Blur the Line Between Video Games and Board Games With the Infinity Game Table
When I reviewed their Atari Legacy Arcade Machine last month, Arcade1Up asked if I’d be interested in taking a look at their Infinity Game Table. After all, I play and review board games for GeekDad, and the Infinity Game Table is a device that allows you to play digital versions of some of the most popular tabletop games. How could I say no to that?
What Is the Infinity Game Table?
The Infinity Game Table is a touchscreen gaming system that not only lets you play digital versions of board games, but also offers puzzles, coloring books, mini-games, and more. It can be placed on any flat surface, or you can pop in the included legs to use it as a freestanding table. It comes in 2 different sizes, a 32″ for $999.99 and a 24″ for $699.99. The 32″ table is currently on sale for $899.99 and available on Amazon, directly through Arcade1Up, or via many other retailers.
Some of the features include:
- Dynamic Zoom Viewing provides a personalized perspective for each player.
- Tactile Feedback to add levels of immersion.
- Hi-Resolution Screen that adds next-level realistic depth and texture to all games.
- Social Play+. Connect to other players worldwide, with Safe Connect which allows up to six players.
- Allows players to save the game and pick back up later where they left off.
- Plugs into AC outlet.
- Detachable legs allow it to be placed on a solid flat surface.
- Comes with free access to a selection of Classic Hasbro Games.
Assembling the Infinity Game Table
As opposed to putting together one of Arcade1Up’s arcade cabinets, getting up and running with an Infinity Game Table is simplicity itself. Here’s everything that comes in the box:
Inside the box, you’ll find:
- Infinity Game Table
- 2 Legs
- Power Supply
- Cleaning Cloth
- 2 Coasters
- 4 Individual Privacy Screens w/ Feet
Turning the table over, you’ll see the holes for the legs. Push the legs in until they click into place, and the table is assembled.
Once the legs are attached, the Infinity Game Table is somewhat the size of a small coffee table, but a bit taller.
Using the Infinity Game Table
Plugging the Infinity Game Table in will automatically power it up, or you can hit the power button on the side.
The first time that you turn on the table, it will prompt you for your wi-fi information. This serves a dual purpose: it not only allows you to connect with other people online but lets you download games onto your table. When you first activate the Infinity Game Table, you won’t have any games on your system. You will be able to immediately browse through the store and download and install any of the games. You can see all the games currently on offer here.
Once the table has gone through its bootup cycle, you’ll get a menu screen like the one above. The left side of the screen is your owned games, and the middle shows a scrollable store menu where you can see what’s available to download. Any of the games that require purchasing clearly show the cost. Each time you purchase a game, you must enter your information. While some may find this inconvenient, I think it’s a great way to keep your kids from indiscriminately draining your bank account on a whim. Not that any of these games will bankrupt you; the most expensive ones are $9.99 for hobby games like Pandemic or Ticket to Ride.
Games and More
Aided in no small part by a “Free Play” weekend over Thanksgiving that allowed me to (temporarily) download and play anything in the Infinity Game Table store, I sampled quite a few different titles to see how the table worked out for board games and other activities. This isn’t an in-depth review of each title by any means. It’s more of an impression of some of the apps I tried and how they worked on the Infinity Game Table.
Having grown up with an air hockey table in the house, this one is a pretty faithful recreation. As you’re moving a virtual paddle rather than a physical one, it does take a bit of adjustment at first. But the physics play out just like the real thing, and you’ll soon find yourself slapping the puck back and forth just as if you were playing on an actual air hockey table.
Ultimate Brick Breaker
This game is a surprisingly addictive take on the classic Atari game Breakout. Instead of trying to catch a bouncing ball with a paddle, you’ll launch several balls at once by angling your shot and then letting loose. Each brick has a numerical value, and every time a ball hits a brick, that number will lower until it reaches zero and explodes. I may have to actually purchase and download this one. (I tried it during the free play weekend.)
Artists and Liars
If you’ve ever played the Japanese small-box board game A Fake Artist Goes to New York, then this is essentially a digital recreation of that game. It’s a social deduction game where everyone is contributing a single line to a picture, but one person is pretending to be an artist. That person is the only one that doesn’t know what the picture is that everyone else is collaboratively creating, but has to try and fake it so they don’t get caught out.
This is one of the games where you’ll want to use the included privacy screens to cover up your part of the board as there is hidden information.
You’ll use these screens any time you have the information you want to keep hidden from other players, such as a hand of cards or your Scrabble tiles.
Tablecloths are fullscreen animations (with sound) that you can use for decoration or as an “attract mode” for your table. While there is a set of basic tablecloths you can download for free, there are some for $1.99 such as the Holiday Tablecloths, or ones for Halloween or featuring DC Comics. There are multiple tablecloths in each set. Here is just one of the holiday ones:
Game of Thrones Puzzle Play
There are a few different Puzzle Play titles in the Infinity Game Table store. The particular one I played with was the premium Game of Thrones one, and there are also currently ones for DC Comics and Harry Potter. As with the tablecloths, there’s a basic Puzzle Play that you can download for free.Click to view slideshow.
You can create a puzzle of any size between 9 and 529 pieces and can choose to either have a blank table to build on or a dim copy of the final image. Pieces can be rotated and will lock into place when set in their proper position. Much like games on the Infinity Game Table, you can save your progress, so you don’t have to complete a puzzle in one sitting.
If you like jigsaw puzzles (as I do) you’ll really enjoy Puzzle Party, no matter which version or versions you get.
Harry Potter Wizard’s Chess
Remember the game of Wizard’s Chess from Harry Potter, where the pieces actually attack and demolish their foes instead of capturing them? That’s exactly what you’ll get with this game. But beyond the fun animations, this is also a great way to learn how to play chess. When it’s your turn, you touch one of your pieces, and you’ll get a graphical representation of all the spaces to which that piece can legally move. You can play single-player against the Infinity Game Table itself or 2-player against either a physical opponent or someone you connect with online.
The now-classic Matt Leacock board game has been adapted by Asmodee Digital and is one of the premium offerings on the Infinity Game Table.
It’s a fantastic adaptation of the board game. It’s not only very accessible and interactive for the players, but it does what digital versions of board games can do best: handle the hassle of setting up the game automatically, but without skipping over any of the vital information you’ll need to play. If I wanted to play the original Pandemic, I have to admit I’d be hard-pressed to play the physical board game over this version on the Infinity Game Table.
The Infinity Game Table – Final Thoughts
I was surprised when such a large box arrived at my doorstep. I was sure that Arcade1Up was going to be sending me the 24″ version, but instead, the 32″ Infinity Game Table arrived. But while it physically takes up more space in my living room, I also appreciate the more expansive screen real estate to play on.
Before Covid, I confess I was somewhat of a board game purist. I was aware of virtual tabletops like Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia, but I turned up my nose at them. After all, why would I want to play a digital version of a board game when I could play a physical one, in person, with friends? But being forced into lockdown opened me up more to playing digital board games. I realized that, when adapted well, a digital board game could be just as fun as a physical one. And as an added bonus, you don’t have to deal with the setup of a physical game, losing pieces, or the frequent challenge of getting everything back inside of a crowded game box.
The Infinity Game Table makes a compelling argument for ditching those game boxes. While there are some games that you can play online, the main focus is gathering your friends and family and playing at the table. The Infinity Game Table provides a bright, colorful experience that’s a great way to lure kids away from their video games and phones. While at its heart the Infinity Game Table is just another screen (albeit a pretty big one), most of the games are multiplayer and interactive, so the experience is social. Some of the games can also support surprisingly large player counts. Hues and Cues, a party game from The Op (USAopoly), can play up to ten people.
That’s not to say there aren’t some great solo experiences in there, too. You can get easily engrossed in something like Puzzle Party for hours on end. There are also coloring books, drawing apps, and several different versions of Solitaire to enjoy when you don’t have friends and family around for a game night.
Overall, there’s a nice mix of games and activities currently available. You have classics like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Battleship. You also have more modern, “hobby” board games like Ticket to Ride and Pandemic. Though, I suppose the latter isn’t so niche anymore, especially as those games are readily available at big retailers like Target. More apps are steadily being developed for the Infinity Game Table as well. Super Tangrams just released this November, and the classic game Risk will be arriving soon. Arcade1Up has partnered with The Op, so hopefully more of their great catalog will make its way soon to the Infinity Game Table.
I’d personally love to see more hobby board game companies sign on with Arcade1Up to develop for the Infinity Game Table. Having been recently playing the GeekDad-Approved Clank: Catacombs, I can’t help but imagine how fun a game like that might be on the platform. And as I said, I’m looking forward to seeing what else The Op brings to the table.
On the hardware side of things, I did find the surface of the table to be a bit reflective. You’ll be happiest in a room with diffuse lighting, as opposed to the flourescents that I had glaring down onto the table. The multi-touch surface is very responsive but is also (unsurprisingly) a fingerprint magnet. You’ll definitely be putting the included lens wipe to good use.
Additionally, I felt that the power button was too close to the volume controls. As all of the buttons and ports are on one side of the table, they’re not easily visible. You’ll often be feeling for the controls, which is why it would have been nice to have more space between them. Still, this was a minor quibble, as the volume shouldn’t need to be frequently adjusted.
Overall, I’ve been really enjoying my time with the Infinity Game Table, and look forward to playing with everything that it has to offer. There are games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders for the younger kids, and Clue and Battleship as they start to get a little older. And of course, there are plenty of games on there that teens and adults will enjoy playing, too. The Infinity Game Table certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s a great investment for families, with a wide range of games and activities in an ever-growing library.
The Infinity Game Table is currently on sale for $100 off the 32″ table. If you are interested, head over to the Arcade1Up website and check it out!
Arcade1Up sent a unit for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission on qualified purchases.
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