Best Board Games for Android Android Central 2020

Board games have been going through true renaissance over the past decade, and it doesn't take a lot of digging in the Google Play Store to see it reflected on Android as well. If you're having trouble getting everybody together under one roof or just don't have any more shelf space for another box, pick up your Android phone or tablet to grab these fantastic board games. We've also included a couple great apps to have on hand when you do get the gaming crew together.

Full game with expansions available: Carcassonne: Official Board Game

Staff Pick

Carcassonne is a polished adaptation of the classic board game. It was recently re-released in 3D and it looks and plays better than ever! Its a tile-based kingdom-building game where players each take turns trying to complete roads, cities, and cloisters. Each turn, players also drop a limited number of "meeple" onto landmarks in an attempt to claim points once the feature has been completed. If you can't fully enclose a city or finish a road by the end of the game, you can still get a few points. A handful of expansions are also available via in-app purchases.

$5 at Google Play Store

The game of global domination: Risk: Global Domination

Risk is a classic board game that's fun to play, but it's a pain to set up and typically takes hours to complete. The mobile game version of Risk automates most of the more tedious aspects of the game and lets you play on your own against AI, offline with friends using pass and play, or online for remote play against friends or strangers. It's all the classic strategy game action you love enhanced with fun animations and a faster pace of play. If you're one of those people who really enjoys playing Risk but can't find friends to play in person, this is a great version to take with you.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play

Don't forget about Gramps!: Cribbage with Grandpas

Cribbage is a mix between a card game and a board game, so it totally belongs here. Cribbage with Grandpas is a charming indie game that's great for seasoned cribbage players along with people who are just learning the game. On top of just having a really clean and colorful design, Cribbage with Grandpas has gaming's first build-a-Grandpa feature where you can create the perfect opponents and tweak their personality and playing style.

$3 at Google Play Store

Save the world from catastrophe: Pandemic: The Board Game

This mobile version of the popular strategic board game of the same name provides a true challenge, whether you're playing alone or with friends. Your goal: Try to cure four contagious diseases from spreading. You select your characters at the start of the game, with each character performing specific roles to help eradicate the diseases. This is a pass-and-play game to play with friends, and you'll all have to work together and use your teams strategically if you want to win. There are in-app purchases available for expansions, which adds extra content to this addictive and challenging game.

$2 at Google Play Store

All aboard!: Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride gets players to build sprawling rail empires by gathering colored cars to connect cities. Every turn, a player gets to either pick two cars, claim a line by spending cars, or take on a new ticket, which challenges players to connect two cities before the first player runs out of cars. On the whole, Ticket to Ride is a fine combination of competition and construction. The in-app purchase grants you access to a new bundle of maps and boards, all of which are totally worth the price.

$7 at Google Play Store

Quite the gem: Splendor

Splendor is a game that's fast and easy to learn, but hard to master. You play as rich merchants during the Renaissance with the goal of earning 15 prestige points before your opponents. The game requires you to collect gems, which are in turn spent on cards as you build out your empire. The mobile version is a faithful adaptation of the tabletop version and lets you play pass-and-play style with friends, solo against the AI, or play online multiplayer matches. The game is fairly quick to play and a great game to play with the whole family.

$6 at Google Play Store

Zombie survival game: Shelter Free

Shelter Free combines deck-building card games and castle defense strategy. You wake up to find that the world is overrun with zombies and you have to continuously fight them off in order to make your way out of the danger zone. You move through hazards, seeking cards to build and strengthen your deck, and dueling with zombies who have equally powerful card decks. The graphic novel artwork style is enough to keep you coming back for more gameplay, but the storyline and intense card battles will keep you hooked for sure.

Free w/IAPS at Google Play Store

You sunk my battleship!: Sea Battle 2

Don't let anyone sink your battleship! This reimagining of the classic game lets you play against AI, a random online opponent, or the person sitting next to you. It goes beyond mere battleships to include planes, radar, mines, submarines. All the while you climb the ranks from a lowly recruit to an admired admiral. Name your proud fleet, watch your scores on the global leaderboard, and use the in-app chat feature to discuss strategy. The old-school graph paper design will take you right back to playing sneaky Battleship rounds during junior high study hall.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

Board game required: Better Catan

There are a couple versions of Catan available in the Google Play Store, but they seem to be hopelessly broken these days. It's a real shame, because, in my opinion, Catan is one of the greatest board games ever made. Better Catan Board Generator is an app that aims to fix any unfairness by using algorithms to create a board that encourages fair play. While it's not a standalone Catan emulator that you can play on the go, it is a great option if you're a Catan fan and want a new way to enjoy a classic game.

Free w/IAPs at Google Play Store

A must-have app for board game fans: Chwazi Finger Chooser

Choosing who goes first in a game or splitting a group into teams has never been easier or more fun than with the Chwazi Finger Chooser app. With Chwazi, everyone just places a finger on the phone or tablet screen and the app randomly selects one finger. Alternatively, you can have the app choose more than one finger and eliminate someone. There's also an option for creating groups. Chwazi says they can support up to 32 fingers at one time, but you might be limited to the number of simultaneous inputs your phone or device can handle.

Free at Google Play Store

Simulate your rolls: RPG Simple Dice

There's nothing more frustrating than setting up to play board game only to find that the dice are missing. Fortunately, there's an app for that that's also packed with other thoughtful features. The RPG Simple Dice app gives you an endless selection of virtual dice to roll, and lets you roll up to 100 dice at one time with a single tap. As the name suggests, this is also an ideal app for any tabletop RPG fans or for games that require dice of all sorts — from standard six-sided die to d20, d100 etc. There's even the option to create a custom die to fit whatever need or situation you could possibly want.

Free at Google Play Store

Avoid boredom with these board games

Nothing truly beats the experience of sitting down with some friends and family to play a board game, but when that's not possible, these mobile versions do just as well. I'd recommend all the games on our list, but in particular I think Carcassonne is one of the best board games for Android you can buy. The game itself is really fun and it's been lovingly recreated in full 3D for smartphones.

Another game that I'd highly recommend is Cribbage with Grandpas. It's a cute game developed by an indie developer and it's perfect whether or not you've played Cribbage before. You even get to create your own Grandpa to play against, which is just adorable, and then they'll help you along to understand the rules and deliver little quips as you play. It's absolutely charming.

Lastly, I just gotta give a shoutout to Chwazi which is the best and simplest way to choose who goes first in any board game situation or also for dividing a group into teams for other fun games around the holiday season. It's a free download and an absolute must-have app if you love to play board games.

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