ByAlex Ziebart, writer at

Board games are an inherently social experience, best played sitting around a table with a group of friends. However, friends aren't always on-call when you get the hankerin' to bust out a board, and carrying a phone or tablet around is more convenient than a bulky box. With that in mind, we've gathered together a few of our favorite board games gone mobile.


  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Price: $3.99
  • Age: 10+

Settlers of Catan is a cult classic board game which broke into mainstream a few years back. If you want to take it on-the-go, you can with Catan, which allows you to play against AI-controlled opponents or join up with others through online multiplayer. If you're unfamiliar with the game, you take the role of a settler out to build a new civilization, establishing holdings and trading resources with other players. It sounds dull, but it really is a hit; last year, the game hit the news for being a downtime activity of choice for the Green Bay Packers.

Particularly young children might have a hard time wrapping their head around the game, but teens and pre-teens shouldn't have much trouble.


  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Price: $6.99
  • Age: 8+

In our guide to mobile strategy games, we mentioned Plague Inc, a game where you develop a disease to wipe out humanity. Too bleak? Then check out Pandemic, wherein you perform the complete opposite task. Pandemic is a cooperative multiplayer game where your team must find the cure to a set of diseases before it's too late.

Unfortunately, Pandemic doesn't have AI-controlled teammates or online multiplayer. If you want to play Pandemic with other people, you need to be in the same physical space and pass your device around. If you're willing to do that, Pandemic is a solid game.


  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Age: 8+

If you count card games as board games, Blizzard Entertainment's Hearthstone is the most popular on the market. In Hearthstone, you collect cards, build a deck, and pit your deck against opponents through online matchmaking. Theoretically, every card in the game can be earned simply by playing. Through winning matches and completing quests, you earn an in-game currency to spend on card packs. However, you can also use real money to buy such packs.

If you're letting your child play this, make sure your parental controls are in order so they don't rack up a bill on your credit card. If you're suggesting this to your teenager, however, they've probably heard of it already!


  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Age: 5+

Jenga, the game where you remove blocks from a tower while trying not to topple it over, can now be played on mobile where you don't need to manually pick 54 blocks up off of the ground and re-stack them. Though I was skeptical upon first downloading this app, the controls are quite good, though the pieces feel a bit sticky compared to smooth, physical blocks. If you're a veteran of the real thing, don't expect your usual tricks to work quite the same way.

Jenga supports single-player, pass-and-play multiplayer, and online multiplayer.

'Apples to Apples'

  • Platform: iTunes
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Age: 12+

While the video above is for the physical version of Apples to Apples, the explanation for the game applies to its mobile incarnation, too. It's a classic party game. The app supports either online play with random players, or playing with friends via Facebook integration. If you're playing for free, you'll be met with ads, but you can remove them for $2.99. Essentially, you choose whether you're paying for it or not. However, even if you pay that $2.99, playing online costs coins which must also be purchased with real money.

If it weren't for the ability to play with friends via their Facebook integration, I would have written this app off entirely due to its nickle-and-diming practices. However, if you can get a group of friends together to play, the fun factor found there redeems the app enough to make it a worthwhile installation.

Explore the App Store

Finally, if you have a favorite childhood board game you'd like to introduce to your child, we recommend checking if it's on the app store. If it's mainstream classic, it's likely to be there. Battleship? Connect Four? You'll find them -- if not the official title, then an adequate knock-off. To make sure it's a quality app with no funny business going on, we recommend spending some time playing before handing it off to the youngsters.

What's your favorite mobile board game?


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