It is quite common that successful board games are transformed into computer versions. This has been happening since the beginning of computer game history and perhaps the most extreme example is Monopoly with dozens of computer versions, first one created already in 1985. As for war board games, there are several computer versions of the Risk board game, first created already in 1988 for the Commodore 64 platform. One of the newest versions, Risk II by Infogrames, adds many new possibilities to the classic game: a 3D globe, amazing graphics and simultaneous turns.
Benefits of computer versions
The 2004 PC version of Axis & Allies, another popular war board game, includes both the possibilities of turn-based play and realtime play, bringing together the classic board version with new real-time strategy computer games. Generally taken, the computer versions of board games include the possibilities of the original games, but often add many new and interesting features. Playing against the computer and online multiplayer are options that also improve a classic games in the computer platform – you can play whenever you want, as you can always find an opponent! In conclusion, it is quite hard to disappoint in the computer versions of classic games that have already become successful on the board.
Trouble with creating board versions
It is much more difficult to transfer a successful computer war game into a war board game, as the gameplay has to be totally re-invented. Many computer game producers have released a board version as it is an easy way to gain extra revenue from their brand. But their gameplay is often boring or too luck-related. The board version of the World of Warcraft, for example, has been criticized of being much too expensive, too long (4+ hours) and not having enough interaction between the players.
From the other side, there still are some computer war games that have become successful on the board. These examples include Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery, released in 2007, where the players face each other as leaders of colonial empires, trying to discover the Americas. The game has a high rating of 7.76 out of 10 on the review site of BoardGameGeeks. Another successful example is the board version of a science fiction game Starcraft, which has a rating of 7.46 in BoardGameGeeks. The success of Starcraft’s board version can also be verified by numerous expansions that it has.
Article by Tony Goat, also published on the website of War Board Games [http://www.warboardgames.net/when-computer-and-board-game-platform-exchange-ideas/]