I’m a Millennial heretic (or a millennial heretic, if you will). I don’t own any kind of e-reader, so my room is filled with towers of books and comics. When I want to listen to some relaxing tunes on a long road trip, I grab a CD before I search for the aux cable I lost in the middle compartment of my car. I wear a watch and still buy DVDs! And when I want to play a board game, I want to play a physical board game. I like to collect all the dice in my hand and place the game tiles right in front of me.
Transitioning to a completely virtual space was a difficult task for me. Last year, my stable of board games team was forced into the digital world to play our favorite board games with mouse and keyboard. Of course, I couldn’t stop the impending wave of touchscreens and comprehensive cloud saving. However, I refuse to sacrifice what I consider an essential component of the board game.
Almost like a sign from heaven, Arcade1Up answered my call and offered me a compromise: the Infinity Game Table. It is a product that combines the virtual experience of online table games while still allowing players to sit on the couch and enjoy the games together. Infinity Game Table is a step in the right direction and has potential, but its hefty price tag and limited functions make it unlikely to be a viable alternative to physical games.
The fastest way to describe the Infinity Game Table is that it is a giant tablet with detachable legs. While there are 24-inch and 32-inch screen size options, the table itself is the same size for both. It’s just a matter of screen real estate. It comes with an AC adapter, as well as a built-in battery that allows players to set it up in places far from electrical outlets. The board supports Android operating system, so it is quite easy to navigate and set up, and it can also connect to 2.4ghz Wi-Fi, which is essential for this product. All of this is built into a fairly slick modern design that will look comfortable in any game room and not look too out of place in your parents’ living room.
Of course, the real digital meat of the Infinity Game Table are the games. The board has access to word searches and puzzles, as well as many classic Hasbro games like Candy land and Battleship. All are built-in, ready to download completely free. The board will also be updated with new games to buy in the market like Ride ticket.
With responsive touch controls, it really feels like playing a physical board game.
Each game makes great use of the table’s touchscreen, allowing players to roll virtual dice in games like Monopoly and put the letter boxes in sporadic. It still feels like playing a board game even when every element of the game is on the screen. When playing competitive games, the player has the option to hide the elements from other players around the table. The table comes with four paperweights that allow players to obscure their hands during games like sporadic, though with a game like Battleship players will have to ask other players to look away while they are locating their ships.
Blockers are just a half-baked idea. Take the aforementioned example of Scattered. Players have to drag their tiles onto the board, which is difficult to do with the small piece of paper that gets in the way. Players can choose to view tiles one at a time, but that’s still not the ideal way to deal with it.
Aside from the grip with the interceptors, the live experience works pretty well. With responsive touch controls, it really feels like playing a physical board game. Tablets don’t get in the way of that experience.
Live play is not the only option with the Infinity Game Table. Games can be played with friends online, as long as you have a stable internet connection. This eliminates any possibility of peeping and also provides a more immersive experience as players can view the entire screen for themselves. The board uses cloud saving, so friends can call it in for a night and pick it up right where they left off later. This is also extremely useful if you lose your connection online – you never have to worry about losing your progress.
Infinity Game Table seems like a solid idea and so far has a pretty good foundation. There is a lot of potential here, as it allows players to play their favorite board games with friends around the world. However, it is only potential at the moment. With a high price tag of around $500, it’s a great investment. Right now, it’s hard to justify paying that much just to play So sorry! or Monopoly with no real idea of what other games are coming to the table.
Infinity Game Table is a small ecosystem of its own, requiring many people to drop $500 to actually work.
With that in mind, any game should be built specifically for the table. Therefore, it cannot be used to play the online version of Catania or like a Dungeons & Dragons battle map. Those who want to use it for those purposes will have to wait until the official versions for this board come out. Players can only play online other people also own the table that is of no use; no cross-play with other consoles or devices, as you might expect. Infinity Game Table is a small ecosystem of its own, requiring many people to drop $500 to actually work.
There are so many ways to do things Infinity game table at a fraction of the cost, making it a hard sell. The idea is solid, and the bones are there. It does an excellent job at providing a hybrid experience of virtual and physical gaming on the table, but none of the gangbuster games on it currently motivate me to run out and buy one. The technology inside it has also felt a bit outdated. It can only go up to 1080p and has no 5G support for Wi-Fi. It just feels already superior to even a normal tablet with access to Steam.
The best way I can review this product is that it is a great proof of concept that raises an interesting question: Do you want a device dedicated to a tabletop experience that allows you to play games online? online with friends? Yes, I absolutely can, but what the Infinity Game Table has to offer right now doesn’t meet exactly what I need to prove it’s both an investment and a statement piece of furniture. .