Nothing beats a traditional board game, yet board games are so creative these days that there’s nothing traditional about them. The range of games available is insanity, and if you’re looking for a way to cut down on screen time and make more time for family, nothing beats a good board game. Whether you’re playing against each other or work together, board games are a great pastime that can be enjoyed by everyone and unleash your competitive spirit in a fun and friendly environment. Now, if you’re wondering why the likes of Ticket to Ride and Splendor aren’t on this list, it’s because they’re already featured in the board games for beginners post, which can be found below. This list spotlights 5 board games that offer a different method of gameplay that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Related Post: Board Games for Beginners
Dixit leans into the imagination. It’s essentially all about storytelling. In turns, the starting player (storyteller) describes their picture card with one word/phrase, with the following players secretly nominating a card from their deck to match the description. Those cards are all shuffled and subsequently revealed with players having to guess which card was originally the storytellers. You get points if you guess correctly, but the storyteller will also get a point if no one else guesses correctly. Probably not the best summary of the game, but it’s nonetheless one of the most visually engaging games you will ever play. It’s all about giving clues while being vague enough to throw other players off your scent. If you’re worried about replayability there are plenty of decks that can be added to the game treating players to more of the stunning artwork that can be found in Dixit.
Ever wanted to build your own town? This is the game for you. You start with a blank slate with the buildings available for construction revealed on cards placed at the head of the table. To make these constructions, you have to match the pattern on these cards with the different coloured cubes you accumulate on each turn. In turn, players call out which colour cube they want, and everyone will receive a cube in that colour. Your task is to maximise the space available on your board to make the structure for each building. Once that pattern is complete, trade in the cubes for the building. The points you accumulate at the end of the game relate to the specifications found on the building cards. It’s a fun little game, one that will force you to visualise the shapes of these building like a puzzle to fit as many buildings on the board as you can. Points will be deducted at the end of the game for any empty space on the board. If you’ve got a mean streak, you could also intentionally sabotage a competitor by nominating a cube that will obstruct their building pattern. It can be frustrating, but it really is a brilliant strategy game.
Catan is a game board staple these days. It combines the luck of the dice, resource management, and route building. To collect resources, players will place a settlement on a tile at the start of the game, but you can also negotiate a trade with other competitors. There’s a bit of haggling, but the aim of the game is to get 10 victory points. You can do this by building the longest route, building towns/cities, or even maximising on some development cards you can purchase along the way. It’s a game of strategy as the board quickly becomes condensed as players focus on developing their own route. The beauty of Catan is that the randomised board structure gives it plenty of replayability and the game itself has long turned into its own franchise with multiple expansions to switch things up. It’s a great game to introduce new gamers into the world of tabletop board gaming.
The Lords of Waterdeep
Set in the Dungeons and Dragons world, The Lords of Waterdeep is a great game to introduce players to the world of meeples. What are meeples? Basically, a miniature human figure to represent the player on their turn. The aim of Waterdeep is to gain points. The easiest way to do that is by completing quests. To do this, you must place your meeple on an empty space on the board, gaining the resource provided by that spot. These resources come in the form of recruits to help complete the quest. Represented by different coloured cubes you must match the number of cubes to those shown on your quest card. This post could go into further details about the types of quests, but the ultimate aim is to get your recruits and complete as many quests as possible. The game typically runs over an hour, but it unleashes your competitive spirit as players are looking to claim a specific spot so they too can get the perk of that space. There are multiple ways of winning, but the mechanics are fairly straightforward.
To finish with a game that is scarily accurate to the state of the world might be cruel, but pandemic really is a great starter game to the world of co-op gaming. Basically, you and your fellow teammates are specialists tasked with the challenge of finding a cure to a disease that has spread over the world. Each member of this team has a unique ability that can assist in this task, but you are working against the clock as the pandemic spreads. The team must devise a strategy, one that requires a lot of communication and teamwork with several actions to dictate the flow of play. It’s a fun, fast-paced game that can get the whole family involved.
Honourable Mentions: Five Tribes | Codenames | 7 Wonders | The Mind | Fluxx
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