After yesterday’s Through the Ages app review (still on sale until April 10!), I thought I’d pass along a few other Steam sales that are going on for popular and excellent boardgame apps that you might want to try out since you’re as socially isolated as I am right now.
I may comment on the app itself if I’ve played it, but otherwise this is just a suggestion for something you might want to try since you’re stuck at home.
Most of these (at least the ones I’ve played) are worth the full price too, in case you find this post much after April 10 and they’re not on sale anymore. Or flag them until you see them on sale again!
Of course, you could try online gaming platforms other than apps too.
Prices are in Canadian, but I assume the percentage of the sale is the same regardless of currency. Sorry I can’t give you US$.
Isle of Skye (Digidiced) – $1.99 (75% off until April 10)
Isle of Skye is an interesting tile-laying game where you are trying to build the best clan territory in some kind of Middle Ages Scotland. You and the other players are clan leaders trying to impress the people with your territory so you might become king!
It has asynchronous multiplayer and Digidiced always does good apps. Previously for asynchronous play, there was a bug where only the player who finished the game could see the final score. I don’t know if it still has the same problem, but for $1.99 how can you go wrong?
It’s a fun little game.
Ascension: Deckbuilding Game (Playdek) – $4.39 (60% off until April 10)
This is the classic deckbuilding game by Playdek and Stoneblade Entertainment, with tons of expansions. You can buy a bundle that includes Ascension, Ascension: Gift of the Elements expansion, Ascension: Promo Pack 6, and Ascension: Valley of the Ancients for $10.54 (55% off) also until April 10.
I’ve talked enough about this game, but it’s my go-to game that I’ve played over 7000 times online and currently have something like 20 games going on.
I think the base game is also free on iOS and Android, though you have to buy each expansion separately. The expansions are Day 1 buys for me but you can try the game out for yourself without shelling out any cash. I don’t think they’re on sale currently, though, so Steam may be a good way to purchase it.
Epic Card Game (White Wizard Games) – Free to play
I reviewed this game a few weeks ago and it still holds up pretty well. It’s an interesting card game where you are trying to bring your opponent’s health down to zero. It’s similar to Star Realms, also by White Wizard Games, but this one has a lot of interaction between the cards and the card play.
The turn system is quite intricate and can be hard to understand at first but it starts to make sense after a while.
It has great asynchronous multiplayer (once you realize that it’s not skipping your turn but showing more of a replay of the previous turn than it really needs to) and it’s a really fun game to boot.
The best thing is since it’s free to play (and no money ever has to change hands to get a good experience), you can also play on your iOS or Android phone/tablet and play cross-platform.
Galaxy Trucker (CGE Games) – $5.74 (50% off until April 10)
Galaxy Trucker is one of those games that looks like it shouldn’t work in app form, but it does. CGE took a real-time game where you are doing three cargo runs by building your space ship (bigger and bigger each time) in real-time and then making a run to your destination, trying to avoid pirates, asteroids or aliens and picking up cargo on your way.
The board game has everybody scrambling to pick tiles out of a face-down pile, deciding whether it fits their ship and then either placing it or putting it back in the pile.
For the app, CGE has both this real-time scramble as well as a points-based system of choosing tiles, allowing turn-based asynchronous play that’s almost as beautiful as Through the Ages.
It’s not a game I play often, but when I do, I really enjoy it.
And it’s on sale!
Twilight Struggle (Playdek) – $4.59 (60% off until April 10)
I promise a review of this one is coming! After Through the Ages, it’s due.
But anyway, this is the classic 2-player cold-war game that has spawned numerous homages (such as the wonderful Labyrinth: the War on Terror, which isn’t on sale but is in Early Access so the price will likely go up once it goes into full release).
This card-driven game covers the entirety of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, from the late 1940s to the late 1980s.
It’s tense with lots of decision-making, especially when your hand is full of cards that have your opponent’s events on them. The event will happen once you play it and you can only play one of them for the Space Race, so what do you do with them?
I love this game and have played the app many times with Clio over at Clio’s Board Games.
It’s a wonderful app with great asynchronous multiplayer and it’s a great game to boot!
How about some well-regarded games that I don’t have any experience with?
Scythe (Asmodee Digital) – $11.39 (50% off until April 10)
This is a classic, well-regarded boardgame that I’ve never played. I tried the beta for Scythe and had trouble figuring it out, but if you enjoy the boardgame already 50% off is hard to beat!
Xenoshyft (Asmodee Digital & Cool Mini or Not) – $3.84 (65% off until April 10)
This is a really hard cooperative card game where you are trying to stop nasty aliens from reaching your base and destroying you. It’s basically a Tower Defense game with cards.
I’ve played it a few times (I bought it on my iPad way back when) but I haven’t played it in ages so I don’t know how the updates have done with the game. I got frustrated because it is freaking hard, but my friend Dave Neumann loves the game, so maybe listen to what he has to say about it.
There’s also a Deluxe Edition with some expansions for $6.99 (50% off until April 10)
There’s a bunch more, but this is a good selection.
Most are only on sale until April 10, but there are some good games in this list that are worth it even without the sale.
Let me know what you think, or if you have any more recommendations.