Board Games – A different kind of gaming

Written by Alex Maidment

On occasion, I like to take a break from video games (shocker, I know!) and play a different type of game: board games. Although played differently, I like to think of a lot of board games as being in the same genre of nerdy as video gaming – they’re both a lot of fun and often made better with friends.

I should clarify at this point that the type of board games I’m referring to are not so much your traditional family board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit but rather the new age board games and more geeky games. Not that there’s anything wrong with traditional family games, they are still great, but personally I don’t find them as interesting as the many quick card games, longer co-op games, strategy games and creative games that are out there. For a bit of a change, here’s a few of the games I love to play with friends:

  • Card Game: Love Letter – a quick turn-based game in which you only ever have a maximum of 2 cards in your hand and an objective to be the last player in the round (by defeating other players) or to have the strongest card at the end of the round providing there’s more than one player still in. Travel size and different versions available.

  • Co-op Board-Based Game: The Forbidden Series (Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Sky) – All co-op based board games in which you and your friends work as a team to beat the game. You’ll need space to play these games but they’re an interesting take on strategy and team work. Each player controls a different character with special abilities and together you must work to beat an objective before the game beats you. For example, in Forbidden Desert, you’re working together to rebuild your crashed vehicle and you need to find the pieces before getting back to the landing site to escape. The game then does it’s best to beat you by dehydrating you, burying you creating storms. If you lose any player, the whole game is over and you’ve been defeated.

  • Creative Board Game: Dixit – A game that taps into the imagination, it’s a visual based game in which you must accrue points to get round the board and win. Each player takes a turn at describing an image card (usually in an abstract way) and then other players must select a card from their own hand that they believe matches the description read out. All cards are then put on the table and players anonymously vote on which card they believe was the card being described. If your card is chosen, you get points. Simple, fun and an interesting concept.

  • Card Game: Dobble – a visual card game with many different game types – the most common involves each player starting with one card and a pile of cards in the middle. The objective is to match a symbol or picture from your card with the top middle card before other players. If you match something (every card has a match with another card) with the middle, you take the card as your card in play and the game continues with the next game in the middle pile. The winner is the player who matched the most cards when all the cards are gone. Very simple and travel size and different versions are available but for the most versatility, we recommend the standard version.

  • Co-op Board-Based Game: Pandemic – Much like the Forbidden series, this is a game where you work as a team to beat the game. Effectively, a virus is spreading across the world and turn-by-turn you need to stop the virus spreading and also find a cure. The game gets harder the longer you play and there are a number of ways to fail the objective. However, with strategic play and making the most of character special abilities, you can find all the cures and win the game!

  • Card Game: Sushi Go – a 3-round game in which the objective is to get the highest score each round and highest score at the end of 3 rounds. You build points by choosing different ‘sushi based cards’ that each have different point values and placing them in front of you. The twist? Each time you take a card out of your hand, you pass the hand to the player on your left. Some of the cards have variables and multipliers. Easy to play and very fun. Plus it’s sushi themed!

There are so many great board games out there and while I could go on and on, personally I think the above list are some great games to try if you’re not sure where to start. Another thing to do if you’re looking to start playing more board games is find a local board game cafe where you can pay for a couple of hours and just try different games from their library to get a feel for what you enjoy.

Other notable games that we recommend include: King of Tokyo (other versions available), Exploding Kittens, Skull, Boss Monster, Ticket to Ride, Kittens in a Blender, Unstable Unicorns, Fluxx and the list goes on…

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