8 Best Digital Versions Of Great Board Games
Despite the kind of battles you may observe going on between the worlds of board gaming and video gaming, they’re actually complementary hobbies that get along very well; it’s a friendly rivalry at best. In fact, you’ll often see the two worlds collide in interesting and innovative ways. Many board games have been created from video game properties; there are board games based on Shovel Knight, Resident Evil, and Dark Souls, among others.
Your gaming machine isn’t just good for finding great browser-based casinos and creating cute photoshops of cats, you know. There is a wealth of excellent digital board games out there, and we’re here to show you the best ones available. Here are the 8 greatest digital versions of great board games you can play right now on PC and consoles.
- Tabletop Simulator (Steam)
We’ll acknowledge that we’re cheating slightly here, but we really do think that Tabletop Simulator is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to get into the world of digital board gaming. Not only does TTS offer some brilliant built-in versions of classic favorites, but it’s also a place where you can find lovingly hand-crafted editions of excellent modern games and underrated gems. Add in online play and a deep suite of customization tools and you’ve got yourself an unmissable purchase for any PC gamer who loves tabletop gaming.
- Gloomhaven (Steam)
The legendary long-form tabletop dungeon crawler comes to Steam, and not a moment too soon. Gloomhaven is a faithful adaptation of its tabletop source material with a gorgeous art style and a surprisingly effective recreation of Gloomhaven’s addictive core gameplay loop. With seventeen playable characters and a staggering ninety-five scenarios on offer, there’s no way you’ll grow bored of Gloomhaven if you’re a lover of tabletop gaming. Currently, Gloomhaven is in Early Access, with a full release for the game planned for midway through 2020 (although the coronavirus may have put paid to that).
Many of the best board game adaptations are strictly available on the PC, and it’s understandable; the PC is perhaps the platform with the best one-to-one control conversion for board games. Still, Risk Urban Assault is all for the console gamers, and that’s for the better. Urban Assault takes the familiar Risk gameplay and transplants it into an altogether more post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setting. Forge alliances, engage in cautious diplomacy and utterly destroy the opponents who dare to cross your path. There is a version of the normal Risk available for both consoles, too, but for our money, Urban Assault is better.
Okay, okay – Monopoly may be the board game that dare not speak its name in a more esteemed company, but it’s certainly a game that still enjoys enduring popularity to this day. By far the best version of Monopoly available to any video gamer right now is Monopoly Plus. It takes the familiar Monopoly gameplay you know and love and moves it to a beautiful, breathtaking 3D board complete with sumptuous animations every time something happens. It won’t stop you and your family from falling out, but Monopoly Plus offers the definitive Monopoly experience.
This one might be a little too close to the bone depending on your personal circumstances, but Pandemic: The Board Game offers an excellent opportunity to play the classic tabletop disease survival sim in digital form. You and your friends will co-operate in order to try to cure a deadly disease. Several player classes are available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right composition of classes and using each turn well is essential to victory. There’s no PS4 version for this one, so you may want to dig out your dusty old gaming PC.
- Scythe: Digital Edition (PC)
Scythe is a truly remarkable melting pot of different board game genres. It’s partly a narrative-driven experience, partly a game of economics, and partly a mech game in which you do battle with other giant robots. The digital edition helps you to keep track of the madness, presenting everything sequentially as and when you need it. Scythe: Digital Edition looks absolutely beautiful, too, as befits a game as universally well-loved as the original board game is. If you haven’t experienced Scythe yet, we think the digital version actually trumps the physical one. Blasphemy, we know.
- Twilight Struggle (PC)
If you don’t like the idea of grand strategy games like Crusader Kings or Hearts of Iron, then you may be better off avoiding Twilight Struggle. Despite its far more accessible digital sibling offering up a lot more information to the player than the board game version, Twilight Struggle can feel dizzyingly labyrinthine. The trade-off for that is one of the most in-depth, absorbing, and compelling historical strategy games you’re ever likely to play. If you’re willing to spend a little time to understand Twilight Struggle, the digital version is immensely rewarding.
- Terraforming Mars (PC)
Asmodee Digital has proven itself the master of a board game to video game adaptations. While Terraforming Mars was initially perhaps not quite up to standard, Asmodee’s work over the years rendered it one of the great essential digital board games. Effectively, Terraforming Mars is a resource game, but you’ll be playing with the life of an entire planet, so the stakes feel appropriately huge. Whether you’re peppering your planet with cities or introducing new greenery to its surface, Terraforming Mars’ beautiful visuals make it a joy to play on PC.
Check out this awesome infographic which will show you where are the most popular board games are being searched and played: