Do you remember what it was like before the Internet existed? In the past, we had to read newspapers to find out about current affairs, talk to friends on landlines, and go to physical stores to buy goods. We also had to play board games to entertain ourselves.
Fortunately, those sepia-toned childhood memories of beating your grandfather at Monopoly can be recreated on your smartphone. Granted, you won’t get the satisfaction of seeing your sister throw a board across the room when she disappears, but the digital experience is still enjoyable.
So with that in mind, here are the best board game apps you can play on your phone …
Monopoly is the king of classic board games. It was invented as early as 1903 as a way to show the shortcomings of the economy, which was dominated by monopolies and has since sold more than 250 million sets. The object of the game is to drive your opponent into bankruptcy.
All parts of the game are faithfully recreated in this version of the phone board game, including the famous games, the bank and the opportunity to auction your property.
There are three different difficulty levels, and the rules of the game can be adapted to suit the way you are used to playing the physical version of the game. Multiplayer support is available, but you and other players must all have the game installed.
2. Connect 4
Seven columns, six rows, and the requirement to have four of your plates in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row. Sounds simple, right? In fact, it’s surprisingly complicated – there are 4 trillion ways to fill the board and 2 trillion ways to get four in a row.
While it’s true that Connect 4 was “solved” years ago (just make sure you leave first and play in the middle column), it can still provide hours of fun and frustration to an equal degree.
There are no official versions of the game in the Android or iOS versions. Instead, you can choose from a number of free options. The best rating for your Android version is called Four in a Row. It allows you to play on either a 2D or 3D disc, has 10 levels of computer difficulty, and supports multiple disc colors. The best iOS version is Connect 4. It has three difficulty levels and supports multiplayer.
Charge: Four in a row Android (Free)
Charge: Connect for 4 iOS (Free)
3. The game of life
Surprisingly, the roots of the game of life are even older than Monopoly. The original version was designed in 1860, and the modern game was released in 1960 to commemorate the original 100th anniversary. Today, we believe it is one of the best board game apps on your phone.
The game takes the player on a journey from university to retirement, and events like kids, jobs, mortgages and marriages are all prominent. The winner is the person with the most money at the end.
The official version of the game is available for Android and iOS. Features include the ability to play with friends, animated characters, 3D landscapes and a “life diary” to follow the game. With the iOS version, you can also connect music from your iTunes account to in-game events.
Another classic board game, another EA release. While “Words with Friends” became popular after its release, for a truly nostalgic classic board game, it feels like you need the original Scrabble.
Scrabble was first implemented in the 1930s and immediately became a popular thinking person game. The goal is to use your titles to make a word on the board – the more complex the word and the more odds squares it cuts, the more points you get.
The game is available for both Android and iOS. It has an in-game dictionary to help you maximize your scoring, a teacher mode that shows you retroactively what was the best word available on each turn, the ability to challenge your friends via Facebook, and a speed mode for faster games.
5. Ludo (AKA Parcheesi)
Ludo is derived from a 6th-century Indian game called “Pachisi,” although a simpler modern version first hit the shelves in 1896. American readers may know it under the brand name “Parcheesi”.
It supports up to four players, and the goal of the game is to get four soldiers from your nest to central mode before your opponents.
The best Ludo app – Ludo King – is available for both Android and iOS. The game offers local and remote multiplayer, offline mode and a variety of board themes. Other games like Ludo King include Ludo club and Ludo Online.
6. Snakes and ladders (AKA gutters and ladders)
Like Ludo, this game is also from India. The world knows it as snakes and ladders, but in the United States, snakes were replaced by grooves in 1943 after Milton Bradley found American schoolchildren reacting poorly to them.
Whatever you call it, it’s a game you almost certainly played as a kid. There are 100 numbered squares, and the only goal of the game is to get from 1 square to 100 squares before anyone else. The presence of ladders and snakes / gutters will either help or hinder your progress.
The game is available for Android and iOS operating systems. Features include multiplayer, offline mode and arcade-style “Survival Mode” for extra fun.
How classic do you want your board games to be ?! Backgammon is one of the oldest games in the world – its history can be traced back more than 5,000 years to the early civilizations of Mesopotamia.
The object of the game is to remove all your own oak boards from the table before your opponent with a combination of strategy and luck. Because the board is inherently rectangular, the dimensions make it one of the best board game apps for tablets like the iPad.
Numerous versions of the game are available for both Android and iOS platforms. We have linked our favorite editions of each operating system below.
Charge: Backgammon for free Android (Free)
Charge: For backgammon iOS (Free)
Risk is a great game, but it has one massive annoyance – the number of songs on the table. If there are a lot of players, it’s too easy to accidentally hit songs in different areas, especially in the early stages of the game.
There are no such issues with the mobile version of the game. Small songs aside, the rest of the game is created faithfully. It includes a variety of game modes, customizable rules, an in-depth tutorial, and game stats. You’ll also find lots of DLC, such as new maps and scenarios.
The basic game, which includes only the classic Risk game mode, is available on both Android and iOS.
What are your favorite board game apps?
What do we miss? There are so many classic board games out there that it’s impossible to cover all of them that you can now play on your phone. Have you found a great mobile version of Battleships? Cluedo? Or a dictionary? If so, we’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments below.
And if you want to learn more about playing board games, check out our list of articles the best sites to play board games online
The six best board games online for free
and best ways to play board games with friends
4 ways to play board games online with friends