The world of modern gaming is pretty incredible. While some would say that video games are increasingly causing us to steer clear of traditional community entertainment (such as old board or card games), there’s also a clear argument that our gaming platforms are actually helping to reinvent the same games we used to play around kitchen or coffee tables. Sure, it’s all a little bit different, but if anything, video games’ continual rise has proven the enduring quality of old-fashioned games, rather than make them obsolete.
Looking at some of the most advanced gaming systems and methods, it’s clear that a lot of these games have been adapted relatively recently. The most recent example is the appearance of a poker game for a few of the brand-new virtual reality headset consoles that have been unveiled this year. Named “CasinoVR,” it makes players feel as if they’re actually seated at card tables playing poker with other people.
But beyond this specific example, a whole category of card and board games at the Xbox Live Arcade shows that games from Monopoly to Mahjong are still being made available for players. It’s not the same as playing around the kitchen table, but these games do allow for interaction and competition online—meaning they can still be played with friends and family.
We’ve also seen internet casinos do their part to bring back some retro games for new audiences, and not just in terms of poker. While poker tournaments and slot arcades tend to dominate these websites, some focus on additional and different types of entertainment. The bingo room selection at Gala may be the most noteworthy indication to this effect.
It makes clever use of various themes and formats to make a classic game more engaging on a modern platform. While we think of bingo as something played either at an official venue or with a caller wheel and printed cards at home, these games turn them into mini-arcades that can be enjoyed by entire communities online.
But more than any other platform, mobile gaming has proven to be incredibly helpful for the endurance (and in some cases rebirth) of popular board and card games. If you ever played a game in the living room with your relatives or in the basement with friends, it’s virtually certain that you can find that very game in a mobile app store. These are some of the examples.
Arguably the most famous board game of all time, Monopoly has been available on mobile platforms for a while now and has earned terrific reviews. It can be a single-player game, but it’s also wonderful for multiplayer—either via Bluetooth against up to two opponents, or with a pass-and-play system against as many as three. And in execution, it’s pretty much the same as the classic board game.
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While there are a few mini-games tossed into the mix, this is another app that’s adapted a classic game pretty faithfully. And it, too, is built for multiplayer, not just with friends but also via an online matchmaking system that pits you against other players.
UNO & Friends
You know about Words With Friends, which is among the more popular mobile games of all time (and basically offered up a twist on Scrabble). This does much the same with the popular card game UNO. There are a few gimmicks, such as a recent update that infuses some Ghostbusters elements in collaboration with the summer film, but at its core this is the same old UNO in mobile form.
It doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation, because it’s just a very straightforward way to play one of the greatest games ever invented! It supports single or multiplayer gaming, and it’s actually got a smooth and attractive design that sets it apart from most digital chess games you may find online.
This is another faithful adaptation that perfectly captures the sense of competition that even close families and friends used to enjoy on game nights at home. As one review noted, nothing matches rolling the dice and moving pieces, but the Catan app still satisfies in almost every other respect.
There could be dozens of additional games listed here, but the point is quite simple: board and card games don’t need to be viewed as old-fashioned any longer. They may not work the way they once did, but modern platforms have welcomed and in some cases even improved upon most of our favorite classics.
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