Today I felt like talking about board games. I love board games. They’re a LAN party where everyone gets to sit at the same table and share the triumphs and losses altogether.
Now, I’m not going to share the games you can find in the Target or another big box store. So no Clue, Monopoly, or The Game of Life. No, you guys know those, probably played them all at least a hundred times. I’m sharing games you won’t find outside a game store or online.
There are a lot of really great board games, but these are the ones I’ve played and loved.
In Pandemic disease has broken out. Four diseases in fact, in all different locations of the world. Each player’s goal is to fight the diseases while trying to develop a cure. What is interesting about this game is all the players work together, instead of competing against each other. It’s a co-op board game. So the individual player’s goal is the combined goal of everyone: stop the diseases and find a cure.
The game is 2-4 players, and you can pick from five specialists to play: researcher, medic, scientist, dispatcher, or operations expert. With each turn, a player can use up to four moves to either travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. There is a deck of cards that give you these abilities but also special “epidemic” cards that speed up the diseases.
This game is fun! Also, it’s considered the most popular co-op board game to have ever been made. Very interestingly, Pandemic is listed as one of the top 100 board games on boardgamegeek.com. Also, a spinoff called Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, is listed as the number one best board game ever made on boardgamegeek.com. The list of awards the original Pandemic has been nominated is long, and it has won 10 awards since 2008.
Mansions of Madness
Mansions of Madness (second edition) is ranked in the top one hundred games on boardgamegeek.com as well.
Mansion of Madness is all about Lovecraft, so all Lovecraftian monster (ahem, Cthuhulu) lovers and even non-lovers come gather around for this house of horrors. Lovecraft aside, this game is just plain old fun. It feels like a real adventure for your character. You fight off monsters trying to eat you or even, trying to drive you insane. Let’s not forget the mystery aspect. One player takes the role of the keeper, who has an evil scheme all the other players must figure out and stop. You must solve this mystery before it’s too late because the evil plan will unfold and all will be doomed!
This game feels like a roleplaying game. You are given a particular character, with all their quirks and advantages, and you are playing out a pre-designed story that has several options for the plot. I love this game for not only its gameplay but also its whole haunted house, macabre theme.
Axis & Allies
This game is not for the weak. It’s a marathon of a game. My friends and I would usually try to set a whole day aside to play it. It is so worth the time in my opinion. Also, to be clear, I am talking about the classic Axis & Allies and not any of the many later versions.
This game is world war two on a global scale. There are two sides, the axis (Japan and Germany) and the allies (United Kingdom, United States, and the Soviet Union). There are always five players, so it makes setting up this game a little tricky considering you can’t have less and also can’t have too many.
If you’ve played Risk, this may remind you of it. The entire map is laid out and available for attacking as each player and each team try to expand their power and destroy the enemy. You do this by buying an army and/or navy and attacking. The battles are decided by dice throws, and each specific piece (whether tank, submarine, or anti-air guns) has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to what numbers you are trying to get when rolling.
I love this game so much because of the competitive nature. You get to team up with one or two of your friends and face against the others. It’s great fun.
I feel like I have to mention this game. To me, it feels like one of the classic board games you play when you start to branch out from monopoly. The name of the game is trying to dominate the map (the island of Catan). You’re a settler trying to build up holdings but also, trading with the other players for resources. I always enjoy the trading aspect of competitive games. It adds a fun level of interaction that livens up the gameplay.
This game might not be on boardgamegeeks top 100 games anymore, but it has won nine awards and is in the Origins Awards Hall of Fame. That is because this game is a classic. It’s a little older than the other games I’ve mentioned, and it is a little simpler, but that’s what makes it a great game for a lot of people. Your whole family will be willing to play this, and you’ll have fun with it. Also, if you decide you want your kids or younger relatives to join in, then you can opt for Catan Junior. I got that game for a couple young family members, and they’ve enjoyed playing that many times. You’ve got to indoctrinate kids young to the full world of gaming, in my opinion. That way I’ll have guaranteed people to play with in a few years. Haha!
This one is a bonus because not only is it not truly a board game (there is no board), but you can now play it online for free with your friends instead of having to buy the game. You can play it here after making a free login:
It’s a simple strategy game that involves bugs. Maybe I’m a little strange but I quite like bugs, and I’m convinced bees are in. I swear I’ve ‘been seeing’ an influx of bees on clothes.
The object of this game is to surround (or capture) the other player’s queen bee. There is a selection of different bugs you can use to do this including ants, beetles, spiders and more. Each turn a player puts down a single piece or moves a bug they already have on the board. Each bug has its own movement rules.
This game is short and straightforward, but it’s a perfect time waster. Also, if you actually buy the game, you can carry it with you to family vacations and make your relatives play it. It’s easy to learn and beats family conversations that drag on.
Video games are of course my go-to for gaming, but I love to sprinkle in some board and card games as well. These types of games offer something a little more festive and intimate than video games sometimes give. It feels like a party, or at least that’s how I like to do it. What is also cool about board games is a lot of game stores have a collection of board games you can play! I suggest calling the game store up before going down to see if that’s something they offer. It’s a great way to enjoy a large variety of games without having to buy them.