I’m a big fan of board games. I grew up in a family of gamers (video, board, card; you name it, we played it), and we spent a lot of time hanging out and playing generic and easy-to-access games like Jenga, Uno, Monopoly, Aggravation, Sorry…you get the picture.
Now that we’re all adults, we’ve become a hyper-competitive group of strategic gamers who are in it for the long haul. Recently, games like King of Tokyo, Stone Age and Galaxy Trucker have been on our replay lists. If you’re still stuck playing games from when you were 8 years old, you need to step up your game. (Yes, of course that pun was intended).
Seriously? Board games?
Yes, board games. They’re more engaging than television, and there are so many that stretch your imagination and engage your critical thinking muscles more than you’d expect.
One of my goals for this year is to play more games with the specific goal of interacting with my fiance and family more. While it might mean owning more “stuff” (I’ll have to develop a plan for curating my growing board/dice/card game collection), these games hold great value to me. They’re functional, and they bring joy to my life.They also bring a healthy dose of friendly competition (eh, let’s be honest – “out for blood” comes up a lot in my family). Success in games like Settlers of Catan often depends on both your negotiating skills and your ability to bluff (hey, I don’t want people to know that I’m going to steal “Longest Road” until I can take it without contest).
If you want to know what kinds of games I’m talking about, check it out:
Games for two
Being away from my family leaves my fiance and I to our own devices. Do we turn on Netflix and waste away the night? Okay, yeah sometimes. It’s a habit we’re trying to break.
But we’ve been able to come across some really great games for just the two of us, and we’ve been having a blast. “Yinsh” is a new favorite of ours – and might be one for those interested in minimalist design to check out.
It’s like Othello on very confusing, triangular steroids. Only it’s not as difficult as it first seems, and is comparable to doing a two-person Sudoku puzzle where your opponent can scramble the numbers to muddle your plans for complete domination. Pattern recognition, strategy and a clear mind are required to get the most out of this game.
If you ever need board game suggestions or have any to share, let me know! I’m always open to learning new games and sharing what I find with others.
Author Steven Johnson hates the board game Candyland and all board games like it. I hate them even more than he does.
‘I realize that games of pure chance have a long history, but that doesn’t make them any less moronic,’ he writes. Here’s how Candyland is played: You pick a card and do what it says. Repeat.
This is early training in agenda following. Indoctrination in obedience. We teach kids that the best way to win is to mindlessly pick cards, follow instructions, and wait for it all to turn out okay.
Sheesh. What a disaster.
My decree: If you own a copy, burn it. Replace it with Cosmic Encounters or chess or a big box filled with wooden blocks. Please don’t look at school or even board games the same way again. If they’re teaching your kids or future employees to be map readers and agenda followers, make them stop.” – Page 193