Remember the good old days, when all it took to amuse you was a night of fun provided by the game closet? Popular board games were used not only for diversion, but to teach kids valuable life skills. For example, Monopoly imparted concepts like earning, spending, and saving (i.e. counting) money, as well as the progression of purchasing and upgrading property in order to charge more for rent. And Life gave you a window into the adult world, from getting a job and buying a house to having a carful of kids.
In short, most board games offered an education in addition to hours of entertainment.
But technology has definitely gone beyond what can be offered by a simple piece of cardboard with a printout pasted to it. These days most relevant gaming occurs on consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360, computers, and of course, mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. Luckily, some of your favorite childhood board games have been adapted for use on the iPad.
Scrabble. There are plenty of rip-offs running around out there that you can try (Words with Friends, Bananagrams, etc.), but you can’t beat the original game that gives you a limited selection of letters and then forces you to make real words out of them. This is pretty much the same deal as the board game you’re used to, except that you can now play it on the go (without the mess of physical travel versions) and your friends don’t have to be in proximity to engage in wordplay with you.
Monopoly. While you’ll have to settle for playing with virtual versions of your beloved avatars, you’ll still get the game you remember with a few added features. Aside from the stellar HD graphics (courtesy of the new retina display), you’ll enjoy three modes of gameplay, including a solo version that you can play against the computer (it’s a lot more fun than playing the traditional board game by yourself), as well as two options to play with friends (either remotely or in “tabletop” mode that allows you to play with up to four people).
Trivial Pursuit: Master Edition. If you’re all about trivia, then this mobile version of this classic recall game should be right up your alley. However, it comes with extras that allow you to pick your mode (classic lets you play with others with pursuit mode allows you solo fun), you can utilize the tabletop version if all the players are in proximity, and you can even up the difficulty level, set time limits, and track your stats.
The Game of Life. I have to admit that I didn’t like this game as a kid (what 10-year-old wants to think about getting a job and having kids?), but the electronic version of the game seems a lot more fun. You can now zoom in and interact with the game board (thanks to HD graphics), customize your character, and play with up to six people. And you won’t be tempted to flick your car (kids and all) off the game board halfway through.
RISK. Some of us are content to play whatever free games happen to be available on the iTunes store (no matter how crappy they are). Others are hell-bent on world domination. RISK is a game for the latter group. You can go solo, play with those in your immediate vicinity, or get your friends in remote locations to log on and challenge you. Then all you have to do is conquer the world!
What mobile board games are you playing?