Amazon’s Alexa is Getting into Board Games

According to Polygon, Amazon’s virtual home assistant, Alexa, has dipped her toes into hobby board gaming with the classic gateway game, Ticket to Ride.

Players who own both an Amazon Alexa and a physical copy of Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride Europe can enable the Alexa skill by saying “Alexa, launch Ticket to Ride”. The program can walk you through setting up the game and how to play as well as take on the role of a player.

Having Alexa join your game does change somethings. Since the device cannot see what cards it is playing with, someone will need to read out loud Alexa’s hand; thus giving away details about her possible strategies. The program also does not draw from the Train Car deck, meaning that the cards on offer will cycle through slower. As the writer, Charlie Hall, noted the game feels less fair when playing with Alexa, but it does offer up the the potential to assist with complicated games in the future.  You can read Charlie’s full experience playing with Alexa on Polygon here.

I’ve seen other companies such as Dized create board game assistants which can come in very handy when trying to find particular rules for games or when learning a new game. The addition of Alexa as a player is interesting and I would love to see Amazon develop the program more, but I suspect that she will be more fun to play with in something like a cooperative game than a competitive one. At least for now.

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