Board games just got a lot more intense. Forget flipping the board in fury because you suck at backgammon. Hasbro and Arcade1Up have launched the Infinity Game Table so you can be a sore loser in digital format.
It's a pretty sweet deal, especially since it could make life during the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing a little more entertaining.
The pros — The Infinity Game Table packs a powerful punch. It allows up to six people to play on the board, offers tactile feedback which means that your physical interaction with the board is immersive through haptic loops, it runs on Wi-Fi, comes with a battery (you have to pay $79 but it helps if you're not close to an electric outlet), and you can download not only traditional board games but also puzzles and coloring books that don't need to be paid for.
The 3D animation and graphics quality makes the conventional Monopoly a lot more exciting, plus the board table can be moved around however you wish as it has removable legs. Its manufacturers also say that it is impact and water-resistant. Arcade1Up has also asked smaller developers to join the fun and offer their games, which is a business-savvy move as smaller startups wield considerable power in the digital board game industry. Consider the example of the Ludo game, which is popular in parts of West, Central, and South Asia. Developers like Gamesberry Labs have launched Ludo Star, gaining popularity in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Pakistan, Albania, France, and beyond.
The board table's size — one edition of the screen is 24 inches and the other is 32 inches — makes board games a lot more dynamic. From Candyland, Yahtzee, Operation, Connect 4, Hungry Hippos, chess, backgammon, sudoko, dominoes, checkers to even one-player hits like solitaire where you're paired against the computer, the Infinity Board Table could clearly spice your games up. Plus, you're never going to lose a piece.
Now, the cons — Sometimes a product will be 99 percent perfect until you check the price tag and realize that it may not be worth such an investment. If you really want to enjoy an Infinity Game Table, you have to be ready to put $500 down for the 24-inch board table or $700 down for the 32-inch version.
This is also assuming that your friends and family are willing to pay that much to own one of these. And this is where Arcade1Up could lose the opportunity to go mainstream. While its crowdfunding project is going rather splendid on Kickstarter with almost 600 backers and $422,292 on hand, the company will have to convince the average consumer that paying hundreds of bucks for a digital version of conventional board games is worth it or it'll end up a niche interest.