Board games on video game consoles are generally unloved because why play on a console when you can play on the real thing? That is a very valid question, nevertheless, there are times when the digital version of a good board game is more practical than the real thing. Here are seven of the best board games on the Game Boy Advance (GBA)
Best game boy advance board games
7. Candy Land / Chutes and Ladders / Original Memory Game
Candy Land / Chutes & Ladders / Original Memory Game is a collection of three classic board games for the GBA. The games are faithful adaptations of the original board games. This collection of games is suitable for children, but adults can have fun with these games too.
In Candy Land, players can enjoy a fun multiplayer experience for two to four players. They choose from four gingerbread men characters in different colors (Blue, Green, Yellow, or Red) and can control these characters either themselves or let the computer control them. The game progresses as players draw cards, which can reveal colors or special spots on the board. Special cards can pose challenges by sending players back to previous points on the board, while some spots make players lose a turn, which can be frustrating. The goal is to reach the end of the board, enter The Candy Castle, and emerge victorious in this entertaining game.
Chutes and Ladders is a board game that can be played by two to four players, who can choose to be either human or computer-controlled. The game consists of a board with 100 spaces, each with a number from 1 to 100. The players have to spin a wheel that shows how many spaces they can move on the board. The board also has ladders and chutes that affect the players’ progress. The ladders allow the players to climb up to a higher space, while the chutes make them slide down to a lower space.
As to the Original Memory Game, this is a card-matching game that tests players’ memory and concentration skills. Players can gather around up to four players and choose the number of cards to use: 20, 42, or 72. The cards are shuffled and placed face-down on the screen. Players have to flip over two cards at a time and try to find matching pairs. If the cards match, the player keeps them and scores a point. If they don’t match, the player has to remember their locations and try again later. The game is over when all the cards are matched.
6. Mousetrap / Operation / Simon
This is another trifecta game collection just like Candy Land / Chutes & Ladders / Original Memory Game. The games included in this collection are exactly what the game title is.
Mousetrap is based on the original board game from 1963. Players can gather up to four players, and choose from three modes: Classic, Cheese Thief, and Cheese Chase. In Classic mode, players have to roll a die and move around the board, collecting cheese pieces and building parts of the mousetrap. If the player lands on a space that triggers the mousetrap, that player has to watch it go off and hope it doesn't catch them. In Cheese Thief mode, players have to steal cheese from other players and avoid the mousetrap. In Cheese Chase mode, players have to race to the finish line and avoid the obstacles.
"Operation" should be understood as the hospital operation and not the military one. This board game involves performing surgery on a patient named Cavity Sam. Players can choose from three modes: Classic, Time Trial, and Two-Player. In Classic mode, there is a pair of tweezers to remove various ailments from Sam's body, such as a broken heart, a charley horse, or a wrenched ankle. In Time Trial mode, players have to remove as many ailments as possible in a limited time.
Simon is a memory game that involves following a sequence of lights and sounds. You can play with one to four players, and choose from three modes: Classic, Party, and Simon Says. In Classic mode, you have to repeat the pattern that Simon shows you by pressing the corresponding buttons. The pattern gets longer and faster as you progress. In Party mode, players have to pass GBA around to other players and take turns repeating the pattern. If a player commits a mistake then they are out of the game. The last player standing wins.
5. Scrabble Blast
Scrabble Blast offers a wild departure from the traditional board game experience of the eponymous board game, providing various gameplay modes that revolve around forming words with letters. While the connection to the classic board game is close to nothing, it offers modes like time-based word formation and specific letter challenges. The game plays exactly like the classic Bookworm game on Windows PCs of the 2000s.
The production values of this game are not that great. Admittedly, it is one hell of an addictive game. It should offer nearly infinite replay value which only a few games could claim.
Monopoly on the GBA received a lot of harsh criticism. It is just the classic board game for the handheld console, but it's clear that the multiplayer aspect is essential for the full experience. Playing against computer opponents is not the best use of your gaming time.
The gameplay closely follows the traditional Monopoly rules, with the computer handling tasks like rolling the dice and moving tokens. An auction feature for unwanted properties adds a slight deviation from the original rules, which some players may find less appealing. Graphics-wise, the game is impressive.
Monopoly for Game Boy Advance is a faithful adaptation of the board game, but it's best enjoyed with friends, either in person or online, to fully appreciate its multiplayer potential.
Chessmaster for Game Boy Advance caters to those who enjoy peaceful, strategic thinking games over action-packed button mashers or RPGs. The graphics maintain a simple and pixelated chessboard aesthetic, staying true to the seriousness of the game. Sound effects are minimal to maintain concentration during play.
The controls are responsive and straightforward, with options to undo moves and receive hints from the computer opponent. The gameplay follows standard chess rules, offering a challenge against a formidable AI. The lack of a deep narrative is replaced by the goal of beating opponents until reaching the chess master. This game has this unique characteristic where it is recommendable to chess enthusiasts and absolute beginners alike.
2. Hikari No Go
This game is a faithful adaptation of the source material featuring many of the characters, locations, and events from the manga and anime. The game also includes a tutorial mode that teaches the basics of Go, a board game that originated in China and is widely played in Japan. The game is suitable for both beginners and advanced players, as it offers different levels of difficulty and various modes of play.
The game is also a great way to learn more about the culture and history of Go, as it features many historical and fictional Go players and scenarios. The game is only available in Japanese, but there is an unofficial English translation patch for those who want to experience this game. The 75-episode anime is a surprisingly decent series. Playing this game will likely you make you watch the anime, it might be better to start with the anime.
1. Virtual Kasparov
This is another chess game but it is superior in almost every way to Chessmaster. Virtual Kasparov brings the timeless game of chess to a handheld gaming device, offering a challenging and cerebral experience. Players embark on a globe-trotting journey to face various computer-controlled opponents, with the ultimate goal of challenging the legendary Garry Kasparov himself. The game's tiered difficulty levels cater to both seasoned chess veterans and newcomers, making it accessible and engaging for a wide range of players.
One of the game's standout features is its diverse cast of opponents, each with their unique playing styles and skill levels. Players must adapt their strategies to counter different opponents, ensuring that no two matches play out the same way. Virtual Kasparov also includes a comprehensive tutorial and a Beginner's Mode, making it an excellent tool for those new to chess, while an Indicator feature helps players keep track of moves made in previous turns.
While the game excels in gameplay and challenges, its graphics and audio are minimalistic, with a primary focus on the chessboard. The pieces are represented in simple black-and-white two-dimensional visuals, while caricatures of opponents provide occasional humorous distractions. Despite its unremarkable graphics and audio, Virtual Kasparov offers an engaging and educational chess experience, appealing to chess enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages.