BOULDER, Colo. — Board games are a family pastime. And, maybe you pulled out Monopoly, or Chess, or Clue more often over the past year. But, a Colorado startup is working to revolutionize the tabletop gaming business with a tablet to play any board game against anyone in the world.
You're in good company this week with The Last Gameboard.
Its founder and CEO, Shail Mehta, learned board games as a kid before she learned English, when her family moved to the United States from India.
"Gaming is this incredible equalizer," Mehta said. "Biases, preconceived notions, social constructs — everything is kind of gone. And, you're just sitting around and you're playing this game."
The Last Gameboard is relocating soon to Denver's Larimer Square. The company started in 2019, and it's out to give tabletop gaming a much-needed digital upgrade.
"It's very hard to replicate real interactions, analog interactions," Mehta said. "And this hybrid approach suddenly became the thing that people saw as the future of tabletop gaming."
Gameboard is a first-of-its-kind tablet, with its own operating system and hardware, giving people the ability to connect in-person or virtually through multiple games.
"Gameboard to Gameboard play is real too," Mehta said. "So you have a Gameboard, and you're in Denver. I'm here in Boulder. We can play a game on Gameboard."
The screen itself can sense unlimited touch points. So, you can play with physical game pieces.
"I put my hand on here, which helps you see," said Mehta during a demonstration. "There's an outline, a red outline. This is unlimited touch. So, we are able to detect every input, every touch point really, really fast."
It puts a modern spin on a nostalgic industry that has struggled to keep up with the times.
You can test your strategy against complete strangers, or rekindle an old rivalry with family.
"I want a Gameboard in every household in the world," Mehta said, laughing. "I want people to have Gameboard as a way to connect generations together, as a way to play together, even when you're not there."
The Last Gameboard plans to launch their first-generation product in late 2021 with role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. The company plans to integrate more common, family games in the near future.
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