Hardwood Backgammon was available for download from the Xbox live arcade straight from the beginning. Brought to us by Silver Creek Entertainment who are attempting to bring one of the most famous and classic board games to the Xbox 360.
Up until playing this game I had never tried to play backgammon or understand it either. Thanks to an easy tutorial video I soon understood all the basics of the game. So anybody who is new to backgammon of game are well catered for.
Backgammon is a basic game to play. It is played out on a fold out board with one side of the case being the players 'Home Base' and the other side being your opponent's home base.
Each player takes in turn to throw two dice and move their pieces around the board trying to be the first to get all their pieces to their home base. Tactics play a huge part in backgammon when deciding which pieces to move, or should you send one of your opponents pieces back to the beginning by landing on it (the piece you land on must be on its own to do this though.
It is a very difficult game to try and put down in text. However there is a demo available so if you have never played backgammon it is worth trying to see if it is your sort of thing.
Like most games of this sort on a console the game is easier to understand due to the fact that you can only make legal moves and it is up to the player to decide what is the best move each turn.
The single player game has different levels of difficulty and on the harder levels you really do need to be a very experienced backgammon player. The earlier levels of difficulty are a lot more forgiving but for some one just starting out they will give you a good challenge.
To spice up the proceedings there are plenty of customisable options from backgrounds, boards, game pieces and different sounds all thrown in there for good measure. The sounds are all done well but there is anything spectacular about them but what do you expect from a board game.
The online mode for this game is superb, unfortunately though it is very hard to find a game. Its well done an has all the usual options that you come to expect from a 360 title. It is a shame that the single player game is not so in depth. With no tournaments or scenarios it is just a case of playing the computer in a match and then playing them again.
Apart from achievements threre isn't a whole lot to motivate you to play this game ofline. Which is a shame! Some sort of tournament system would have really made this game a superb addition to anyone's Xbox Live Arcade collection.
Hardwood Backgammon is a great representation of a classic game. If you are a fan of backgammon then this a must for you if you have never played then it is well worth checking out the demo and seeing if it is your sort of thing. It is not something everyone will like but it is well implemented, it is just a shame the single player game is lacking.