Board games have been experiencing a renaissance in recent years, 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 put together the very best board games for Android for the consideration of long-time board game fans.It's worth noting in advance that a vast majority of the Android board games on our list employ in-app purchases for expansions, and thanks to their established physical counterparts, they tend to be well-balanced and lots of fun.

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile-based kingdom-building game in which players each take turns trying to complete roads, cities, and cloisters. Each turn, players also drop a limited number of their meeple onto those 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.

Carcassonne is a polished adaptation of a classic board game and has just recently been re-released in 3D and it looks and plays better than ever! If you haven't played it before now is the time to check it out!

  • Number of players: 1-6
  • Options to play: Solo, local multiplayer, online multiplayer

Download: Carcassonne ($1.99 w/ IAPs)

Risk: Global Domination

Risk is a classic board game that's fun to play but 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 always.

Risk is free to play, but you can unlock the full game via a one-time in-app purchase.

  • Number of players: 2-6, against real-life opponents or AI
  • Options to play: Solo, pass-and-play, online multiplayer

Download: RIsk (Free, $7.99 to unlock full game)

Cribbage with Grandpas

Cribbage is a mix between a card game and a board game, so it totally belongs here too. Cribbage with Grandpas is just a really 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.

Check out my full review and then fall in love with this great game.

  • Number of players: 1
  • Options to play: Solo

Download: Cribbage with Grandpas ($2.99)

Pandemic: The Board Game

This mobile version of the popular strategic board game of the same name that provides a real challenge whether you're playing alone or with friends. Your goal: Try to cure four contagious diseases from spreading and taking over the world.

You select your characters at the start of the game, with each character performing specific roles to help eradicate the diseases. Which characters you pick will have a big effect on your team's ultimate success. 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's an in-app purchase available for expansions, which improves the replayability of this addictive and challenging game.

  • Number of players: 2-4, or solo if you play more than one role
  • Options to play: Solo, pass-and-play

Download: Pandemic: The Board Game ($4.99)

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. The farther these two cities are, the more victory points they're worth, plus the player with the longest line gets an additional victory point bonus.

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.

  • Number of players: 1-5
  • Options to play: Solo, Pass-and-play, local multiplayer, online multiplayer

Download Ticket to Ride ($6.99 w/ IAPs)

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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.

  • Number of players: 2-4
  • Options to play: Solo mode, pass & play and online multiplayer

Download: Splendor ($6.99)

Settlers of Catan

Catan is not just a classic board game; it is the classic board game. Players harvest resources and connect their villages by roads, accumulating victory points along the way. It doesn't sound like much, but between the inter-player trading (or scheming) and the cramped real estate, Catan can be a very tense game. Players also use their harvested resources to purchase cards which can provide them with useful resources. Pass-and-play multiplayer is available, as well as many of the original game's expansions.

For a tense game of wheeling and dealing, check out Catan.

  • Number of players: 1-5
  • Options to play: Solo, pass-and-play, online multiplayer

Download Catan ($4.99)

Shelter Free

Shelter Free combines deck-building card games and castle defence 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 duelling 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.

  • Number of players: 1
  • Options to play: Solo

Download Shelter Free (Free w/ IAPs)

Sea Battle 2

Don't let anyone sink your battleship! This reimagining of the classic game lets you play against an AI, a random online opponent, or the person sitting next to you. It goes beyond mere battleships to include planes, radar, mines, submarines, and all the while you're climbing 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.

  • Number of players: 1-2
  • Options to play: Solo, pass-and-play, local multiplayer over Bluetooth, online multiplayer

Download Sea Battle 2 (Free w/ IAPs)

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Mahjong: Beautiful Orient

The 20 boards of Mahjong: Beautiful Orient feature beautiful backgrounds and a lovely soundtrack to listen to while you master Mahjong. The premise of the game is simple enough: match two tiles to remove them from the board. The boards increase in complexity as you advance, and you need to attain a preset minimum score to move on (not so simple now). Speed, accuracy, and a sharp eye are your must-have Mahjong tools.

If you love board games but you'd just rather play solo, Mahjong: Beautiful Orient is the game for you.

  • Number of players: 1
  • Options to play: Solo

Download Mahjong Beautiful Orient (Free w/ IAPs)

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.

Instead of figuring out who's birthday is next, who's the youngest, or any other weird way of choosing who goes first, with Chwazi everyone just puts a finger on the phone or tablet 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 whether you need to split the room into two teams or pair off a group of 10 people randomly. 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… Along with squeezing that many people around a single device.

This is a free app that any board game fan should absolutely have on their phone.

Download: Chwazi Finger Chooser (Free)

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 packed with 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.

Download: RPG Simple Dice (Free)

Your favorite Android board games?

Those are our picks, but there's a lot of great games in the Google Play Store. Leave a comment with your favorite board game or board adaptations for Android!

Updated January 2019: Added Risk to our list along with a couple apps that are useful for IRL board games — Chwazi Finger Chooser and RPG Simple Dice.

Get the most out of your Android gaming experience

SteelSeries Stratus Duo ($60 at Amazon)

A great Bluetooth controller for use with Android games that offer gamepad support that also includes a wireless USB dongle for gaming on PCs. Highly recommended!

Ventev Powercell 6010+ Portable USB-C Charger ($37 at Amazon)

This battery pack from Ventev is recommended so often because it's so compact and convenient. You get a built-in USB-C cord, built-in AC prong for charging the unit, and 6000mAh battery capacity.

Spigen Style Ring ($13 at Amazon)

Of all the phone mounts and kickstands we've tested, the most consistently reliable and sturdy is the original Spigen Style Ring. It also has a minimalist hook mount for your car's dashboard.

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