How many times have you played a board game and thought, hey, this would work well on my computer? There have been loads of games that started off in the real world and have found their way into virtual reality.
This has made them evolve and improve in many ways and has also brought lesser known games to a wider audience. Some games have fit into this set-up so seamlessly that many people didn’t even know they existed as games in a tangible form before.
What games can you think of that made the switch? Here is a look at some of the most popular games that have made the move and embraced modern technology.
Fantasy board games
There used to be a time when you could walk into any games shop and see players taking part in epic large scale strategy games. These vast, sprawling fantasy board games involve a lot of time, effort and serious commitment.
One of these classics is Warhammer 40,000 by Games Workshop. It’s a miniature table-top wargame where players have to assemble, paint, and strategically place their own mini figures that represent soldiers, creatures and war vehicles in a make-believe universe. The game has been around for almost thirty years and its fan base grows and grows.
Although fans of the game still enjoy playing it in real life, the virtual reality version has served to add to and build upon the game that they already play. In the PC format they can actually see their characters come to life and move them around, and this gives the whole Warhammer universe another exciting dimension. Also, some gamers find that controlling the game with a few easy clicks of the mouse is more enjoyable than moving things around physically.
Some other PC strategy games that took their roots from fantasy board games are Empire, Civilization, and Command and Conquer. All these games have become hugely successful in this virtual reality format as there is no limit to the depth of detail that can be conveyed on the PC.
Pretty much anyone alive today has, at some point, played solitaire to pass the time or while procrastinating. That is thanks to Microsoft, which has been bundling the card game with Windows for 25 years now, making the game an unquestionable casual video gaming classic..
Still, not many could imagine themselves actually getting a deck of cards out and dealing them in that laborious fashion. Still, believe it or not, that’s exactly what people used to do before computers.
Another card game that has enjoyed the switch from reality to virtual reality is blackjack. Although this is still hugely popular to play in the real world, ever since it became available to play online its popularity has increased massively. Now you can even play it while on the move from your smartphone.
How blackjack came about is still a hotly debated topic. Most people agree that blackjack as we know it now was invented in France around the year 1700, but some historians suggest that a game of a similar nature was being played as early as Roman times. History is still being written about this great game, and there are plenty of big names in the hall of fame.
Think back to all those childhood holidays when you carried around little travel versions of popular board games like scrabble or chess. These were aptly named things like “travel scrabble” and “travel chess”. They were designed so you could play your favourite games anywhere, such as in the car on the way to the seaside. Normally the case was that it was just a much more scaled down version of the original game, making it easier to carry around and get out and play wherever you were. A lot of them were magnetised as well so the pieces wouldn’t go flying off the board if the car hit a bump.
With the emergence of smartphones, games like these have found a much more practical format. Now there is no worry about losing pieces, or having them fall to the floor and then trying to remember where they were before. Children can link their smartphones via Bluetooth or online and play a game of chess or scrabble, or pretty much any of the classics with minimal fuss. Tablets are a great platform for games like these as the screen is big enough for two players to share between them. And with new high-quality cases there is no worry of the tablet falling to the floor and breaking. Cool, isn’t it?
As more and more games have made the transition between the two worlds, it’s hard to think what games are yet to take the leap. Are there any popular games out there that don’t yet exist in a virtual format?
Let us know in the comments!