Physical board games were what many people grew up with as a means to beat boredom on hot summer days when one wouldn’t venture out until the sun lost some of its potency.
With the advent of modern smartphones that have the processing power to handle resource-hungry games, traditional board games have made a comeback in their digital avatars on these devices. Some of these are ludo, snakes and ladders, chess, etc. Other noteworthy games are monopoly and new-age board games such as Game of Life and Ticket to Ride. These games have casual gamers hooked with additional advantages they offer over physical board games, including extra modes and mini-games not possible on the traditional versions.
If you ask people to mention a board game they have fond memories of, they would probably confess that it is a traditional game such as snakes and ladders. Players can find snakes and ladders among digital adaptations of popular games. Developers tack on features such as achievements, in-game bonuses, and other rewards to make the playing experience more fulfilling.
When people play snakes and ladders online, they need not go around convincing people to join them in the game, as is the case when playing with the physical board. People have different priorities and preferences that may make it hard to find people to join you. But having a snakes and ladders app on your phone means people are always ready to play, day or night.
Snakes and ladders never strayed far from the limelight despite being around for a long time. Irrespective of the advancements made in the gaming industry with advanced consoles and their immersive gameplay, people keep finding their way back to the childhood games that gave them plenty of fond memories. The Smithsonian lists more board games available in their physical versions and for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Steam if you are a PC gamer.
This article will shed light on how the humble board game has sustained its popularity over the years.
1. Easily Accessible:
The continuing popularity of snakes and ladders ensured it stayed in production. It is readily available everywhere, even in the nooks and crannies of the country and in the unlikeliest of places. One must only stroll over to the nearest toy store to pick it up.
Some versions of the game came with the other favorite, ludo, on the other side of the board. This naturally meant double the fun!
Online snakes and ladders are available on both iOS and Android platforms. Hence, the variants available are also cross-platform, meaning players using Android devices can add their friends playing on iOS devices to the friend list and face off against them.
Playing on the platform of your choice will not be a roadblock to enjoying the game with people you know. The cross-platform feature adds to the game’s popularity and will keep it relevant for the foreseeable future.
2. Uncomplicated Rules & Gameplay:
Having an easy learning curve and uncomplicated gameplay helps foster a connection to any game, and this is where traditional ones like snakes and ladders hold sway. There is no tricky gameplay and no rulebook an inch thick that will take all night to read involved. Just open the box and begin playing. It’s that simple! It’s this lack of complexity that makes this game a crowd favorite, even in the modern era.
The player’s sole objective is to take their token from 1-100 while avoiding the snakes and aiming for the ladders to get a leg up over their rivals.
3. Snakes & Ladders Is Age Appropriate:
As snakes and ladders is an age-appropriate game, it is suitable for young ones and adults alike. Unlike certain games with fictionalized violence that are suitable only once the player attains a certain age, the game of snakes and ladders has no such restriction.
Games like Dungeons and Dragons fall under this category. Even though it advocates teamplay and fosters imagination, it’s best played when the players display greater maturity.
4. Encourages Friendly Banter:
What fun is a game if played with straight faces? Like chess, for example, which is entertaining but serious. It’s akin to all work, and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
As snakes and ladders do not demand the kind of concentration that serious games do, it makes room for participants to indulge in friendly banter and some good-natured ribbing when a person appears to be losing the game or slides down a really large snake. Socializing among players makes the game more fun and popular among people looking for a light-hearted gaming experience.
So how do certain tabletop games retain enduring popularity while others fall by the wayside? Apart from games achieving critical acclaim, they must also be accepted by the masses. Sales are a vital yardstick in measuring a game’s popularity, and as snakes and ladders has never been absent from the shelves, it fits the bill of an evergreen game.
While some may swear by the traditional board games, their digital counterparts have gained prominence as they open the doors to broader acceptance by a tech-savvy generation. These games making their presence felt in the digital mode bodes well for these classic games. These games will continue to be enjoyed by millions, even though in a slightly different avatar than what the game’s inventors intended.
Board games bring people together, giving them a chance to rekindle old memories while simultaneously creating new ones. Cobbling together a library of board games and relishing the pleasure they bring can be a gratifying hobby indeed.