Electronic Updated Board Games: Awesome or Awful?

Electronic Updated Board Games: Awesome or Awful?

Laura E. Hall
Jul 20, 2011

While many of us grew up with a combination of classic cardboard and electronic board games (the latter including Simon, Girl Talk, even Operation with its little LED), today we're seeing a lot of our old favorites being converted to include batteries and electronic parts. Is this a good or a bad thing?

Are electronic additions to classic board games a way to enhance the gameplay, or a way to charge more money for the same -- or even an inferior -- product? You be the judge.

Some of the games that have been modernized:

  • Monopoly - ($26.26) The "Bank" is now managed electronically and all transactions are handled through a calculator.
  • Scrabble - ($24) We're fans of some of the many Scrabble variants, including the Scrabble Apple and Words with Friends. Scrabble Flash contains three game types, in which you build 3-5 letter words as quickly as possible.
  • Trivial Pursuit - ($11.99) Works just like the paper version of the game, only using an electronic gadget instead of cards. Load it up with official trivia downloaded from the internet and play along on the traditional paper board.
  • The Game of Life - ($123.72) Keep track of your score (accumulated by purchasing as much as possible) with an included Visa "debit card" and the "LifePod" gadget.
  • Guess Who - ($29.09) Just like the original, but with a timer, sounds, and buttons to press for answering questions with "Yes" or "No", that light up.
  • Battleship - ($73.95) Love Battleship, but hate that it doesn't have lights, sound effects or a programmable grid? This may be the game for you.
  • Reviews tend to be mixed. For some games, like Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble, the additions can augment gameplay or create a new, fun or more quick-paced version of the original, while with games like Battleship it may actually make the game harder to play and enjoy.

    Do you -- or would you -- play electronic versions of your favorite classic games? Share your opinions in the comments below.

    (Image: Flickr member pirate johnny licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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