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Home Alone 2 (tablet presence)

At the moment my "game room" is occupied as a work-from-home office from 7 am to early in the evening. My daughter is doing her schoolwork at home all day so I can't play games in the living room either. It's too distracting for her. Also, she's a bit too young to study alone so I have to be around for motivational talks, snacks and drinks etc. Which leaves playing board games on the tablet. There are worse things, as some of these apps are very good and worth their money.

One of the first I played, years ago, was Elder Sign: Omens. And I still play it, because even though it's an older app it is very well done. By now I've won all campaigns and have unlocked all investigators, so usually I just play with a random team against the Ancient One of choice. I am very attached to Wendy Adams though, who was added to the game when I finally beat Ithaqua after a year of trying.

Most people will have played the app for Onirim, as it's free (including the first expansion The Glyphs). The cheap expansion Crossroads and Dead Ends turns it into a great introduction to the card game. The best expansions have not been released in the app, but it's an enjoyable filler anyway.

I think One Deck Dungeon is easier to play on the tablet. You get reminded of your character's special feat. You can undo your dice allocation and transformations if you got confused, then try something else. Of course it's more fun to roll dice for real, but the app has them rolling all over the screen as well, so alright.

I must have spent most tablet time in Race for the Galaxy. I've played the digital version over 3,000 times in the last two years. It features Keldon's AI, which is one of the best ever developed for a board game. You have to pay for every expansion, but they add so many new ways to victory, or rather, to lose, they are well worth the money.

A lot of apps offer statistics, so you can see how you performed over time. Some add something more, like Friday, that has achievements. Going for these achievements taught me there were more ways to build your deck, and made me a better player.


My latest addiction is Terraforming Mars. I ehm, didn't know that game. Just the name. But I've played this with a game group last month and now I really would like to have it for solo play, except the Dutch version is sold out everywhere. (I need that one so I can play it with my daughter too.) So I bought the app for now and try to reach the solitaire win condition with every starting corporation.

And there are so many more digital board games:

  • I have spent too much time with Star Realms

  • And even more with Talisman

  • I have lost Maquis digitally many times, I could have saved me the PnP

  • At other times I'll play Pandemic again, or Plague Inc

  • I'm thinking about maybe buying Aeon's End or Sentinels of the Multiverse to try out the next few weeks

  • Or Through the Ages, a game I'll never get to play otherwise

Playing board games on the tablet is not the same as playing the game for real. I will always prefer to spread things out on the table and hold something in my hands. But it is way more fun than I thought when I took a chance on Elder Sign: Omens. No set up, no shuffling, still the familiar artwork and mechanics. It's nice.

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