Many of the classic board games are easily adapted so that they can be played in a number of ways. Computer games are so advanced these days that pretty much anything can be played on one. Video games as well can have the option of allowing players to find classic games on these systems. One of the greatest things about these electronic editions of classic board games is that it can allow multiplayer options without needing those players to actually be present. Through networking and the Internet, anyone can play games with people from all around the world.Monopoly, Clue, and Risk are three of the biggest board games which have found life through computer games and the Internet. All of these games can be found with electronic editions that will allow you to connect with other players over the Internet and play a highly competitive game with people that you may have never even met. They all have options as well which allow you to play against the computer, meaning that you do not need any other people to actually be present in order to enjoy the board game.This can be a great feature for killing some time in an enjoyable way. Traditionally, the only way to play any of those games was with a group of people and since that can often be harder to organize than one would immediately think, the option to play against some computer opponents can allow you to enjoy the fun of Monopoly, Risk, or Clue at any time that you wish.Those aren’t the only three games available with computer play, though. Chess was one of the earliest games adapted to the computer and any number of editions of chess can be found for a player. Chess against the computer can actually be one of the hardest games available, as well as one of the most addictive. Playing against a computer has actually been one of the features of many different chess tournaments, trying to figure out once and for all how well the computer chess systems were written. (It actually turns out that most of the best players in the world can beat some of the hardest computer systems for while the computers can calculate every possibility in the world, they are not so good at handling the random aspects of a game and planning for a change of tactics.)Networking with others on the Internet to play these board games can actually be a great way to make some new friends as well. Playing a great game with someone can raise a lot of camaraderie between people and when you are looking for a good game in the future, you might be able to find it again with the person you played in the past. After finding a good opponent with them and playing a number of games, you may find that you actually have more in common than just a love of games. In this way, electronic board games can actually benefit you in more ways than just one!
Timing a round is something which board games will often need to do. The game itself presents a challenge where players will need to complete a task within a certain amount of time in order to try and score points. These games can often be word related, where players have to make lists of words or something of the like using a set grouping of letters or clues. Whoever can make the largest list of unique words in the time allotted will often win the game, for they scored the highest number of points. The game needs to provide something, however, to allow players to accurately be able to keep track of the amount of time which passes.Due to the technological boom which has happened in the past few decades, electronic devices are available cheaply to people and products of all forms. This means that board games can easily employ this technology to help players enjoy their games with relative easy and little stress. Formerly, board games used to give sand timers which were perfectly formed to match the length of time needed for the round. They could run from thirty seconds to five minutes, or anywhere in between. Once the makers of the game established how long they needed the round to last, timers would be formed which would run for that length of time and were placed in each copy of the board game.These timers were very accurate and worked well, but could pose a few problems in their own right. If they broke by any means, the timer was rendered useless and the game could not be played until another accurate timer was found. Additionally, the timer would not alert anyone when the round was finished. Therefore, players had to pay attention to where the timer stood and that could cost them precious seconds within the game.Today, however, most board games which need timed rounds come with electronic timers which run on batteries. The amount of power they need is usually very limited, meaning that any single timer can run for years on a single set of batteries. These timers often need nothing more than to be wound up, or simply have a button pressed. They will then proceed to count down the correct amount of time needed, ringing a bell or sounding a buzzer when the alloted time is up. Many of these timers provide a ticking noise while counting down, which can be seen as either a blessing or a curse. While the noise can be a distraction, it also provides a sense of pressure on the players which can often motivate them to work harder, scoring the points that need to be scored in order to produce a win.While sand timers often give a sense of nostalgia when it comes to beloved board games, electronic timers are more efficient as they keep track of time in a regulated manner, as well as providing an auditory alert when the round is over. This allows players to concentrate on the task in front of them, without needing to worry about when the time might expire. It allows game play to be more fair for everyone involved and, thusly, more fun.
You are a brave adventurer, and your group is on a quest that requires you to venture into Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft. It is the dreaded home of Strahd von Zarovich, an evil and powerful vampire. Do you have what it takes to work together and survive this deathtrap? Be a fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard or ranger. Use your abilities and spells, and work together with your fellow adventurers to defeat Strahd and his minions in this strategy adventure board game.Castle Ravenloft is a board game based on Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), the original fantasy role-playing game. D&D is a pen-and-paper style of gaming first published in the 1970’s that differed from the then popular tabletop war games. A dungeon master designs and facilitates adventures while the other players experience these adventures as a group of fighters, mages, rogues and a whole host of other character classes. What made the game special was that there were rules to facilitate combat as well as non-combat encounters, bringing the ‘adventure’ to the gaming table. The players actually lived and breathed their characters that grew over time.More specifically, the characters and setting in the Castle Ravenloft board game is based on D&D’s Ravenloft adventure module that revolves around Strahd von Zarovich, an evil vampire who pines for a lost love. This module and its setting has been so popular that it spawned a few D&D campaigns and worlds, a series of computer games, and now a board game as well. The board game uses the encounter rules from D&D 4th Edition, the 4th iteration of the D&D rulesets and manuals. This version of D&D focuses more on character placement on grids and tiles, making it more like a tabletop miniature game and very suitable to be turned into a board game.The story and setting of the board game revolve around the vampire Strahd and his home in Castle Ravenloft. The players take on the role of a group of adventurers entering the castle with the ultimate goal of killing Strahd. However, there are many scenarios that you play through before getting to meet the dreaded vampire, each of which can take around an hour or more to complete. Your newly-formed party might start your adventuring career by recovering magical treasure from the castle dungeons, then working your way up to killing a cunning goblin sorcerer, then a dragon, then Strahd himself. Each scenario will have its own special rules and goals, with end bosses and other monsters you must fight.In the D&D role-playing game, there is a player who has to take on the role of dungeon master and control the monsters, dungeon design and how the adventure progresses. In Castle Ravenloft, this is not necessary and everyone is able to play as part of the adventuring team. This is possible via an interesting mechanic where things pop up pretty much randomly.During each player’s turn, they have a choice of exploring a new room in the dungeon. This is done by taking a random tile from a draw deck and placing it on an unexplored edge of the map. This may reveal a new monster (again drawn randomly from a deck) and an encounter effect (you guessed it: randomly from a deck). These encounter effects cover everything from traps that you stumble on, to events such as a goblin seeing your group and running off to get help. In effect, the map and the flavor of the dungeon are able to grow organically without the need for someone to control them.The dungeon isn’t the main focus of the game though. It’s an adventure game, and the focus is you (or the characters you play, to be more accurate). There are 5 characters you can play: fighter, rogue, ranger, wizard, cleric. Each character has their own unique powers and flavor. The fighter is a close-range melee defender whose job is to protect the rest of the party. The rogue is a close-range melee striker who uses daggers to devastating effect. The ranger attacks her enemies from afar using her bow. The wizard uses arcane magic to damage and control the enemy, while the cleric uses divine magic to protect and heal the party. Whichever class you decide to play, you will be able to customize their powers to create your ideal character.Whenever there are monsters to fight (which is almost always), the player characters and monsters are represented using miniatures on a grid map composed of the random map tiles. D&D 4th Edition rules are used for these encounters. The rules aren’t very complex, and basically dictate what actions, attacks and moves you can make each turn. Most of the time, dice are rolled to see if your attacks hit and how much damage they do. Your objective during these encounters is pretty straightforward: kill the monsters and claim their treasure! After a few of these encounters, your character may even increase in level, earning you higher stats and more powers to use.Castle Ravenloft is an exciting adventure game that also includes a fair amount of tactical maneuvering. You will feel a sense of achievement as your party slowly works its way from the easy treasure-hunting scenarios to the final scenario where you face off against Strahd. However, you don’t have to worry that the game does not have replay value. Due to how the dungeons and events are set up so randomly, no two games will ever be the same.Castle Ravenloft is a fun game for players who like cooperative games or wish to immerse themselves in a high-fantasy adventure. It can also be used as a way to try out D&D and see if you will like playing the actual D&D role-playing game. You will enjoy Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft if you like dungeon-crawl adventure games like Heroquest or cooperative games such as Battlestar Galactica.Complexity: 3.0/5.0
Playing Time: ~ 1 hour
Number of Players: 1 to 5 players