Oct. 1, 2012 at 3:29 PM ET
You remember Hungry Hungry Hippos — that hallmark of childhood gaming. Slap those hippo tails (wait, do hippos even have tails?) as quick as you can and watch as they gobble up marbles like the enormous water piggies they are.
Well, starting this month, the hippos are out and cows, sheep, pigs and horses are in. That is, digital gaming giant Zynga has partnered with toy giant Hasbro to deliver a line of tabletop games based on the company's popular Facebook and mobile games. Among them is Hungry Hungry Herd — a FarmVille-themed version of Hungry Hungry Hippos that finds the hippos replaced by various livestock.
In addition to Hungry Hungry Herd, a CityVille-themed version of Monopoly as well as a Scrabble-like Words With Friends board game, and a Pictionary-esque Draw Something card/drawing game all arrive this month.
These games offer your more typical face-to-face style tabletop play, though you'll also find tag-ons in the box that can be used in the digital games. For instance, Monopoly CityVille and Hungry Hungry Herd offer up in-game currency to use in the games' Facebook versions.
"We are excited for our players to experience their favorite Zynga games in a new way," Barry Cottle, Zynga's Executive Vice President, said in an announcement. "This is the first time consumers will be able to play a Zynga game with their family and friends and bring their offline play from the game screen to the game board and into their real world."
Zynga isn't the only game company trying to parlay their digital game success into real-world tabletop game success. Rovio — the company behind the enormously popular Angry Birds games — has partnered with toy-maker Mattel to create the bird-flinging skill/card games Angry Birds: Knock on Wood and Angry Birds: On Thin Ice.
Mattel also sells a Fruit Ninja: Slice of Life game (based on the Fruit Ninja game app) complete with a toy sword and tiny toy fruit, as well as a Cut the Rope tabletop game complete with a hungry Om Nom monster.
It's interesting to note that, for years, it has been board games that were being transformed into digital games ... which are now being transformed back into board games. The circle is, indeed, unbroken.
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti, and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.