A Tabletop Gamer’s Opinion on Mobile TableTop Gaming

I love tabletop gaming. Period. Yes, I know the title gives the topic away but, I want to shout it from the rooftops that I am a tabletop gamer. One of my fondest memories growing up is playing tabletop games. Imagine your twin brother (or regular brother) and younger sister kneeling in our chairs staring down at our Monopoly game board with our own personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut and a cassette tape of New Kids on the Block playing in the background. (Yes, how good were the New Kids? Oh wait.. I mean, personal pan pizzas from Pizza Huts!) I digress, that was my typical Friday night.

In the arena of cellular mobile devices, I have not only added more sophisticated yet simple tabletop games like Dixit and Tsuro, I also jumped at the chance to play my favorite tabletop games on a computer as well! Even before playing games other than snake on my Nokia mobile phone, I tried to make an online version of Mafia! (See our previous post titled “I’m a Townsperson”-Mafia: Party/Card/Tabletop Game Rundown.”) I would be the narrator and randomly assigned cards to my friends using Excel and then we would join a chat room and play. I would instant message the different characters (Sheriff, Doctor or Mafia members) during their part at nightfall and play until either all the Mafia members were killed or the Townsperson were no more. Yup, pretty ingenious even if it was very primitive.

*all images via google search

You could imagine my excitement when I downloaded Ticket to Ride produced by Days of Wonder on my iPhone and iPad for the first time and started it up to play (the game is available for iOS at the iTunes store or for Android at the Google Play store). It was everything that I wished for and more! I actually watched a Geek and Sundry Tabletop episode where Wil Wheaton played Ticket to Ride and wanted to learn the gameplay before buying the actual board game so I turned to the mobile version. The mobile version has two distinct changes from the actual boardgame. First, there isn’t any human interaction which is one of the top reason why I love tabletop gaming, for its connection with other tabletop enthusiasts and the bonding that occurs. And, secondly, the gameplay is much quicker! Because you are playing against the computer AI (artificial intelligence), there isn’t any long stretches of people contemplating their next train placement or organizing their train cards. There is an option where you can play against other human players by connecting to the same network or simply taking turns passing your device between each other. And, the playability of the game is more than getting the high score but with little missions to complete, like winning a game without having more than 10 train cards in hand at any time or win while only claiming grey routes, etc. I especially enjoyed the Halloween themed mission where you would get the pumpkin achievement badge if you won a game using black and orange trains! And, with the new Ticket to Ride App, you can play multiple session games and play different maps like Europe, Asia, and India in the same app!

There are plenty of mobile version of tabletop games for your devices. One can simply search for your favorite game in iTunes or Google Play, google mobile tabletop game or iOS tabletop games, or check out the show Tabletop by Wil Wheaton for games that may be available for your mobile device. If you are into Warcraft and card type board games, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is worth a try. One of my go to cooperative tabletop games, Pandemic is available on mobile with in-app purchases and add ons adding to the playability of the game. I was just at Disneyland and familes and friends were playing Heads Up in line which reminded me of the time I spent in line waiting for a ride playing games like the “Sign Game” (we would try to get other players out by following a clapping beat and displaying our sign) or “Big Booty” because mobile devices weren’t used to play games but to converse with people. And, for those nostalgic people, you can always play Monopoly, Scrabble and Battleship (there are a few versions) on your mobile device!


With mobile devices attach to your hip wherever we go, there is even more opportunity to play tabletop games without all the time to set up the board and game pieces. What’s a better way to wait in the DMV line or for my oil change than playing a few rounds of Zombie Dice or practicing my Settlers of Catan strategy. I can’t wait to see which tabletop game gets a mobile version even though I prefer sitting down with my friends listening to Justin Bieber, I mean .. playing board games without listening to any music.

Our resident Tabletop enthusiast, Jay, has written a few reviews of his favorite tabletop games. Check out his reviews of “Betrayal at House on the Hill”“Settlers of Catan”, and some Sci-Fi Tabletop Games as well!

International TableTop Day is coming up on April 30th. Check out recent post about International TableTop Day 2016 and I hope you’ll join us here at Nerd (Col)lab on April 30th to play some games!

*all photos taken from from google search



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