Classic Irish board game gets a Windows 8 reboot

9 Sep 2013

The Power Game was a successful board game for creator Brian McCarthy in the Seventies and now it’s getting a digital reboot from Atom Split Games to bring it to Windows 8 devices.

The original board game sold 4m copies worldwide back in its heyday and was created as an alternative to chess. Like chess, it’s a two-player strategy board game, but The Power Game has only four rules, which means players can learn how to play the game in seconds.

Each player has eight opposing cogs laid out at the start and then they take turns moving these cogs around the board in an effort to turn their opponent’s master gear clockwise. This may even involve turning an opponent’s own cogs against them.

Future Human

The original The Power Game from 1975

The new digital version of The Power Game follows the same simple concept but needs no board or pieces. You don’t even need another player sitting next to you as three playing modes offer two-player, single-player (facing up against artificial intelligence) and online multiplayer.

McCarthy, now 72, teamed up with Atom Split Games and publisher Scraggly Dog Games on the digital version of The Power Game, which will be available in eight languages from the Windows Store for Surface devices, Windows 8 PCs and Windows Phone 8 devices. He claims the digital experience is even better than the original.

“I am delighted to be working with Atom Split Games to bring The Power Game back to life on Windows devices,” he said. “I feel its popular gameplay will still resonate with players 40 years on.”

The Power Game also introduces a new payment model for casual gaming that tries to be ‘shock-proof’. An ad-free version of the game can be bought from the Windows Store or an ad-supported version can be downloaded for free. In the free version, there are in-game micro-transactions to purchase new backgrounds, cogs and master gears for a more personalised experience. However, players (or parents) can make a one-off payment of €20 for unlimited bolts, which in turn opens up the all themes and backgrounds and disables additional transactions.

In-game play showing infinite bolts option - The Power Game

A screen shot from The Power Game, giving players the option to buy infinite bolts and thus open up the full game

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic