I have not written in this blog for some months now, but I will restart with this article. Many of us continue to be in lockdowns due the pandemic, so in this post, I will recommend board games instead of my regular book recommendations as a tool for home entertainment. I have been a fan of board games (the recreational games for fun, not politics in companies’ Boards 😬) since I was a teenager.
Board games are a great way to have fun and interact with family and friends during the confinements many of us have experienced during the pandemic. For me, game time is also a great way to disconnect from my day-to-day and helps me manage stress.
Here are my recommendations of some great games that require strategic thinking, play in a reasonable amount of time (2 hours per game at most), and are a lot of fun. These are modern games, not the traditional Risk, Monopoly, etc., and are designed with better and more balanced gameplay. Several of these could be played in online platforms.
Catan: an amazing game that have players as settlers building their colonies. Players compete against each other while needing to negotiate to exchange resources, so how you behave with others is an important part of the gameplay. If you have never played it, you must try it.
Azul: a rapid game of strategy with an abstract setting. A very simple game dynamic that is very easy to learn, but that requires much more forward thinking and strategy to win that what initially seems.
Small World: a very entertaining game of territory conquest but with multiples fun races and special powers. These are assigned randomly every game, so each game is a different setting. What also makes Small World very interesting is that races are not supposed to last for many turns, then during a game you can cycle through several of them. It has several extensions that add more races and powers, refreshing the game experience.
Ticket to Ride: a strategy building game with a railway theme. The game dynamic makes it very fun.
Dixit: a very different card games for creative minds. Players look to guess the card secretly selected by the “storyteller” and explained by a word or short concept (sometimes very cryptic). Great for people that do not like strategy games. Gameplay can get very entertaining.
Werewolf: a fast-paced social game of deduction for large groups (6+ people). Each player has a (initial) character with specific role. The majority group – the villagers and related characters – have to identify the werewolves and henchmen before all of them get killed by the werewolves. Also, you can play it online in Telegram just adding the @werewolfbot bot to a group.
Gloom: another fast-paced card game where players try to kill their own characters while saving the opponents’ characters. Fun gameplay.
I would love to hear your comments about this list and recommendations on what other games I should be trying.