Creating video games out of board games has been popular for many years. However, there have been recent announcements of popular video games coming to life as board games that you can play at home. How many remember playing Tetris in the smoke filled arcades in the '80s? More recently, Angry Birds has catapulted into the spotlight. Both of these popular video games have come to life for your next family game night.
Angry Birds: Knock on Wood
The popular mobile phone game Angry Birds is set to be launched into the board game aisle of your local toy store in 2011. Angry Birds was released on the Apple iPhone platform in December of 2009. As of February 2010 the game had sold more than 12 million copies through the iTunes Store alone. That does not count the millions of downloads the game has seen through other platforms and app stores. It is estimated that the game has been downloaded more than 50 million times.
The premise behind the mobile phone game is that pigs have been stealing the eggs from the birds. The pigs build forts to protect themselves from the angry birds. The birds then build a slingshot to hurl themselves into the pig's forts in an effort to destroy the forts and the pigs. The board game version has a catapult which is used to sling the birds into the pig forts that are built using designs from picture playing cards. The person building the fort has to built it according to the card using the plastic fort pieces while placing the pigs within the protective walls. The person catapulting the birds tries to knock all the pigs out of their protective cover. Points are awarded based on the complexity of the fort and the number of pigs that are displaced.
The game was announced at 2011 CES (Computer Electronics Show) by Mattel. It will be available in May 2011 for $14.95.
At the 2011 Toy Fair Tetris Link was announced. This is a 2 to 4 player strategy puzzle game where you try and link your colored block tiles in groups of three while keeping your opponent from doing the same. Gameplay is directed by a special die which indicates the shape the player must use for each turn.
Part of the appeal of Tetris in the arcade was the Russian music that seemed so foreign and illegal during the Cold War. The first version of Tetris was created in 1985 and within two years it was already known throughout the world on various computer systems. There is no sound track with the board game, but you could turn on one of your other Tetris playing devices and enjoy the music from there.
Tetris holds records in the Guinness Book of World Records for the "Most Ported Video Game," and the "Game With the Most Official and Unofficial Variants." Beyond being ported to just about every computing platform available, it has now been ported to a real life game in the form of Tetris Link by the John Adams board game company and marketed under the Ideal brand of games. Interestingly, Tetris was inspired by a board game called Pentominoes before it took on a digital life of its own.
Tetris Links is scheduled to to hit the market in the spring of 2011 and cost between $19 and $25.