Infinity Game Table review: I am a heretic millennial (or heretic millennial, if you prefer). I don’t own a single e-reader, so my room is filled with towers of books and comic books. When I want to listen to quiet tunes during a long drive, I pull out a CD before searching for the aux cable I lost in the middle compartment of the car. I wear a watch and still buy a DVD! And when I want to play a board game, I want to play a physical board game. I like picking up all the cubes in my hands and laying out the game tiles right in front of me.
Transitioning into a completely virtual space has been a challenge for me. Over the past year, my stable board game group has been forced to move into the digital world to play our favorite board games with a mouse and keyboard. Of course, I can’t resist the looming wave of touchscreens and the all-encompassing cloud-based save. However, I refuse to sacrifice what I believe are the most important components of board games.
Almost like a sign from heaven, Arcade1Up has answered my call and granted me a compromise: the Infinity Game Table. It’s a product that combines the virtual experience of online tabletop gaming, allowing players to sit on the couch and enjoy the game together. The Infinity Game Table is a step in the right direction, and it has potential, but its high price and limited features prevent it from becoming a viable alternative to physical gaming.
A modern approach to tabletop gaming
The shortest way to describe the Infinity Game Table is as a huge tablet with removable legs. Although there are 24-inch and 32-inch screen options, the table itself is the same size for both options. It’s just a matter of screen area. It comes with an AC adapter as well as a built-in battery, allowing players to set it up in places away from power outlets. The table supports Android, so it’s pretty easy to navigate and set up, and it can also connect to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, which is very important for this product. All of this is built into a pretty sleek, modern design that will look comfortable in any game room and won’t be out of place in your parents’ living room.
The real digital meat of the Infinity Game Table is, of course, the games. The table has access to word searches and puzzles, as well as several classic Hasbro games like Candy Land and Battleship. All of them are built into the device and are available for free download. There will also be new games on the table that can be purchased on the market, such as Ticket to Ride.
The responsive touch controls make it feel like you’re playing a board game.
Each game makes very good use of the tabletop touch screen, allowing players to roll virtual dice in games like Monopoly and place letter tiles in Erudite. The feeling of a board game is maintained even though all the components of the game are on the screen. In competitive games, players have the option of hiding items from other players at the table. The table comes with four paper blockers that allow players to hide their hands in games like Scrabble, although in a game like Battleship, players will have to ask another player to turn away while they set up their ships.
Blockers are only a half-hearted idea. Take the aforementioned example of Scrabble. Players have to drag their tiles to the board, which is hard to do when a small piece of paper gets in the way. Players can go through their tiles one at a time, but it’s still not an ideal way to do it.
Aside from the frustration with blockers, the live game experience works quite well. The responsive touch controls make it feel like you’re playing a physical board game. The tablet doesn’t interfere with that feeling.
The Infinity Game Table doesn’t just allow you to play in person. You can play games with friends online if you have a stable Internet connection. This eliminates the possibility of peeking, and also provides more room to play, as players can take up the entire screen. The table uses cloud-based saving, so friends can finish the game and pick up where they left off. This is also incredibly useful in the event of a network outage – you don’t have to worry about losing progress.
The Infinity gaming table seems like a good idea, and so far it has a pretty good foundation. There’s a lot of potential here, as it allows players to play their favorite board games with friends around the world. At this point, however, it’s just potential. At around $500, this is a huge investment. At this point, it’s hard to justify that kind of money just to play “Sorry!” or “Monopoly” without having the slightest idea what other games will appear on the table.
The Infinity gaming table is its own little ecosystem, requiring a few people to shell out $500 to make it work.
That being said, any games must be created specifically for the table. So it can’t be used to play the online version of Catan or as a Dungeons & Dragons battle card. Those who want to use it for these purposes will have to wait until the official versions created for the table are released. It also doesn’t help that players can only play online with those who also own this table; there is no cross-play with other consoles or devices, as one would expect. The Infinity gaming table is its own little ecosystem, requiring a few people to shell out $500 to make it work.
There are many ways to do what the Infinity gaming table does at a lower price point, so it’s a hard sell. The idea is solid, and the dice are in place. It does a great job of creating a hybrid of a virtual and physical tabletop game, but there are currently no games on it that would encourage me to run out and buy it. The technology inside it is also already a little outdated. It can only run in 1080p, and Wi-Fi doesn’t support 5G. It already seems to be inferior to even a regular tablet with Steam access.
The best thing I can say about this product is that it is a great proof of concept, asking an interesting question: Do you want a device designed for desktop gaming that lets you play games online with friends? Yes, I certainly do, but what the Infinity Game Table offers at the moment is not what I need to justify it as an investment and as a piece of furniture.