5 boardgames that ditched the board and went digital


Now who'd think that a farming game could ever be addicitive. But confess: you've tried Farmville or something of its ilk before. We have to admit that there's something madly calming about farm-based games. Perhaps it is the joy of growing food and raising livestock minus the back-breaking plowing of the fields and the stench of animal poop clogging your nose. Or maybe you just really, really like farm animals. Whatever the reason, you'll find Agricola a game to your liking. 

So where's the competition in farming anyway? In Agricola, it's creating the best farm of course and to do that, you've got to accumulate points. Each round you recruit workers, create and upgrade shelters, and of course, raise sheep, cows and the odd wild boar or two. At the end of each round, you will have to make sure that you have enough food left over to feed your family after all the effort. Sounds simple enough? Not quite.

Here's where it gets a little bit more complex. You have to compete with other players to perform certain actions. If someone else has won the right to plow his fields this season, guess what? No plowing for you. Plan to make some bread? Tough luck, that other player has just taken the stove you've been eyeing. It's like Farm Survivor where the winner gets the only piece of decent equipment to survive. 

At the end of the game, you count your points and find out if you are officially The Best Farmer Ever.

So still on Farmville? Forget it, Agricola the better farm game and adds more than just a little bit of competition. It'll also cost less (we're pretty sure you've spent quite a bit buying stuff for the game) and best of all, is perfectly family-friendly. There's also that added bonus of not being avoided at the next company party just because you sent 50 Facebook requests for Farmville stuff.

Download it from the App Store (US$6.99).