We’re spoiled these days by our smart devices. We can watch a movie on Netflix, or fire up a cloud gaming service like Google’s Stadia and play console titles like the new open-world game Cyberpunk 2077 while we’re on the bus. There’s wisdom in the maxim that sometimes one can have too much of a good thing though. Fortunately, app and web-ready versions of many of our more relaxing classic board games are available to explore if you’re looking to pass some time whilst on the move.
Chess is the famous competitive board game played between two players on a 64 square board. The objective of the game is to tactically outmaneuver your opponent and capture their King in the so-called “check-mate”. The game has served as a strategic and tactical training tool right through history, from its ancient origins in Persia right through to the modern day.
One of the most enduring popular ways to play Chess in our digitized world is through one of the longest-running Chess websites, Chess.com. The website is a hub for players of all experience levels, with some of the greatest players ever, like world champion and chess grand-master Bobby Fischer, being known to appear on the site. Just hope you’re not paired up against him!
Monopoly is the classic Hasbro game wherein players, with the help of some dice, seek to move around the board buying up properties, as well as selling and trading with other players. The winner of the game is normally the last player to avoid bankruptcy. With wild-cards in the mix demanding for taxation or jail-time, Monopoly has been a hilarious and at times infuriating family fixture for many years.
Monopoly started life as 1903’s The Landlord’s Game, and was a soap-box for the market theories of economist Henry George. Nowadays most people enjoy the game without gravely ruminating too heavily on economic theory, which arguably makes for a more enjoyable time for all.
Monopoly is available to play as an app that is available for both Android or iOS. You can also access the game from within Facebook’s app and website, which opens up the possibility to invite and play against multiple people on your friends-list, making it one of the best ways to reproduce the physical game.
The ever-faithful 52 card deck is unrivaled in its versatility and the range of games you can play with it, but sometimes you may have left your trusty cards at home. Games like Blackjack, which is the most popular casino game in the world, can just as easily be played with your smartphone. The basic premise is to attempt to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding a total value of 21.
The game of Blackjack has a long history and is part of a family of card games that descend from the French game Vingt-un. With Blackjack available in a range of different variants, such as with Three Seat or Classic rule-sets, PokerStars’ Mobile Casino app is a good way to play on the go. As a plus, if you don’t own a smart device you can play straight from your web browser.
The table game Backgammon may be the oldest continuously played board game known to man, with its origins in Mesopotamia dating back over 5000 years. The game tasks its two players with fifteen pieces each that they must move around 24 triangular places, the number of moves being dictated by a roll of the dice. The winner is the player who is able to move all their pieces off the board first. Complications arise from the luck of the dice, and strategies come from blocking and counter-moves by the opposing player.
There’s no shortage of Backgammon apps on both the Apple and Play stores, but developer Come2Play’s Backgammon Live is particularly highly regarded and offers the full feature set you’d hope for including cross-platform online multiplayer.