zAPPed board games hands-on

Alright, zAPPed is no GameChanger but, where Hasbro's line of iOS-integrated board games falls short in the pun department, it shines in cleverness. The Game of Life launched just a couple of days ago with a special edition designed to be used with an iPad app, while other classics Battleship and Monopoly are scheduled to follow later in the year. All make your iDevice an integral part of the gaming experience and leverage an ingeniously simple solution to boosting the interactivity. Underneath the game pieces are uniquely arranged capacitive plastic pads that allow the apps to identify what you're holding. Different boats in Battleship have slightly different arrangements of pads underneath that allow the app to tell whether your carrier or destroyer has been sunk.

Monopoly uses the same trick to differentiate player debit cards. When it comes time to make a transaction, you swipe the card across the screen of your iPhone and funds are automatically added or subtracted from your account. Monopoly also adds a few more play options, including a mini game for escaping jail. The Game of Life, of course, lets you spin a virtual wheel, but also customize virtual pegs -- adding hair and accessories where once you were stuck with plain pink or blue ones. Game of Life zAPPed Edition is out now for $25, while Monopoly will land in June, followed by Battleship in September. Check out the gallery below and the PR after the break. %Gallery-147154%
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.

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Hasbro introduces a whole new way to game that merges digital gaming and a game board with the release of THE GAME OF LIFE zAPPed on February 10, 2012

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (February 10, 2012) – Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), a global branded play company, is once again leading innovation across the gaming industry with the launch of Hasbro zAPPed Gaming. These new games will allow players to combine traditional analog, face-to-face gaming with the increased functionality of today's consumer technology.

In 2012, Hasbro zAPPed games will kick off a new era of gaming with three iconic brands – THE GAME OF LIFE, MONOPOLY and BATTLESHIP. Elements of these games will come to life when apps on iOS devices join with a game board to create a unique social twist on the digital gaming experience.

"Knowing that families are more attached than ever to their mobile devices, we wanted to revolutionize face-to-face gaming with our world famous brands and our proprietary technology to create a unique gaming experience," said Eric Nyman, Global Brand Leader for Hasbro Gaming.

The first game to hit store shelves is THE GAME OF LIFE zAPPed, which will be available on February 10, 2012. With more than 100 laugh-out-loud clips from "America's Funniest Videos" mixed with humorous animations, the game provides a new spin on the beloved classic game. Simply download THE GAME OF LIFE zAPPed app onto the iPad, cue up the game, place the iPad on the game board, and watch as game comes to life on each turn as you travel around the game board. Players can create and upgrade their own Peg Person and spin THE GAME OF LIFE zAPPed virtual spinner in the accompanying iPad app.

THE GAME OF LIFE zAPPed game will be available first on and for the approximate retail price of $24.99. The game will be available in Toys R Us Times Square immediately and in stores the week of February 17 before rolling out to other retailers later this year. The game is recommended for 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up. THE GAME OF LIFE zAPPed app is available as a free download from the App Store.

With MONOPOLY zAPPed, an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch will be turned into a banking unit and will add and subtract money from virtual accounts with a simple tap of a special bank card on the iOS device. Plus, players will see the Chance and Community Chest cards come to life through fun and challenging virtual mini games as the players work their way towards becoming a property mogul. (Available June 2012)

In the BATTLESHIP zAPPed game players, inspired by the "BATTLESHIP" feature film from Universal Pictures, use their iPad screen as the playing surface when waging epic battles by executing strategic maneuvers, launching devastating missile attacks and initiating lethal airstrikes. Once ship pawns are placed on the screen, the iPad will automatically recognize which pawns are in play and when they are moved. (Available September 2012)