Other Gaming > Board & Card Games

Online/App Board & Card Games

(1/5) > >>

I have noticed how much Hearthstone has taken off here on the Message Boards, so I figured we should discuss other online versions of board/card games.

I have four current favorites:

1. Ticket to Ride (Steam) - You get a free download code when you buy the board game. I then bought an extra code through Steam when they were having a 50% off deal, so I could play my mom who lives in New Hampshire. She is now hopelessly addicted to playing against the AI.  ;D You can also download the app for smart phones.

     a. AI Strength - Low - The computer has three main strategies: complete the most tickets, complete the longest continuous route, and gather six of each color to gain the most train car points. None of these strategies alone are effective against a seasoned player. This program is great for beginners and defeating loneliness, but you will not find yourself challenged.

     b. Bonus Features - When you are viewing the Destination Tickets, the end points light up green, which makes them much easier to find on the board (for the geographically challenged). When you are placing trains, the endpoints light up blue to make sure you place them correctly. If they light up red, then you have not met the requirements for that route (oh, it was 6 trains, not 5!).

     c. Downsides/Glitches - You cannot see the Destination Ticket routes unless you click on them, which is very difficult to do if you have several in hand and you want to look at the ones in the middle.

2. Dominion (website based) - This was how I first learned how to play the game. The game is free to play, you just have to create an account. They make their money by having you buy the expansions and promos, since only the base game is free.

     a. AI Strength - High - I play in Adventure Mode a lot, and the AI can be very tough sometimes. I have learned how to play certain cards so much better in real life after getting stomped by the AI with them. I have had to resort to "Zaps" (which increase a couple of my starting coppers to silvers) just to beat several bosses. The boss fights are multiplayer, and they often team up against you.  :o

     b. Bonus Features - The "Zaps" are very helpful and you can earn them over time without paying real money. In online games with real people, everyone can play with the expansions owned by whoever starts the game, even if the other players did not buy that expansion.

     c. Downsides/Glitches - The AI players' turns go by quickly, so you have to play close attention or you will miss what they did. There is no downtime until it is your turn and you have a choice to make. Also, be careful which buttons you press, even though they all glow as available. I have accidentally ended my turn when I simply did not want to play an action card.  ::)

3. Small World 2 (Steam) - I actually do not own this game in real life, but I was interested in trying it. Steam is currently having a sale on it ($7.49) so I gave it a go. My son and I love this game already, so I will likely pick up the real version soon. This game is not what it seems from the cover. It is a great family game.  ;D

     a. AI Strength - Medium? - I got the beat down as I was learning the game, but I have been winning consistently since. Part of this game is dependent on the random combination of Special Power and Race you choose from the lineup of 5. I really like the game's mechanics. However, I have noticed that the computer made what I would consider poor choices when better choices were available, so I might drop this AI to Low over time.

     b. Bonus Features - The regions light up green if you have the resources to take it over, and red if you do not. You also see exactly how many tokens are required for the takeover, which is nice.

     c. Downsides/Glitches - The Sorcerer is tricky to use online, so be careful.

4. Lords of Waterdeep (Apple Store) - My son wanted to buy this game, but we decided to try the app first for $5.99. This is another game that we will definitely buy for real. Once again, don't be fooled by the box. Although the theme is Dungeons & Dragons, the game is not an RPG. It is a typical European-style board game that is limited to 8 rounds.

     a. AI Strength - High - This game can toggle three levels for AI players (easy, medium, hard), and each AI player can be a different level if you choose. Even in easy mode, they seem to make good choices, and they always target the score leader for bad stuff (Mandatory Quests, Intrigue Cards, etc.). In hard mode, the AI players always target the human players for bad stuff, even if another AI player is in the lead. They will also block human players from resources to complete Mandatory Quests, even if they do not need those resources. A solo human player against multiple AI players in hard mode is like playing Civilization in "Sid" mode.  ;)

     b. Bonus Features - Every move by other players and AI players is shown at the beginning and end of your turn. For Pass-n-Play, the game tries to do as much as it possibly can on your turn before any other real player needs to make a decision requiring the passing of the device.

     c. Downsides/Glitches - You cannot see the whole board at once, so you have to keep scrolling around in all directions, which is tiresome for touch screen impaired old people like me.  ;)  Also, any completed quests that had an ongoing ability are not out in the open, which makes it easier to forget those abilities are still there.  ::)

5. Star Realms (Android, Apple, PC) - Shout out to CaptainKirk for introducing the game to me recently. All versions of the app are free, but with limited accessibility. You can only play against the "Easy AI" for solo games, until you pay the $5 "total package." Realize, though, that the $5 will unlock all versions for all devices you own (according to the website), which is actually a very good deal.

     a. AI Strength - High - Even on "Easy AI" the decisions are good and the game is hard to beat. The higher AI levels utilize more strategic deck-building techniques to show you the power of using one or two factions. You are not likely to win many consecutive games against "Hard AI."

     b. Bonus Features - The cards light up around the border when they  1.) are able to be played;  2.) are able to be purchased;  3.) have an optional ability that is able to be triggered. As long as you pay attention to the glowing borders, you will not likely forget that the optional abilities are there (i.e. scrapping a card for additional effect).

     c. Downsides/Glitches - The phone version is very small (as you can imagine), so keeping track of what you have and what your opponent has is no small task. I find it very difficult to see what my opponent purchases on his turn. I also had a very tough time attacking the correct base when he had several bases in play. Finally, activating optional abilities is a little tricky with the single-tap versus double-tap, especially when there is a delay on the first tap.
             The PC version is much easier to read and follow opponent moves, but you still have to be watching very closely when it makes purchases.

I liked the online version of Dominion quite a bit but the adventure mode and playing against bots got sorta repetitive with just the base set and I don't really have the will to by the expansions. Occasionally I'd play other people who had other expansions but my computer is sorta slow sometimes and would sometimes make playing with others difficult. If my computer was faster I'm sure I would like it much more but as per usual, is always rather play with people with physical cards.


--- Quote from: KoalaKing on January 01, 2015, 11:40:40 PM ---... but as per usual, is always rather play with people with physical cards.
--- End quote ---

Indeed this is true, but the beauty of the apps and online versions is that you can still play when no one else is available. Also, my son prefers to play games with more than just his dad, and the AI players give him that chance even when he has the flu.  ;)

In my opi;ion, I like opening physical boosterpacks, rather than clicking a button...


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version