Tech in board games is on the rise. Though often bemoaned as taking us away from the physicality that makes board games great, app interaction still happens regularly. From the helpful uses like collating the scores, or acting as a timer, to more full examples like the ones pioneered by Lucky Duck Games in their Chronicles of Crime and upcoming Time of Legends: Destinies games. Voice activated tech has not been left out though with board game juggernaut Ravensburger experimenting with 'Alexa' based games. Now Days of Wonder jumping in with both feet with Ticket to Ride Alexa integration.
Dubbed 'Alexa Skills' these seem to range from having Alexa teach you the game to full playing the game as an AI player. Working with Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride Europe, Alexa will guide you through the whole experience including set up and tally the scores for you. Alexa even provide back ground music and 'thematic sound effects' during players turn. Although one imagines this will not be the cursing of a traveller who has just had his connecting train cancelled... again.
The inclusion of Alexa being able to play the game two is a really bonus. Obviously this is a boon for solo players. However, it would also allow smaller groups to experience the crush of the Ticket to Ride Maps with more players. The press release doesn't say how Alexa knows what their cards are. I imagine you would have to read them aloud, which does take away something. Still this is an encouraging use of tech and games.
Alexa Skills for Ticket to Ride is available now in the UK, France and the USA. It will soon roll out in other countries and languages! Is this a good thing? Is it the start of Skynet? Discuss all this and more on our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!