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From Board to Screen: The Adaptation of Tabletop Games

Board games have long been a popular tradition among families, dating 5,500 years ago in Egypt and evolving into the games we know and love today. Some popular games have even been adapted into video games, allowing players to try their favorites in a new digital format for an exciting new twist on the adventure. 

If you’re interested in learning more about adapting board games to video games, you’re in the right place. This fascinating transition has led to a unique transition from the table to the screen - but not to a typical movie or television show route. Read on to learn more about this process and some of the biggest board games to become video games.

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Why Adapt Board Games to Video Games?

The choice to adapt board games to video games came because board games are popular. With the video game adaptations, there came an opportunity for new people to learn the games and play with their friends around the world. Moving board games to the screen was a new way to enjoy the classics.

From Monopoly to The Game of Life, it’s always a practical choice for gaming companies to find a way to add a unique appeal to their creations. Video games were the answer to a need to expand board game opportunities for interested players.

Related: The Psychology of Gaming: Why We Love to Play

Are Board Game Video Games Fun?

Although board game video games don’t have the same appeal as action or adventure games, they’re still fun to play. They provide new controls, new designs, and enticing additions and illustrations that can only come to life in a video game. For many, they’re a fun addition to the classic. They’re also great for those who want something slower-paced.

Also, board game video games open up a new layer of fun because they permit connections that traditional board games do not allow. Many permit multiple players on different devices, which means family members and friends in different states and countries can connect without sitting around the same kitchen table. 

Related: The 10 Biggest Easter Eggs in Gaming

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Biggest Board Games to Become Video Games

Video game adaptations of board games have become a lucrative industry over the years, and many companies have sprung on the opportunity to translate their physical games to a digital format. What are a few of the most popular examples of pushing a tabletop game to something that can be played with a controller? 

Let’s dive into a few of the most popular video game adaptations of best-selling board games over the years. From card-based games to tabletop classics, there are plenty of options for digital versions of your favorites. Several stand out in recent years as the most popular of all time.

1. Lords of Waterdeep

First up is Lords of Waterdeep, a popular resource management game (much in the vein of Settlers of Catan). In this adventure, players must control the Masked Lords of the city to gain as much influence and treasure as possible. It takes place in the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons and Dragons, but the two play differently.

Instead of adventures, players of Lords of Waterdeep use patronage and service to earn rewards. It’s an excellent game for the strategically minded.

The video game version first appeared on the iOS market in 2013. Later, it made an appearance on Steam and Android in 2017. This version allows you to play against an AI player as a solo adventurer or participate with friends for fantastic co-op play.

2. Ticket to Ride

Ticket To Ride has been a classic for a long time. In this board game, your goal is to make the longest possible train tracks across the United States. It’s one of the most acclaimed series, allowing everyone from the movie to the expert to enjoy the unique gaming style and colorful graphics.

If you want to play the video game version, you will find it on Xbox, Mobile, Windows, and PlayStation. The original offers America’s map, but you can buy DLCs for Switzerland, Europe, and 1910 USA. Most players of the original game report it very faithful to the original.

3. Scythe: Digital Edition

Scythe: Digital Edition offers a unique adaptation of the universe, much more faithful than the previously created Iron Harvest game. It offers similar gameplay and mechanics to the board game, which pleased fans much more than the original attempt at making a video game inspired by the world on the board.

You get several options for gameplay in Scythe: Digital Edition. You can play single player against an AI, take your turn on multiplayer with a hot seat function on the same device, or online over the internet. Also, you can invest in the Invaders From Afar Expansion for even more fun.

4. Tabletop Simulator

Last up on our list is the classic Tabletop Simulator. This game doesn’t pick one game to transform into a video game version - it takes the entire catalog of tabletop games and turns it into something digital. You get a unique physics system, a flat table area, and a way to place items. You can practically play any game that exists.

There are DLC upgrade options for more games, and several are already built into the system. Steam offers even more downloads - which means you have access to many available adventures. It’s flexible and provides an appealing new take on playing around the table. 

Board games are more than 5,500 years old, and recent years have brought about video game adaptations to provide new life to classics, enticing a new audience and allowing people to connect in the game - even over long distances. Some of the most popular include adaptations of games like Lords of Waterdeep and Tabletop Simulator.

 While most of these tabletop video games aren't played competitively just yet, we certainly hope they will be in the future! This way, you could place bets on your favorite tabletop games in casinos around the world and online--and what could be more fun than that?

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