Love it or hate it, digital board gaming is here to stay. While nothing can truly beat the experience of sitting down at a table with some friends and slinging some dice, it’s nice to know we have some alternatives. I have friends in many different states, including BGQ’s own Alex and Steph (New Jersey Residents) and our newest writing team, The Petersen’s (Arizona transplant). When I want to game with them, my options are to wait till our annual Gen Con pilgrimage or head to the internet.
While many games are making their way over to iOS, and there are a lot of great options for gamers, there really isn’t one central hub for tabletop gaming online that everyone seems to gravitate to. A few sites have tried to do it with varying results, but nothing so far that has really blow me away.
Recently, a new comer to the digital tabletop arena has appeared. Tabletopia, now in funding on Kickstarter, and has promised to do for board gaming what iTunes did for music or the Kindle did for ebooks. One centralized location where players can gather and satisfy their board gaming fix.
According to their Kickstarter page, Tabletopia is a sandbox. “Players should know the rules of the game to play it. There is no AI or rules enforcement, but at the same time it has the freedom to play the game your way – exactly as if you were playing at a real table. However, we have done a lot to make each play for you a good experience:
- Automatic game setups, card dealing, drafting etc.
- Player’s turn control, timers, game phases indication
- Interactive zones on the table with predefined automatic actions
- Intelligent counters for tracking victory points and many other in-game parameters
- Custom surfaces, game room wallpapers, sound effects advanced camera controls … and many other useful features!”
Coming to PC, Mac, iOS and Android, I’m excited both on the possibilities and also that it will be launching on many platforms.
I’ve tried out their beta myself and I must say, I’m impressed. They already have a large stable of games to play (all officially licensed from their publishers) and the interface is one of the slickest I’ve seen (even if it still has some bugs to be worked out).
There are pledge levels for both gamers and game designers, so no matter your need, you’ll find something here.
Pledge levels start at $10 for access to the early-beta and go up to $250 for a permanent private game room and access to a workshop pro account. For me though, the sweet spot seems to be either $25 for 6 months of silver access or $50 for 6 months of gold access.
Ether way, they are absolutely worth a look. Head over today and check it out. The future is almost here and it’s the best I’ve seen so far.