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January 2019 Retro Gaming Article

January 16, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell, is back in gaming with an Alexa-powered board game

Nolan Bushnell is back with an Alexa board game
At the Alexa Conference in Chattanooga, Bushnell gave attendees a glimpse of the voice-activated games he's releasing this year.
"Alexa... tell us about the St. Noire game."

Nolan Bushnell has a long history of success from his days with Atari and merging gaming with pizza via Chuck E. Cheeses. In fact he is something of a serial founder. He starts companies, brings then to success and finds a new challenge to undertake. His ideas have branded more things than many people know.

Appearing at the Chattanooga Alexa Conference, Nolan Bush, presented his latest foray into gaming with Amazon's Echo voice assistant. Promising several games to be released this year, the first is St. Noire - a voice-activated murder mystery game that challenges you to solve a murder by interviewing a full cast of characters by chatting with Alexa (Echo).

St. Noire is Bushnell's first Alexa board game I've played a few "choose your own story" type games where Alexa tells the tale and you direct which way to venture when offered a fork in the road. They're fun, but if you play one, the novelty wears thin on the next. It's sort of a one-trick-pony. But it's a good horse ride. Fun stuff.

St. Noire is designed to work with the visual capabilities of Echo Show, but will work similarly with an audio only model. I'm a bit surprised they went with the Show model as I doubt its install-base is terribly substantial. The game seems quite similar to the traditional Clue board game. You travel around interviewing characters as yo whittle away at the mystery.

Bushnell sees games and movies at opposite ends of the scale with an interesting immersive experience in between the two. With five games slated to release in 2019, they will range from kids and families to games for adults. St. Noire should be available in March. I'm sure you can order them all via Alexa.

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