With everyone staying at home more these days, and my last post also on the topic of board games, it seemed a fair time to share some of my favorite games to play. Whether you are looking for something new for your family to play or need something for your next game night once gatherings are OK again, I hope you can find something that appeals to you and your family.
7 Wonders - This game has been around for a long time and, rightfully, is a classic. The base structure of 7 Wonders is a deck building game where you attempt to gain the most points through a variety of different strategies. The game works best with 4-7 players, and the gameplay is fast but full of depth. Typically, it takes about 1-2 games to get the hang of it, but after that, games go quickly and offer great repeated gameplay. Bonus: 7 Wonders Duel, a two player version of the game with slightly different rules.
Pandemic - Although this game might be a little controversial during our current world situation, it still is a fantastic example of a challenging and incredibly fun cooperative game. All players work together to eradicate diseases from the world, while playing as different themed roles (e.g. medic, researcher). The game is tense, challenging, and fun. All the qualities you want in a good game. Bonus: Any other version of Pandemic, my personal favorite is the Rome Barbarian Invasion version where you try to hold off the invading hordes and save Rome.
Parks - There are two national parks games out right now, and this is the more recent one and is just called Parks. I have heard good things about the other one (Trekking the National Parks) also, but I have not played it. Parks is great for a variety of reasons. The artwork for each of the national parks on the cards is fantastic, the gameplay is easily teachable and offers good replayability and different experiences, and there is a great balance of strategy and chance. There is also a solo player mode for those who do not have many gamers in their household (like me). Bonus: Any version of Ticket to Ride, while not the same style of game as Parks, these games will scratch your geography/travel itch in a similar way.
Disney Villainous - This game is different from any other game on this list because it is asymmetrical. In the gaming world this just means that every player has different winning conditions based on their chosen character. Players take on the role of a classic Disney animated villain and compete against other villains to achieve their personal objective. For example, Captain Hook has to defeat Peter Pan on the Jolly Roger to win versus Jafar, who has to control the genie at the Sultan's Palace. The learning curve is a little higher on this game, but it is worth the effort Bonus: All of the Villainous expansions, just get them all, each one adds three new villains with unique play styles.
The Quest for El Dorado - El Dorado is a very easy to learn deck builder with an exploration theme. The premise of the game is exploring jungles to find the legendary lost city of El Dorado by gathering a deck of cards that allows you to traverse areas of the jungle faster than your opponents. Simple gameplay and endless possibilities for setting up the path make this one of my recent favorites to play and teach. Bonus: The Adventurers, this game might be hard to find and it weighs a little too heavily on the luck side, but it is a fun push-your-luck style starter game with decent miniatures as well.
I could easily add another five games, but these all hit the perfect sweet spot of not being too inaccessible and fun for the whole family to play. What has your family been playing? I am always interested in new game recommendations. Leave some suggestions in the comments!
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