It is finally here!!! After years in which our board games have collected dust hidden in garages and in cellars they finally got the upgrade they need to celebrate a revival.
In February we reported about ePwan a french start-up developing NFC and RFID enabled board games which allow real-time tracking of objects including a tag on a surface. They now launched a Kickstarter campaign for the ePawn Arena, an unique board that connects mobile video games to real-world game pieces and interactive robot-toys.
Game play ePawn arena (image: ePawn/Kickstarter)
The game pack consists out of a 60 x 67 cm arena mat which is WiFi enabled and has a rechargeable battery, as well as the customisable playing bots which are sitting on mobile bases with multicolour LEDs and batteries offering 2 hours of play time. The app you will need to control the functions and settings runs on iOS and Android devices.
In order to play you first choose the game, the app and playing mats as well as one bot for each player. The players can then control the bots via their smartphones or tablets. This allows for some really cool features like different actions and possibilities to steer the pawns depending on the game.
In addition the ePawn Arena offers great features like playing games against users all around the world via internet. The playing figures of your opponent will move autonomously on the board to perfect the experience. For young players who are used to communicating via TeamSpeak during console games this might be a real reason to get back into board games.
For families it is a great technology too, as they can play sitting in the same room spending time together while teaching their kids how to use new technologies without turning their back on traditional board games.
Further ePwan offers the slightly more expensive (€789) chess pack which is great news for chess players. You can now play against an opponent via internet or against a virtual intelligence without touching your opposites chess pawns to move them.
The sophisticated technical specs of the ePawn arena allow for positioning of playing bot’s with an accuracy of 1mm at 60Hz and the open development platform with SDK promise the potential for some exciting new board games.
The team around ePawn CEO Christoph Duteil currently offers 3 games with the Kickstarter packs including Battle Bot, Bot Race and Wings of Glory WWII starting at €159. In addition you can buy the chess pack and already look forward to the announced games Fleet Commander and ePawn RPG.
Missing a game? Print your own board and build your own app using the open development platform to make it real!
Have fun playing!