updated 14 Apr 2010, 10:17
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Wed, Apr 14, 2010
The Sunday Times
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Games people play
by Alex Lim

HASBRO, one of the world’s largest game makers, has 60 different games in its portfolio because it recognises the role its products can play in helping families to build up bonds.

Its group executive of games, Mr Phillip Jackson, says: “Families across the country have begun to host Family Game Night as a way to enjoy time together while remaining on a budget.

“Hasbro continues to encourage families everywhere to join in the fun and designate one evening for games and share in learning, laughter, and creating moments that matter.”

To keep its line-up attractive and evergreen, the company has recently introduced new games.

Worth a check are two new versions of Monopoly. Monopoly Here N Now keeps up with modern day consumer habits and patterns by featuring debit cards instead of cash, where one card swipe is all that is needed for “money” to change hands.

Classical tokens, like the boot, have been replaced with modern tokens like a Segway personal transporter, space shuttle, flat-screen TV, baseball cap and a dog in handbag.

Another version, Monopoly Crazy Cash, allows the players to spend their money and build as many wacky houses and hotels as they can.

Then there is Pictureka!, touted as “an exciting game of visual hide and seek”. Parents and children compete to see who can find the right pictures from 100 different mission cards that come with the game.

For an impromptu game that can be played anywhere, there are two card games in this year’s line up.

The Monopoly Deal Card Game, the card version of the board game, comes with a slightly different twist: players not only own and build properties from Baltic to Boardwalk, they also engage in negotiation over real estate deals as they go along.

Adding further challenges to the game are special cards like the Debt Collector, Forced Deal and Deal Breaker, which gives players the right to “steal” cards and turn from near bankruptcy to instant fortune.

There is also the Boggle Slam Card game, the card version of another alltime favourite under Hasbro.

Touted as the fastest Boggle game yet, it is guaranteed to generate loud, boisterous fun, where players race each other to build a chain of four-letter words and be the first to get rid of the cards in their hands.

Staunch fans of the original Boggle will also like Boggle Reinvention, which is now available in a travel-friendly compact case.

This version of Boggle has no loose parts: Just twist and raise the lid, shake the letter cubes in the quiet case, and the search begins for words as the threeminute timer counts down. You can also help expand and refresh Junior’s vocabulary in the process.

Instead of the hour glass, there is now an in-built electronic timer but the purpose is the same: encouraging families to play a game together.

“We continue to emphasise innovation at every turn as we re-imagine and reinvent several of our core brands while also creating new brands and experiences that children and families will enjoy again and again,” says Mr John Frascotti, Hasbro’s global chief marketing officer.

This article was first published in The Sunday Times.

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