Sometimes I’m pulled away (struggling / screaming / whimpering) from my PC to interact with my family in the real work. Of course, ‘real’ is relative and it’s cool to play board games when the mood takes us. I’ve got a lot of games but most aren’t really suitable for family play either because;
A) The game takes 3 hours to even set up the board. By the point one or more family members have lost the will to live and have gone back to something more interesting like counting floating dog hairs or squabbling with siblings.
B) It involves the kind of cut-throat competitiveness that would make Machiavelli look like the Dalai Lama.
I wrote about some cool ones in another post. Here are some more;
A train heist! And it’s got real, diddy trains! The possible moves are simple (move up onto or from the roof, move along the train, punch, shoot or steal a bag) but as they’re all heavily dependant on what the other players do there’s soon plenty of chaos happening (maybe your target moved onto the train roof; now you’ve got to shoot someone else! Or your run with the loot has suddenly been blocked by the surly marshal).
Even when you have full sight of what the other players have chosen your plans can all spin out of control; maybe you haven’t got enough move cards or maybe a player has dropped some gold in the other direction. When you factor in ‘blind’ rounds (the train has moved into a tunnel!) and various other random variations it gets awesomely wild.
Plus, toy trains.
What a cool idea for a game. Everyone gets a set of gorgeous, painted cards. One player picks a phrase they think best describes one of their cards. Then everyone else secretly picks one of their cards they think matches that phrase and hands it to the first player. They show all the cards and all of the players try and guess which was the original inspiration for the word or phrase.
That’s it! The art on the cards is quite abstract though so it’s easy fit almost any meaning to one of them. There’s also a lot of cleverness to the scoring so the choosing player doesn’t always want no-one to guess correctly. For the other players they get points for guessing correctly but also they gets points for every player who (incorrectly) picked them instead of the chooser.
It’s really creative while being dead simple to pick up. And there’s no text anywhere so it can be played even by people who can’t read.
This game actually belongs to my daughter but we all play the heck out of it. On each turn you draw and place shapes made of linked hexagonal pieces; each has a different symbol on it. You score by how many continuous symbols are in a line from the placed tile.
Your score sheet shows how many points you’ve got for each symbol but the only one that counts for determining the winner is your lowest score. That means you have to develop all your colours as you go in contest with the other players.
Do you work on your lowest score now or place some tiles for a symbol that’s rapidly being exhausted? Do you skip a high scoring play in favour of a lower-scoring one on one of your losing symbols?
Again; no text, bright colours and lots of interaction. It’s awesome!