(Pocket-lint) – There are multiple games you can play through Google Home speakers or Google Assistant-powered speakers, as well as Amazon Echo or Alexa-powered speakers – and now’s the perfect time to explore them, given how much time we’re all spending at home.
Say “Play a Game” to Google Assistant and you’ll get several options from Riddle of the Day to Song Quiz, while Alexa has numerous game skills you can add to ask Alexa to play.
Playing games through Home or Echo speakers aren’t your only option though, there are also a few board games that are powered by Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. At the moment, there are only a few that turn the helpful assistants into games hosts, but if you love a board game and you’re looking for a way to spice up the fun, here are the options available.
Ravensburger might be best known for its great puzzles, but its kNOW! game is the first board game to be powered by the almighty Google Assistant, allowing it to lay claim to being an “always up-to-date quiz game”. Better than playing the original Trivial Pursuit from the 1980s right?
There are over 1500 questions and the idea is that you ask Google Assistant for the most up to date answers to see who wins. You can ask questions like “Hey Google, how many days until Christmas”, “How old is Philip Schofield” or ask Google for a question. There are various game types and there are are two modes of play – Online and Offline. Offline mode doesn’t require Google Assistant.
Inside the box, you’ll find 220 quiz cards, a buzzer, a game board, a sorting strip and six playing pieces. Ravensburger says the game is suitable for between two and six players in online mode and three to six players in offline mode. In terms of age, it is recommended users are aged 10 and above.
Google Assistant is available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Google Home speakers and several third party speakers.
X2 Games St Noire
X2 Games’ St Noire is an AI-hosted cinematic board game and the first voice-controlled murder mystery board game. You have to solve a murder that took place in the small town of St Noire by questioning the 12 suspects, finding clues and trusting no one.
You have until the end of night seven to solve the crime and on each go, you can either examine a location, question a town member or accuse a suspect by using Alexa, saying things like “Alexa, question Mayor Alves”. To win, you have to accuse the right person, but you’ll lose if you make two wrong accusations.
Each game of St Noire takes around 15 to 30 minutes, but no two games are the same with multiple storylines and endings. The only clue you’ll have to start with is the cause of death. You can play in a group or solo and it is said to be suitable for ages 12 and above.
You’ll need Amazon Alexa to play so you’ll need an Amazon Echo device, or third party Alexa speaker. You’ll also have to download the St Noire skill on your smartphone. To start, say “Alexa, Open St Noire”. Inside the box, there’s a game board, 12 suspect cards, 12 weapon tokens and a pencil.
When in Rome
When in Rome is one in a series of Voice Originals board games from Sensible Object. Like St Noire, it is powered by Amazon’s Alexa and therefore requires an Alexa device, like the Echo or Echo Dot, for example. You’ll also need to enable the When in Rome skill on your smartphone.
Alexa will then teach you the rules, keep score, fly you to 20 cities on the When In Rome game board map and introduce you to locals from each city. The locals will then ask you questions from seven categories comprising slang and language, food and drink, art and culture, sport and games, buildings and history, myths and legends and random and strange.
Alexa will always remember what questions you’ve been asked to ensure you always get given a fresh one. You’ll need to split up into two teams and you’ll be competing to make friends in the cities you ask Alexa to fly you to, earn upgrade cards and collect souvenirs in each new city you visit.
To start, you’ll need to say “Alexa, play When in Rome”. In the box, there are two player tokens, five souvenirs, 30 friend tokens, 14 upgrade cards and one game board.
Escape Room in a Box
If you’ve ever done an Escape Room – room challenges where you and anyone else you’re with has to find clues, solve puzzles and crack codes in under an hour to escape – then you’ll likely love Escape Room in a Box.
Unlike St Noire and When in Rome, while Escape Room in a Box is enhanced by Amazon Alexa, the assistant is not required to play this game. The idea of this board game is to solve 19 physical and paper puzzles in an hour to make sure a mad scientist doesn’t turn you and your friends into werewolves.
Up to eight players can play and if you want to use Alexa, you’ll not only need an Alexa-enabled device but you’ll need to download the Escape Room in a Box skill too. To start, you’ll need to say “Alexa, open Escape Room in a Box”. It’s recommended to be suitable for ages 13 and above.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride has been around since 2004, but it’s now possible to play with Alexa as your guide or have her join in as a player if there are less than five of you.
The idea is to create the most valuable railway network by collecting train cards that allow you to lay claim to colour-coded railway routes across the map.
The longer the route, the more points you earn, but the more cards you’ll need to save up to claim it. Alexa will not only teach you how to play if you’re new to the game, once you download the skill, but she will also keep track of your scores and calculate the longest route, all while adding sound effects and music to your game.
Ticket to Ride is recommended for players aged 8 and over.
Writing by Britta O’Boyle. Editing by Luke Baker. Originally published on .