Video game developers are always looking for the next genre, angle or plotline to break out from the norm and make a splash commercially, and critically.

Often, when a developer finds a successful formula, they tend to work it and shape it into a franchise, such as Final Fantasy or Assassin’s Creed. Whilst that delivers some success, when a truly unique experience hits the market, like Death Stranding, people take note.

Sometimes, the best way to develop a hit game is to draw on real-life inspiration. 
 
Assassin’s Creed uses historical settings, whilst Electronic Arts have made a success using actual sports teams and players. Some titles also use board games as their basis, to great effect. This has been the case throughout video game history, with board games often simple enough for less powerful machines to replicate. Monopoly is one favorite that has seen many reboots and reworks over time, from the earliest 8-bit machines onwards. Even today, the imagery used in Monopoly is hugely popular in gaming. There are a variety of titles on Foxy Bingo based around the Hasbro classic, including Monopoly Big Spin and Monopoly Mega Movers. Perhaps the earliest version of the game came on the SEGA Genesis back in 1988, and it was still as popular when Monopoly Plus dropped on the current generation of consoles.

Other, less recognizable board games have also been a huge success, especially on retro machines. So, we have put together a list of four you really need to try, both on your older gaming consoles and the current generation of machines.

Pictionary – NES
 
 is not an obvious fit for a console, using pen and paper in the physical form, but there is something even more amusing about trying to draw using the Nintendo Entertainment System’s interface. It uses a limited version of the paint package and covers the usual categories from the physical game, person, place, animal, object and action. It might not be the obvious board game to convert to console, but that makes it even more interesting to get into.

Hero Quest – DOS, Amiga

RPGs are big business now, both online and as a single-player experience, but in the early days of video gaming options were limited. Most games that depicted wizards, elves and barbarians tended to be platformers such as Ghouls and Ghosts, so this interpretation of the early nineties board game almost became a forerunner for the genre.

Trivial Pursuit: Unhinged – PlayStation 2

The very first Trivial Pursuit game arrived on the Commodore 64, and seemed revolutionary at the time as it had musical questions, but fast forward 20 years for a more effective and enjoyable version. Alongside the classic interpretation of the board game, the titles also featured an ‘unhinged’ mode, which included betting on other players, teleporting squares, 50/50 options and recycled questions. By adding a new dimension to a tried and tested method, developer Artech Studios found a hit.

Clue – Nintendo Switch

Clue is known as Cluedo outside of North America and is a game with a history and tradition almost as old as Monopoly, dating back to wartime. There have been numerous versions on game consoles, with direct ports such as Clue on the Super Nintendo, to less obvious homages to the game such as Murder on the Amiga and Atari ST. The most recent version is Clue on the Nintendo Switch, which received a positive review for its modern approach to the age-old game. With current-generation graphics and music, this version feels as fresh today as the board likely did for those playing in the early fifties.

Did I miss any? Comments below what your favorite board to video game conversion is!

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