These 3 Apps Will Level Up Your Board Game Play

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To sit down and play board games is to relish the analog. You aren’t manipulating pixels on a screen while texting strangers from who-knows-how-far-away. Nah. You’re handling dice on a real, solid tabletop, and hopefully doing it with some friends of the flesh and blood variety. But why must traditional and electronic gaming be at odds, at all? Why, we’ve actually found a handful of nifty apps in the iTunes store which organize, supplement, and even augment the whole tabletop experience. Here are just a few.

Board Game Stats lets you log and categorize your habit with a level of detail typically reserved for almanacs. It doesn’t just tally the scores, plays, and winners. Oh, no. It also logs player line-ups, gaming locations, and play dates (so you can review their frequencies in pie-charts, natch). Such record keeping might seem excessive with another pastime, but c’mon–every gamer would love her own stats chart.

First Player is the ref we’ve needed all along. Because seriously: what is the fairest way to decide who starts? Should it be seniority? Or a quick bout of Rock/Paper/Scissors? Or do we just listen to who’s loudest? This app removes human error, with modes like “Select ‘N Spin” and “Touch ‘n Hold” that use touch tech and programmed chaos to simplify this deceptively-simple decision even more.

The Codenames Gadget enhances Czech Games Edition’s spy-rific Codenames into a fuller game. Like First Player above, it can save you the stress of deciding which team goes first. And a timer function, with sound alerts of varying “niceness,” can make it abundantly clear when a player’s turn is up. There’s also a random key generator which should confound anybody who thinks they’ve cracked the big boggle.

Which one of these lil’ programs would you swipe right for? Are there more apt apps lurking in iTunes? Fill our talkback with suggestions! Maybe we’ll do a feature on them.

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