15. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival (Dire Wolf Digital)

25 Best Board-Game Mobile Apps to Play Right Now

Another game with beautiful artwork and animations, Lanterns is a tile-placement game with a clever scoring twist: Every time you place a square lantern tile, you gain a token of the color facing you … and each opponent gets a token of the color facing him or her. You gain a second token if you matched the edge of the tile you placed to the edge it’s touching on the board. You trade in tokens in sets for points, but the point bonuses for these — one of each of the seven colors, four of a kind, or three pairs — decrease over the course of the game. It’s over quick, and since you can’t control your tile draws, your strategy is really turned by turn.


14. Raiders of the North Sea (Dire Wolf Digital)

25 Best Board-Game Mobile Apps to Play Right Now

Raiders of the North Sea, a worker-placement game from the prolific designer Shem Phillips, is the perfect game for a digital adaptation: It’s a fantastic game with a fair amount of setup and a lot of pieces. In Raiders, players place meeples in the port town at the bottom of the board to gain supplies and hire workers so they can outfit their longships with raiding parties to go pillage the outposts and fortresses across the top two-thirds of the map. The app brings in the outstanding, cartoonish artwork from the physical game as well. Dire Wolf Digital’s next port, the stellar dice-drafting game Sagrada, is already in Early Access on Steam and would make this list if it were fully released right now.


13. Galaxy Trucker (Czech Games)

25 Best Board-Game Mobile Apps to Play Right Now

The tabletop game on which this is based involves a mad scramble for parts to trick out your spaceships, a process well-replicated, even when playing against AI players who, in theory, could just cheat and take all the good bits. What truly separates Galaxy Trucker from so many other adaptations is the best narrative campaign on any board-game app. This wasn’t just thrown together — someone wrote it like a short graphic novel you’ll play your way through many, many games over. It’s brilliant and makes the game so much more addictive.


12. Jaipur (Asmodee Digital)

25 Best Board-Game Mobile Apps to Play Right Now

My all-time favorite two-player game got a digital version last year with an unexpected twist: a campaign mode that comprises all kinds of variants to the base game’s rules. In Jaipur, each player has a hand of up to seven cards and tries to collect sets of the six goods shown on the cards, each of which has its own value. You can only take cards from the five shown in the “market” on the table. There are also camel cards, which you can use to take multiple cards at once; a popular tactic is to set up a move where you replace all of the goods cards with camels from your stack so that your opponent has no choice but to take all five camel cards and give you a chance to choose from five fresh cards from the deck. The campaign mode tweaks various rules, like reducing the hand size to five or changing the card values so that they’re all the same.


11. Splendor (Asmodee Digital)

25 Best Board-Game Mobile Apps to Play Right Now

The popular, quick-to-learn game Splendor was an instant hit on its release in 2014, and the app version followed soon afterward, finally gaining online play as an option last year. Splendor players collect tokens they can use to buy any of the 12 gem cards on the table, arranged in three rows from cheapest to most expensive. The more costly a card, the more points it’s likely to be worth. Collecting certain combinations of cards — three each of three specific colors, for example — may get you a Noble tile, worth another three points. The first player to 15 points triggers the last round, and then whoever has the most points wins.