the cooperative Spiel des Jahres nominated numbers-driven card game The Game. Last year Outline Development released a digital version of Spiel des Jahres winner, Camel Up.

tabletopia-originalTabletopia

Last year a successful Kickstarter campaign launched a new subscription-based digital board gaming platform that will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the way people play digital boardgames. For a resonable monthly fee, Tabletopia gives players access to a virtual tabletop where they can play and interact with a growing catalog of gorgeous 3D rendered versions of both modern and classic board and card games. The system does no rules enforcements, there are no AI players for solo play, it is pretty much like you’ve just laid the game on the table in front of you and you are playing with friends. Tabletopia offers great way for gamers to play or try out new board games with friends from all over the world. The initial catalog of titles is impressive and because publishers don’t need to develop complex AI’s and all the plumbing is there for multiplayer, plus there is a way for them to earn money off the platform, it is likely we’ll see a lot more digital versions of board games through Tabletopia than we would if we relied solely on expensive stand-alone digital apps. Right now it is PC/Mac only, but a client app for the iPad is due out by the end of the year.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, other digital conversions to keep an eye out for include Glass Road, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Core Worlds, Twilight Struggle, Puzzle Strike and more.