Technology has fundamentally changed a great many aspects of our lives. The way we work, or interact with friends, or do our shopping, or listen to music, or even fall in love is quite different to 30 or 40 years ago. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is when it comes to playing games.
Let’s be honest, the first experience most people had of computers was playing games, whether it was the 8-bit wonders of the early 1980s or perhaps the hand-held devices that held sway as we approached the new millennium. Digital games swept aside all that had gone before, such as card games, board games and the like, into obsolescence.
Except that’s not quite the case. Some games have refused to die and have instead evolved for the digital age, garnering a new generation of fans along the way.
Who doesn’t love a game of Monopoly? OK, there’s no need to answer that, the game that champions capitalistic greed above all else has its detractors, but there is no denying its enduring qualities. 90 years after its launch, it remains the most-played board game in the world.
The online version is every bit as compelling – and sometime frustrating – as the board game. Being able to play with friends and loved ones who are far apart brings that sense of being seated at the kitchen table together. You can also play against the computer or even with randomly selected opponents from across the globe.
From the most popular board game to the most popular card game, the online age has made poker far more accessible to the masses. Learning to play from a mobile or desktop training apps is definitely a less daunting prospect than sitting down as a novice in a real money game with no idea what you are doing.
The best online poker sites have a range of different poker games that suit every skill level and today, there are about 120 million online poker players, about half of whom are in the US. It’s fair to say that poker has never been more popular.
Another classic board game, and one that also dates back to the 1930s, the game of Scrabble hasn’t just survived in the online age, it has morphed into little less than a monster. We mean, of course, the Scrabble-based Words with Friends, that appeared to be almost single handedly responsible for getting the world’s grandmothers into the mobile app age.
In all seriousness, Words with Friends has broken all sorts of records and remains the most popular game in the US, with strong player numbers all around the world.
Chess has a history that dates back almost 1500 years. Despite being so bound up in history and tradition, chess players were early adopters of the internet, and chess was one of the first online games.
There are literally hundreds of online chess games that you can play against both real and AI opponents, and this is one game that has stayed true to its origins and barely changed at all in the technological age.
Back to the classic board games, and that dastardly Colonel Mustard is up to his murderous ways again in the Billiard Room with the candlestick. The game was originally released in 1949 in the UK and the name Cluedo was a clever mixture of “Clue” and “Ludo,” a popular board game played with dice. In the US, Ludo is known as parcheesi, so the wordplay made no sense, and the game was marketed to US audiences as Clue.
Whatever you choose to call it, the online version from Marmalade Games is just as much fun as the board game, and you can either take on AI opponents or other live players via the game server. The developers have brought in some fun new elements, such as new locations to solve the murder, but have kept the same characters and the postwar atmosphere of the original game.
The second card game on our list, but this one is a polar opposite to poker. Uno is also a relatively new game compared with chess or even Monopoly. Developed in the 1970s, anyone in their 40s or 50s will remember playing it in their childhood, and this is a game that appeals to all ages.
The internet has brought uno back from the brink in extinction. It’s very simple to play, and unlike some of the games we’ve mentioned, it is quick, too. A game takes around five minutes to complete, so there are always people around who are up for a game.
Here’s another relatively modern game in as much as it was invented in 1979. It was a success story of monstrous proportions in the early to mid 1980s, and the nature of the game meant that buyers would keep returning to buy more question packs. In fact, they would probably still be doing so today if the internet had not come along.
Despite being the newest game on our list, Trivial Pursuit seems to have aged more than the rest. The whole system of trivia questions on cards seems as outdated as consulting an encyclopedia to look up some piece of information.
Ubisoft’s Trivial Pursuit Live has certainly taken some liberties with the original format, but for all the reasons stated, these were necessary and the new “TV game show” style is a lot of fun. A range of difficulty levels make the game far more inclusive than the original, too.
Finally, we will leave the modern classics and we will conclude with a game that has been around for at least 200 years, possibly longer. This classic tile-matching game appeals to all ages and there are literally dozens of online versions.
Simple mahjong games are single-player brain teasers in the same vein as solitaire. These are entertaining enough, but don’t miss the experience of genuine mahjong, where you take on two to three other players in a race to assemble a winning hand.