So, yes, Ludwig’s castle got rated by fellow board game characters from Agricola, Netrunner and Betrayal at the House on the Hill! We’ve been curious about Castles of Mad King Ludwig and decided to give the app a try – which was a good idea! It’s a great pass-and-play game we like to play on the couch while watching a episode of the original Star Trek series (nope, not kidding 😉 ).

I understand board game apps do take away a little bit of the charm of tabletop games, but sometimes… you just want to hang on a couch and quickly play a game without having to set it up and sit at a table.

A photo posted by Semi Co-op (@semicoop) on

What’s your favorite board game app?

Sentinels of the Multiverse! Soooo awesome as a great app, with multiplayer options and cross play from different systems. Best board game app evar!

What is Sentinels like and can we play a game in the app < 45 mins? A coop superhero brawler thingy sound fun, but the art scares us away, so we haven't investigated it.

Sentinels is actually quite good at evoking the feel of a superhero throwdown. Games like Legendary feel more like “I am managing a team of superheroes”, but Sentinels really does feel like “I am the superhero”. They accomplish this by having a pretty simple base structure, but plenty of interesting ways to twist it. The “Green Lantern” type character plays very differently than the “Hulk” character and the “Batman” character, for instance. Same with the villains and environments.

The cool thing about it is its replayability. By mixing and matching the decks – you can swap out villains, environments, and heroes, you have a pretty fantastic range of play options.

There are a few down sides. Depending on the particular setup you choose, you might have situations that impose a fair amount of bookkeeping. “Okay, I’m doing 2 melee damage, but Ra is changing that to fire, and Legacy is giving that +1, but the enemy is redirecting that to this other target, which takes -1 damage…” This is only an issue on the tabletop – the digital version handles this nicely.

Some people feel that the game offers few strategic choices, that the best play is often obvious. I don’t agree with that assessment, since winning often involves taking the “long view” and getting systems up when there might be an attractive immediate option. But that level of strategy takes getting familiar with the hero and villain and environment decks, so it’s perhaps a fair criticism if you plan to just play casually.

And you mentioned the art, which is serviceable but of course not on the level of what you’d see in an official Marvel or DC offering.

Overall, I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s not without its flaws, but it’s certainly a strong offering.

Wow, thanks for the write up, that sounds pretty cool! *Goes off to watch videos about it*

The art starts off a little rough, because Adam (The artist) was still getting into it. But over the expansions, the art has really improved quite a bit

As for the Fiddly bits, the app is great in that regard – because it handles all that for you. You’ll want to slow it down in the options menu, because otherwise it can get a little confusing in what did what – but experience clears that up fast. And the App has a demo version that is also a tutorial.

Carcassonne is really nice.

It allows you to incorporate their countless mini-expansions if you’d like (I think they cost extra), plus the dynamic AI styles are fun against which to play.

Plus, being able to zoom in and out with the two finger gesture helps you not loose track of what dastardly red is designing on the other side of the board! 🙂

So, my favorite full board game apps are Sentinels of the Multiverse, Pathfinder Adventures (the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game), Paperback, Baseball Highlights 2045 (baseball themed deck builder), Pandemic, and Agricola. All five of them are great adaptations.

As far as app-assisted games, I love XCOM, Descent (with the Road to Legend app), and Alchemists. 🙂

I really like the Star Realms and Splendor apps, mostly for the Pass-and-Play functionality. It’s great for traveling and my sister and I enjoyed being able to play together without having to get out the actual game when we were babysitting our other sister’s kids for a week this past summer (young kids + cards = mess/damage).

Neuroshima Hex! is my favorite board game app ever. The original game itself is brilliant (I call it “Post-Apocalyptic Ameritrash Mexican-Standoff Chess”). But on top of that, the app is really nicely implemented. Good for pass-and-play, and the AIs are nicely challenging as well for solo play. This game is almost even better digitally, because once the ping-pong ball is thrown into the room full of mouse-traps, it does all the calculations for you of who wounds who when, and you just get to watch.

2nd would be Small World 2 on iPad. Another awesome implementation with great AIs.

Finally, my wife and I play pass-and-play Splendor a lot, that would be my 3rd favorite.

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