Just under two years after it was announced, the legacy board game Charterstone has released on Steam. In Charterstone, players compete to best develop a new settlement, each trying to become the most famous and powerful among the local leaders. Charterstone is the first legacy board game to come to a digital platform. Legacy board games are some of the most popular and innovative games on the tabletop today, using mechanics that permanently change the game and game board from session to session. Best played with the same group repeatedly, these games are notoriously hard to get completed. Enter digital. The digital adaptation of Charterstone allows you to play the campaign single or multiplayer in full online or in local hot-seat, including with Steam’s Remote Play Together feature. The multiplayer is also cross-platform with the iOS and Android versions of the game.
Charterstone is the brainchild of Stonemaier Games, the board game publisher behind Scythe, which has already had a successful digital transition. It’s a worker placement game, a type of board game where players use their limited actions each turn to gather and transform resources with the goal of accomplishing varying goals—often at odds with each other. The digital version is by Acram Digital, and is published by Mobo Studio. When the adaptation was first announced Stonemaier games said they wanted it to be a top-tier adaptation akin to Playdek’s Lords of Waterdeep. Acram has definitely delivered that, and this is a lovely, cute, and very animated adaptation of the board game. The board game garnered numerous prestigious awards, including the Golden Geek Board Game of the Year and a nomination for the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming. Though I’ve only spent a few hours with it, this is an adaptation to hold up as the new standard—I especially appreciate the unobtrusive sound design. There are a few hitches and quality of life fixes that could stand to be implemented, but initial reception from the broader community seems to be quite positive.