The Best iPad Board Games

The top board, dice, and card games for the iPad

The iPad serves as a great tabletop stand-in for board games. The excellent graphics, sound, touch controls, and paper-like feel make the iPad a substitute for the real thing. Even better, you don't need everyone gathered around the same table to have fun.

These best iPad board games include a few classics, as well as some that have been created in recent years. While there are many card battle games for the iPad, we focused on more traditional board games.

01
of 10

Warhammer Quest

What We Like
  • The beautiful music and art design.

  • The multi-dice system adds uncertainty to every turn.

What We Don't Like
  • Success sometimes relies on luck rather than strategy.

  • Many of the enemies look and behave the same way.

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 inspiration from Warhammer

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

Warhammer Quest has a sequel, but many feel it didn't quite hit the same feel as the original.

02
of 10

D&D Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep
What We Like
  • Stays faithful to its source material.

  • It's fun to play with others or against the AI.

What We Don't Like
  • It may be too complex for casual gamers.

  • Units like wizards and warriors are represented as blocky game pieces. It feels unimaginative.

Dungeons and Dragons defined the pen-and-paper role-playing game. With Lords of Waterdeep, the history of the Forgotten Realms was merged with the rich elements of a strategy board game to create a truly novel game. The mixture of strategies is delivered home by a patron system. It 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. However, anyone who loves a good board game will fall in love with it. Each game session lasts 20 to 30 minutes, so it is easy to go through several games in a night.

03
of 10

Catan Classic

The Settlers of Catan
What We Like
  • It includes a helpful tutorial for beginners.

  • Multiple AI difficulty settings for players of all skill levels.

What We Don't Like
  • No online multiplayer mode.

  • The trading system lacks the depth of the board game.

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

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

04
of 10

Agricola

Agricola
What We Like
  • Automatic score keeping allows you to better focus on your next move.

  • It's cheaper than the actual board game.

What We Don't Like
  • The tutorial needs improvement.

  • It comes with a steep learning curve.

If you love games like FarmVille but don't like the time-limited free-to-play money grab that infests many of those games, you will love Agricola. A medieval farming simulation, Agricola doesn't center around slaying monsters or global domination. Rather, it's about feeding your family and, perhaps, denying others the ability to feed their families. One great thing about Agricola is the huge number of possibilities you'll have to play the game, which adds to the variety.

05
of 10

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Star Wars: Imperial Assault
What We Like
  • Co-op gameplay is fun for all ages.

  • Legends of the Alliance companion app introduces new heroes and villains.

What We Don't Like
  • Some missions from the physical game are missing.

  • Enemy encounters are random, so you may see a Wampa on Tatooine, potentially upsetting some Star Wars purists.

We may be living in the golden age of board games without realizing it. Step into any local game shop, and you'll be amazed at the variety of titles, up to and including some cool Star Wars games.

This board game was created by the makers of Descent, which is a popular dungeon crawler board game. It pits a single player as the game master controlling the Imperial forces and the other players as the rebels. In the app version, the iPad takes over the Imperial forces, allowing gamers to play cooperatively.

06
of 10

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride
What We Like
  • It includes thorough instructions and tutorials.

  • Can purchase international maps to expand the game.

What We Don't Like
  • The single player AI is easy to beat.

  • Finding people to play with online can be a challenge.

Ticket to Ride is a board game centered around claiming train routes across the United States and parts of Canada. Players receive hidden destinations that garner them extra points at the end of the game if they can connect the destinations. The person with the longest track gets a bonus.

The iPad version of the board game is a great rendition. It allows single-player and multiplayer with both online multiplayer and pass-and-play options.

07
of 10

Splendor

Splendor game
What We Like
  • New solo puzzles and achievement badges add depth to the gameplay.

  • Can customize the text and color scheme.

  • It has a colorblind mode.

What We Don't Like
  • It's prone to bugs and crashes.

  • The scoring system is somewhat mysterious.

Splendor is a gem-gathering board game. It pits players against each other to earn the most influence by acquiring developments and catching the eye of nobles. A board game without a board, Splendor uses a combination of cards, which can be developments or nobles, and tokens, which can represent gems or gold.

The iPad version supports a single player against the AI, an online multiplayer against up to four opponents, and an offline pass-and-play mode.

08
of 10

The Game of Life

The Game of Life
What We Like
  • The bright, charming graphics and music.

  • Fast mode keeps the game moving at an exciting pace.

What We Don't Like
  • It may be too simplistic for adults.

  • The extra mini-games aren't very exciting.

If you're looking for a great game to play with your kids, look no further than the classic Game of Life. This digitized version sweeps you into and out of the board, playing with an interactive spirit that kids will enjoy. This one isn't recommended for the adults in the crowd, as the linear play and lack of real choice gets old quick, but it's perfect for younger kids.

09
of 10

RISK: Global Domination

RISK: Global Domination
What We Like
  • The intuitive UI is easy for RISK veterans to grasp.

  • The unique character portraits and other animations are a nice touch.

What We Don't Like
  • There are hundreds of similar games to play on iOS.

  • No online multiplayer support.

Who doesn't want to rule the world? Or at least Australia? Risk is one of the best strategy board games in history. Playing it on the iPad will bring back memories of fun days sitting around beating the pants off your cousins at family gatherings.

A great rendition of the original board game, RISK includes a few options like alternative maps. It is free to download but contains time-limited play passes. If you want unlimited play, you'll have to pay. However, if you want to waste time once in a while, you can get by with the free version.

10
of 10

Mahjong!!

Mahjong solitaire
What We Like
  • Solving puzzles at your own pace is a great way to relax.

  • The sharp presentation.

What We Don't Like
  • No flashy extra features like some of the other games on this list.

  • A multiplayer mode would have been nice.

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 option to correct mistakes.