The new party multiplayer
Hanging out with friends used to be a big part of gaming. Going over to their place to play some SNES or breaking out the link cable in a lunch break for a quick pokebattle was all a part of the fun. And as we got a little older many a six pack was shared over a game of Mario Kart on a Friday night. If you wanted to share the gaming experience, you had to do it in person. But now that the internet is a thing I can log onto Steam at any time of day and play a game with thousands of people from all over the world. This is by no means a bad thing, but with matchmaking online now so quick and easy that support for split screen co-op and party multiplayer games has all but ground to a halt. So what then is the modern day social gamer (a more common occurrence than you might think) to do?
While this exodus to online multiplayer has been going on, in the background a revolution has been quietly brewing. Small, but full of innovation and ideas they’ve been building up momentum and are now poised to make a huge impact on the gaming scene. No, it’s not indie games, it’s board games! In the past couple of years there has been an explosion in the number and qualify of board (and card) games released. Nowhere was this more obvious that at PAX Aus. Board games dominated both the floorspace and the crowd size for all three days of the event, an energetic flurry of die and plastic markers that couldn’t help but draw you in for a few hours. Munchkins, Cards against humanity, Kings of Tokyo and many more were all out on display showing the strength of the new world of board games, a far cry from the old one of Monopoly and Mousetrap.
Most importantly, it’s a great way to spend a night with a couple of friends. Without the need to purchase spare controllers that you won’t use again for weeks, or lug around a PC with you it’s easy to transport and most board games only require a short time to learn. You can even take them to a party already in progress, and teach everyone how to play. You’ll quickly become the most popular person at that party (popularity not guaranteed). Age is no barrier to quality though. We at kindawesome just recently had our first Dungeons and Dragons session, and had a blast. Sure we had to convert to Satanism to do it but it was still a lot of fun. So rather than keep hanging out for a halfway decent Mario Party, throw out that Trivial Pursuit and get on board (games)!