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SYFY WIRE video games

Game Night goes digital: Retro-style arcade table has all your favorite board games, no board required

By Benjamin Bullard

Somewhere in our hazy retro memories, there’s a pizza place with funky ‘80s wallpaper and a glossy Ms. Pac-Man arcade table that miraculously soldiered through every greasy fingerprint that our high-score wannabe hands could lay on it.

Though the pizza place is probably long gone, the idea of sitting around an arcade table to get your game on is just as great now as it was then. That’s probably why we’re not exactly Sorry! — pun intended — that at-home game cabinet maker Arcade1Up has future-proofed that original idea by making it even more retro…this time, in the form of an arcade table that can play old-school board games.

Okay, not everything about Arcade1Up’s new Infinity Game Table is fully retro. Wi-fi equipped and pre-loaded with more than 40 classic board games in a library that’s always expanding, the Infinity table made waves when it debuted (and soared) last year as a crowdfunded project on Kickstarter. Now the finished product is finally here, and as the teaser video shows, it looks poised to turn your place into a one-stop, analog-gaming paradise — all with nary a care over bygone worries like torn Monopoly money, missing Trivial Pursuit wedges, or Scrabble tiles that find a permanent home between the couch cushions.

Out of the box, the Infinity Game Table can play those titles and a huge selection of more board game faves, including everything from Candy Land to Sorry! to Connect 4 to Yahtzee. But it wouldn’t be worthy of its high-tech bona fides without a couple of modern-day tweaks under the hood, and sure enough, Arcade1Up’s touch-sensitive, tactile-feedback screen can double as an interactive surface for flipping through digital comics, piecing together jigsaw puzzles, or going outside the lines with a pre-loaded array of digital coloring books.

In addition to two screen sizes (24’’ and 32’’), the table also makes good use of its online features via Social Play+, a nifty group-play function that lets you go head to head with internet-enabled players from anywhere else on Earth. And because it’s digital, you can save your games at any point and pick up right where you left off — all with no worries that some sore loser might “accidentally” knock over your gaming setup (and all your hard-earned progress).

Arcade1Up says newly licensed games will continually be made available via its app storefront all the time, with at least some of those titles coming as completely free upgrades. It’s not exactly cheap (the 32’’ table rings in at $849 at Best Buy online, while the 24’’ version will set you back $649). But it’s a sure-fire way to make your gaming den the most popular place in town… even if you're not serving pizza.

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