When I was a child Milton Bradley had the rights to publish board games based on many of the successful arcade games of that time. In the early 1980’s gamers were able to play Zaxxon, Frogger, Q*Bert, & Donkey Kong on their tables. My favorite of which was Pac-Man.

These games had the soul of the arcade classics but to me they seemed like they were a little rushed to get them to retailers. But the innovations to board game mechanics just weren’t really in the cards, so to speak, for Milton Bradley. It would be more than a decade before more innovation would come to gaming.

If you are like me than these games definitely have the nostalgia of the past. They are great to dust off now & then to show off to each new generation of gamer. Then the news was released a few days ago that not one, but two publishers were bringing those arcade classics back to the table.

First we have Turn One Gaming Supplies releasing a roll & write version of the famed arcade classic Space Invaders.

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In this tabletop version of Space Invaders players will roll dice representing the laser cannons at the bottom of the invasion field. This triggers the cannons just like in the video game. Other dice that players will roll will represent the invading aliens & UFOs. Matching these dice with an active cannon will destroy one of those matching invaders. Players will be able to re-roll dice if they can’t use them but must take double the damage as a penalty if they can not. When a UFO is destroyed by a player then a special die will be rolled. This die will indicate how many points will be received for the destruction of that UFO.

To make things a little more challenging, dice will be removed as invader columns empty. For every two empty columns a player will remove one alien invader die. And as a timer mechanism players will take damage along an empty track on the game sheet or they can voluntarily mark out one of the UFOs.

Now Space Invaders Dice can be played by one to four players. To me this feels more like a solitaire style game as players will try to one up themselves in getting a better score each time they play. But there are several ways to play it as a multiplayer. One is which is drafting the dice.

Look for Space Invaders Dice from Turn One Gaming Supplies in stores sometime in May or you can pre-order a copy here: Space Invaders Dice.

In other video game to tabletop news; IDW Games, on March 8th, announced their new partnership with Atari. IDW Games will be start publishing classic game titles like Centipede, Asteroids, & Missile Command as tabletop games.

Jon Gilmour, co-creator of Dead of Winter, will be in charge of designing these games with a handpicked crew of up-and-coming developers.

It was announced that the first game in this series will be Centipede which will launch sometime during the fall of 2017. IDW also announced that there will be a sneak preview for this series at the upcoming GAMA Trade Show which takes place March 13th-17th.

I am definitely intrigued by all of this. I wouldn’t have thought game publishers would be looking to release tabletop versions of these classic games. But there are those, like myself, who are part of “Generation X” that feel a rush of emotion when it comes to nostalgia.

But I will have to wait & see how these games actually turn out as this is the new age of tabletop gaming versus that of a whole era of roll & move games from back in the 1980s.

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW

Facebook: Board Gaming For the Win

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