Hasbro owns some of the biggest brands in the game world. That gives it the ability to draw upon popular themes and exciting characters that people recognize and enjoy when producing a new board game. It also partners with other great companies to license some of the hottest toys and games that kids want to play.
Four new games introduce some new themes and revisit some old favorites in a new way. Take a look:
Bejeweled! $20, 2 to 4 players
Based on a popular computer game, Bejeweled requires players to slide various colored gems around the board to create a row of three or more matches. When a matching row is created, remove the gems and score a coin of the same color. Replace the gems randomly and try to create more matches. Earn three coins of the same color and you win. This game is pure eye candy with sparkly colorful gems. My 10-year-old daughter loves this game and plays it often with her friends. Hasbro did a great job of creating a playable board game based off of a computer game.
The Game of Monopoly Hotels, $25, for 2 players
This version of Monopoly is extremely different. Two players go head to head trying to build five floors of a hotel. Each level can hold a card that details what kind of room it is and how much rent it produces. For example, you can build a beach, aquarium or race car room, just to name a few. But watch out because your opponent will try to sabotage your hotel by playing bill cards that bring in rats, floods and dirty laundry. You can protect your hotel floors by inviting celebrities to live there. It's fast-paced and fun with tough decisions about what cards to play. Do you protect yourself, build a new floor, sabotage your opponent or collect more cash? The choice is yours.
World Series of Yahtzee, $20, 2 to 4 players
One of things about traditional Yahtzee that slows the game down is waiting for your turn, but not with this new edition. All players play at the same time with a different set of cool, custom dice. An electronic buzzer sits in the middle of the board surrounded by cards with a certain dice combination and point value. Yahtzee, a set of five of the same numbers, is worth 50 points, and the point values go down from there for straights, three of a kinds and a full house. To begin, someone calls out "start" and players begin rolling dice frantically to match one of the cards on display. As soon as a player has a match, he or she punches the timer in the middle. The remaining players have only a few seconds to buzz in and lock in their points. Collect your cards, replace them with new ones and start again. When all the cards run out, the highest score wins. And did I mention the cool, custom dice?
Angry Birds Star Wars Millenium Falcon bounce game, $20, 1 or more players
One of the coolest ships in the galaxy by far is the Millenium Falcon. Unlike previous versions of Star Wars Angry Birds, where you try to launch a bird at a structure to destroy it, the goal here is to bounce a Star Wars character ping pong ball into one of the open holes in the ship. If you can knock down any enemies in your way at the same time, you score more points. If you can bounce the ball just perfectly into the right hole, it will roll down into the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon for maximum points. Even young kids can join in with their parents and have a good time. It's a simple game but challenging.
Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.