Welcome to the Wonderful World of Board Games!
Lots of us grew up playing board games as kids – Remember the fun times playing Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk or Jenga with friends and family? Well, board games grew up too, and like you, they’ve stayed awesome.
Board games haven’t stopped bringing people together even though we’re now spending more time adulting – from the abstract to the epic, board games come in a variety of themes and its our most sincere belief that there’s a board game for everyone!
Here are four reasons why we believe board games are awesome!
- Board games are social –
Board games allow people to interact with each other and you’ll learn a lot about the people you’re playing games with while playing games with them. Whether a person is cautious and defensive or clever and aggressive often shines through in how they play a game and you’ll leave each round with a better understanding of your friends! On top of that, whether you win or lose, you’ve spent time having a good time playing the game together with friends and family! It’s often the experience that counts and the memories you’ll make are priceless.
- Board games let you give your brain a workout –
Want to blow off some steam? Well, board games are a great low-stakes way to take your brain out for a run and exercise your decision making skills without the responsibilities of work. Even better, taking some time off to consider whether to build a road, grab a piece of sushi or accuse someone of being a saboteur is a great way to take your mind off your real-world pressures, letting you come back refreshed and ready to go.
- Board games are physical –
Board games and card games are ‘real’, just like the people you’re playing with. Whether it’s cards to shuffle, dice to roll, pieces to move or tiles to place, there’s just that something about the tactile experience of fiddling with real ‘stuff’ that’s just deeply satisfying and hard to replicate.
- There’s so much variety! –
People aren’t static and our tastes can change even from moment to moment – like a buffet there’s bound to be a board game out there that will hit the spot for you and your friends. From short 15 minute fillers to multi-hour experiences, board games come in all shapes and sizes – some feature different fantastic worlds, some are abstract, some are humorous, some are all about luck. Play the games you and your friends and family want to play!
What Kinds of Board Games Are There?
There are many different kinds of board games and they cater to a wide variety of different tastes and preferences. Like the tip of an iceberg, here are just some of the broad categories games can fall into.
These are great for large groups of friends and family and play fast and frantic! There are social deduction games where players conceal information to outwit each other. On the other hand, reaction games test players’ agility and how fast they can spot and recognize patterns while word games rely on players’ use of language and deduction to uncover secret words.
Family games feature easy to pick up rules and friendly themes for all age groups. They include reaction games or have educational concepts. These games are great for everyone to enjoy and teach kids about fairness, following rules and social interaction.
Games for 2 Players
Whether it’s spending Date Night with a significant other or playing a personal game with your best friend, 2-Player games are designed to be intimate and challenging experiences just for both of you. Some are highly competitive head-to-head games while some rely on teamwork to solve problems in the game.
These games are great for friends and family who prefer to play against the game instead of each other! They can be horror-themed games where players race against time to stop a terrible evil, or crime or adventure games where players help to solve crimes or extract hidden treasure. Overall, cooperative games are all about coming together for the social experience, rather than who wins in the end.
Lots of board game fans love the tactical aspect of playing board games. Strategy themed games, in particular, raise the bar by encouraging players to plan steps in advance, formulate unique strategies to win the game. There are all sorts of flavours of strategy games to choose from! There are Abstract pattern-building games where players lay-out tiles, cards or pieces to achieve certain goals. Card-drafting deck-building games are card games that use card cycling mechanics and selection to build an ideal deck or combination of cards. Economic management games engage players in managing funds, resources and structures. Tile placement city building games let players plan a city, hire workers, build structures and strive to develop a thriving city. Lastly, war and conquest games are all about using military might to destroy and conquer opponents.
Adventure & Mystery Games
These games are similar to Cooperative but are specifically more thematic and experiential. Some games are hybrid and sometimes use a special app with tactile elements to run the game. Some games play like Escape Room concepts where players race against time to solve puzzles to move on to the next room.
Collectible Card Games/ Living Card Games
These games have a collectible aspect as a key mechanic and encourage players to construct their own unique decks to either challenge each other or play against a scenario.
Here is a selection of our favourite starter games
The Settlers of Catan: Family Edition
An excellent first game to get for the family! Players take on the role of settlers who need to gather resources, build structures, and develop their settlement. The aim of the game is to gain the most points by developing their settlements and cities. They must trade with other players to gain more resources but also need to watch out for a pesky robber who can upset plans by stealing from players!
The Family Edition of Settlers of Catan is easier to set up, has convenient quick start rules and plays exactly the same as the original Settlers of Catan!
For 3-4 Players, 60 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 10+
Dixit is a beautifully illustrated card game about intuitive guessing and communicating with others. One player is the storyteller who gives a word or short phrase about 1 of 6 cards in his/her hand. The other players are to guess the topic of the storyteller’s card by playing a card face down that best matches the description. The storyteller will collect all the other player’s cards, insert his/her clue card and reveal all the cards to the players. All players must try to deduce which card is the storyteller’s. The player who guesses the most correct answers when the deck of cards runs out wins the game.
For 3-6 Players, 30 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 8+
A classic Cooperative game, players take on the role of adventurers in a race against time to capture treasure from a sinking island! Players must work together by coordinating their moves to try to gather as many treasures as they can while tiles start to be removed as the game progresses on. A fast and frantic game that’s great for the family and with friends! Check out our review here
For 2-4 Players, 30 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 10+
Quick, frantic and full of adorable sushi artwork, Sushi Go! Is a pick and pass card game about who has the best sushi meal. Players start a round with a handful of cards. They then take 1 card for themselves and pass the rest of the cards to the player on the right or left. Think of it as a sushi train restaurant! This process is repeated till all the cards are taken which ends the round, scores are tabulated, sushi cards return to the deck and the process starts again. The player with the most points after 3 rounds wins! If you love food-themed games and sushi, in particular, you’ll love this one! Check out our review here
For 2-5 Players, 15-20 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 8+
Ticket to Ride Cities: New York
The Ticket to Ride Cities series is a more compact, fast track experience compared to the original Ticket to Ride. In New York, players take on the role of land transport developers who race against each other to complete as many land transport routes to connect districts together! Careful though, if you attempt to take on routes but fail to complete the link, you lose points! Ticket to Ride: New York is perfect for introducing any friends or family to the Ticket to Ride series and a great game to bring out whenever, wherever.
For 2-4 Players, 15-20 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 8+
Splendor is a tactical game about gems and striving to be the most renown gem merchant of the Renaissance period. Players are gem merchants who buy gem mines, transportation methods and hire artisans to craft beautiful jewellery for nobles. Players gain gems at the start of their turn and spend gems to purchase developments for prestige points and/or bonuses. When a player attains a certain level of developments, they can receive visits from nobles who give them more prestige points! The player who hits 15 prestige points first wins the game! A simple mechanic but a highly strategic game of resource management and not just about frivolous spending!
For 2-4 Players, 30 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 10+
Pandemic: Hot Zone North America
A faster, zippier version of the classic Pandemic, Pandemic Hot Zone: North America is about finding cures to 3 diseases threatening America. Players are part of an elite disease-control unit who must travel from city to city to treat patients, research cures and prevent outbreaks together. Will you cure the diseases in time or will the diseases overcome America? Check out our review of the game here
For 2-4 Players, 30 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 8+
The players are Dwarven miners digging for gold in a mine until they find someone has sabotaged their mine lamp! One of the players will be assigned a hidden role of Saboteur while the other players are regular miners. Miners will lay path cards to lead to treasure while the Saboteur will secretly misdirect and play against the miners to win. Will the miners get their gold or will the saboteur win by stealing the gold and derailing their plans? A classic game of bluff and hidden roles that plays quick and easy with friends and family!
For 3-10 Players, 30 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 10+
A city-building card game, players take on various character roles every round like the architect, king, and warlord to aid the player in their city-building tasks. Each character role has special abilities that help the player further their goals eg. gain more resources, sabotage other player’s plans or protect their assets. The game ends when a player is able to construct 8 districts. The player with the most number of points totalled from buildings and resources wins!
Takes 2-8 Players, 20-60 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 10+
Bang! The Dice Game
The classic Western game became even more concise and plays faster! Players take on a secret role of a Western character and work to achieve their character’s goals: the Sheriff and deputies need to kill the Outlaws, the Outlaws need to kill the Sheriff, the Renegade needs to be the last player left standing. Roll dice, choose who to shoot and try not to die from Indian attacks, dynamite and getting shot at by other players!
Takes 3-8 Players, 15-20 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 8+
In tabletop role-playing game terms, a ‘Munchkin’ is used to describe a very over-powered character. In the game, Munchkin, players strive to be the most over-powered character in a dungeon crawl by reaching level 10 as fast as they can. Players do this by gaining treasure cards and fighting wandering monsters. They can enlist help from other players to fight tougher monsters but will need to negotiate deals as to how to split the loot! Players are also encouraged to backstab each other to get ahead! It’s nothing personal, just business! A wacky, satirical game about role-playing game tropes with humorous artwork, silly item descriptions and quirky monsters!
For 3-6 Players, 45 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 10+
So what are you waiting for? Play some games!
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