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Publisher: Freeverse    Genre: Board & Card
Min OS X: 10.3    Hard Disk: 20 MB

Big Bang Board Games
August 29, 2005 | Michael Phillips

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What's the price of endless fun? Twenty years of hard labor? One's immortal soul? A date with Courtney Love? Perhaps all of the previous are true. Maybe the price of endless fun is fluid and not fixed. Still, one might not be willing to pay a steep toll despite the promised rewards. Sure, my soul's useless, but no amount of fun is worth a date with Courtney Love. If only there were a way to procure the delights of endless fun without spending the afterlife in the fiery pits of Hell. If only somebody could provide limitless entertainment at a reasonable price. If only…

As it turns out, maybe somebody has! I'm referring to the folks at Freeverse Software and their collection of classic games aptly titled Big Bang Board Games (BBBG). Still, limitless gaming joy is a tall order to fill. Does Big Bang Board Games live up to the challenge? Read on and find out!

Gameplay: Classic Fun
The thing about most games is that eventually, even after many fun-filled hours, they do indeed come to a close. The world is inevitably saved, the bad guys inevitably thwarted. However, classic board games tend to never grow old. Chess against a worthy adversary can be a unique and challenging experience time and time again. Board games have nearly endless universal appeal, so the folks at Freeverse have taken the liberty of crafting seven visually impressive board games and bundled them into a single suite for the reasonable price of $24.95. Not bad, eh?

Big Bang's seven games are as follows:

Big Bang 4-in-A-Row: A game akin to Connect Four, players must align four game pieces of their color in a row to win. Pieces are placed in turn on the game board and may be aligned horizontally or stacked vertically, making it possible to win by placing four pieces in a row diagonally.

Big Bang Backgammon: Ahh, Backgammon; the classic game of tokens, dice and murderous rage. Well, at least when I play. In Backgammon, players must move their tokens around the board in opposite directions from one another, ultimately ending up in their home quadrant and then off the board. The first player to remove all their pieces from the board wins the day.

Big Bang Chess: We all know it, we all love it, Chess is truly the thinking man's (or woman's) strategy game.

Big Bang Checkers: For those unaware, Checkers is the classic game in which players attempt to diagonally jump their opponent's pieces for bragging rights.

Big Bang Mancala: The African game in which players toss stones into cups. It's far easier to play than explain…

Big Bang Reversi: More commonly known as Othello, in Reversi one attempts to trap enemy pieces in order to convert them to one's own color.

Big Bang Tic-Tac-Toe: The game of X's & O's that always ends in a tie. Seriously, I don't understand why this game was crafted in OpenGL and given multiplayer functionality, but it was and we're simply left to wonder why.

Each of the Big Bang Board Games feature a single-player mode and multiplayer support via Freeverse's own GameSmith matching service, HotSeat, iChat, and even old-school play-by-email. In single-player mode, players square off against computer-controlled bots of varying difficulty. Casual gamers should find the games' A.I. to be a decent challenge, but hardcore chess fans, for example, would do better to look elsewhere for a truly harrowing single-player experience. This isn't really an issue for me, as I see the ultimate value of this suite lying elsewhere.


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