The iPad GameChanger, a device that allows people to play physical board games while combining virtual elements, is among the many new devices to check out at CES 2012. Identity Games has it set up for people to play, so they can see how this unusual control pad connects with any iPad to allow the device to register gameboard movement and offer new kinds of board game experiences.
In a way, it’s really pretty interesting how it works. You just take the iPad and slide it into the GameChanger dock. Then, you place one of the two included skins, for either Animal Mania or Magic School Bus, on top of the two GameChanger boards. The GameChanger can tell which skin was placed and will then begin the appropriate game. Players will put their four markers on the board and the iPad will know where everything is, whose turn it is and allow players to use a touch screen spinner, answer questions and see videos.
Now, the GameChanger isn’t actually new. It debuted in November 2011. However, it’s still a recent enough release that it could benefit from a little CES love. Especially since DuckDuckGoose, Kaboom! and soon Kaboom: Pirates are going to be playable using the peripheral. That brings the overall GameChanger game count up to a whopping five.
The thing is, it’s still difficult to discern if now would be the optimal time to purchase the GameChanger. It’s on sale right now for $59.95, which is good since the normal price is $79.99. However, the game library for it is really small and only geared towards small children. If you wait for more games though, then the price will go back up. Of course, that’s also assuming that more games, especially ones people over the age of 10 will want to play, will be released soon. It’s a gamble and I’d guess it’d be easier to decide if you had the opportunity to see how it works in person.