Ubongo, Tokaido, Onirim, oh my!

Normally I’d wait a while longer between reviews of digital board games. However, time is of the essence if you want to take advantage of a Free board game app.

Just last month we reviewed the very cool digital implementations of Mysterium and Potion Explosion.

Today we’ve got 3 more for you to check out!


Ubongo Puzzle Challenge

Ubongo digital game

Ready for a fun puzzle challenge in your pocket?

Ubongo is a fantastic family board game.

It’s so fantastic that it’s even on mom’s 12 Favorite Family Board Games list!

Which means it’s also made our Favorite Games from A to Z list as our favorite board game starting with the letter “U”. And it was feature in our 2015 Board Game Gift Guide.

Over 2.5 million copies of Ubongo have also sold worldwide!

With all of that, do I really need to say much more about it?

Ok, I will anyway.

In the board game Ubongo, players compete to be the quickest to place their Tetris-like pieces in the designated space on their player board. It’s a quick game because there’s no taking turns and no down time.

Ubongo digital game

If you like spacial challenges, then Ubongo Puzzle Challenge is right up your alley.

Some people have said Ubongo is like multiplayer solitaire because there isn’t any player interaction. Everyone just works on their own board and the players who finish first each round get a reward.

Well, the digital implementation – Ubongo Puzzle Challenge – give players the same rush of trying to complete a puzzle as quickly as possible. But now you can have it in your pocket and play anywhere.

And it’s perfect for a handheld solitaire game!

There are 4 different modes of play:

  • Level Rush – Go through a series of challenges that get increasingly more difficult. Players can score 1, 2, o3 gems depending on how quickly they solve each puzzle.
  • Time Attack – A pure race against the clock.
  • Free Mode – Has more than 6,000 random levels where the player can choose 3, 4, 5, or 6 tile puzzles.
  • Multiplayer – Play against others online. Players race to see who can complete the puzzle challenge first each round. The player who wins 3 rounds first wins.
Ubongo digital game

The different modes are each fun to play.

The tap and drag controls in the game are very intuitive and easy to work with. We haven’t had any issues with tapping to flip or twist pieces and they move exactly where you drag them to.

One of the things we love about Ubongo Puzzle Challenge is that the shapes aren’t limited to what’s in the board game. There’s a ton of replay value because every challenge is different.

Ubongo digital game

We love that there are more tile shapes than in the board game.

And this weekend only (April 28-30, 2017) the app is completely Free for download! (regularly $2,99)

So go get it for Free today!

Apple Store: Free (4/28-4/30)

Google Play: Free (4/28-4/30)



We’ve actually written about the Tokaido app previously. We wrote about it last year when we heard it was going digital and we had a chance to be a part of the beta testing.

Well, now it’s available for everyone!

Tokaido digital game

The art of the board game is beautifully portrayed in the digital version.

In Tokaido, each player is a traveler crossing the “East sea road”, one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. While traveling, players meet people, taste fine meals, collect beautiful items, discover great panoramas, and visit temples and wild places. The player who discovers the most interesting and varied things along the way will win the game.

It has an interesting linear play style where players advance along the track stopping at a variety of spaces. The player who is furthest back takes the next turn. So, players get to choose whether to advance slowly in order to get more turns, or to travel more rapidly to beat other players to their desired action spaces.

Tokaido digital game

Learning the game is very easy with a tutorial along the way.

As far as game play goes, we enjoy the game.

It has a nice flow to it and the visuals in the digital implementation completely recreate the appeal of the board game.

It’s also easy to view any elements of the game along the way.

At the bottom of the screen, players can see how they and there opponents are doing along the path. And tapping on different sections brings up valuable information for each section.

Tokaido digital game

The stops along the way have their own interactions.

That being said, we’ve encountered a couple issues that we don’t like.

First is that we can’t play it on our iPads!

I guess that’s because our iPads are considered too old (iPad 2). It’s very frustrating because I actually used my iPad during the beta testing process. So not being able to play the live version on my iPad is a major bummer. Because this game is meant to be seen in large scale rather than just on an iPhone size screen.

Tokaido digital game

Building the lake panorama.

The other issue is that playing solo takes longer than I’d like. We know the concept behind Tokaido is a peaceful journey. So being patient is part of the process. However, when playing a solo game, I don’t like waiting a long time before I can interact with the game. And waiting for the AI players to take their turns is a big downside.

Even with those issues, we’d recommend you check out the Tokaido app.

Apple Store: $3.99

Google Play: $6.49



Onirim digital game

Is it a dream or a nightmare?

The third game we want to highlight today is Onirim.

Even in it’s original card game form, Onirim is a well-suited solitaire game.

Which means it’s perfectly suited to be a digital game where the app does all the shuffling for you.

It’s a very simple game of playing sets of colored Dream cards where the symbol of the following card can’t match the one before it. When a player gets 3 of a color in a row, they unlock one of those colored doors.

Once a player has unlocked 2 of each of the 4 color doors, they win!

Onirim digital game

The tutorial is very helpful to learn the game and can be accessed at any time.

However, that’s much easier said than done.

Because along the way come Nightmares.

And when a Nightmare appears players have to choose how to get rid of it. They can either spend one of their cards with a Key symbol on it, discard their hand of cards, put back one of their found doors, or remove the next 5 cards from the draw deck from the game.

All of those options are nasty.

Onirim digital game

The Nightmares can be a terrible pain to overcome.

Discarding cards is a bad thing since the game ends when the draw deck is depleted. So if a player runs out of cards before opening all 8 doors, they lose.

It’s a well produced digital game and is only 99 cents!

Apple Store: $.99

Google Play: $.99



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