Back in the days of yore, when desktop PCs and tablets and smartphones were just ideas in the heads of geniuses, people used to buy houses, mortgage them and buy hotels, or just sit in front of the coffee table and build points with words.
You might have got the gist of what I’m saying; Monopoly and Scrabble used to be the prime means of home or travel entertainment. And it’s not just these two.
Board games were a hit ever since the first dice was rolled, and they have remained a favourite since, even after television and computers adorned our living rooms. When smartphones and tablets touched our life, board games filled in for the entertainment factor.
And as time passed, with each generation of Android and iOS tablets, more refined games came into play. Electronic Arts have come forward with five classic games for the iPad: Monopoly, Scrabble, Life, Risk and Ticket to Ride.
The iPad takes the place of an actual board for Monopoly and Ticket to Ride. Players can sit around the gadget and play ad their turn comes like you would do for an actual board game.
Whereas for Scrabble, Life and Risk, it’s more of a pass and play. The board is oriented in one direction and the iPad has to be passed to each player for their turn.
While board games on an iPad may not be the best substitute for the original stuff, it certainly does offer a novel way of spending time with friends and family. Plus, the device offers a faster gameplay, where the scores, moneys, armies etc. are kept tallied by the iPad.
Get a glimpse of each game after the break.
The bonus of having monopoly on the iPad is that no player is forced to be the banker. Change the settings to Tabletop mode and you can play the game with up to four players.
If by chance you have more than iPad lying around, then you can set up a game through WiFi or Bluetooth via the Local Network Play option. The game starts the traditional way, with each player picking the pieces of their choosing: a top hat, dog, thimble and even a Toyota Prius.
There are five different environments to choose from and you can also tweak a number of house rules, like starting the game with players having properties, set a turn timer, set a payout for free parking and the Pass Go payment. You can also legally cheat.
There’s an option called the Sleight of Hand, which when kept on, allows each player to cheat for a maximum of three times to roll a specific number. Now that’s something you might find difficult to do on an actual board game.
There’s the added comfort of the game looking after your monetary affairs. When you land on another player’s property, the payment will be automatically taken care of, with the amount getting deducted from your account.
Also trading properties and setting up houses are a lot more easier than the original version. By tapping on a group of properties on the board, the probabilities of your opponents landing on them on their next turn is displayed.
With the comfort of having the iPad handling your game’s assets, a group of four players can get over a game within an hour, provided you skip through all the probabilities and tutorials. And in case you have to leave the game unattended, you can save your game.
That way, you are sure the pieces will be remaining as before and your money is safe when you return, without you friends stealing it from under your nose.
Scrabble too is a game which four persons can enjoy. There’s Pass N’ Play or you can hitch up more than one iPad through WiFi or Bluetooth.
Additionally, you can play friends on Facebook, and the Party Play option allows players have their iPhones take the place of a tile rack. For that all you need is the free Scrabble Tile Rack app for the iPhone.
Scrabble on screen is just like the real game where you can swap tiles, shuffle and recall tiles. You can even consult a dictionary containing a list of two-letter words that could come in handy.
Then there’s the Best Word option that creates and gives you the most valuable wordon the board from your tiles. And the best part is, you cant make up words, so fights among friends on whether a word played is actually a word can be avoided.
Risk, like Monopoly, is a stretched out game that could go on and on. But the iPad version provides a faster gaming experience.
Draft, Attack, Fortify- the three phases- flash over quickly and the graphics and sound effects add excitement and color. Your troops will be in the corner troop box and you can draft them to your territories by dragging them out one by one or collectively pinching them and dragging them.
Or if you don’t want to drag, you can tap on your territory and scroll through the number of troops to be stationed. During the attack phase, your territories which you can use for launching an attack will be highlighted.
To launch an attack, simply drag your troops on to a neighboring territory, after which you can roll the dice against your adversary for combat. You can also speed up your fight by tapping the yellow button next to the dice.
In the event that you punch in the yellow button, the game skips the dice throwing and proclaims the winner pronto. The last stage, Fortify, allows you to transfer your troops in between territories.
Turning your scroll wheel gives you the number of soldiers to march. Six players can play this game if you follow Pass N’ Play, while Local Play allows only four players.
THE GAME OF LIFE:
This might be one board game that might not seem so appealing on an iPad. On an iPad, there arises the problem of not being able to view the whole board.
Of course, you can pan out the board, but then the icons get smaller and also becomes difficult to make them out. The real board game has a cool layout, with molded plastic pieces for a topographical feel and a colourful spinner at the center.
The iPad version gets the spinner, though the feel of topography is quite lost. Moreover, the view puts the action right at your face, and if those weren’t enough, the cartoonish effect of your car moving provides further distraction.
The gameplay is slow, so if you have lots of time to spare, you can rope in six players with Pass N’Play mode.
TICKET TO RIDE:
The iPad version has done justice to this popular game. The screen allows the whole board to lay out in total, and if there’s a particular area u need to see in more detail, you can do so by pinch to zoom.
Here too, as in Monopoly, the iPad plays the brains. So you needn’t burden yourself with shuffling and dealing the train cards.
If you are a new player, you can avail the help of the operational tutorials, and your particular destinations will be highlighted on the map. Five players can sit around and play on the iPad.
So what do you reckon? Ready for some board fun?