Get Your Game On With These 30 New and Classic Boardgames for Mac

Are you looking for a good way to have fun on your Mac but don’t really consider yourself a gamer? Perhaps you’re nostalgic for the days when playing a game involved a couple of dice, a colorful board and some interestingly shaped pieces to move around that board.

Well you’re in luck because there are a ton of board game apps out there for Mac. You can stick with the classics (there’s at least one version out there of every big name board game you can think of) or you can try some board games that you might not often find in physical form. Those are less common, but I’m going to take you through the classics and then point you in the direction of some you might not have seen before.

The Classics

Monopoly

Monopoly

Monopoly

Monopoly is our first classic game. It’s available in the Mac App Store for easy download and Electronic Arts does offer an official version of the game. The game offers great graphics and sounds, with a playing style that really reminds you of playing Monopoly with a real board game.

If you want, you can play against 4 difficulty levels of computer players. You can also try out the “teacher mode” where you learn from a computer competitor. Lastly, you can play against up to 3 other players locally. The game doesn’t yet offer an online multi-player mode.

Price: $9.99 (on sale now, 50% off)
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: EA Games

Here and Now

Monopoly Here & Now

Monopoly Here & Now

If you’re looking for a modern day take on Monopoly, check out Monopoly Here & Now. It’s a bit pricier and less updated than the EA version of the original Monopoly. On the plus side, you get to become a billionaire!

This game features updated locations like the Texas Stadium and huge airports like LAX instead of train stations. You get to trade at prices that are much more like what you would see today. You get the same basic features – options to play against various difficulty level computer players or the option to play against your local friends and family.

Price: $19.95, free demo
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9
Developer: Macsoft Games

Fortune

Fortune

Fortune

If you’re looking for a free Monopoly style game, there aren’t a lot of options for Mac. Fortune seems to be the most common game out there. It’s a similar strategy style game of investing and trading, featuring a board and game play style that are extremely similar to the original Monopoly.

Again, you can play with up to 4 players, both human and computer. It promises to be a very customizable experience. While the graphics and interface leave something to be desired, it’s the closest that you’ll find for free!

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3
Developer: Abdulnasser Alkaabi

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

The Game of Life was probably my favorite board game growing up so I’ll take any opportunity to play this game. EA’s The Game of Life offers game-play that is very similar to the classic board game. The board is still set up in the same fashion, with similar careers, life cards and more.

The game offers more interactivity and some modern updates. You can sell your first house in order to buy a second, better house. You can interact with the board game in new ways – moving the boat, or ringing the doorbell. It also offers a journal at the end to check out your journey through life.

You can play with up to 6 players. You can play against the computer players, or you can play with your family and friends in party play mode.

Price: $9.99 (currently on sale, 50% off)
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: Electronic Arts

The Game of Life - Path to Success

The Game of Life - Path to Success

The Game of Life – Path to Success

If you’re interested in a spin-off of The Game of Life, you should check out The Game of Life – Path to Success. While this game isn’t a traditional board game, you still get some of the experience of The Game of Life. It’s more of a game loosely based on the story of Life. You complete levels, working in a time management situation and play mini-games.

This game is fun and simple. It’s good for someone who wants a combination of board game style and time management play. There aren’t any multi-player options, so don’t expect there to be any player interactivity. This is entirely a solo play.

Price: $19.95, free demo
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9
Developer: GameHouse

Scrabble

Scrabble

Scrabble

Scrabble is certainly a classic. There are tons of versions of classic scrabble, enhanced scrabble and plenty of free knock-offs as well. This version of scrabble offers 4 different game modes where you can play against 1 of 8 computer opponents or play against your friends and family.

You can play 4 different game modes in this version. You can try the classic mode, race against the clock, play a tournament or set up a custom tournament. It includes hints and even has a scrabble dictionary!

Price: $9.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9
Developer: GameHouse

Scrabble Plus

Scrabble Plus

Scrabble Plus

If you like scrabble but want some extra features, you should check out Scrabble Plus. This game still offers the classic version of Scrabble, playing against computer opponents or friends and family. It includes hints and a Scrabble dictionary, making it a nice version of classic Scrabble.

The twist is that this particular version includes Scrabble Golf, where you try and reach the green by playing the longest words; Scrabble Battle, incorporating a Risk style element of controlling territories; and Scrabble Wizard which has 3 extra-challenging versions of scrabble.

Price: $19.95, free demo
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5
Developer: MacSoft

Clue Classic

Clue Classic

Clue Classic

Clue is yet another classic board game. This version by MacSoft really captures the original feel of the game – The characters, locations and weapons are all true to the original. The game even captures the Art Deco type feel.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a multi-player option. However, there are hundreds of possibilities and many levels of computer opponents to play against. If you’re a Clue fan, it’s probably worth the investment.

Price: $19.95, free demo
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9
Developer: MacSoft

Guess the Character!

Guess the Character!

Guess the Character!

Guess Who is a popular board game, with several different physical versions being put out over the many years of its existence. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find an official version of the game. I did, however, find Guess the Character! a simple knock-off of the game.

Gameplay works in the same fashion as the original – pick a character, ask yes or no questions to eliminate candidates and guess your opponent’s character. The graphics are simple, and your only play options are a simple player versus computer or player versus player. It still captures the spirit of Guess Who, however, so if you’re into the original it’s definitely worth a shot, especially at this low price.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: Jandusoft

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a strategy board game that basically involves creating as many train routes as possible around the country in order to earn points and best your opponent. It’s a classic, with many different maps and versions available for physical gameplay. There is a Mac version, but unfortunately it’s not nearly as expansive as the physical versions or as cost effective as the mobile versions.

Ticket to Ride offers the basic US map with online capability for ten bucks. Unfortunately, that’s only one map and only one challenge. For greater variety you can buy the Europe, Swiss and 1910 US expansion packs for 5 bucks apiece. These maps can be played online or downloaded directly to your computer for a greater experience with high resolution and online opponent availability.

Price: $9.99 for original, expansions are $4.99 each.
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3
Developer: Days of Wonder

Risk II

Risk II

Risk 2

Risk is a cult classic requires no introduction. This version of the classic game mixes fantastic graphics and animated battles with advanced map options and even more ways to play. You can play against friends or other opponents, against computer players or try the hot-seat mode.

For variety, you can play in multiple locations, or try same-time mode or tournament mode. If that’s not enough, you can also changing the winning conditions – things such as world domination, missions and capitals let you change the game length and provides some great twists.

Price: $29.95, free demos available
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: MacSoft

Lux Delux

Lux Delux

Lux Delux

If you’d like a slightly cheaper version of Risk that focuses more on traditional game play but still provides many options for customized games, Lux Delux might be for you. The only option for playing style is the classic option – that being said, you can still change the game to suit you. You can play 11 different computer opponents, of 11 different difficulty levels. Beware: Level 11 is hard!

You can also choose from over 800 maps, they have historical, geometric, geographic and fantasy settings. There’s a huge user base, which is where most of the maps come from. You can create your own maps using the built-in editor and publish it online for others to download. You can also get involved with the fan base in their active forums, or by playing an internet-based game.

Price: $14.95, free 30-day trial
Requires: – Not Stated
Developer: SillySoft

Domination

Domination

Domination

If a freeware version of Risk is what you seek, Domination is the closest match on the Mac app market. While the graphics aren’t the greatest, you still get an experience similar to Risk. There are also no sound effects and no soundtrack.

You can play against computer opponents, or against up to six players. You can create a network within the game for you and your friends. You can also view all of your stats at the end of every game. They do have some extra maps available for download. While it isn’t the greatest gameplay, if you really want a free version of Risk, this should do the trick.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X
Developer: Yura

Catan - Cities & Knights

Catan - Cities & Knights

Catan – Cities and Knights

If you’re a fan of Settlers of Catan, this is a very popular expansion pack that’s available for Mac. This game includes the base game as well as Seafarers and Cities & Knights. This is an exciting strategy game with a 20 level campaign and many story sequences.

If you’d like to stick to traditional gameplay, that’s available against various computer opponents. They have a trial available, so if you’re into strategy games but haven’t played Settlers of Catan before, you can check that out. The game offers nice simple graphics with an easy to use interface.

Price: $29.95, free trial
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5, or you can run it in compatibility mode for OS X 10.4 and earlier.
Developer: Catan GmbH

Oops!

While there isn’t an official version of Sorry! available for Mac, you can check out Oops! as a freeware alternate. The game is a direct knock-off of Sorry! from the board to the cards. Gameplay functions in the same way, and you are able to play against up to 3 computer opponents. You can also go head to head in network play.

The downside of this freeware version is that the computer opponents aren’t exactly the most intelligent. Unfortunately, they do not grasp the strategy of gameplay well which can be frustrating. It’s free, however, so that has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4
Developer: Erik Hinterbichler

Maxi Dice

Maxi Dice

Maxi Dice

To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t an “official” version of Yahtzee for Mac. There are a few versions for mobile devices, but nothing for the desktop. Maxi Dice is probably the nicest version of Yahtzee that you’ll find for Mac. This game offers 2 styles of Yahtzee – You can play original Yahtzee with 5 dice, or for some added excitement you can play Maxi Yahtzee. This version offers 6 dice and more categories in which to place points.

This game is simple but well-designed. The interface is intuitive, and it makes it easy to pick up and play a game. You can play against friends locally, or against computer opponents.

Price: $9.95
Requires: Mac OS X
Developer: Kristanix

Jahtzee

Jahtzee

Jahtzee

If you want a free way to play the most basic version of Yahtzee, Jahtzee is your game. It offers the most basic functionality of Yahtzee – dice and a digital score card in a very basic interface. If all you want to do is play a game of Yahtzee with family and friends locally, check out Jahtzee. Otherwise, it’s not really worth it without computer opponents or other functionality.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X
Developer: James D. Gutholm

Mancala FS5

Manacala FS5

Mancala FS5

Mancala is a game as old as it gets. I’ve been playing this game since I was young, and it’s definitely one of those “easy to learn, hard to master” type games. Whether you’re new to the game or have been playing for years, Mancala FS5 is a great game.

Offering a simple but well designed user interface with basic customization options the game works well. You can play against a computer opponent, against another player locally or play against one of thousands of people that play online throughout the day.

Price: $4.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6
Developer: FlipSide5, Inc.

Sigma Chess

Sigma Chess

Sigma Chess

Once you start looking for ways to play “classic” games like chess and checkers you’ll find an abundance of options. This is particularly true because of the App Store where you’ll find tons of chess and checkers apps for only a dollar or two. Sigma Chess is a very straight-forward but full-featured free chess application.

This app offers something for everyone from beginners to master level players. If you’re a beginner, you can select an easy opponent and play a simple game on the 3D chess board. If you’re an advanced player, you can play a computer opponent up to master level 13. You can also annotate and analyze the games you play using an array of built-in features.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 – Older versions can be run in compatibility mode.
Developer: Ole K. Christensen

InCube Chess

InCube Chess

InCube Chess

You’ll very easily find a multitude of decent paid chess apps available, so I wanted to provide a twist on chess. InCube chess adds a third dimension to chess. Rather than moving solely along the X and Y axis, you’re also able to move along the Z axis. You’re literally playing chess within a cube.

Because of this entirely new chess playing strategy, the game offers easy opponents and “hint” modes for beginners play. Once you master the game, you’re able to play against harder levels of computer opponents. You can also play locally against a friend.

Price: $3.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: InCube Games

Fantastic Checkers

Fantastic Checkers

Fantastic Checkers

Would you like a simple, well designed way to play a quick game of checkers? Then this is the app for you. This game doesn’t boast any amazing features, but you’re able to play a quick game against various levels of computer opponents. You can play against 3 levels of computers, or against a friend. Checkers, pure and simple.

Price: $0.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: Ensena Soft

Checkers Clash Challenges

Checkers Clash Challenges

Checkers Clash Challenges

If you’re interested in a more challenging version of checkers, then Checkers Clash Challenges is worth checking out. This game presents a number of different checkers related challenges that you must beat. There are 60 levels of increasing difficulty so if you think you really know checkers or just want to boost your playing skills you should check this out.

Price: $1.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6
Developer: Mura Studio

Mahjong Artifacts

Mahjong Artifacts

Mahjong Artifacts

Mahjong is probably one of the most common games on the Mac App Store, and you’ll find just as many ways to play outside of the app store. I find mahjong to be relaxing, but sometimes it can get a little tedious. If you have that same problem, Mahjong Artifacts offers a story mode with specific challenges and a story line to liven up the gameplay at times.

You can also play traditional games in classic mode with 100 different layouts. The graphics are simple and classic, perfect for a mahjong game. For further incentive, you can try for various bonuses and trophies that can be earned for different achievements. You can also try endless mode for a “zen” experience.

Price: $6.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6
Developer: G5 Entertainment

Moonlight Mahjong

Moonlight Mahjong

Moonlight Mahjong

Moonlight Mahjong is a free Mahjong alternative that offers many different playing styles for lots of variety. The board game is ideal for a multi-touch trackpad for tilting turning the board to see the various tiles but it can also be played with a mouse.

There are 4 types of play available. Scramble mode is an arcade style playing mode where you play against an automated opponent trying to make matches faster than they do. Challenge mode is a full on puzzle mode that requires a lot of strategy but still pits you against a computer opponent. Puzzle mode lets you play challenge mode with no time limits, and relaxation mode allows for scrambling with no time limit or opponents. This is definitely the easiest mode. The game is fun and a great deal.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: Michael Howard

Backgammon Deluxe

Backgammon Deluxe

Backgammon Deluxe

While there aren’t quite as many backgammon games available, there are still quite a few. Backgammon Deluxe is the only one I’ll mention in this round-up. The free version is very full-featured. You can play a simple game of backgammon against a friend or against 3 levels of computer opponents.

The graphics are well done, with an easy to understand interface. The only huge difference between the free and full versions is that the paid version comes with a variety of backgrounds and sounds. This is a nice way to pay a quick game of backgammon, or to really spend some time and learn the strategy behind backgammon.

Price: Free/$0.99 for all backgrounds/sounds
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: Ensena Soft

Domino for Mac

Domino for Mac

Domino for Mac

Dominos is another one of those games that’s been around forever. It’s a street game most commonly, with a different type of game play from every region it’s played in. Domino for Mac offers a nice interface for playing Latin American style dominos.

The computer opponents are available in 3 different levels. You can also configure various game rules, including points and the starting piece. The statistics menu allows you to keep track of your long-term wins and losses.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.7
Developer: Jose Varela

Chickie Dominos

Chickie Dominos

Chickie Dominos

Chickie Dominos is one of many domino apps available. This one allows you to play the classic “chicken foot” domino style. This is the three prong pattern of play that makes rounds a bit more exciting at times. The game is free but has all of the same features as most other dominos applications. You can play against a computer of a variety of levels, and make some basic changes to the rules at the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to play against a friend at this time.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6
Developer: Mindlube Software

Board Game Collection

Board Game Collection

Board Game Collection

If you’re in the mood for a variety of games, you should definitely check out some board game collections. This particular one, aptly named “Board Game Collection” provides several classic board games. Some of the games included are Nine Men Morris, Checkers, Reversi and Tic Tac Toe along with a number of variations.

While the graphics pain my eyes a little bit, I enjoy the quality and variety of games in the collection. You can play all of the games against the computer or against a friend locally. I’d love to see network play added, but that’s for another day.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.7, 64-bit processor
Developer: Uwe Meier

Hoyle Puzzle & Board Games

Hoyle Puzzle & Board Games

Hoyle Puzzle & Board Games

Hoyle Puzzle & Board games offers over 1,000 games and variations. You can try classics like chess, checkers and dominoes. You can also try chinese checkers, battleship, mahjong and memory match just to name a few. they also have a number of puzzle games such as word searches and logic based games to keep you entertained.

As is often the problem with massive collections of games, the user interface isn’t the prettiest. However, the amount of games and the customizable features make for a generally enjoyable experience.

Price: $19.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6.6
Developer: Encore

Trade Mania

Trade Mania

Trade Mania

I did promise to include a board game style that isn’t based almost entirely on a game found in real life. Trade Mania is one of those games. This game takes from Monopoly (you invest in properties and trade them/collect rent in order make the most money) and also takes from other strategy and time-management based games.

The overall goal is to collect the most money, but rather than only earning money from properties, you also have the added challenges of making and selling products and completing tasks that are given to you on task cards. The game is enjoyable, although not my favorite. While it’s interesting to see the different “classic” games it pulls from, I’m not entirely into it. I think I’d rather play monopoly.

Price: $6.99
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6
Developer: Dekovir, Inc.

Which Is Your Favorite?

So, there you have it. 30 board games for Mac! And this is only the tip of the surface. You’ll find literally thousands more out there, from originals to knock-offs and everything in between. What’s your favorite board game to play on your Mac?


  • Tim

    It seems ridiculous to me that a computer version of Monopoly would cost more that the printed game. While the initial development of a computer game may take a lot of time, it is nothing compared to production, printing, materials, shipping and distribution costs associated with a physical game. What a ripoff.
    Besides, it is FAR less fun to play something like Monopoly on a screen than with physical pieces and money.

  • MM

    Is that Scrabble still available? I can’t find it online, but there are reviews from 2007.

    • Heather Weaver

      Which version are you referring to?

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