Video and board games. Two worlds so different yet so similar. Many gamers have started from one hobby and went to the other, or maintain a fine balance between the two. Especially now, with the upsurgance of board games gone digital and many video games borrowing from tabletop games, one may wonder: “What are some boardgames that feel like playing a video game?”. Well, look no further.

BattleCON

 

What makes a good fighting game? Quick reflexes, strategic moves, reading your opponent, flashy attacks. Well, this game doesn’t require you to be quick on your fingers but BattleCON: Devastation of Indines checks all the boxes above. An excellent game system that has spawned 4 main games and numerous expansions, BattleCON pits player VS player (or team VS team) in a battle to the end. Players choose one out of 30+ characters (in each box), each with a complete unique style – set of cards. On a turn, both players simultaneously choose one basic and one character card, to create a devastating -or failed- attack. Then, they reveal their combo and based on initiative, abilities, attributes, etc. resolve them in order. All this, along with stages, special moves, items, support characters, solo and coop modes, make for an almost infinite replayable game that has nothing to be jealous of from its video game counterparts.

Bubblee Pop

There’s something that makes aligning things and watching them go “POP” that feels so… right. In Bubblee Pop, a 1 versus 1 game, players try to align the little creatures known as Bubblees in vertical or horizontal lines and fill up the opponent’s board. A straightforward concept, that gets flipped on its head with every Bubblee providing different abilities each time you POP 3 or more of them, providing ample strategic choices to drive the opposing player into a corner. Reminiscent of video games like “Puzzle Bobble” / ”Bust-a-move”, it emulates the addictive feeling of executing and building up combos without the need of a screen and with the added bonus of socializing.

Puzzle Strike

Puzzle games translate well into boardgames and that’s the case with Puzzle Strike too. Taking some notes from “Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo”, Puzzle Strike is a deck building game (using chips instead of cards), where your goal is to fill your opponent’s board with gem before the same happens to you. To do that you utilize chip abilities to combine gems, smash them, and send ‘em your opponent’s way. With 10 different characters and numerous chip abilities to choose from, sending gems will never be a bore.

Jetpack Joyride


Surely, even if you haven’t put countless hours into unlocking the next achievement, you have at least tried the mobile hit Jetpack Joyride. An endless sidescroller that one would not think that it could be a good fit for a board game. Well, Jetpack Joyride, the board game this time, comes to prove that one person wrong. A loving tribute to both the original mobile game and… Tetris, the board game has players compete in real time to build a route using Tetris-like blocks, whilst avoiding obstacles and collecting coins in stages taken directly from the video game. So, why spend all this time on your phone alone, when you can spend it with your friends on a tabletop game?

Chronicles of Crime


Point and click adventure games have been a favorite genre since the age of LucasArts games, with gems like Grim Fandago, Sam & Max & Escape from Monkey Island. This feeling of exploring and trying to solve a crime using your brains, sprinkled with a little “Ace Attorney” on top is almost perfectly recreated in Chronicles of Crime. Utilizing a seamless combination of traditional tabletop adventure games and smartphone technology, being a group of detectives never felt more real. Presenting evidence when talking to suspects by scanning their QR code almost feels like a real life “Objection!”. When compared to games like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and Detective, it achieves a similar feel to those games, but it offers a more video-gamey experience thanks to the make sure you also check Chronicles of Crime: Noir, an amazing expansion by Stephane Anquetil which may remind you of L.A Noire, the lesser known gem of Rockstar Games.

Star Wars: Outer Rim


Star Wars. A franchise so vast, with so many iterations in films, novels, games, etc. There are many excellent video and board games out there, but one that stands out is Star Wars – Outer Rim. Following no specific storyline from the lore, each player embodies a Bounty Hunter in the Outer Rims, trying to gather the most fame amongst their peers. It’s a true galaxy-sized sandbox, where you can try to achieve your goal any way you want: by hunting for bounties, trading and smuggling goods, taking jobs, upgrading your ship and so much more. A game so open to possibilities that would translate extremely well to video game form, that one has to wonder why there isn’t a Mandalorian open world RPG yet…

Pixel Tactics

Who remembers “Mega Man: Battle Network”? A spin-off RPG of the renown “Mega Man” series, with a unique tactical battle-system taking place in a 3×3 grid and utilizing cards. While not a 1:1 replication, Pixel Tactics delivers quite similar gameplay and feel. Players have a deck of cards, one of which is chosen as a leader at the beginning of the round, and each other card can either be used as a unit (with a different ability depending on where it is placed) or as a one off order ability. The replayability of the game is honestly off the roof, with countless possible combinations and tactical choices. And hey, there is even a Mega Man version!


Feeling nostalgic? This is exactly how we want our speakers to behave :)

Adrenaline


How can a fast-paced, adrenaline inducing FPS video game be translated into a board game? Adrenaline is here to answer that very question. Although not quite reminiscent of frenetic shooters like “Doom”, it is more akin to games like “Quake 3 Arena”, the multiplayer focused FPS. Set in a virtual arena, each player is a champion trying to score the most kills. To help with that, there is a vast arsenal of unique weapons spread throughout the stage, ready to be picked and used by anyone. An intense but also puzzly experience, Adrenaline manages to merge the mechanics and feeling of an FPS into a solid board game.

Tiny Epic Quest

Adventuring in Tiny Epic Quest is all about going wherever you want in any way you choose. The similarities with the “Legend of Zelda” franchise don’t stop at the visuals of the game, taking inspiration from the aesthetic feel of the original game on the NES combined with the art style of entries such as “The Minish Cap”, but go beyond captivating the sense of freedom and adventure. Players venture through the land completing quests, fighting enemy creatures, learning spells and acquiring items in order to gather the most victory points and become a legendary hero. A tiny game in size with many grand adventures waiting to unfold.

Super Motherload

Taking direct inspiration from the classic video game “Dig Dug”, but even more from the indie game of the same name released in 2013, Super Motherload is a frenzy dig-athon for 2 to 4 players. The goal of the game is to gather the most points by the end of it. To accomplish that, players have to Dig or Bomb the spaces on the board to gather more minerals and gems, which in turn are used to buy more powerful cards to dig even further and even more efficiently. But you can’t go mindlessly destroying everything on your path, as there are achievements that grant points and you must, well, achieve before everyone else. We first played at Kingmakers Board Game Cafe while attending GenCon and it become one of our favorite gamers ever since. Pure Fun !

If you dig on digging (got that right?) into a steampunk world, be sure to check out SteamWorld Dig 2 on steam. Amazing !

You can read more about that Epic night by visiting RGL GenCon Gaming Night Vol 8!

Any board game you think Deserves a place on the triumph ? Comments below !

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