I want something different, a video game that invokes my time with old Yu-Gi-Oh handheld games and my enjoyment of board games. In this modern era, where Yu-Gi-Oh games have morphed into app free-to-plays, with the occasional PVP simulator on the Switch, I need a new fix. Board game video games (BGVGs) conjure two vastly different images in the mind. First are the video games that mirror old children’s games like Monopoly or Sorry; games with full characters and worlds, like Culdcep, Dokapon Kingdom, 100% Orange Juice, or the Itadaki Street (or Fortune Street as it is referred to in English) series. Without splitting hairs, these are slow turn-based luck-based games with pretty grids, and they do not scratch my itch. The second type of board game videogames are adaptations of pre-existing hobby games (a term usually synonymous with euro-games, referring to games focused more on player input and decision than manipulation of luck), might be the answer. I wonder why I’ve never heard people discuss these games and if any were worth playing.
In this experiment, I decided to attempt the video game adaptations of six different hobby games, with a focus on what I called “homework” games. “Homework” is my term for any type of media that is considered classic or a staple of a medium; for instance, reading To Catch a Mockingbird post graduating high school or watching On the Waterfront or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance outside of a special event showcase. The work itself is becoming unapproachable because of its level of reverence. As a person who likes science fiction novels, I should read Stanisław Lem’s Solaris, as a person who likes film, I should watch Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, as a person who likes deck-building games, I should play Donald X. Vaccarino’s Dominion. Another way to look at the selection criteria is to simply call it an “introduction to hobby gaming” list. Dominion, Root, Sagrada, Mysterium, Ticket to Ride, and Small World are all recognizable and popular games in this space.