digital board games

“The world is your game board. Get ready for CATAN – World Explorers, an upcoming massively multiplayer augmented reality game that transforms the entire Earth into one giant game of CATAN.”

Settlers of Catan (1995) by Klaus Teuber is one of the classic European board games that shepherded in the modern age of board games. Winner of Spiel des Jahres in 1995, and still beloved today, Catan introduced the world to resource collection, trading, and city building.

The world of Catan had already expanded onto digital devices, but now will take over the entire world. Catan World Explorers, announced at Essen Spiel 2019,  is a new digital game in which players explore the real world, a la Pokemon Go, searching for classic Catan resources. Players collect wheat, sheep, wood, etc. on their device, trying to then construct roads and cities. However it won’t be all that easy… your neighborhood may have an abundance of one type of resource, but you will likely have to trade for something else.  Team up with friends for victory points, and compete locally or globally to become seasonal champions.

For more information, check out the Catan World Explorers website here.

Star Realms is arguably the golden child of the 2 player head-to-head deck-builder world. Ever since the game’s debut from White Wizard Games in 2013, people have been extolling the virtues of this classic “buy cards”, “play cards”, “damage opponent” card game. Designers Robert Dougherty and Darwin Kastle created an elegant, competitive deck builder which still has a solid following to this day, and has inspired numerous expansions, such as Colony Wars, Gambit and the latest, Frontiers.

The digital version of Star Realms has likewise gained traction, and this latest expansion has just been added to the popular app. Frontiers adds 45 new ships and bases to the game, as well as 2 new campaign chapters with 12 new missions. Frontiers is available now on all platforms; for more information on this popular add-on, check out the game page here.

“Assemble a crew and outfit a longboat to raid settlements for gold and fame!”

Raiders of the North Sea, by Garphill Games and designer Shem Phillips, is a unique worker placement game wherein players collect resources to raid and pillage as Vikings. The game was deservedly nominated for the Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel award in 2017, and has accrued two excellent expansions over the years. In Raiders players use a twist on standard worker placement: a single worker is held in hand, which is placed on the board to select a first action. A second action is selected by picking a new worker up off of a previously used space. Workers come in three colors, restricting which actions can be done by which workers.

And now, Dire Wolf Digital has taken this modern classic and created an excellent digital version for Steam, mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch. Raiders of the North Sea is part of an ongoing partnership between Renegade Games and Dire Wolf to produce digital versions of their board games, including Lanterns: the Harvest Festival, Lotus, and the Renegade Companion App. The game truly shines in the digital forum, retaining the excellent artwork created by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (The Mico). Additionally, all versions of Raiders of the North Sea include cross-platform play, so you can compete against friends regardless of which system they use. For more information, check out the press release from Dire Wolf Digital here.

“The next evolution in board gaming…”

Cool Mini or Not in cooperation with XPlored have just announced the new digital board game console, Teburu (lit. Japanese for table). Teburu is truly a multisensory system for tabletop board games, one which “seamlessly integrates the physical and digital worlds.” Games will be orchestrated from a central tablet or PC running a Gamemaster App, with Teburu handling all of the communication between console, players, and pieces: hi-tech dice report when they are rolled, components “know” where they are on the board and when they are moved, and everything updates within the App. Teburu also communicates with players’ personal cell phones, adding player screens and personal messages to each game. All of this technology adds up to a one-of-a-kind experience with character tracking, narrative story-telling, and continued campaign scenarios, yet handling all the fiddly resources, enemy AI, and rules management invisibly in the background.

“Groundbreaking technology senses where figures representing heroes, monsters and other gameplay elements are anywhere on the board. This information is transmitted seamlessly to any compatible tablet or computer running the Gamemaster App – no more hunting around in the rulebook. Make your move and the Gamemaster tells you what happens next.”

The first game for Teburu will be Zombicide: Evolution – Las Vegas, a campaign driven next step for CMoN’s exceedingly popular IP. The Teburu game system is scheduled to hit Kickstarter in 2020, but for delicious teasers and videos now, check out the CMoN web page for Teburu here. Additionally, attendees to GenCon this August can be among the first to see the ground breaking Teburu system in action.

The return of Fluxx to the digital gaming space was announced on July 3rd by Playdek, mobile video game publisher, in partnership with Looney Labs, tabletop game publisher. The app will be available for Android and iOS on July 18th, and will also available for PC and Mac via Steam later this year.

“Fluxx is a wonderful game for digital adaptation, and we are happy to be able to bring it back to iOS as well as finally get it in the hands of Android users,” said Joel Goodman, CEO of Playdek. “It plays great against your friends online and is a perfect fit for pass-and-play games.”

The Fluxx app will feature offline and online play against human or AI opponents, a local pass-and-play multiplayer mode, full asynchronous support in the online multiplayer mode, online player stats, and a tutorial. Languages supported in the app will include English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch.

Playdek has developed and published digital versions of popular board games such as Twilight Struggle, Lords of Waterdeep, and Ascension (winner of Best Digital Board Game in the 2011 Dice Tower Awards). You can find more information about them on their website.

The physical version of Fluxx by Looney Labs has sold over three million copies worldwide and has won the Mensa Select Award. For more information on Fluxx and Lonney Labs, you can visit the publisher’s official site here.

Acram Digital, maker of fine digital board game conversions, has announced their next A2D project and it’s a doozy. The worker placement legacy game Charterstone, from Stonemaier Games and designer Jamey Stegmaier, will be inserting its electrons on Steam, Apple iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch next year much to the joy of its many fans. In Charterstone, players build up from a simple worker placement game to a monumental resource manipulation, multiple worker type, adorable civilization in a multigame epic. Acram Digital is known for making high quality digital versions of board games, with the impressive translations Istanbul, Steam: Rails to Richesand Eight Minute Empire already under their belt. Expect Charterstone to hit the system near you in early 2020, and for more details check out Acram’s website on Charterstone here.

Cool Mini or Not has just started a Kickstarter campaign for a digital version of Eric Lang‘s 2015 mega-hit Blood Rage (BGG #27). The digital version is being produced by Exozet and looks amazing. Each region of the board looks different, with unique topology, climate and villages. All of the cards and figures are meticulously rendered in 3D, including new miniatures not seen before. The digital game includes network play for up to 4 players, solo play against the AI, and mixtures of the two. One of the most exciting aspects of the Kickstarter is the Physical Viking Pledge, which includes the actual miniatures for all of the new 3D assets along with the digital game. These include four new monsters: the Mountain Giantess, a new wolf called Garm, the Wolfwoman and the Seer Troll. Other models are the new Stag Clan with Mystics, 6 Golden Gods of Asgard miniatures, and new expansion cards for 5 players.

The Kickstarter for Blood Rage Digital continues through December 10, and is expected to deliver digital rewards in December 2019, and physical rewards in August 2019. Additionally, Kickstarter backers will be privy to a closed beta version of the game before release. For more information, check out the Kickstarter page or CMoN’s website.

Stone Blade Entertainment has announced that they will be releasing a digital version of their hit deck building game Shards of Infinity in collaboration with Temple Gates Games, makers of the digital versions of Race for the Galaxy  Shards of Infinity designed by Gary Arant and Justin Gary was Stone Blade’s followup to their immensely popular card game Ascension (2010), and hit the blooming deck-building market by storm. Shards has been positively regarded as an improvement on the standard head to head deck building game. In Shards, players fight head to head, trying to deplete their opponents health while improving their own Mastery. Mastery makes a players’ cards more powerful, and at 30 Mastery a player can employ their Infinity Shard, immediately defeating their opponent. The digital adaptation is expected in Spring 2019, on Android, iOS and Steam. For more details, you can read the press release from Stone Blade Entertainment here.

Mossbark Games has released a digital version of the award winning classic card game Morels from Two Lanterns Games and designer Brent Povis. Morels has players march down a line of cards foraging for mushrooms. Sets of like mushrooms can be cooked in a skillet for points, and additions such as butter can up the points further. Mushroom cards skipped over go to a waste pile which goes bad over time. Scavenge for those rare full moon mushrooms, but be careful of poisonous death angels which can ruin your whole batch. Mossbark worked closely with the designer to make a truly beautiful rendition, plus the digital version sports goodies such as 2 player asynchronous play, 3 levels of AI, local pass and play and achievements. Morels is available now for both Android and iOS.

GMT makes board games of strategy and war,  and Playdek makes digital boardgames. Now the two have come together to bring GMT history based war games to the digital frontier! In their own words,

“The ultimate goal of the partnership is to bring the best strategy games and global favorites to hobby gamers worldwide,  building a global community of online digital strategy gamers.”

Their first venture together will be to bring Labyrinth: The War On Terror to digital gamers later in 2018 to Steam. Later in 2019 a mobile version is to be released. Also in 2019 look for Imperial Struggle and the first installment of the COIN (Counter-Insurgency) to be released. Get all your favorite history/war games from GMT as boardgames and play them as they are produced in digital format by Playtek!