In a world where sickness has taken center stage and isolationism has risen to an all-time high, video games have become the main source of escape for gamers looking for their fix of fun.
However, on the opposite end of this spectrum, tabletop gaming is undergoing what I'd like to call a silent revolution, through the Super Mario LEGO set, which was recently unveiled via a YouTube trailer.
To the general public, this trailer may appear somewhat normal – after all, we have seen LEGO use technology to their advantage in the past (as early as LEGO train sets!) – but this trailer is truly the revolution that tabletop gaming may end up relying on to thrive.
Let me break this down in a way that can be taken in properly:
- LEGO Super Mario uses a number of bricks that are read by the Mario character (or Luigi – we don't judge here at Bleeding Cool!). This is likely attained by the use of a scanner or similar technology on the bottom of the Mario figure.
- Mario also registers what is going on on the field of play through a screen on his stomach. This could be anything from a coin earned, to a "?" box being utilized, to him dying horribly in a fire and losing a life as a consequence.
- Additionally, Mario emotes when something happens, through screens on his eyes and mouth.
- Furthermore, Mario produces sound effects that change when certain events are triggered, such as a boss battle or the acquisition of a coin or a "?" box.
- Finally, Mario registers time passing with his stomach screen as well. This also affects the sound effects coming from Mario.
How does this affect tabletop, though? Well, consider the following:
- Mario must have the capability to use random number generation here. Otherwise, how would the "?" boxes work? This could replace dice, random loot in role-playing games, and any number of other randomly-generated aspects of any number of tabletop games. They thrive on that concept, so that's massive.
- Mario times things. This means that any game with a timer (think speed-chess, or competitive card games, or the like) could be timed. Yes, this is already easily done, but putting all of this on the same device is really helpful.
- Mario scans items on the ground. Doesn't that mean that things can be generated in order to be scanned? This allows game masters, for example, to place items on their board that could be otherwise hidden from players using this technology, plus, they could be either good or bad, as discussed in the next point.
- Finally, Mario emotes when positive or negative things happen to him. To me, I figure that this could be used as a strong (albeit subjective) application of success versus failure in tabletop wargames or role-playing games.
There is so much application that is implied by the mere existence of LEGO Super Mario that it's difficult to comprehend. I, personally, would not be surprised in the least to see LEGO release new sets geared towards such games as Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering.
What do you think of this set and what it means for the tabletop? Let us know!