Voice Originals: When In Rome

Ages: 13 and upManufacturer: Sensible Object

When in Rome is a trivia board game with a twist: instead of a fixed set of question cards, the game utilizes Amazon’s Alexa (through the Echo or Echo Dot device, or through the Amazon apps) to pose questions and steer players through the game. Players move around a simple map, answering multiple-choice questions about the cities’ culture, language, food, or architecture, or about a random topic, earning points along the way.

The game is entertaining, with questions ranging from easy, to intentionally ridiculous, to genuinely baffling. Cities are represented by virtual hosts with regionally-correct names and accents who respond with amusing and occasionally snarky replies. Players must listen carefully; questions can be repeated, but once the repeat begins, listeners have to hear every detail again, which gets a bit tiresome when all one really needed to catch was the introductory phrase.

The Alexa-based game has advantages: developers can change and add content, and players can put a game on hold for days, and seamlessly pick up where they left off. The novelty however, includes some tech quirkiness in both communication and random crashes. That said, “When in Rome” is an innovative mix of board and digital game play.

Emily Crawford ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master’s in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Available here