App Player: The iPhone-compatible board game

App Player is a new board game designed to merge the world of the traditional family game with the new wave of apps for your smartphone.

Created by Cheatwell Games, a UK-based toy company that has been making traditional board games for over 25 years, including Humm Bug, Masquerade, Spot the Intro and Tension, App Player's premise is that you use one of four apps on your iPhone or iPod touch in connection with a “one-size-fits-all” board, maximising the benefits of both worlds.

“I think it’s the future of board games in the home,” the owner of Cheatwell Games, Jon Church, exclusively told Pocket-lint at the Toy Fair in London.

The idea is that you’ll use the free apps in place of a pack of cards. It is these that give you the questions.

For example, the Tension app gives you an active timer on the iPhone's screen to make sure you are playing by the rules. Plus, it provides the ability to tick off answers as people say them without having to remember them all in your head or mark them down on a bit of paper.

For other games within the set - there are four in total - the iPhone or iPod will be used for playing music or quotes to go with the questions, or even show pictures.

“The great thing about having the questions on an app is that we can update them, or make changes if there are errors. There is nothing worse than realising there is an error on a question or answer card after you’ve printed thousands,” Salt explained.

Where the traditional board game element comes in is that it allows you to keep track of where you’ve got to, with the board acting like the “cheeses” in Trivial Pursuit.

Combine that with a Bluetooth (in the premium edition) or wired speaker (which comes with a 3.5mm jack rather than an Apple dock connector) the promise of more games via apps in the future that will also work with the board, and an Android version, and Cheatwell Games is hoping that the old world can fit in snugly with the new order.

Will it work? Church, who says the game will be available in the coming months, certainly hopes so.

Photos by Rik Henderson