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Board Games

It might feel strange or even slightly anachronistic to be playing classic board games on your Nokia Lumia. After all, why play chess on your smartphone when you could be checking out your social networks, listening to music, watching videos or surfing the web?

You could even argue that there are plenty of more exciting games to be found in the Windows Phone Marketplace and on Xbox Live.

However, there is no denying the fundamental truth that the great board games are enormously good fun, are universal in their appeal and can reduce us all to child-like delight with a simple roll of the dice.

So, it is no surprise that many board games are continuing to prosper even in the digital age. Who can resist a potent mix of nostalgia and cutting edge technology?

Plus, the great thing about playing these games on your Lumia is that there is no danger of losing pieces or having to put it all away again when you’ve finished.

To help you get in the mood, there are five classic board games that you can download for your Lumia in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

It seems only right and proper that we begin with the two elder statesmen of the board game world, chess and checkers (or draughts as it’s also known.) 



This is, by some distance, the highest rated chess app in Marketplace so it’s a good place to start. There is a free version, which is supported by ads, or you can buy it for £2.29.

You can play against the phone, against a friend or even online against a complete stranger on the other side of the world. Other great features include the ability to save games and email them afterwards to a friend or competitor for review.

I love the very idea that there more possible games of chess than there are particles in the universe. I’ve never counted or tried to verify that myself but if you’re so inclined here is more about this startling fact

Checkers Pro Free


Most people learn to play checkers before they move on to chess, but it would be foolish to think that therefore this is automatically the inferior game.

With Checkers Pro Free (again, you can pay to remove the adverts) you can choose the theme of your boards and pieces, play online, chat with people and work your way through the seven difficulty levels. It claims the final level is ‘impossible’.

If neither chess nor checkers is your thing, then you might want to give Backgammon Pro a try. 

Monopoly, £3.99 


It still strikes me as odd that a game about the buying and selling of property could have become such a massive and enduring success.

This version of Monopoly was designed especially for Windows Phone and has some rich graphics and wonderful animations. If you want to keep a really close eye on your property then you can pinch, zoom and spin your way around the board.

As this is an Xbox LIVE game, there is also the competitive element with other players and see if you’re able to match or better their achievements.

Snakes and Ladders, Free

Snakes and Ladders

This is another of those games that goes by a couple of different names. I always grew up with it known as snakes and ladders, but others might know it better as chutes and ladders.

Whatever it is called, this is an amusing and addictively simply numbers game for all members of the family.

On this app, up to five players can play against each other; or if you are short of bodies, then the game can also take up the playing positions of 5 different ‘people’.

I would like to think that the inventor of snakes and ladders always intended it be a moral lesson for young children, which revealed that, in the end, life can just come down the simple roll of a dice.

ThinkGo, Free


Appropriately enough we finish with Go, which dates back over 2,500 years and is generally considered one of the first board games ever. In the West, it is still something of an unknown quantity but Go is still widely played in East Asia.

This app has a tutorial, so you can learn to play Go and from then on it is you against the phone. The idea is to use your stones to surround a larger area of the board than your opponent is able to. You can also capture your opponent’s stones by surrounding them.

This sounds easy but Go is a game of complex strategies and just like chess, there are almost an infinite number of games that can be played.

To unlock larger boards, and thus more complex games, you will need to pay for the app (£1.49) as this free version only supports the 9×9 board.

Let us know if you’ve played any of the board games here, or if you’ve got another favourite board game on your Nokia Lumia.

Image credit: Will Folsom