PASTIMES REVISITED Monopoly World Edition
THE BOARD GAMES OF OUR CHILDHOOD ARE NOT DEAD —THE TABLET HAS GIVEN THEM A NEW LEASE OF LIFE.
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.
(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.
($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.