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The Best iPad Board Games

The Top Board, Dice and Card Games for the iPad

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The first time I craved a larger screen on my iPod Touch was just after downloading Monopoly.  Always a fan of the classic board game from Parker Brothers, the idea of playing it on a bigger surface seemed fantastic, so it is not surprise that it was one of the first games I played on the iPad.  With its size and weight -- or lack thereof -- the iPad is uniquely suited to replace the table in tabletop games.    Or, at least, to replace the dice, cards and other paraphernalia.   

The best board games for the iPad range from classics to retakes on a familiar theme to brand new games.   Here are the best of the best:

Lords of Waterdeep

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Dungeons and Dragons defined the pen-and-paper role-playing game, and with Lords of Waterdeep, the deep history of the Forgotten Realms was merged with the rich elements of a strategy board game to create a novel game.  The mixture of strategies is delivered home by a patron system that will have you going after different quests and objectives each game, as you compete against human or computer opponents to take control over the city of Waterdeep.  

Lords of Waterdeep is a must have for Dungeons and Dragons fans, but anyone who loves a good board game will fall in love with this game.  Each game session will last about 20-30 minutes, so it is easy enough to go through several games in a night.

Lords of Waterdeep Tips

Warhammer Quest

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One part fantasy role-playing and one part board game, Warhammer Quest is one of many games based on the Warhammer game world.   And if the graphics and art look a little similar to a certain other game, it might be because the Warcraft series,including World of Warcraft, took a lot of inspiration from Warhammer.  

Warhammer Quest is a great adaptation of the board game.  And in many ways, it plays out like any other turn-based role-playing game, with players involved in quests that will have them delving deep into dungeons.  Warhammer and fantasy fans alike will love this board game.

Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy

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Ever since the days of Master of Orion, strategy fans have been looking for a solid 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate) strategy game and space simulation.  Unfortunately, there are few that capture the fun of Master of Orion or Master of Orion 2, and none that exceed those classics.  

Eclipse is a board game based on the same idea of the classic space strategy game, and while it may not erase the memory of Master of Orion, it will provide oodles of fun for those that love the classic.   However, the game's complex rules and strategy can be overwhelming to new gamers.

Catan

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 The Settlers of Catan board game gained popularity during the mid-90s.  The game mixes in elements of strategy like resource gathering and trading as players race to settle the island of Catan, gaining victory points both for settlements and achievements such as building the longest road or having the largest army.  

The iOS adaptation of the game has the original rule set and allows both for single player and hot-seat multiplayer gameplay.   Fans of games like Civilization and Rome will love this board game.

Monopoly

Monopoly HD for the iPad

No list of top board games would be complete without Monopoly..  After all, it is one of the most popular board games of all time.   The iPad version doesn't stray too far from the essence that makes this game so great, with the ability to customize house rules like free parking and doubling up when landing on Go.   But iPad users will get one thing that is special: the ability to drive around the board in a Toyota Prius.

Words With Friends

Words With Friends

For anyone that loves Scrabble but doesn't want to pay $10 for the Scrabble app, there is Words With Friends.  But don't think you are getting the ugly step sister version of the all-time great board game.  Words With Friends has the same great arrange-the-letters-into-words game play in a turn-based style, letting you play against friends on Facebook or smartphones like the iPhone or Android.  And the gaming gets really fun when you play in multiple games at the same time.

Risk

Risk for iPad
Who doesn't want to rule the world? Or at least Australia? Risk is one of the best board games in history, and playing it on the iPad will bring back memories of fun days sitting around beating the pants off your cousins at family gatherings. Sporting both single player and multiplayer modes, Risk also adds a strategic "Fixed" alternative ruleset that will keep you on your toes.

Chess

Chess for iPad
Whether you are looking for a relaxing game or a CPU that can challenge you, Chess by Mastersoft Mobile Solutions is among the best versions of Chess on the app store. What really distinguishes this chess game from the pack is the number of options available, from a very easy mode for beginning chess players to teaching modes that give insight to what the iPad is thinking, there's a little of something for everyone no matter if they just started playing or have been playing for decades.

Yahtzee

Yahtzee for iPad
Yahtzee is one of those strange addictions that is better experienced than explained. It's hard to pinpoint what makes rolling those dice over and over again so fun, but it's beyond gratifying when you finally see those sixes line up. Yahtzee for iPad takes you on an adventure where you'll square off with numbers non-player characters, and for those who want to try their hand at rolling dice against their friends, you can even issue challenges on Facebook.

Mahjong!!

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Mahjong solitaire is a game of matching tiles that has long been as popular as card-based solitaire games like Klondike Solitaire and Spider Solitaire.  This free version of the game features multiple background pictures and basic features like hints and an undo to correct mistakes.  

Word Solitaire

Word Solitaire for iPad

What do you get when you cross Klondike Solitaire with Boggle?  Word Solitaire combines elements of classic word games by letting you arrange letters into words with elements of Solitaire by placing the game on a Klondike-like board.   The game has plenty of free levels and a great tutorial to help you get started.

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