While the PlayStation Portable (PSP) may not boast a vast library of board games, it's essential to note that its selection isn't lacking in quality. Here, we highlight seven of the finest board game titles available for the PSP.
Best psp board games
7. Blokus Portable: Steambot Championship
This game might puzzle those unfamiliar with its roots as a popular board game, but once given a chance, Blokus Portable: Steambot Championship is actually a pretty decent board game. While the game's inexplicable connection to the Steambot Chronicles universe might raise an eyebrow, it doesn't diminish the strategic brilliance of the game per se.
The gameplay is akin to a Tetris derivative, offering a satisfying challenge that goes beyond the novelty of many modern board games. The PSP version introduces players to Blokus effectively, providing clear move options and maintaining a generally enjoyable pace.
However, be prepared to face a challenging AI, and the lack of a strong tutorial might leave you feeling somewhat bewildered. Unfortunately, the game's presentation falls short, with uninspired graphics and generic jazz tunes, but its focus on character customization is a redeeming feature. In the end, if you're seeking portable board game fun, Blokus makes for a worthy investment, thanks to its engaging gameplay that transcends its puzzling connection to the Steambot Chronicles universe.
Monopoly is a straightforward PlayStation Mini version of the classic board game. No frills or flashy animations here; it's all about the pure capitalism of Monopoly. Select a board, choose your token, and start rolling the dice. The top-down perspective provides a clear view of the game board, and players move their tokens around. This no-nonsense approach makes the game highly enjoyable, with no unnecessary cutscenes or distractions when landing on properties. Players just decide to buy or pass up the property and whatever decision they make, they definitely will regret it later.
There are performance issues here and there but nothing game-breaking. However, Monopoly for the PlayStation Mini still offers a delightful rendition of the beloved board game, perfect for those who appreciate its timeless appeal. Though it lacks online or ad-hoc multiplayer, you can engage in local pass-and-play sessions with up to four players, adding a social aspect to the experience. If you're a Monopoly enthusiast, this is a solid choice for some classic property trading fun.
GameShastra's Pachisi, a digital adaptation of the Indian national game with roots dating back to 4 A.D., provides a straightforward board game experience. Ludo, a Western game, is based on Pachisi, and this version aims to capture the essence of this traditional pastime. The game's menu screen welcomes players with calming percussion and bird sounds, along with a useful tutorial option that explains the gameplay basics and terminology.
The game offers three gameplay modes, and while two of them may seem multiplayer at first glance, all are actually single-player experiences. "I vs I" lets you play against a computer opponent, "Team Match" involves four-player co-operative gameplay against AI opponents, and "Free for All" pits you against three AI opponents. Unfortunately, the absence of a hot-seat multiplayer mode is a missed opportunity.
The gameplay is akin to a standard board game where the objective is to navigate four pieces (gotis) around the board and back to the center (charkoni). Players throw two passas to determine how far their gotis move, and the analog stick controls the throws. Players can press X to move the selected goti the rolled number of squares and use directional buttons to switch between your gotis on the board. Landing on an opponent's goti allows you to "kill" it, sending it back to its home base, which is crucial for the player's gotis to enter the home straight and make their way back to the charkoni. While the gameplay is relatively basic and dependent on the luck of the passas, some strategy comes into play as you consider the positioning of your gotis relative to your opponents'.
It serves as a portable adaptation of the classic word game, providing players with the flexibility to enjoy Scrabble on the go without worrying about shifting tiles during travel. The game closely mirrors the traditional board game experience, allowing players to form high-scoring words by extending or connecting to existing words on the board, with bonus point spaces included. Scrabble accommodates up to four players and supports local multiplayer.
While the computer AI offers varying skill levels, it's notable that the AI's word choices remain challenging across all levels. Additional gameplay features include training exercises and alternative modes, such as Slam and Speed, though the latter may not appeal to all players at least an option is there.
3. Chessmaster: The Art of Learning
Chessmaster, introduced by Josh Waitzkin, an accomplished chess player with an impressive track record, offers an engaging chess learning experience on the PSP. The game immerses players in various mini-games and chess puzzles designed to enhance their understanding of different chess pieces and strategies. These activities, such as "Fork My Fruit," not only provide an opportunity for skill development but also help players predict and set up moves that might be overlooked in fast-paced or less experienced play. Josh's hints and guidance make these games accessible and educational, ensuring a swift learning curve.
For newcomers to chess, the game includes a comprehensive tutorial section led by Josh, covering the rules, piece movements, and advanced tactics. Once players feel sufficiently skilled, they can face computer opponents in practice or rated chess games. Practice games offer hints to suggest optimal moves, but winning is not guaranteed, especially against formidable opponents. The rated games start players with a 1500 ELO rating, which fluctuates based on their performance in matches. Success raises the rating, while losses or draws lead to a decrease. Conquering lower-rated opponents may take time, but the game offers a truly challenging chess experience.
The graphics are modest, featuring a simple 2D overhead view of the chessboard. Similarly, the music remains consistent throughout the game, offering unobtrusive background melodies. Although the graphics and sound are basic, the focus of Chessmaster is on refining chess skills rather than flashy visuals.
Chessmaster is an excellent choice for individuals who want to seriously enhance their chess skills or embark on their chess learning journey. While the game presents a demanding chess experience, it effectively helps players expand their tactical and strategic understanding of chess. It might not boast flashy graphics but serves as a valuable tool for chess enthusiasts looking to improve their game. With its competitive chess wizard opponents, Chessmaster is a compelling option for avid chess players and those seeking to refine their skills.
2. Online Chess Kingdom
Online Chess Kingdoms draws inspiration from classics like Battle Chess and offers an engaging chess experience with a unique twist. The game presents players with five distinct armies, each featuring fully animated pieces and a custom-themed stage.
The campaign mode in Online Chess Kingdoms adds depth to the experience. Players engage in a meta-game on an overland map, strategically moving armies, capturing cities for resources, and generating new armies. Battles are decided through chess matches, and success in these battles contributes to overall campaign progress. This model provides a refreshing twist and an enjoyable layer of strategy to the game, though it leaves a desire for more chess video games to incorporate such meta-game elements.
While the online infrastructure is a central feature, the game's server has been defunct for years now, so do not expect that there is still an online component of this game. Nevertheless, the game is still perfectly playable offline.
The standout "Battle Mode" introduces an intriguing chess variant that defies traditional turn orders. Players move their pieces in real-time, managing a stamina bar that depletes with movement and replenishes during inactivity. This variant adds a layer of dynamism to the classic game and continues even after a king is captured.
Online Chess Kingdoms stands out as an excellent chess option for portable gaming, offering engaging gameplay, a meta-game campaign mode, and the innovative Battle Mode, making it a compelling choice for chess enthusiasts on the PSP platform.
1. Ultimate Board Game Collection
Ultimate Board Game Collection for the PSP offers a budget-friendly assortment of 24 board games, encompassing both the familiar classics and some lesser-known options. The selection covers games like Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Parcheesi, Connect 4, Go, Shogi, and more. While the collection provides an array of games to choose from, it has some notable shortcomings.
One significant drawback is the absence of instructions for the games, both in-game and in the instruction manual. This omission can be frustrating, especially for games with less widespread recognition, like Shogi. Additionally, the use of Japanese characters on the tile pieces for games like Shogi instead of English words can create a steeper learning curve for players.
The AI's performance varies across games, with some offering a challenging experience on the hardest setting, while others, like Mancala and Gomoku, struggle to provide a formidable opponent. Chess and Go stand out as games with competent AI opponents. Many games allow players to adjust various variables, such as rule sets, board size, or clock settings, adding flexibility to the experience.
Ultimate Board Game Collection saves your progress if you quit a game mid-session, allowing you to resume later. While most of the included games offer an enjoyable experience, some, like the Jigsaw puzzle game or single-player Yahtzee, may not be as satisfying. The Mahjong game in this collection is a simplified tile-matching game, not traditional Mahjong.
The graphics are minimalistic, and there's room for improvement, particularly in games like Chess, where a 3D representation could enhance the experience. The available music tracks are limited and may not be particularly engaging. Fortunately, the game permits players to import their own music from their memory stick.
Ultimate Board Game Collection keeps track of your wins and losses for each game and features a trophy system for in-game accomplishments. This collection has a certain heft to it that it seems like all the board games available are already in this package.