The Spyglass Arcade games are a lot of fun if you have someone to play them with. As they are really designed for two players, it’s more of a fun gaming experience when you’re playing friends rather than the AI. Afterall, what is XBL for if not to connect you with all your gaming buddies? And yes, just like any other game on XBL, for all those achievement enthusiast’s out there, the Spyglass board games also have achievements you can obtain, if you’re that way inclined.
Spyglass chess is pretty much your average chess game. Of course, you can also use your XBL video connection to view your opponents on live cam whilst you’re playing. You can swivel the board around as well (which I found quite fun to do, much to my opponent’s disdain). The good thing about the Spyglass arcade games is that if you get bored with chess, there are three other games you can choose from.
Not really a chess fan? Never fear because chequers are equally as fun. Again, the games are all very simplistic in their design and don’t look fancy but they’re fun to play if you want to do something different on XBLA.
Never head of Mancala? Well, that’s completely understandable as neither had I before I played the Spyglass board games on XBL. Mancala is the kind of game that can easily confuse even the most astute mind. Even now, we still can’t describe the correct rules for the game suffice to say that I did have a lot of fun trying to play it. Thankfully, the game comes with a great manual that explains the rules.
And yet another rather obscure yet fun boardgame, Reversi is at least a little easier to understand and play than Mancala is for an absolute beginner. The object of the game is really to ‘reverse’ or flip your opponents coloured pieces by choosing positions on the board that you think will link up as many pieces as possible. The winner is the one with the most pieces on the board with your colour.
There are some neat things you can do within the game such as change your board colours, your pieces, swivel your board all sorts of ways and angles and also distort and change what your camera looks like via the camera options for Xbox Live Vision camera’s.
My recommendation is buy this game if you’re really into your board games but otherwise, the lack of other functions in the game was a tad disappointing. You can purchase Spyglass Arcade Games via Xbox Live Arcade for 400 Microsoft points.
Thanks to Midnite Spartan for being my guinea pig haha!