When in Rome – an Alexa based family game

I am a big fan of Alexa, she helps me run my life and keeps me organised. She plays me music on demand, sets timers to stop the kids fighting over video games and now she can even join in our family board game time. When in Rome is a fantastic around the world board game that incorporates Alexa. Made by Sensible Object the people behind Beasts of Balance I couldn’t wait to get hold of a copy and play it as a family.

To start playing you need to enable the When in Rome Game skill in your Alexa. You will need to verify that you own the When in Rome board game by sharing your packing list which is displayed on the back of the board. The board comes in two parts and displays a map of the world with various cities shown.

Also included in the box are five souvenirs. A ket, a thimble, a ring, a guitar pick and a button.

There are 14 upgrade cards, 2 of each of the cards displayed above. These can be collected when you win a head to head round, you can choose between taking points or collecting an upgrade card. The upgrade cards can be played at different times but you must use them at the right time. A mind the gap, instant Nairobi or Tokyo Teleport card can be played just before you fly into a new city. A Don’t ask me that or You need help card can be played when a local is asking your team a question. A Trash talk card can be played when the other team is answering a local’s question and the Priority boarding card can be played during the head to head round.

You play in two teams and each team is either red or blue. You get 9 friend pieces and an airplane piece which is your playing piece.

To play you fly around the world answering questions, making friends and collecting souvenirs. Answering questions correctly and collecting souvenirs will win you points. The game ends when 3 souvenirs have been collected or after 9 rounds. The team with the most points wins.

To start the game you need to choose which city to start in. Alex will introduce you to the locals who live there and they will ask you your first questions. When you land in a city you will be introduced to a real local from that city. This is a brilliant idea and much better than using voice actors to share knowledge from these cities. There are 20 cities in total.

To move around the board you can only fly to a city immediately connected to the one you are in unless you already have a friend in the next city which means you can jump that one and head to the next city. If you land in a city that the other team has already befriended then you miss your turn.

During the game, Alexa will tell you where you can find the souvenirs. If you answer the question correctly in a city with a souvenir then you can collect that souvenir and hear the story of how you found it from your new friend.

As the game is played in teams it is a great multi-generational game. Although recommended for ages 13 years plus I think that When in Rome is a great family game as long as you make sure that the teams are put together in a fair way. After all, my kids know more about some of these subjects than I do and they are both under 13.

You can find out more about When in Rome and even meet the locals who feature in the game on the voice originals website

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