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This article was published on December 14, 2020


I’m so excited about this board games console I just peed a little

Clean up on aisle 4 please

I’m so excited about this board games console I just peed a little
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He w Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — with a particular focus on Apple — and also makes the occasional odd video. Basically, he's halfway between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy.

Like anyone who loves playing tabletop games, I’m always on the hunt for something new, fresh, and exciting — and that’s why I’m incredibly hyped about the SquareOne board games console.

Yes, that is what it sounds like: a digital screen you can play a variety of titles on.

Have a look:

The SquareOne board game console has a large touchscreen display that changes depending on what you’re playing. It wouldn’t be very impressive otherwise, right?

The hardware is also connected to the pieces you’re using in the game, meaning the SquareOne can track and recognize specific cards, dice rolls, and the figures you’re using to play. I’ll have to judge how this operates in reality, but I’m a huge fan of this concept.

board game console experience squareone

Effectively, Wizma, the company behind the SquareOne, wants the console to be a blend between computer and board games, cherry picking the best of both worlds to try and provide a new experience. This is why the board games console has a number of features that should elevate the usual tabletop experience, including online play with friends, dynamic tutorials, and the option to save and resume games.

Designing something like a board games console is far harder than it appears on the surface, but I’m in love with the idea so much that I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Still, a console is only as good as its games — and this is where the SquareOne may be lacking.

At the moment, the main games on the console include titles like Air Hockey, Snake & Ladders, Chinese Checkers, and Ludo. In other words, quite generic titles that don’t really have the deeper board game experience of classics like Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride. 

But it won’t be this way for long. Wizma has partnered with Ravensburger, a German games publisher, to bring more titles to the SquareOne, while Urban Rivals and Cthulhu Wars are on their way to the board games console soon. Excitingly, Wizma also announced it’s opening up the SquareOne to independent developers in 2021.

Effectively, I’m not only excited about the prospect of the SquareOne board games console now, but am delighted about how the company is making all the right moves to turn it into a platform that can last for years. This isn’t the first product like this, but I hope it’ll be the best.

The company is currently running a Kickstarter (back at it your own risk) and the console will come out properly next year. We’ll also have a review up in early 2021, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that. I’ll try not to pee myself in the meantime.

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