The Top 7... Videogames that should be board games

2. Left 4 Dead

Plays Like: Zombies!!!

The million and one zombie-based pieces of media around today aren’t always original, so it’s no surprise that Valve’s Left 4 Dead games and the tile-based Zombies!!! board game share a lot of features. But a Left 4 Dead version of said board game could be far more than a simple re-skin.

The core game of Zombies!!! depends on dice rolls, which makes the experience rather brainless for a lot of people. A L4D-branded version could mix things up by placing greater emphasis on weapons and ammo, as well as the different types of infected (such as hunters and boomers) that are more lethal and aggressive than typical zombies.

The biggest change would be victory conditions – in Zombies!!!, the first person to escape is the winner, which simply won’t fly in the co-op-centric Left 4 Dead universe. Players would have to work together to survive, with difficulty increasing each time a teammate falls. Done right, all the tension of the FPS classic could easily carry over.

Plus it’d just be nice to play as Zoey, Bill or Ellis instead of “shotgun guy.”

1. Trauma Center

Plays like: Operation

We all know how Operation works: A guy is so embarrassed by his red nose he eats butterflies and shoves a wrench into his ankle, and the poor doctors have to pull that crap out of his body without touching his electrified innards.

Trauma Center adds a lot more drama to that formula with bioterrorism plots and patients in much more serious condition. Though plot is kinda unnecessary in a board game, here it could give added tension to the surgery. Is the patient a wealthy VIP? Does he have sharks in his blood? Are you taking too long on your turn? Better grab the syringe and make sure the patient’s heart keeps beating - and don’t forget to close up the patient when you’re done!

B-B-B-Bonus entry – Mario Party!

Plays like: Mario Party/Quelf

Mario Party already got a board game of sorts with Mario Party-e, which was a collection of e-Reader cards that could be scanned and used to play minigames. Interesting idea, but frankly it was a missed opportunity. The Mario Party games already play out exactly like a board game, yet the tabletop game doesn’t have a board at all and requires a bizarre peripheral? Say what?

If Nintendo wanted to try that concept again, it could ship a new Mario Party game with a new set of AR cards that could be activated with the 3DS’ camera. You’d move around the board on the 3DS, but when it came time to battle other players in a minigame, you would activate one of the AR cards. That would eliminate the hassle of scanning e-Reader cards and allow a much larger audience to play the game while still keeping the mini-game concept alive and well.

Above: If current AR Cards can make fake monsters and target minigames, maybe future cards could house multiplayer challenges?

However, if they wanted to go completely electronic-free, they could adopt a system similar to Quelf. In that game, players are constantly tasked with performing crazy antics determined by drawing a card, such as saying all the words on the card backwards… as a song… in a foreign accent. Or just about anything else.

While Quelf is more about making its players look foolish than anything else, you could easily make cards that are more in line with the Nintendo spirit. Perhaps one that orders the player to challenge adjacent players to a thumb war, with the winner being rewarded by moving three spaces forward? It’s not jumping over a rope made of fire, but it could still be fun…

Apr 18, 2011

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  • NatDaGamer - April 22, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    Clue?? i'm pretty sure the games cluedo, or is that only in the uk?? hmmm. but some of these, especially the pheonix right one would be actually quite awesome!
  • nsotos3 - April 22, 2011 5:05 p.m.

    How about Civilization as Risk?
  • razorwiretensho - April 20, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    Clue is called Cluedo in the UK? You crazy foreigners...
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - April 20, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    I think that Fire Emblem would make a cool game of chess.
  • NanoElite666 - April 20, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    @BrittonPeele: Did it really? That I did not know. I know I've seen Risk adapted to other settings before (Lord of the Rings comes to mind), but I didn't know it got a Halo variant.
  • Japanaman - April 19, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    I nominate Board Game Top Shop and Toy Soldiers... although those are already virtual board games. Well, how about Battle Hunter and Final Fantasty Tactics, then. And Devil Dice. As far as Mario Party, it already has a real game.
  • Stabby_Joe - April 19, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    Has anyone played the Doom board game? Based off the third, the thing is it's actually a really smart game team based game that led the way for the popular Descent series of board games.
  • Fedexcommando - April 19, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    I think we have the same three favorite L4D characters. Zoey, Bill, and Ellis in that order.
  • BrittonPeele - April 19, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    @NanoElite666 Risk has already received a Halo makeover, so we felt giving it another one would be too easy. There are certainly other possibilities for it, though.
  • philipshaw - April 19, 2011 1:12 p.m.

    Interesting top 7
  • EnragedTortoise1 - April 19, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    Or a Mutant Leage Football board game.
  • jackthemenace - April 19, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    You can tell it's a GRUS article, I had no idea what 'Clue' was until I saw the Cluedo box. But yeah, most of these would seem like fun- although I have absolutely NO idea how L4D would work...
  • TKTOWA - April 19, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    No one on Gamesradar has played Battle Hunter ;).
  • soulhunter - April 19, 2011 7:18 a.m.

    How about Resident Evil chess?
  • Gotxxrock - April 19, 2011 5:48 a.m.

    Loved the mention of Arkham Horror, both because H.P. Lovecraft is awesome, and Fantasy Flight Games make wonderful boardgames (and have the 40K license). Loved the idea of Monkey Island game!
  • NanoElite666 - April 19, 2011 5:07 a.m.

    Hm, no Risk. Dunno why, but I was kind of maybe expecting to see Risk show up here. Ah well, an interesting read nonetheless.
  • MikeT - April 19, 2011 4:23 a.m.

    What about Minecraft? Can't someone think of MINECRAFT!?
  • XLGirthMan - April 19, 2011 4:17 a.m.

    It's scary how much I wanted Mouse Trap when I was a kid
  • KingDjango - April 19, 2011 3:53 a.m.

    Arkham Horros:The Eternal Darkness.....I need it!!!! Shut up and take my money!! (Inglips Orders) poets ordethea
  • WikiParazFTW - April 19, 2011 1:30 a.m.

    I would beat a priest with a baby for a mass effect D&D game, kill my social life all it wants, but 'd be happy. And if you succesfully complete a romance, the game comes with a blowup doll and interchangeable faces ;)

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