Mobile devices are not, generally, considered great ice-breakers. If anything, pulling out your tablet or smartphone at a social gathering tells the world “I do not care to interact with you flesh-beings.”
However, a growing number of games invite you to set your device in the middle of the table and let your friends get their grubby little fingers on it in pursuit of multiplayer party action. Here are a few of the best table games out there.King of Opera
Rotund tenors may never take the place of space marines and orc warlords in hardcore games, but they’re perfect in this party-action offering. Up to four players gather ’round the tablet — or phone, if you have small fingers and sharp eyesight — and attempt to belly-bounce their competitors out of the spotlight. The gameplay is simple: There’s just one button, and it sends your ever-spinning singer charging across the stage — or off the edge. The simplicity makes it ideal for a mixed group of kids and adults, or drunk people and sober people.
WIRED Lots of clever touches, like the different singing voices for each character, and wind-up keys in the backs of the AI characters. Bonus “Phantom” and “Fat Lady” modes keep things interesting.
TIRED Lots of laughs, but not much strategy.
$1, iOS, Tuokio
This startlingly original game can be played by up to six competitors on one tablet. There are nine mini-games, each a variation on the game of “chicken” — as made famous by James Dean or Kevin Bacon, depending on your generation. For instance, one game has an unseen gunslinger taking shots at a picture of a cowboy. The longer you keep your finger down on your egg-shaped button, the more points you get. But if the cowboy bites it, you lose all your points. In another game, you get points while cards are revealed, but go bust if the total is over 21, and in a third game a spinner awards points until the pointer stops on the skull and crossbones. Each game has its own twist, but overall the best strategy is to hang on just a moment longer than your opponents.
WIRED Gorgeous vintage-style board game graphics. Nice balance between fun and intense gameplay. You can turn off any mini-games that don’t grab you.
TIRED New players will be lost for the first couple rounds until they get the hang of it. Finger detection is occasionally dodgy.
$3, iPad, Frybread Software
Reminiscent of cooperative games like Gauntlet, Raiding Company lets up to four players on a single iPad or iPhone run around some sort of underground temple in search of carnage and loot. The gameplay could be described as “classic.” It could also be described as “uninventive.” Using the on-screen virtual joysticks, you run, you shoot, you gather power-ups and gold, you argue over who took the food. But if you want to re-kill some zombies while out and about with pals, it fills the bill.
WIRED Cute, block-headed characters include a commando lady, a kung-fu dude, and a robot. Auto-aim option for newbs and cowards.
TIRED Smartphone-sized version is insanely tiny. You’ve played this game before, just not on a mobile device. Auto-aim sometimes makes baffling choices.
$3, iOS, Tuokio
Article by Lore Sjöberg (c) Product Reviews - Read full story here.