Alexa helps players travel the globe in the new board game, ‘When in Rome’

A new board game is launching on July 2 that uses Alexa to help players travel the world. The game created by startup Sensible Object is called When in Rome and enables Alexa to serve as a kind of travel guide — teaching players the rules of the game, keeping track of players’ progress and even helping out if players find themselves in trouble.

In what can only be described as a mash-up between a multimedia experience and Trivial Pursuit, When in Rome is powered by a free Alexa skill that lets players visit up to 20 new cities with their friends and family. Once “on the ground” anywhere from Mumbai to Cape Town, players face questions and have guided conversations with real locals who will ask them questions about local customs, street food, and more.

The boxed game will retail for $30 and includes the game board, two player tokens, 18 friend tokens, 14 upgrade cards, and five “souvenirs.” A new package of characters and content will be available for download later this year that is geared toward adults, taking players into the nightlife of the cities featured in the game.

“When you think about having an amazing night out in a city, you won’t know the people you will meet, the kinds of things that might happen,” Sensible Object’s CEO Alex Fleetwood told Venture Beat. “It goes into that kind of territory and brings some interesting ideas into the game. We’re working on music licensing for the game with local artists. So, for example, how do you bring the authentic sounds of contemporary Nairobi into the game, how can we bring that to life?”

sensible obect when in rome object may 2018
Sensible Object

That authenticity the game developers are seeking was boosted by the game’s development process. Each city segment was created with the help of a team of writers, composers, and theater directors who managed the dialogue of local voice actors.

London-based Sensible Object only has about 25 employees but made a huge splash in the gaming market when it announced a $3.2 million funding round that included participation from the Amazon Alexa Fund, a $100 million investment arm that is part of Amazon’s push to get Alexa everywhere. Previously, the company was best known for Beasts of Balance, a stacking game similar to Jenga.

While When in Rome is expected to remain the company’s flagship product for the near future, Sensible Objects also plans to make its toolkit for creating board games with virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant available to third-party creatives to develop new games under the brand.

Smart Home

That's a lotta Alexa. Amazon drops smart subs, plugs, even a microwave

Amazon's hardware announcement likely means a whole bunch of new Amazon Alexa gadgets. From a microwave to stereo equipment, here are our guesses on which devices we'll see, which could total as many as eight.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Smart Home

Alexa can now tell you the odds of the next big football game

Alexa can now answer questions about your favorite NFL teams and players, such as what team is favored to win the upcoming game or what player has racked up the most distance over the course of their career.
Gaming

Best family-friendly games both parents and kids love

There are a wealth of great games out there that both parents and kids can enjoy together. We compiled a list of 30 games across all genres that are sure to make family game night a great time.
Smart Home

Images of Google Home Hub leak ahead of company’s October hardware event

Google Assistant has the capability to work with displays. A set of leaked images suggest Google plans to take advantage of this feature with its new Home Hub, an Echo Show-type device.
Smart Home

What is Instacart? Here’s how to use the grocery delivery app

One of the most popular grocery delivery apps is Instacart, which you can use to receive your groceries in as little as an hour. A shopper near you will deliver it to your door, saving you a trip to the store. Here's how it works.
Smart Home

Google Assistant will now help Simplisafe keep homes secure

SimpliSafe has added Google Assistant voice commands to its home security system. Customers can now use Google Assistant commands to configure, arm, and check their home security system components.
Smart Home

Is Amazon tweaking its search algorithms with a new A.I.-driven shopping site?

Amazon is testing a new shopping site, Amazon Scout, which combines a visual aesthetic with customers' ability to like and dislike products, collecting more data on users' habits and preferences.
Smart Home

Holy mistaken identity! Nest Hello doorbell pegs Batman T-shirt as intruder

A Nest Hello smart doorbell's camera mistook a homeowner's Batman shirt for an intruder and locked him out of his own home. Doesn't it know the real Dark Knight wouldn't use the front door?
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Smart Home

Amazon might open 3,000 cashier-free Amazon Go stores by 2021

According to new reporting by Bloomburg, anonymous sources within Amazon say that CEO Jeff Bezos is considering opening up to 3,000 of the company's cashier-less, experimental Amazon Go stores by 2021.
Smart Home

Voice technology is useful, in demand, and not moving fast enough

A new survey commissioned by IT analytics firm AppDynamics indicates that enterprise companies aren't adopting advances in voice technology fast enough to keep up with demand, especially from millennials.
Smart Home

Special-edition Instant Pots pay tribute to Pioneer Women with flowery designs

Food Network star Ree Drummond launched the Pioneer Woman Instant Pot in two different floral patterns only at Walmart. Drummond's special-edition multicooker is a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and warmer.
Home Theater

Amazon’s horde of new Alexa-powered audio gear includes subwoofer, new amplifier

Amazon's quest to take over the world with its Alexa voice assistant just got a bit closer to realization, as the company has unleashed an army of new audio devices. We've got the low-down on all of them here.