The iPad is potentially a great new way to play board games.
With regular board games you have to store and keep track of the box, usually on some shelf somewhere, begging to fall to the floor and scatter little plastic game pieces everywhere. Then you have to keep track of those game pieces, which have a habit of disappearing. Then you have to set up, keep score, and then put away the game. Not to mention the games cost $10-20, and up to $50 for those cool German board games.
But now, for just a few dollars (almost always less than $10), you can get these same games on the iPad, with very few drawbacks and occasionally some new features, like playing with someone who's not even in the room. Some iPad board games don't let you play against other human players, locally or over the internet, or they handle this so poorly that you'd rather just play against the computer. But most are worthwhile facsimiles of their card board and plastic counterparts.
Which games are good? "Scotland Yard" was just released as well as "Ticket to Ride," both of which are favorite family games among us and our friends. German-made award winners "Settlers of Catan" and "Carcasonne" both have iPad versions, as well as all of the American classics like "Monopoly" and "Risk." I own "Scrabble" but play "Words with Friends," which handles multiplayer better than almost any iPad or iPhone game of this sort.