Some people play board games to get away from technology. While it’s nice to take a break from constant screentime, technology can sometimes make board games even better.
The following board games come with a companion app that you can download directly to your smartphone or computer.
The extra content and features that come with the app can transform your game night! And in some cases, a companion app lets you do things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Here are the best board games with companion apps that are worth checking out if you want to combine tabletop gaming and mobile gaming!
Gloomhaven is a cooperative board game that sends up to 4 players on a multi-mission dungeon crawling campaign with a branching narrative.
It’s played in the style of a legacy game, meaning that certain decisions result in permanent changes via stickers that cover the board and sealed envelopes that reveal new content based on the circumstances.
Given that Gloomhaven has over 1,500 cards and complex gaming mechanics, it’s no surprise that one of the main complaints is that too much time is spent on setting up and administrating the game.
Fortunately, most of these complaints can be alleviated by using the Gloomhaven Helper companion app!
In Alchemists, each player becomes an aspiring alchemist. As you experiment with different ingredients for potions, you’ll have to create concoctions that actually work, publish your findings, and then start selling your product.
The goal is to successfully publish the most theories, while also managing your reputation.
The Alchemists companion app adds another unique layer to the game. You’ll use the app to test out the potions and see the results of your mixtures.
The rules of alchemy automatically change before each new game, so you’ll never have to worry about repetitive gameplay.
XCOM isn’t just a fantastic sci-fi video game series, it also leaves its mark on the board game industry with XCOM: The Board Game.
Just like the video game, this cooperative board game challenges you to protect humanity from an ongoing alien invasion. You’ll have to team up with your friends to research alien technology, destroy UFOs, and deploy soldiers to eliminate the extraterrestrial threat.
XCOM: The Board Game’s companion app is more than just a support system that guides you through the game.
In addition to acting as a pressure-inducing timer, the app also randomly selects a plan for the alien invasion, which adds tension and variety to the game.
Mansions of Madness is a cooperative Lovecraftian board game set near Arkham, Massachusetts.
While one person plays as the omniscient Keeper, up to four other players take on the role of investigators. During the investigators’ adventure through the town’s most cursed alleyways, they’ll encounter monsters and thrilling scenarios along the way.
This game is totally app-driven. It does a phenomenal job setting the game’s spooky atmosphere, as it provides some eerie background music that suits the madness-inducing situations.
Plus, the app itself functions as a game master, making it easy to set up the puzzles within the game.
Unlock! Heroic Adventures is just one of the many games you can find in the escape room-inspired Unlock! series.
Heroic Adventures brings three new mysteries to the table: “Insert Coin,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and “In Pursuit of the White Rabbit.”
In these installments, you’ll get the chance to embark on a video game-themed adventure, solve a murder with Sherlock Holmes, and dive into the mystifying world of Alice In Wonderland.
Thanks to the game’s companion app, you’ll feel as if you’re in an actual escape room. You’ll use the app to time your escape, solve puzzles, and get hints.
Just keep in mind that once you play the game and know all the answers, it’s really not worth playing the same installment again.
If you’re looking for a role-playing board game that’s easy to learn, and doesn’t take long to complete, Expedition is for you. The game is designed for fast character creation and streamlined gameplay that’s fun for RPG beginners and veterans alike.
The accompanying app serves as a timer, forcing you to make quick decisions. It also has plenty of guides and built-in adventures to help you get started quickly.
Expedition‘s fanbase makes the game even better—you can find hundreds of different fanmade adventures that keep Expedition exciting.
Not to mention that Expedition‘s site gives you the tools to create your own cards and quests that you can share with the whole community.
Clank! In! Space! is an exciting sci-fi deck-building game for two to four players.
You and your friends play as thieves aboard a spaceship, where you’ll compete to hack the ship’s computer, steal an artifact from the Evil Lord Eradikus, and escape the ship alive. Make one misstep, and you’ll set off a noise that notifies Lord Eradikus.
Although Clank! In! Space! is originally a multiplayer game, the Renegades Game Companion app turns it into a single-player adventure.
When you have no one to play with, you can switch on the app and have just as much fun playing through the campaign by yourself.
Enhance the Board Game Experience
While some might think that board games and technology just don’t mix, these games prove that the two can coexist.
If you need something to liven up your game night, it’s worth trying one of these technology-enhanced games.
And if you’re looking for more ways to spruce up your board gaming sessions, there are several essential accessories you’ll want to incorporate into game nights: