We all have memories of family gatherings ruined by tantrums, feuds, and tiny game pieces angrily shoved up sibling’s nostrils. It’s no wonder that many consider board gaming laborious. Put down the Monopoly board (actually, burn it) because here are five legitimately fun board games that you must play:
5. Settlers of Catan
The day Catan was released was the day that the board games industry woke up, rubbed its eyes, and realised that there was more to gaming than the tedium of rolling a dice and sliding up ladders and down snakes. Catan sees players strategically compete to become the dominant colonial on a resource-rich island. This game is essential for any board game newbie.
Players in this party game take turns as the ‘storyteller’, describing one of six picture cards in their hand and placing it face down, while other players place cards that closely match that description. Once the cards are shuffled and flipped, everyone must guess which card is the storyteller’s. This beautifully illustrated card game is perfect for those who prefer light rules and imagination over heavy strategy.
3. Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar sees players as the crew of a spaceship, working together to fend off enemy attacks and prevent your fuel, food and morale levels from exhausting before you reach the safety of Earth. But wait! It’s not that easy. Players are dealt a secret alignment card at the beginning of the game, meaning someone is a murderous Cylon, attempting to destroy the ship from within. Battlestar is a deception game for those who love angrily accusing their friends of being traitors.
Tichu’s rules booklet proudly proclaims that it “cannot be explained.” Thankfully, this is an exaggeration – Tichu is easy to learn, but difficult to master. The game is played with a 56-card deck; the objective is to earn points by being the first to discard your hand. It sounds easy, but if you procure a copy you’ll find that this strategy-laden game will become a new obsession.
1. Space Alert
Space Alert is a cooperative game in which players – as the crew of a spaceship – merely have to survive for ten real-time minutes. Believe me; it’s not as easy as it sounds. A CD soundtrack acts as an AI, alerting you to threats like asteroids, aliens, and breakdowns, which players must work together to fix before the ship either hyperjumps to safety or explodes. This game is quick, strategic, and table-flippingly tense. Play it!