The Ancient Board Games That Have Evolved Into Apps

Updated on: July 30, 2020

There are numerous reasons why people may wish to engage in mobile games: for leisure and relaxation, escapism, interest in the specific subject matter, to pass time or in response to a burning desire to win! Some of the oldest board games from around the globe serve as inspiration for our modern games and the countless emerging versions and interpretations of them.


"Mahjong" originated in China, and although there is a suspicion that the game was introduced before the 19th century, the furthest back that the game has been traced is the late 1800s, late 1800s, before it was introduced to the USA during the 1920s. The Mahjong Journey mobile game by G5 Entertainment for iOS delivers more focus on a storytelling approach to the traditional game, making it more appealing for those who wish to become invested not only in winning but in the feeling of accomplishment gained from fulfilling a mission and reaching destinations, as well as being treated to a high variety of virtual settings (including, for example, the Forbidden City found in China, India's Taj Mahal and Mount Fuji which is a mountain situated in Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan). The plot of the game features the journeying of a young girl and her grandpa as they travel the world in a quest to locate the girl's missing mother and father. A more typical version is 1C Wireless' Mahjong for Android which offers the classic version along with "Time Attack" and "Challenge" modes.

Tic Tac Toe


The Ancient Roman game of "Terni Lapilli" is believed to be the original form of tic tac toe (otherwise referred to as "noughts and crosses"), using the same grid framework. Today, however, it is not just the simple form of tic tac toe that is on offer on the mobile games market, but more colorful and current-trend versions. For instance, there is Tech Aussie's emoji-themed tic tac toe mobile game which engages not only with emoji trends but relates to one of the primary uses of mobile phones: communication. Aiming specifically at those who prefer the retro vibe, the game XO Tic Tac Toe Millenium incorporates the feel of playing by hand by way of its paper-aesthetic background.



Roulette dates back to the 17th century, when it was introduced in a primitive form by French mathematician Blaise Pascal. King Charles III of Monaco popularized it in the 19th century when he built hiw own casino. Roulette's straightforward rules and rapid gameplay mark it as accessible and have given it an enduring appeal. The aim of roulette is to "accurately predict the pocket into which the roulette ball will land", with bets made on the number and color of the potential pocket. This easy format makes roulette highly suitable for mobile experiences that can be slotted into breaks at work, journeys and relaxation time at home.



The earliest form of chess is thought to be the Roman Latrunculi, which - like the modern-day chess - saw black-and-white pieces battle it out across a board. There are many mobile chess games that pit you against the computer as an opponent, but Zynga have introduced their Chess With Friends app for iOS, which allows you to play one-on-one against friends in real time, as well as giving you the ability to engage in more than one game at once. The draw of multiplayer games is that they allow you to connectand interact with friends, family or new acquaintances while also enjoying the competitive and interactive nature of a board game.


Checkers is reportedly based on Petteia, an Ancient Greek game in which the aim was to trap the other player's pieces between two of your own. Roghan Games has created a replica of modern-day checkers simply transferred into mobile format so that you may enjoy the game on the go. This version does alter the black and white color scheme of traditional checkers to a more aesthetically appealing red and blue, subsequently working to increase the target market for the game, particularly those who have not played it before, either on mobile or in physical form.


The Ludo STAR mobile game, a product of Gameberry Labs, is reminiscent of both the rules and layout of the ancient game Patolli, which was created during the time of the Aztec Empire and involved the tossing of stones or beans with dots applied onto them (in place of the modern dice) and, in response, the movement of playing pieces around a board shaped into a cross formation: the layout and movement associated heavily with modern-day Ludo.

It is clear that these games that have stood the test of time despite their evolutions and alterations will continue to be popular far into the future, with the expectation that more and more versions will continue to be released.

Post Tags: #Ancient Board Games #Games
Saurabh Mukhekar
Saurabh Mukhekar is a Professional Tech Blogger. World Traveler. He is also thinker, maker, life long learner, hybrid developer, edupreneur, mover & shaker. He's captain planet of BlogSaays and seemingly best described in rhyme. Follow Him On Facebook

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  1. Hi

    I am searching for this assistance, really I am confronting an issue with few applications. Exceptionally elegantly composed. Proceeding with legitimate instruments will spare parcel of time.Thanks for this article.

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