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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Default Digital Board Games are underappreciated

    So recently I've resumed my quest to play a lot of digital incarnations of Go.

    If you've never heard of Go, here's a youtube video going over the basics. Suffice to say though, once you've played Go, any game you previously thought was deep or strategic is gonna look barren and shallow by contrast... except for possibly Chess and its variants, and Othello and its variants.

    That said, this is a case where getting into one thing invariably makes me look at others in a similar ilk, mostly because in English-speaking lands digital versions of Go wind up packaged in board game collections with other public-domain games. Although usually, I find you instead get Gomoku, a tic-tac-toe style game that happens to be played with the same board and stones.

    And then you start wondering about the not-so-public-domain stuff like Monopoly and Clue, and play those or else watch the way-more-fun-than-they-should-be sessions of them on Markiplier's channel and its like...

    Okay, I dunno if this is just in my corner of the world or if this is universal, but it seems like video game versions of board games are treated as "lesser" somewhat. Like I know game collectors tend to pass over them when they see them, and you almost never see them being played instead of the actual game.

    Which in some ways I can understand if the fun of the game is just in all the shenanigans you can pull.... but in other ways I can't if your idea of fun is in making sure the other players don't pull shenanigans. Also not having to put a board together.

    So, to turn this into a question, you guys got any positive memories of video games based on real life board games? (emphasis on "real life," please no Mario Party type stuff)

    Couldn't decide if this was classic or modern since I didn't really think this should be limited to just one era.

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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    I remember playing Monopoly a few times on PC well over 20 years ago, but overall I rarely played board game adaptations in video game form. I'm not sure why, maybe I should try to seek more of these out.

    Thinking back, for Gameboy there was a small collection featuring 4 board games including checkers and chess, and I did play that quite a bit. The chess game was pretty easy to beat, so I guess it wasn't really that good of a game as I'm pretty bad at chess.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Would that Gameboy one you owned happen to be this one? I saw this mentioned in Nintendo Power's Gameboy Player's Guide (there's a section at the back where they briefly mention basically anything out for the Gameboy at the time) but never saw it in real life.

    Chess can be really uneven. I recently played Chessmaster for the NES, and... well, I won, and I suck at Chess too. Then again I might've had it on a low difficulty. Chess is actually a game that computers are insanely good at since it can largely be boiled down to a math problem, and computers love math.

    On PC, I used to own a version of Clue called Murder at Boddy Mansion, which I thought was a lot of fun. The versions of Clue for SNES and Genesis are also great.

    I recall there also being a PC version of Battleship, which I passed on because it sounded weird, and according to LRG's Review, it actually was.... like apparently there's a "classic mode" in there but then there's also modes that try to make it more like a PC strategy game and they wind up just not working that well. I never liked Battleship as a game in general.... the whole thing is just guesswork.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    I had that Gameboy 4 in 1 Fun Pack game and actually played it quite a bit since it was one of the few GB games I owned.( I think there was also a fun pack 2)

    I think Reversi(Othello) was my favorite on there. I played chess on it a bit too, but for any challenge it took too long to move.

    Computers are good st chess, not because it can become a math problem, but because they can play out, and keep track of all the possible moves "in their head". They make a tree of all the possible moves so many moves ahead and then make the move that leads to the best board position. They also use databases of openings and end games.

    I actually played Atari Video Chess for the first time the other night and was surprised by how decent of a game it played. It was probably on the low end of difficulty compared to modern chess games but the fact its running on a 2600 and doesn't take forever to make a move is pretty amazing.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Would that Gameboy one you owned happen to be this one? I saw this mentioned in Nintendo Power's Gameboy Player's Guide (there's a section at the back where they briefly mention basically anything out for the Gameboy at the time) but never saw it in real life.
    That's the one, it's one of my earlier Gameboy games, I think it's one of the original games I chose to get along with the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Chess can be really uneven. I recently played Chessmaster for the NES, and... well, I won, and I suck at Chess too. Then again I might've had it on a low difficulty. Chess is actually a game that computers are insanely good at since it can largely be boiled down to a math problem, and computers love math.
    With that Gameboy version I could beat most games on the highest difficulty setting, almost every time. With other chess programs I can barely ever win a game even on the beginner level. I rarely play or practice chess so I've never got better at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    On PC, I used to own a version of Clue called Murder at Boddy Mansion, which I thought was a lot of fun. The versions of Clue for SNES and Genesis are also great.
    I may try to pick up copies at some point, I never played the Clue board game as a kid but I've wanted to play some version of it more recently as it's more of a murder mystery type thing and I liked the movie adaptation. A video game version would be more practical as I don't know anyone to play actual board games with. There were actually several versions of Clue, some versions use 1 die and others use 2 dice, along with other revisions. It's difficult to choose which version to play, although I don't know which versions were used as a base for the video game versions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    I recall there also being a PC version of Battleship, which I passed on because it sounded weird, and according to LRG's Review, it actually was.... like apparently there's a "classic mode" in there but then there's also modes that try to make it more like a PC strategy game and they wind up just not working that well. I never liked Battleship as a game in general.... the whole thing is just guesswork.
    Hasbro released a few different PC versions of board games around that time, I remember Risk and Axis & Allies being two other titles. I don't remember playing them first hand but I may actually own copies somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    I had that Gameboy 4 in 1 Fun Pack game and actually played it quite a bit since it was one of the few GB games I owned.( I think there was also a fun pack 2)
    There was a second volume, I also own it. I got that years later and didn't really play it much, not like the first volume which was basically one of 8 games I owned for Gameboy at the time. So I owned both volumes brand new which isn't how I acquired the majority of my collection. I think the second volume contained Solitaire and other less well known games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    I may try to pick up copies at some point, I never played the Clue board game as a kid but I've wanted to play some version of it more recently as it's more of a murder mystery type thing and I liked the movie adaptation. A video game version would be more practical as I don't know anyone to play actual board games with. There were actually several versions of Clue, some versions use 1 die and others use 2 dice, along with other revisions. It's difficult to choose which version to play, although I don't know which versions were used as a base for the video game versions.
    I do remember playing the Genesis Clue game before with my wife a few times, but really there wasn't much of a reason to not just play actual board game instead. I could see newer versions doing some cool things that would be hard to pull off in a board game though.

    But your post reminded me that me and my brothers invented "Deathmatch Clue" years ago. The standard board and pieces were used except for the rule sheet we made. I don't remember the exact rules, but we'd randomly place weapons in each room and you'd roll the dice to move or attack and it basically involved getting to the weapons and trying to be the last one standing, with a bit of strategy involved in moving around the board. That ended up being more fun for us than the actual game.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    There was a second volume, I also own it. I got that years later and didn't really play it much, not like the first volume which was basically one of 8 games I owned for Gameboy at the time. So I owned both volumes brand new which isn't how I acquired the majority of my collection. I think the second volume contained Solitaire and other less well known games.
    I think I was only aware of Vol 2 because I saw it in a ROM set once.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    Chess can be really uneven. I recently played Chessmaster for the NES, and... well, I won, and I suck at Chess too. Then again I might've had it on a low difficulty.
    You did for sure. Chessmaster defaults to Newcomer 1 difficulty, which basically plays the first move that comes into the CPU's head. TheMexicanRunner famously defeated Chessmaster in under a minute for his NESMania project, because the default difficulty played so abominably that it literally walked into checkmate, almost as though it was helping him.

    Play on any higher difficulty, even Level 1 (60 moves/5 minutes), and Chessmaster will give you a real game, comparable to a player between USCF ratings 1400-2000 (depending on the type of position it's playing). I'm a tournament chessplayer -- not a Grandmaster or anything, but strong enough that I've beaten some masters and won money in competition -- and it definitely puts up a good fight.

    As you can probably tell, I love old console chess programs. After 2000 it gets less interesting since consoles and computers sort of converge, but before that you get a whole range of programs, from the abominable to the shockingly good. The Chessmaster series is the most reliable by far, but there have been some decent releases by other companies, and the Atari 2600 and Intellivision chess programs were really quite respectable for their time.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    What was that "cheatin' bitch" from the movie The Thing? Was that a real computer?

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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    What was that "cheatin' bitch" from the movie The Thing? Was that a real computer?
    Yes and no, that "model" was made up for the movie so it doesn't exist. But it's actually a real Apple II in disguise playing Sargon or Sargon II.

    https://thething.fandom.com/wiki/Chess_Wizard
    http://starringthecomputer.com/feature.html?f=129
    https://scifi.stackexchange.com/ques...actually-cheat

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    If anyone is looking for some really good board games to play, I recommend BoardGameGeek as they really have great documentation on a lot of good board games, both modern and classic. It's where I found games like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective that are just really fun and not promoted very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    So, to turn this into a question, you guys got any positive memories of video games based on real life board games? (emphasis on "real life," please no Mario Party type stuff)

    Couldn't decide if this was classic or modern since I didn't really think this should be limited to just one era.
    I used to love playing the game of Go, in midde school I would go to this Go club on a college campus to play. What do you use to play the game online or on a PC? I haven't quite found something that matches the feeling and userbase of Yahoo Games from decades ago now.

    Also, another great solution for general board games is Tabletop Simulator on Steam. It's a bit clunky, but the best solution when you can find a community pack for some of the more obscure board games that surely never got any kind of digital port, PC or console-wise.

    I played a lot of Monopoly for Genesis and NES as a kid as well.
    Last edited by Baloo; 08-02-2020 at 12:41 AM.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    I used to love playing the game of Go, in midde school I would go to this Go club on a college campus to play. What do you use to play the game online or on a PC? I haven't quite found something that matches the feeling and userbase of Yahoo Games from decades ago now.
    I used to use this thing called Panda-something, but I think programs like Dariush or The Many Faces of Go have inherent online capabilities that connect to certain servers (there's ones used by multiple programs).... it's worth looking into as I remember there used to even be people you could email replays to and get graded if you wanted to serious improve.

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