Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Roll the dice...

One of my fondest memories of my childhood was the lazy summers and Sunday afternoons that I spent with my family. A good amount of them were filled with memories of playing cricket in the yard or going to a small ground to play. The other main activity was playing board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Snake and Ladders and other games I don't recall. And for the longest period in my life, I never played these games. I still can recall all those boxes gathering dust back home. And it wasn't until recently something changed which reunited me with one of my old loves.

As odd as it seems, the first reason for it was the Apple iPad. Let me explain, little under a year ago I was gifted the iPad, and I will say it's an extremely impressive piece of technology. But little did I realize its potential as an awesome platform of board games. When I think of it now it is a natural fit. The screen resembles a board, and the graphics and sound can really simulate the feel of a real game as well.

Risk and Scrabble on the iPad
And often when I travel to work, these games are time eaters and also tons of fun. Especially two games on the app store that caught my eye were Scrabble and Risk. Playing scrabble all my life, buying Scrabble on the app store was an obvious purchase. And I've to say it's a brilliant implementation of the classic game. Sure there are times when you are left leaving head scratching when you hear a particular word exists. But the design is so intuitive that on a recent trip to my friend's place, his wife picked up the game within 2 minutes of getting it. The other game that I mentioned was Risk(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_(game)), which I will say didn't catch my eye initially. I was interested in it simply because I had seen the ad for the game on Xbox Live and heard really good reviews about it. So buying it on the app store was simply out of curiosity that anything else. But since getting to know the rules, I've become very addicted to it. The design is simple, but yet so effective in conveying the feel of being at war and that you have to constantly keep monitoring your trip units and those of your enemies too. I will confess that this game has beaten me more often than scrabble, but don't worry my day will come soon :). The great thing is that you have friends (big IF), you can play them over the network or Internet.
The other big reason, I've fallen in love with board games yet again is this awesome meetup group near my house. For those who don’t know you can find tons of groups who share your share same interest in a particular area on the website Meetup.com.  It is a great way to organize these kinds of unconventional groups and bring people together to share these kind of experiences. Sometimes it goes by the way side but often it’s bloody awesome. And this case it's awesome, plenty of people who know tons of board games, man some of them I've not even heard about. We meet every Sunday at  1718 P Street NW, DC around 1pm. And so far it's been a packed house. The games are loads of fun, filled with dumb moves (mine mostly) and awesome moments of winning a game (definitely not me). It brought back a lot of good memories of my childhood fighting and arguing my brothers during those lazy afternoons over board games. And the awesome thing is that every week the organizers do something new, which makes going for them lots of fun. And I will also say they’re very well organized and arranged that the experience is just even more awesome.

It's funny that these two seemingly unrelated events reunited me with a past that I had long forgotten and one that I want to remember and relive. If at all you guys have an itching to play those old board games, go ahead buy an iPad or find a meetup or just buy some board games because they are definitely worth the every single dollar or rupee or euro or whatever that you spend on it.

1 comment:

  1. The Meet up groups sound sooo much fun!!
    But I hope these are a safe group of ppl...strangers after all...take care!

    Well written :-)