Digital Integration: The New Wave of App-Enhanced Board Games

Looking for a way to bond with loved ones during the holidays? Board games are the classic go-to, but if you’re tired of the same old options, check out these hybrid app assisted board games. We get it, you may prefer physical pieces, but board game apps offer unique features like sound bites and research terminals that make gameplay even more fun. Plus, updates with new quests, missions, and modes keep things fresh. Trust us, some of our favorite board games have even added single-player options.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Experience the thrill of deception and persuasion in One Night Ultimate Werewolf, a fast-paced game perfect for any game night. Each player is dealt a secret card with roles like Villager, Insomniac, and Werewolf. When the night phase of the game begins, the companion app directs players to use their special powers. For example, the Troublemaker can swap the cards of two other players. The group then has a few minutes to identify who holds the Werewolf card by discussing and analyzing each person’s behavior. If the humans figure it out, they win. But it’s up to the Werewolves to deceive the group and throw them off track. Can you outsmart your friends and come out on top?

Clank! In! Space!

Join the Space Heist with Clank! In! Space! This deck-building board game puts you on the spaceship of the infamous Lord Eradikus. Your objective is to grab as much loot as you can and escape unnoticed. Your turn starts with five cards that each have different values for boots, blades, and experience points that you use to navigate, improve, and fight. To win, you must collect the necessary artifacts, defeat foes from the Adventure Row, and dodge danger. But be careful – some cards that you draw force you to make noise, or “clank,” which adds colored cubes to the black bag. These cubes can reveal your location to Lord Eradikus and his minions, so be strategic in your moves!

Check out our review of Clank! in Space!

Beasts of Balance

Beasts of Balance, a game I likened to “Jenga evolved” back in 2016, features a circular plinth and plastic “artifacts” that include geometric animals, elemental orbs, and white, cross, and arrow-shaped pieces. These objects are embedded with NFC tags that are read by the podium and reflected inside the companion app. For example, placing the octopus piece in the game results in it appearing inside your virtual ocean with a certain number of points. However, this creature’s value will eventually decline and disappear unless you enhance it with an elemental orb or create something entirely new with the “cross” and “migration” artifacts.

The game can be played alone or with a group of friends, in which players take turns selecting and placing the colored pieces. As you construct your column of blocks, it will likely teeter and collapse in a thrilling manner.

Check out our review of Beasts of Balance.


Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping experience with Fuse, the thrilling game that replaces wires and traps with dice and cards. Simply set a 10-minute timer using the free companion app, which adds intense background music and eerie voice snippets to amp up the suspense. Then create a deck of cards based on the number of players and desired difficulty level, revealing a handful and rolling dice to defuse bombs. Each card presents a unique challenge, with varying requirements based on the difficulty level, from matching colors or numbers to more complex tasks. Will you beat the clock and defuse the bombs before it’s too late? Find out with Fuse.

Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game

Discovering Dungeons & Dragons through Stranger Things has piqued the interest of many binge-watchers, but the game’s perceived complexity can be intimidating. That’s where Expedition comes in. This tabletop role-playing game, originally crowdfunded on Kickstarter, streamlines the experience with easy-to-follow cards, dice, and plastic clips. And, with its companion app or website, the storytelling is handled seamlessly. While someone will need to read the text out loud, there’s no requirement for a dungeon master. Don’t miss out on the fun – give Expedition a try!

Mansions of Madness (second edition)

Experience spine-chilling Lovecraftian horror and unravel supernatural mysteries with Mansions of Madness. This game comes with double-sided tiles that fit together, creating a haunting house for you to explore. The accompanying app guides you on where to place clues, weapons, and non-player characters in each room.

Explore the eerie space and unearth secret passages while investigating objects to piece together the mystery. Beware of the monsters that spawn to kill your characters and drain their sanity. After each turn, called the Investigator Phase, your group can collectively complete the game.  Dive into the game, brace yourself for the unknown, and solve the mystery before it’s too late!

Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game

Want to prove yourself as a detective? Look no further than Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. Gather up to four friends and put your skills to the test. With each case, you’ll receive leads to follow and a time limit to solve the crime. Should you start with questioning the witness or analyzing the forensics report? It’s a tough decision, especially since it takes time to investigate each lead. Plus, if leads are in different locations, you’ll waste valuable time driving between them. But with a handy game board to keep track of your location, you’ll feel like a real detective in no time.


Looking for a way to spice up your next game night with friends? Look no further than these seven board games. With options like Fuse, where you’ll need to outsmart bombs, and Mansions of Madness, where you’ll unravel supernatural mysteries, there’s something for everyone. But these games aren’t just for fun – they’ll also challenge you to think outside the box.

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