We think one of the first board games based on a physical version we ever came across in the App Store would be Zooloretto. Visuals-wise, this looked better with animal sprites instead of tiles and lots of animal noises. That time we'd only an iPod Touch (no iPhone yet and the iPad hasn't existed) and it was a good start. AI was decent and we spent a fair amount of time playing that (among other iOS games, of course).
Then we got our iPhone, and Carcassone was announced. Carcassone was the first board game we actually bought too, and the introductory price of $4.99 was tempting (and turns out to be a good thing too, the price of the game never dropped from the usual $9.99 as far as we know!). Another plus point? Universal app. Looks great on both iPhone and iPad and still a mainstay on both devices (although to be honest we only play this as a multiplayer with the Chief occasionally).
Bang! was announced, we tried the Lite version featuring the founding fathers but somehow Bang! in essence is still best played in person (how else can one lie to the Sheriff?).
When Ascension was announced, we tried the lite version and was soon hooked. Couldn't bring ourself to shell out $9.99, though, not until they updated the app to include the expansions. Then we basically threw our money, buying the expansions. It's still one of our most-played iOS games, even though we rarely go online for multiplayer games.
Hey, That's My Fish! is a great game for introducing friends to board games when played on the iPad, although we suppose they'll assume it's just an iOS game instead of being a digital version of the board game. Come to think of it we wouldn't actually want to buy the physical version of Hey, That's My Fish! We'd go crazy setting up the tiles after a while!
Bought Neuroshima Hex, but we're not to keen on the setting of the game, hence after a game or two we tend to leave the game aside.
Ticket To Ride initially was announced for the iPad, but we were already spoilt by iOS app pricing and somehow can't bring ourself to pay for the app. Then Ticket To Ride Pocket for the iPhone was announced at 99¢ and we snapped that up immediately. It's a great game, the small screen might take a bit of getting used to but we're ok with that.
Caylus came out and it was an impulse buy for us...only to be stung a few days later when the game went on sale. But now we finally get to figure out how the mid-game and late-game works. When the board game first came out, we understood what to do for the early game but somehow lost our way by the mid-game. We figure this was because we never bothered much with checking the costs of the expensive buildings that earn lots of victory points. Amazing how the game works on the iPhone decently too with a bit of scrolling.
Le Havre we bought when it was on sale, and while its an interesting game we honestly did not want to spend the time learning the functions of the different buildings. It does have an Agricola-ish feel, though.
Magic: The Gathering - Duels Of The Planeswalker 2013 was announced with iPad support and we were rather excited for that, because we got Duels 2012 when it was on sale on Steam and we found it to satisfy our MtG itch quite well. Even though the decks are limited to the theme decks, it's still good enough and way cheaper than spending on the actual card game. Duels 2013 even had expansion decks based on the Ravnican guilds (without their guild mechanics, sadly, but the decks were themed appropriately still) and while we paid for the first expansion, we're holding off from buying the rest just yet (who knows, they may drop the price when Duels 2014 comes out, hur hur).
We bought Puerto Rico earlier this year, honestly for the only reason that we were on a trip, we were craving to play PR and we had no access to the PR Evolver Excel file where we've always been playing. We weren't really keen to get PR because it was only for the iPad (with the exception of Duels 2013, every other game could be played on the iPhone), but now that we've got it on the iPad, gameplay is ok. We still get our quick fixes using the excel file, but the upside of the app compared to the excel file is that we can randomise the starting position of players.
Lately we had the itch for some quick game to play on our phone. Ascension's still our default when we have a few minutes but a game takes some 5-10 minutes, while we were looking for something shorter. Granted, there're plenty of iOS games out there, we could play Bejewelled Blitz (not Tetris Blitz though, the game was spoiled with all the in-your-face power ups pop-ups that the game try to get you to spend with the in-game currency that we lost interest in playing "one more time") or a level of Angry Birds but we wanted something that was short but didn't have us racing against a timer, didn't require us to focus too much on sliding our finger on the screen like Ticket To Ride Pocket (in case our attention was divided elsewhere), or replaying the stage (as we do with Angry Birds until we nail that 3 stars!).
And so we ended up getting Lost Cities yesterday. Verdict? Good choice. The game is short, the rules understood within a game, and there's replayability!
Actually, heck, for all our reasons we might have just wanted to BUY an app for the sake of retail therapy. At least it's a game that we're happy with!
Next, we wait for Agricola to finally be released. It's been delayed, we hear.