Everyone loves a good game now and then, whether it’s cards, scrabble, chess or any of the multitude of free online game services on offer. The only problem with the online versions is you have to put up with lots of advertising, and maybe even pay a fee if you want pro features. Which is why this new online gaming concept is so interesting.
Anywhere Board Games is an open source web application which is designed to ‘replicate the experience of a bunch of friends sitting around a table playing their favorite…games’. The idea is to have people join in using the Internet, and ultimately to have each player project a copy of the board game or cards onto a physical table, and use tablets or laptops to move the pieces. An ambitious and cool combination of real life and digital virtual connectivity.
The dev team have just announced a new direction for the project with the launch of a component called ABG Google+ Hangout which runs inside Google+ Hangouts. The neat thing about this is the app runs inside Google+ which means you can invite people from your circles, and also record and broadcast the play via YouTube. Imagine broadcasting a live chess game between two good players to your chess club.
The whole project is still in beta at the moment, so the number of games on offer is somewhat limited, basically your chess, checkers, go, wordplay type games and cards of course. The graphics are also rather Spartan, so don’t expect commercial quality icons, but the idea is very sound, and once it starts to grab traction it could be a lot of fun. For now you’ll have to put up with early stage glitches of course. You can download the free non-Google+ version here.