This past year was incredible for digital tabletop games. Through the Ages, Terra Mystica, and 7 Wonders are some of the very best board game apps on the market, so 2018 has big shoes to fill. But there are a number of huge releases coming that are poised to make 2018 another landmark year for digital tabletop gaming.
This is not a comprehensive list of every game announced for 2018, just the ones that I am anticipating the most.
Okay, look, Munchkin isn’t one of my favorite games. I played a ridiculous amount of the “take-that” loot game years ago and certainly had my fill of it. However, while I lack room in my heart to play more Munchkin with actual living people, I kind of can’t wait to put the screws to a faceless AI robot. If it has online play, that will be even sweeter.
Local play would be nice, but the thought of playing Onitama online is incredibly appealing.
Roll for the Galaxy
Despite not caring for the original tabletop game at all, it was hard to deny the quality of Temple Gates Games’ Race for the Galaxy port. The studio is returning to the franchise later this year with the dice-driven spin-off, Roll for the Galaxy.
I haven’t played Roll, but everything I know about it sounds like a game I would enjoy infinitely more than Race. I’m excited to finally give the game a chance when Roll for the Galaxy arrives on iOS.
Gloom is a fun little card game that with a wonderful theme and a gimmick that, while visually appealing, actually hinders the game’s playability at times. It uses plastic transparent cards that are intended to allow stacking modifiers and symbols. It’s an excellent concept, but it requires a non-textured table surface and adequate lighting to actually play the game. Which is… well, bad.
The digital port of Gloom will allow folks to enjoy the game without the troubles of the physical components. I can’t wait to bring unending suffering to my poor iOS family.
One Deck Dungeon
Solo board games are difficult for me to get excited about. Setting up the table and referencing rules by myself just doesn’t spark anything in me. I suppose that’s part of the appeal of digital tabletop games. It’s easy to quickly get the joy of a solo game without any of the physical fuss.
One Deck Dungeon is a game that I really enjoy, but struggle to muster the energy to play it alone. The upcoming digital port will finally give me that excuse to play again and again, and I can’t wait.
Wishlist items for the app include asynchronous online play and a robust campaign with interesting twists on the game, similar to the great Suburbia app campaign.
Isle of Skye
Carcassonne was one of the first digital board games that proved the concept worked. The tile-laying mechanics translate seamlessly to touch screens and the game continues to be one of the best ports that we’ve seen.
It’s not hard to imagine that Isle of Skye will also translate flawlessly to digital platforms. And with Digidiced handling the port, it’s a safe bet that Isle of Skye may be one of the very best apps of 2018.
The deluge of campaign-style board games has been unrelenting over the last several years. Finding time to play every exciting and new multi-session campaign is demanding of even the most die-hard gamers.
2016’s Pathfinder Adventures showed us that campaign-length games are a perfect fit for digital platforms. People can enjoy the experience of a lengthy board game commitment on their own terms without needing to coordinate with friends. I will be thrilled to finally play Zombicide once it launches digitally, and I hope that other similar games follow suit.
You can already play Scythe on services like Tabletopia and Tabletop Simulator, but those platforms aren’t without their flaws. Having a dedicated app for Scythe is much more appealing to me. I hope that the digital edition includes the board game’s famous Automata for solo players in addition to multiplayer against bots.
Lord of the Rings: The Living Card Game
I really like the concept of the Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game, but I do not enjoy playing the physical version at all. I don’t like having to sit with piles of cards to construct a new deck for various scenarios. It’s too fiddly and requires too much preparation for what I want out of a solo experience.
Removing the frustrating physical barrier to my enjoyment means that I can finally get into Lord of the Rings: LCG. There is a staggering amount of content published for the physical card game, which hopefully forebodes a long life-cycle for the digital edition. If the price is right, I could easily see myself playing the digital Lord of the Rings for a very, very long time.