PAS­TIMES RE­VIS­ITED Mo­nop­oly World Edi­tion

THE BOARD GAMES OF OUR CHILD­HOOD ARE NOT DEAD —THE TABLET HAS GIVEN THEM A NEW LEASE OF LIFE.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - LEVEL UP - BY NANDAGOPAL RAJAN

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Board games like Mo­nop­oly, Scrab­bles and Ludo re­mind us of sul­try sum­mer hol­i­day af­ter­noons when they were our only so­lace from the hot out­doors and the bor­ing in­doors. Over the years, as video games be­came syn­ony­mous with games, many of us for­got about these old games. Now, how­ever, these board games have got a new lease of life through tablets. Here is a look at some clas­sic games that have made a big come­back through the ipad. ($0.99) On the tablet, Mo­nop­oly is faster than it ever was on the board. You have the op­tion of choos­ing the avatar of your choice and play­ing only with the com­puter or up to three ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence play­ers. If you can man­age to find three other play­ers, you can play an all-hu­man game too; but this is guar­an­teed to be slow. Just make sure you turn off the tu­to­ri­als as they tend to be very ir­ri­tat­ing with ap­pear­ances af­ter ev­ery move. One of the most in­ter­est­ing as­pects of play­ing the game by Elec­tronic Arts is the an­i­ma­tion. From the roll of the dice, which is as close to nat­u­ral as you will get in a vir­tual world, to the move­ments of the avatars, the an­i­ma­tion will re­ally amuse you. The only draw­back of this is that at times you just want to get on with the game and not fool around. The rules are the same with the board ver­sion, but I would have been hap­pier if there was op­tion to cus­tomise the lo­ca­tions. An av­er­age one-on-one game with the com­puter can last about an hour, while with three AI play­ers this will be over in half the time. Con­sider this with a real board game that can drag on for over a day at times. And the win­ning jig by the avatar at the end is some­thing worth the wait. Then there is also the fun of be­ing able to de­feat the com­puter quite of­ten, thanks to the lack of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence at times. BAG IT OR JUNK IT: A must-have game, though you are al­ways at an ad­van­tage .

LUDO board game

(FREE) There are many ver­sions of Ludo on the App Store, but this one from SIS Soft­ware caught our eye be­cause of the new Mod­ern Black ver­sion of the game. This ver­sion is played on a black back­ground with flu­o­res­cent tiles and to­kens. You can play with mul­ti­ple play­ers or against the com­puter in a one-on-one or in all the other three slots. The fin­ish­ing of the game seems a bit dif­fer­ent from what we are used to in In­dia, but it won’t take you long to get into the groove. We sug­gest you stick to the com­puter dice op­tion only, un­less you want to pay a bit more for the 3D dice. The free hand dice, how­ever, is the stu­pid­est we have seen, giv­ing users the op­tion of se­lect­ing the fig­ure they want. There is al­ways the clas­sic game op­tion if you get tired of the all-black board. The other board op­tions are not free though. BAG IT OR JUNK IT: Cool game, but ads are an eye­sore.

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Car­rom MP

(FREE) Cre­ated by Mum­bai-based Ge­o­desic, this is un­doubt­edly the best car­rom app around. Maybe be­cause In­di­ans are the best play­ers of the game, this app gives you feel and thrill akin to the real thing. You can play the game against the com­puter or with mul­ti­ple op­po­nents. Once you choose the strike you want, just tap on it and pull back. The more you pull, the more power you will load in the striker—you can use it to ex­e­cute soft shots too. As you pull a tracker beam ap­pears from the striker show­ing where it is headed. Aim this on the men and re­lease to shoot. The beam will also show where the striker will ric­o­chet on the board and you can use this for shots that will stun you as well as on­look­ers. The only de­fect with the game is that the com­puter gets con­fused if you shoot the striker into the hole. BAG IT OR JUNK IT: Good fun, and that too free.

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Scrab­ble

($1.99) If you haven’t played Scrab­ble as a kid, it is likely that the lack shows in your vo­cab­u­lary. Jokes apart, Scrab­ble is one game that im­proves your lan­guage skills while en­sur­ing tremen­dous fun. The trou­ble with the board game ver­sion is that it is very dif­fi­cult to find some­one to play the game with, cer­tainly some­one with a vo­cab­u­lary that will chal­lenge you. With the tablet ver­sion from Elec­tronic Arts, you can take the chal­lenge to the com­puter. Try play­ing in nor­mal mode to start with, for the hard mode can be too much of a chal­lenge for most of us with the com­puter throw­ing up words that would put even Noah Web­ster to shame. Once again the ad­van­tage of play­ing against the com­puter is that there is no wait­ing in­volved— try the two player ver­sion with a friend and you will know what we mean. To­gether with the free Scrab­ble Tile Rack app, you can change your ipad into a vir­tual tile rack and play with up to four other ipad users in the room. The app comes with an in­built dic­tionary, and su­perb best word op­tion to help you while in a spot. BAG IT OR JUNK IT: Hard mode is a bit too hard un­less you have com­piled a dic­tionary.

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