Tech brings new board games to life

From books to film and TV to board games, traditional entertainment is joining forces with innovative technologies to provide the interactive experiences that modern youth crave. The following board games use technology to elevate the analog medium and allow people to feel more immersed in the experience as they play to win.


London-based game company Sensible Object is the first to create an Alexa-powered board game called When in Rome. The game requires the board and its pieces as well as an Amazon voice assistant. After enabling the skill on a device, Alexa acts as pilot and host, guiding two competing teams as they travel the world and compete against each other for trivia points. The game features 20 different countries along with the voices of friendly locals who introduce players to local culture and pose different city-based trivia questions.


Air New Zealand is hoping to bolster tourism through the development of a board game that uses augmented reality called Fact or Fantasy, Game of New Zealand. Players need the physical board game and a Magic Leap One VR headset to access the game’s three-dimensional AR features. Using the VR headset, players can explore the land and win the game by answering trivia questions and collecting golden eggs. Air New Zealand hopes to entice visitors by providing an immersive cultural experience via the AR game. For example, players can meet a Hobbit, watch a native kauri tree grow, or watch a whale breach New Zealand’s coastal waters.


Uruguay-based game company Unicorn Games has merged analog entertainment and digital technology with the release of its children’s AR-powered board game called The Explorers and the Noctún. The tech-powered game utilizes traditional board game pieces and a corresponding mobile app that uses card scanning technology to bring the game to life. In the game, children can use the AR app to explore a new world, take on mini-game challenges, and hunt for treasures. The company’s decision to innovate around youth’s digital preferences has paid off; The Explorers has sold more than 43,000 copies across four Latin American countries.

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