Board Game of the Year 201318 Dec 2013 0
The Board Game of the Year for 2013 is more than a great game -- it's a vision from the future of digital board games.
Agricola for iOS did everything a great boardgame conversion should: changed the presentation to match the device and preserved the same gameplay as the cardboard version. What pushed it over the top was how beautiful the game was, and the fact that the underlying game is a masterpiece.
From a presentation standpoint, Agricola comes alive. Whereas other games keep the cubes, discs and tiles of their cardboard counterparts, Agricola eschews all that and went straight for a video game vibe. Sheep roam your pastures, not white cubes. Wheat and vegetables grow in your fields, not yellow and orange discs. Combine this with the ambient noise and animations that fill the vibrant, animated town (which used to be a gameboard), and you have a theme that bursts from your iPad in a way that the cardboard version could never hope to compete with.
Of course, none of that would matter if the game didn’t feel like Agricola, the award-winning tabletop board game. It does. In spades. Every gut-wrenching decision is still there. Need more actions? Of course you do. Everybody does. There’s never enough time or actions to get what you want done, never enough spaces in town for everyone to get what they need. Grappling with that challenge makes Agricola a standout and not just the best mobile board game of 2013, but one of the best mobile board games ever.
Honourable Mention: Talisman Prologue, Eclipse, Totems, Small World 2, Stone Age: The Board Game
To see all the games recognized in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2013 Awards, visit the awards index page.