Modern gaming methods (meaning mobile and console downloads, primarily) have given birth to a wave of retro gaming enthusiasm so intense that we recently asked if we might be getting saturated. That article was related largely to rehashed and rebooted classics, and the sentiment can be extended to the idea of newer games mimicking retro formats and designs. Open up an app store, scroll through the games category, and you’ll see as many 8-bit graphics as realistic, 3D designs. It’s all part of the retro phenomenon.
But sometimes when we discuss or acknowledge the wave of retro gaming we’ve seen in the past several years, we limit the talks to video games exclusively. The interesting truth is that we’ve also seen a lot of even older games, meant for families and friends to play around tables, making the rounds on modern gaming mediums.
The most widespread example is poker, which we think of as a casino game but has been the most popular representative of card games in general. Plenty of families and groups of friends have entertained themselves playing poker and other card games around kitchen tables for years, whether or not they ever stepped foot inside casinos. And now, just as we’ve seen poker staying popular online for the better part of two decades, we’re seeing it being adapted to the very latest and most advanced gaming systems. Not only are there numerous poker and card gaming options for mobile devices, but we’ve seen major consoles embrace more high-end versions of the game. We’ve also seen the early stages of virtual reality development roping in the game of poker, through the new game Casino VR.
In keeping with the idea of card games finding ways to stay popular on modern mediums, other games attached to the casino genre and family gaming alike are finding new popularity. Bingo may be the most interesting example, given that a lot of people think of this game as old-fashioned. Once played at casino drawings and in living rooms, it now seems somewhat dated. However, online bingo rooms based on fun settings and pop culture have brought new attention to this old game. People who may have played bingo games in crowded rooms full of family, friends, or even strangers can now log online and participate in a variety of rooms with different calling styles, wagering real money on games enhanced via graphics and social interaction.
And finally, we’ve witnessed virtually every popular board game being reborn through mobile gaming, as well as other mediums. Words With Friends, a slightly modified take on Scrabble, is considered to be one of the most popular iOS games of all time, and countless others—from Monopoly to Battleship—have all been downloaded by droves of fans as well. Indeed, there’s a whole genre of retro board games that exists in mobile markets.
They may not be the most exciting games to all of us, but it’s worth considering them when we talk about how widespread retro games have become. It doesn’t get much more vintage than card games, bingo, and board games, and yet millions of people are still enjoying these activities on computers, consoles, and mobile devices.