Pandemic got you like “all cooped up”?
Already been through everything NETFLIX, Disney PLUS and Hulu has to offer? All Primed out? Try turning off the tube, unplugging and engaging in some old school fun with Board Games.
Now is the perfect time to join the board game renaissance which has been building steam over the last few years. Board Games have been popping up in pubs, coffee shops and restaurants where groups of friends sit, sip and play. It’s the new AFK (away from keyboard) Happy Hour. The new hands-on trend is brought to you by society’s current love for nostalgia.. and I’m not mad about it.
Board Games not only teach valuable critical thinking skills they also provide a retro, real-time connection with other people. Whether you are looking for games for the whole family, just the kids (while mommy sips her wine), a two player standoff for date night or games to play with your friends who are quarantined elsewhere here is my list of board games that will get your heart pumpin’, brain flexin’ and totally bring out your competitive side.
You never know, this could be the start of a new board game infatuation for you.
If you want something to play WITH the family:
JENGA- Not only does this classic help improve manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, as well as problem-solving, and social skills it’s a total blast that can be played by any age! 2 or more players.
JAWS- There has been a new trend in board games called “cooperative” games. As opposed to single player “out for yourself” type games, cooperative board games have players work together to achieve a common goal. In JAWS one person is the shark while other player(s) become the film’s heroes – police chief Brody, oceanographer Hooper, and shark-hunter Quint (you don’t need a player for each of them, though; one person can control all the crew members at once, making this a good board game for 2 players). Their task is to find and stop the predator before it makes a meal of nine people. Chomp Chomp Chomp. Ages 12 and up.
Rory’s Story Cubes- Each player becomes the Narrator in this fun game of images. Throw the dice, and create a story starting with “Once upon a time…” using the nine symbols on the faces of the dice. Then, follow your imagination! Ages 6 and up.
Connect Four- So much cooler than checkers but with all the strategy. You won’t believe how satisfying it is when you hear your opponent (who you just destroyed) drop the disks to reset for another round. 2 players only, ages 6 and up.
If you want a two player date night challenge:
Love Letter- a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2–4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette’s hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire!
Battleship- Packed full of childhood nostalgia this classic is always a win. In head-to-head battle, players search for the enemy’s fleet of ships and destroy them one by one. With convenient portable battle cases and realistic looking naval crafts, Battleship game puts players right in the middle of the action.
Cockroach Poker- A reverse set collection game that has nothing to do with poker – except that the game is all about bluffing, with cards that show cockroaches, rats and stink bugs. The goal is to force another player to collect 4 of any one type of critter. 2 or more players. The deck includes 64 cards, with eight copies of eight types of critters. To set up the game, shuffle the deck and deal the cards out to players.
If You Want to Play with Friends that are Self-Isolating in Another Household:
VC Gaming (Video Conference Gaming). Virtual Group hangouts have always been a thing but lately it’s been taken to new heights with Video Conference Board Gaming. Using Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime. With the games below only one of the player needs to own the game. Everyone else just needs a pen and paper. The host can share his, her or their screen with the categories listed somewhere like a Google Doc. The host rolls the dice to decide the letter, opens the categories screen so everyone can see, sets the timer and then you’re off.
Codenames– Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES. The two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. There is even a Harry Potter Version!
Say Anything- A game about what you and your friends think. It gives you the chance to settle questions that have been hotly debated for centuries. For instance, “What is the most overrated band of all time?” or “Which celebrity would be the most fun to hang out with for a day?” So dig deep into your heart or just come up with something witty – this is your chance to Say Anything!
5 Second Rule- You’ve got five seconds to name three things in a category…can you do it? It should be a piece of cake to name things like 3 Breeds of Dogs or 3 Finger Foods, but with the other players staring, waiting for you to get flustered? Time’s not on your side, so just say what comes to mind and risk ridiculous answers slipping out, and in turn, laughter!
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