Brain Ramble: Board Games

I was never really into board games in my youth (<20), but thanks to a combination of wonderful people in my life, including Will Weaton and his youtube series Table Top, I am a convert. We’ve always had a large collection of board games in the basement, but they’re ones you never really want to play. Junior monopoly, Life (with half the pieces missing), Mousetrap (which I’ve always thought was cool because of the colourful plastic components, but I’ve never played a full game), the Harry Potter board game, etc. My family just never made it a priority to actually play these games. Luckily, in my advanced age I’ve met some people who like to party for hours with a good board game… or four.

Photo credit: Board Game Geek
Photo credit: Board Game Geek

My favorite game for a while has been Betrayal of the House on the Hill. It’s different each time you play, always an engaging adventure. Though I usually like simpler, faster-to-grasp games, this one is worth diving into and you learn as the game, and board, unfold in front of you. It’s helpful to have at least one familiar person to guide you through gameplay though. This is a non issue if you play at a friendly board game cafe though!

Photo credit: Board Game Geek
Photo credit: Board Game Geek

I really like the idea of Gloom, I’ve been enchanted since I saw the Table Top episode. However, each time I play I feel that our stories have come up short, that we have not poured enough creative energy into waving the narratives that make the game so wonderful. I guess it really depends on the story-telling ability of your companions.

Photo credit: Dixit Odessey
Photo credit: Dixit Odessey

Another fun game for storytellers is Dixit. I’ve only played a very short game (of DIxit Odyssey) though, and it might get boring after a while. A similar game but with words rather than images, called Fibbage, is available through Xbox and Playstation. Players use internet devices as controllers to play in one room together. It’s become the current popular party game in the house, eclipsing similar You Don’t Know Jack due to the refreshing lack of fussing around with controllers. Now all you need to worry about is a weak or laggy wifi signal.

Photo credit: USAopoly

I’d really like to get a grasp on Munchkin. I’ve played a few times, but always with really skilled and experienced opponents and using all the complicated deck expansions. I think I’d really enjoy playing the new Adventure Time themed Munchkin, but am afraid I don’t have enough friends who like the cartoon.

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