Great games to play with kids

Great games to play with kids

There are a multitude of great board games, dice games and card games out there just now and the hobby has never been in a better place. Lots of people get together regularly to play table top games whether at home, at a club or even at the pub. What are the kids up to while you play games with your friends? Playing on consoles or watching TV maybe? Reading a book or doing homework ( fat chance )? Maybe they’re nagging at you to let them join the game but you are reluctant to dumb down a good game you and your friends are enjoying.

Perhaps an answer to getting peace to play with your friends and also satisfy your kids curiosity about the games you play is to play more games with your kids. The type of games you play with kids will probably be different from those you play with adults due to complex rules and strategies. There are some great micro games that are just as fun with adults as well as kids and there are some great gateway games to introduce kids to board games. So what are some great games to play with kids?

Gateway games

There is a great choice of games available that are fantastic at introducing kids to board games and are lots of fun. Games to consider should be easy and fun to learn but also easy to teach. A good variety of games will keep the kids interested and keen to have another session.

Forbidden Island is an excellent co-op treasure hunting game that is a perfect gateway game to introduce players to Pandemic. The game is lots of fun and the selection of characters with different abilities and the random layout of the island tiles each game adds to the replayability. The kids get a buzz out of this game as the tension mounts as the waters rise and the island starts to sink.

Storytelling games such as Once Upon A Time are great ways to introduce kids to role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. The basic set of D&D is probably the simplest and most fun version of a role playing game for kids of 10+. Other games that encourage using imagination and logical thinking such as Dixit are great family games that the kids will have lots of fun with and they’ll be able to compete with adults on an almost level playing field. My kids will play and teach their friends Dixit and they always have lots of fun, I can hear them humming tunes and telling stories to describe their cards and there’s plenty of laughing and not too much fierce competition.

Micro Games

These are absolutely great games to play with kids and they’ll have a blast as they’re quick and anyone can win.

Welcome to the Dungeon is my kids’ favorite game of the moment. It’s a fast and fun game and you can win by being the boldest and conquering the dungeon or by being safe and letting the others in the game lose by dying in the dungeon. Very easy to learn and teach and lots of fun.

Other micro games that my kids love are Looterz and Love Letter. Both are quick games which I think is a must for kids as they would soon grow bored with a long and heavy game. The artwork of Looterz is cool and the gameplay is simple but lots of fun as you try to gather gold and prevent the others from doing so. Love Letter is easy to learn and teach but playing with kids is a bit more of a random guessing game than the card watching duel of the game with adults.

The future of the hobby

Encouraging kids to play board games ensures there is a good future for the hobby once us old farts fade away and by teaching our kids how to play games there will always be someone willing to play a game with you, even if it is in a care home.

It’s probably for the best not to let your kids join in with you and your friends playing Scythe or Mansions of Madness but by letting them watch for a while and by having your own game nights with them you will keep them happy and on the path to playing these more complex games when they’re a bit older.

 

Best date night board games [two player games for a night in with your partner]

Best date night board games

When you’re having some quality time with your other half and want to stay in then perhaps a game or two is in order. There are plenty of games out there that are great, and sometimes better, with just two players making the best date night board games. Even if your partner isn’t the board game enthusiast that you are there are a lot of fun games that are not too deep and complicated that make for a fun evening.

Jaipur


The first game i’m going to mention is Jaipur, a game about trading goods in India. It’s very easy to teach and each game lasts about 30 minutes.

At the start of the game, both players are dealt a hand of cards. The cards represent various goods such as spice, silk and leather. Camels cards are used to make the trades.

On your turn you can do one of two things, you can take cards or sell cards, that’s it!  To get goods, you can either take cards from the middle    (the market) and replace them from your hand or take a card from the market and replace it from the deck. If you sell goods, you’ll cash in all the goods of the same type to be replaced with tokens representing money. The value on the money tokens goes down as more and more goods are sold, so you want to sell quickly to get the best price.

There are bonus tokens that add a bit of spice to the game and stop players selling fast to get the best prices.

All in all it’s probably the best trading game I’ve ever played and a perfect two player game for date night. No complex rules, lots of fun and replay value.

Agricola: All Creatures big and small


A two player only worker placement style game based on Agricola. No need to worry about feeding your family or butchering animals as the goal is simply to get as many sheep, pigs, cows and horses on your farm as possible.

Although it sounds simple, it’s very engaging, easy to learn and fun. A great date night game that is sure to become a favorite.

Carcassonne


Carcassonne is an area control tile placement game. The goal is to develop the countryside and earn the most points. In Carcassonne players take turns drawing and placing tiles to complete roads, cities, farmland and cloisters. Each player is given a number of “follower” pieces (meeples) and once a player places a tile they may place one of their pieces on one of the tile’s features in order to score points.

An engaging game that takes about an hour to play, again is simple to learn and teach and, although we’re recommending it as a good date night two player game, it can play up to five.

Twilight Struggle


Twilight Struggle is a two-player, card driven, game simulating the Cold War. The players choose either the USA or USSR. The game starts at the end of World War 2 when Europe is rebuilding after the titanic struggle to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan has been subdued with the most terrifying weapon of the day.

Twilight Struggle is a fast playing game (sometimes analysis paralysis ensues), easy to teach and learn and is not too complex but quite deep. The game board is a world map where players move units and exert influence.

The theme is not for everyone and the game can take 2 hours to play. This two player date night game is definitely not for casual gamers so if your partner is not a serious gamer go for something else. If your partner is a keen board gamer then this is a must!

Dominion


This game can be played with up to four players but is great with just two. It’s a card game where you play your hand then discard all your cards in to a discard pile then draw a new hand for the next turn. There are lots of expansions for the game which all add a lot of quality and replay-ability. People who love CCG’s will love this game due to the actions on the cards.

Dominion is an amazing, simple game that will have you hooked from the first game.

Exit-The abandoned cabin


The background story- Your car breaks down and you take shelter in an abandoned cabin for the night. When you wake you find the door locked and the windows barred preventing you from escaping. You find a strange disk and a book…

In EXIT: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin, players must crack codes, solve puzzles, collect objects, and earn their freedom bit by bit.

The game can be played by up to 6 players but I recommend a maximum of 3. It’s perfect for two and a great choice for a date night game.

One final note-This is a one shot game as you will cut, tear, fold and write on the game components in order to win.

Summary

Enjoy your date night how ever you do it, whether it be a night at the movies or dinner at a restaurant or even, just maybe, a night in with a bottle of wine and a board game.

 

Gaming on the cheap [collectible card game]

The Collectible Card Game

If ever there were a type of Tabletop Game that seems to exist purely to suck every last penny out of your wallet then it is the Collectible Card Game. Between having to rely on booster packs or turning to the aftermarket to pay through the nose for a thin piece of card with a picture of a dragon on it you are being bled dry at every turn. It can be enough to make you want to chuck in the whole lot and go back to playing solitaire!

Luckily however the PC once again comes to the aid of our collective wallets. With the explosion of free 2 play digital card games and digital recreations of all your favourite CCGs and we are going to list off some of the best out there for you.

Tabletop Simulator
More Games Than You Can Shake a Stick at

So we have already talked about Tabletop Simulator and just how powerful it can be as a tool to let you game on a tight budget. Everything we said there is still true for card games, with Steam currently listing over five thousand items under “card games” on the workshop.

So this is just a quick reminder before we start talking about programmes and games made just for single games.

Jinteki.net
Android: Netrunner
Netrunner is a game with a long and somewhat tumultuous history. Beginning life in the 90’s as a Wizards of The Coast original, designed by the creator of Magic: The Gathering, it was a interesting idea for a CCG. Casting one player as a cyberpunk Mega Corp tasked with achieving “agendas” whilst fending off the attacks of the “Runner” a role taken on by the second player. It made for a fun game infused with the lore lifted from the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG. Made all the more interesting by the asynchronous format of the game, with both player employing unique mechanics and cards.

Sadly Wizards abandoned support for the game and it would be quite some time before it was returned to life by the folks over at Fantasy Flight Games. Who took the game, slapped the fluff from a board game called Android that they make on it and released it back onto the market.

In this new revival however they had abandoned the old CCG model in favour of the “Living Card Game” (marketing buzzwords are the best!) model that they had been using for some of the other card games they had been producing. This change meant that you no longer had to buy booster packs but instead could pick up the Core Set and have a complete set of cards to play both sides. With “Expansion Packs” that included 3 of every card being released to expand the cards you had to work with. You could say goodbye to having to buy Booster Packs or “Deck Builder Kits”.

This was all great for the wallets of the world, at least on the surface, instead of running the risk of having to spend possibly hundreds of pounds to get the cards you wanted you simply got all the cards in a single set. However the rub came with the expansions, with a new one being released nearly monthly and with a cost in the £10-£20 range the price would soon start piling up if you wanted to stay up to date. Of course you don’t have to do that, the Core Set has more than enough cards to allow for hours of play but even that core set is hardly cheap, coming in at around £30.

That is still a lot of money to spend on a collectible card game that you might not end up even enjoying. Especially when you consider that you can pick up a pair of pre-made Magic decks for £16. Couple that with the problem of what happens if you don’t live near anyone who would like to play with you?

Well that is where Jinteki.net comes in. The free to use site allows you to not only create decks with all of the latest cards but also try those decks out against other players around the world for free. You will need to have a copy of the rules handy of course and spend a little time learning the sometimes awkward user interface but once you have gotten past those teething troubles you will be able to play Netrunner as much as you want without spending a penny.

When you use it in concert with the fantastic NetrunnerDB.com, which allows you to build decks and export them to Jinteki easily. It even allows you to limit yourself to only cards from certain sets, so if you want to see what you can do with the cards in the Core Set it is only a few clicks away. There are also deck lists available designed for new players to get a sense of how the game plays.

It really is hard to not gush over these two sites, the level of polish that both have. From high-res scans of cards to well considered and stable user interfaces. Not to mention the welcoming and friendly communities that are more than willing to help out any new comers. These two sites truly are the best way to get in Netrunner today.

Magic: Online
Magic: The Gathering

The big daddy of the CCG scene, Magic: The Gathering has played with the digital realm for awhile now. With releases on console and PC that, whilst polished, lacked the most basic joy of any CCG, building decks.

Well with the Magic:Online platform Wizards have tried to port the physical card game over to the PC space with decent success, I have heard.

This entry is going to be a fair bit shorter for the simple fact that, try as I might, I couldn’t actually get the application to work for me. From trying to create a account to getting the thing to actually launch I was blocked by dropped connections and all sorts of other problems.

In the end it doesn’t matter so much for this list since the digital version of Magic still carries a buy in price of $9.99. We have included it mainly because Magic is one of the biggest card games out there and to ignore its digital version would be foolish.

Digital Only CCGs

So as the rather sparse list above might tell you there are not so many ways to play Physical Card Games in the digital space. There is also a problem for all of the above options which might not be obvious straight away, namely that none of them are very easy to use on a touchscreen device.

In a perfect world we would have a version of Magic or Netrunner that you could boot up on your phone or tablet for a quick game on the train or the loo.Sadly that day, much like FFG re-releasing the WH40K RPGs, is but a dream for the foreseeable future, so we have to contend ourselves with Digital Only card games.

Luckily for us there has been quite a explosion in the world of Digital Card games, the days of dodgy websites with even more dodgy games on them are long gone. With heavy hitters like Blizzard getting in on the action there are plenty of high quality games around.

To get on this list a game needs to meet two criteria, they have to be free 2 play and also need to have touch screen support.

Hearthstone

Let’s get the most obvious Digital CCG out of the way first.

Hearthstone is Blizzard’s hat thrown into the ring of Card Games. Using the lore from the insanely popular Warcraft series and mechanics that are basically Magic: The Gathering with the serial numbers filed off, along with plenty else.

The game has unsurprisingly high production qualities behind it, from flashy animations and sounds at every turn to the sometimes obnoxiously overdone card effects this is about as close as you are going to get to playing Magic in a free form.

Hearthstone eschews the classic Land Cards = Mana mechanic of Magic for a system where the players instead gain one extra Mana per turn up to a maximum of ten. A change that does allow for matches to be short and to the point with both players being able to pull out the big guns within minutes. However in doing this the game does sacrifice complexity, some would say too much but that really is up to you to decide.

The game includes a deck builder with new cards being unlocked through “Packs” that you gain during play, each pack giving you a random selection of cards. As is the standard with these sorts of systems the flow of packs is plentiful early on but the stream quickly slows to a trickle, with the option to buy more packs with hard cash always hanging over your head.

Whilst there are practise matches that can be played against the AI the bulk of the game is in the online multiplayer. One of the interesting things about the multiplayer is that players cannot directly speak to each other, instead of a text chat or voice chat they must rely on pre-set emotes. It can feel sometimes limiting but it also means that the worst abuse you will have to deal with is someone spamming “Well Played” as they kill you. This also has the advantage of making it fairly safe to allow younger kids to dip their toes into the online play but I would recommend sticking to the AI if they don’t want to be kicked up and down the garden path by someone with whatever deck is currently considered “Overpowered”. There is also a ladder to try and climb up if you enjoy banging your head against brick walls.

However, if you are willing to ignore the attempts to draw you into spending your cash then you will find a light and well made little distraction that comes with strong touch screen support. It is worth noting that whilst you can play the game on your phone we found it unbearably slow on a Samsung Galaxy S6. On tablet you should have a much better time and on a PC it will run fine on most hardware.

Duelyst

Duelyst is a interesting take on the CCG format. Taking advantage of its digital nature the game is more of a combination of a CCG and a Tile Based Tactics game. With each player playing the monsters and spells in their hands onto a battlefield and then having them attack each other. All whilst the “Duelyst’s” themselves stride across the battlefield and try to not get killed.

Whilst the game mostly sticks to the standards of Health/Strength values for cards and the usual card powers. Such as cards being able to move or attack twice a turn or act on the turn they are summoned. They do take advantage of the battlefield for some interesting twists on the format. A good example being a creature that, when summoned, kills all allied creature around it and adds their Health/Strength to its own. There are also area denial powers that can lock of tiles or cause damage to those on them. The game also lifts the “One extra mana a turn” model from Hearthstone with the extra wrinkle of there being three extra mana that can be picked up from the map.

The Grid based gameplay means that being able to stay out of the way of your opponent’s heavy hitter can be as valuable as summoning your own creatures and a careful use of cheap units to shield yourself and your valuable units can be a valid tactic. Add into the mix cards that allow you to teleport units across the map and you have a fun game of positioning that can often lead to upset victories. A player could have four 12/10 units on the field but still be beaten because thier opponent was able to stay just out of reach and nibble away at them.

Helping all of this along is a unique pixel art style that looks terrible in screenshots but fantastic in motion. Every unit in the game has unique and flashy animations for being summoned, fighting and dieing all of which takes place on some very pretty battlefields.

Off of the battlefield you have the ability to create decks based around one of several factions. The deck building is a fairly robust affair and the game gives you a decent number of card packs to start you off with. The sting of running out of card packs is some what reduced by the surprisingly extensive single player content in the game.

From the ability to play practise matches against the AI, beating each of which unlocks new cards, you also have the Puzzle maps. Which all have one goal, to kill the enemy player in a single round. These are a great way to learn about some of the more unique mechanics in the game and earn some rewards along the way.

Whilst the game does have support for touch screens it is not the best around, whilst you should have no trouble tapping your way through a match there is no way to view a card to see its details during your turn. As the game takes a tap of the screen or even a held finger as simply wanting to select a creature. Instead you have to wait until the enemy turn to be able to tap your creatures and read the details.

On the multiplayer side we again have a emote only style of communication and ladder play.

Overall Duelists is a fun and engrossing hybrid of CCG and Tile Based Tactics game that you could easily sink hours into.

Faeria

Another one on the list of weirdly spelt CCGs, Faeria shares a lot in common with Duelyst. Combining a Card Game with a Hex Based Tactics game.

However this time there is a spin on the game beyond the shape of the grid, when a match begins there is no map to speak of. Every turn each player can take four basic actions, summon creatures, cast spell, move the creatures they already have on the board and finally create a new piece of land. With diffrent types of land allowing for different types of units to be summoned on to them.

The game also goes with a somewhat more traditional style of gaining Mana. Each player gains three mana at the start of their turn but they can gain more from the “Wells” that are placed around the edge of the map, since all unspent mana is banked at the end of a round a player can end up earning seven mana a turn if they control all four Wells.

These two changes really make this feel like a unique game to play, having to balance the desire to attack the other player with trying to secure additional mana. Not to mention the fact that if you build enough land to reach the other player then they can reach you across the same land. Things like this can make rush tactics risky since a player might only need to weather a single storm of attacks, banking mana all the while. Before being able to come at you with powerful units or spells.

Whilst the game is somewhat less visually compelling than Duelyst, with units being represented by icons instead of animated units, it more than makes up for it with polish. From the colourful menus that run like a pig on a tablet to the satisfying rippling of the map as units fight.

On the deck building and card collecting side we once again have a standard set up, however we found it much easier to earn card packs here due to the abundance of single player content. Nearly every part of the game can be played in single player and will more often than not either reward you with card packs or currency that can be used to buy more packs or more missions. I’m sure it will eventually slow down but after ten hours that is yet to happen.

Again we have a multiplayer that doesn’t allow for direct player chatter, instead going with the old emotes. It seems these are the new standard now and whilst it is nice to not get threatened with poorly spelt death every five minutes it won’t stop you getting stomped.

On the touch screen side we have very strong support, even without the touch screen mode turned on the game dealt with finger input extremely well. With the correct mode turned on it became very nearly a breeze to play the game with only the odd hiccup of the game not knowing if you wanted to selected or only look at a card to put a damper on things. Although as I said before the menus or more specifically the main menu, do seem to run slowly and there isn’t much you can do to stop it. Luckily once you get in game it is smooth as you like.

With an interesting gimmick and polish Faeria makes itself stand out for more than weird spelling.

Shadowverse

Of all the games on this list Shadowverse is the one that hews closest to being a straight up “clone” of Hearthstone. From the layout to the mechanics it could very nearly be written off as simple “Anime Hearthstone”, however thanks to a standout mechanic it manages to avoid that label…mostly.

At a glance it is easy to understand the label of Hearthstone rip-off, they even use the same rounded card portraits for pity’s sake! And once you get into the game it can be hard to see past this until, that is, you come to the unique selling point of this game.

Every creature in the game can be “Evolved” mid-game, changing them from a weaker form into something stronger. This mechanic alone can lead to interesting opportunities as Evolved states of cards can radically change the situation on the playing field.

Now whether you think this one mechanic makes the game worth playing is really up to you but backing this up is a sometimes overly flashy visual style. Filled with colourful images and bright animations it can be quite the visual treat, or eyesore depending on your feelings on anime and manga.

If you are looking for solo play we have a suit of what are proudly declared as “fully voice acted stories” the voice acting for which is not terrible. Whilst you are not going to find any amazing performance that moves you to tears there is nothing that will make you groan too badly.

These stories will keep you busy for a decent amount of time, the first acting as a tutorial for the game. There is a decent amount of work put into these things, considering that the other games on this list only ever stretched to a unique piece of artwork on the menu.

Over on the deck building side we are once again in for the a system of random drops via card packs and the ever strong pull to just spend a few pennies on some more packs.

On the multiplayer side we once again are limited to emote only chat and a ladder system for play. These ladders that you find in these games do mean that your first few online matches should not be too brutal, however you will find the challenge ramping up very very fast as you go.

Since the game began life on mobile the support is strong across the board, we ran into little to no input problems although we could see the visuals being a problem on older systems.

Overall there really is not much to say about Shadowverse, it is a dyed in the wool Hearthstone clone with a single gimmick that might carry it for you. In the end you really only need to look at some screenshots to know if you will enjoy it. If you like the art style then play this, if not then maybe give the other games on this list a go.

And Now All The Rest!

There has been a glut of free 2 play CCGs of late, even ignoring all the smaller games we have the, finally released, Elder Scrolls: Legends, the ever encroaching shadow of Gwent and the awkwardly named Chronicles: Runescape Legends.

All three of these games have the backing of major studios and they are only the tip of a iceberg made of branded dross and me-too hangers on. To try and list them all would be the job of a mad man. The four that we have highlighted here have already proven themselves to be able to support an active community and in the end that is what you should look for in a CCG. All the cool effects and sexy anime girls in the world won’t help you if you don’t have anyone to play against after all.

Classic board games

CLASSIC BOARD GAMES

Dеѕрitе thе еvеr grоwing fаѕсinаtiоn аnd рорulаritу with thе vidео games thаt are аvаilаblе in today’s ѕосiеtу, thе fact iѕ thаt mаnу сlаѕѕiс bоаrd gаmеѕ never ѕееm tо lоѕе thеir рорulаritу and hаvе mоrе than ѕtооd thе tеѕt of time.

Games such as Monopoly, Cluedo and Risk.

If уоu are оnе of thоѕе реорlе whо grеw up with ѕоmе of thеѕе сlаѕѕiс games but through thе уеаrѕ forgot аll of the grеаt jоу thаt it brought уоu аѕ a youth, thеrе is no bеttеr timе tо revisit thе fun you had grоwing uр whilе ѕhаring it with thе young реорlе оf today whо perhaps have never triеd these сlаѕѕiс titlеѕ.

Kidѕ today may point оut thаt ѕоmе оf these games are available in vidео gаmе form, but thе truth оf thе mаttеr is thаt thеу hаvеn’t rеаllу played thеm until thеу рlау the rеаl thing. Fоr thiѕ reason, these classic bоаrd games make еxсеllеnt gift ideas. If уоu аrе lооking fоr a grеаt wау tо раѕѕ thе ѕummеrtimе that dоеѕn’t invоlvе ѕitting in frоnt оf the tеlеviѕiоn all dау lоng, the gооd old fаѕhiоnеd сlаѕѕiс board gаmеѕ аrе аn аltеrnаtivе thаt iѕ ѕurе tо please everyone.

Thеу’vе rе-invеntеd Mоnороlу with аn еlесtrоniс vеrѕiоn and еvеn rе-invеntеd Scrabble with a digitаl version. I rеmеmbеr whеn mаjоr manufacturers wоuld rе-rеlеаѕе a gаmе аnd it usually just hаd slightly different аrtwоrk аnd a new соlоr scheme, but nоw the nеw digitаl vеrѕiоnѕ tаkе thе board game genre tо a new lеvеl. Lightѕ, ѕоundѕ, muѕiс аnd tаlking dirесtiоnѕ allow fоr аn еntirеlу nеw interaction.

These gаmеѕ hаvе сарturеd thе imаginаtiоnѕ оf milliоnѕ of реорlе and continue to be рорulаr tоdау. Hоwеvеr, fоr devoted fаnѕ оf thе gаmе, ѕоmеtimеѕ a littlе vаriеtу iѕ niсе.

Plауing thе ѕаmе ѕtrаtеgiеѕ over аnd over again, trуing tо ассоmрliѕh the ѕаmе gоаlѕ, аnd аlwауѕ running intо the ѕаmе оbѕtасlеѕ can gеt pretty tiring. Yеt, having the fаmiliаritу оf thе оriginаl gаmе iѕ niсе; it givеѕ оnе a fаmiliаr tеrritоrу in whiсh thеу fееl соmfоrtаblе. Thiѕ iѕ whу diffеrеnt variations оf сlаѕѕiс bоаrd gаmеѕ hаvе bесоmе popular. These nеw еditiоnѕ, twiѕting the game in ѕоmе way, dеlivеr both thе fаmiliаr ѕеtting уеt еxсiting nеw wауѕ to рlау thаt gаmе.

But we аrе nоt tо gоing tо bе talking about thе сlаѕѕiс board games in this аrtiсlе. Wе аrе going tо bе lооking аt the рорulаr оnеѕ thаt hаvе bееn tаking over thе news fоr quitе a lоng timе nоw. There have bееn twо lаrgе соnvеntiоnѕ lately fосuѕing on nеw gаmеѕ, Origins, and UKGE. These games are mind blоwing аnd саn hаvе you exсitеd fоr quite a lоng time.

UKGE Winners 2017

  • Best Family Game – Sushi Go Party
  • Best Children’s Game -Baobub
  • Best Euro Game – SubTerra
  • Best American Style Game – Dark Souls
  • Best Strategic Game – The Colonists
  • Best Card Game – Statecraft
  • Best Abstract Game – Ominoes
  • Best Miniatures – Dropfleet Commander
  • Best Role-Playing Game – Adventures In Middle-Earth Player Guide
  • Best Role-Playing – Syrinscape
  • Best Party Game – Chameleon
  • Best Expansion – Dropfleet Commander: Reconquest Phase Two
  • Best Accessory – Dropfleet Commander Modular Spacestation Pack
  • Best Miniatures Rules – Dropfleet Commander

Modern Classic

Origin is nоt some small gаmе. And it iѕ already сlеаr from thе bоx, whiсh, whilе nоt lаrgе in thе horizontal dimension, iѕ marginally highеr аnd hаѕ a less trаditiоnаl ѕhаре. On thе соvеr, we will find a vеrу ѕtуliѕh drаwing оf thе family рlауing a fаbulоuѕ gаmе. And imаginе that wе will bе playing it tоgеthеr in a while аѕ wеll!

classic board game

Inѕidе thе bоx iѕ wаiting оbviоuѕlу a grеаt bоаrd gаmе, dirесtlу еquiрреd with a соlоrful world mар. It iѕ dividеd intо areas separated bу a whitе linе. There iѕ a tоtаl оf 36 wооdеn figures hаving diffеrеnt sizes, thiсknеѕѕ, аnd color. All аrе аdditiоnаllу painted with lines, ѕо thеу rеаllу lооk аnсiеnt.

classic board games

Starting frоm the heart оf Afriса, рlауеrѕ in Origin will dеtеrminе thе соurѕе оf humаnitу’ѕ expansion оn our planet, with the tribеѕ grаduаllу grоwing mоrе divеrѕifiеd over timе whilе ѕtill mаintаining linkѕ tо thеir ancestors and all inhаbitаntѕ оf Eаrth.

Plасе a nеw рiесе on a region of the game bоаrd, with thiѕ рiесе ѕhаring twо оf thе three characteristics of a рiесе in a neighboring rеgiоn; the new рiесе саnnоt bе ѕhоrtеr than thе оriginаl рiесе. Mаrk, this рiесе with a tоkеn of уоur рlауеr соlоr.

Move оnе оf уоur рiесеѕ оn thе bоаrd tо an еmрtу rеgiоn, with ѕhоrt pieces mоving оnlу оnе ѕрасе, mеdium hеight рiесеѕ moving uр to two spaces, аnd tаll рiесеѕ uр to thrее.

Take over a rеgiоn соntrоllеd by аn opponent by mоving one оf your pieces intо thiѕ region and rеlосаting the орроnеnt’ѕ рiесе tо the rеgiоn your piece lеft. Yоu can dо thiѕ оnlу if thе аttасking piece iѕ thiсkеr than thе орроnеnt’ѕ piece.

classic board games

Whеn уоu place a nеw рiесе оn the board оr move аn еxiѕting piece, уоu’rе rеwаrdеd bаѕеd оn thе соlоr оf thе ѕрасе уоu оссuру. If you place in or move intо a tan, оrаngе оr viоlеt region, еithеr you take a tilе, аnd thе tор саrd оf thiѕ соlоr оr you drаw thrее саrdѕ оf this color аnd keep оnе of thеm. Fоr a brown rеgiоn, уоu еithеr drаw twо tilеѕ from thе brоwn ѕесtiоn оf thе tесh bоаrd оr drаw оnе tilе frоm аnуwhеrе. Thе tесhnоlоgу tilеѕ must be acquired frоm lоw tо high – ѕо уоu саn’t acquire a fоur unlеѕѕ уоu hаvе a 3 – but you саn hаvе multiрlе tech stacks. You must mееt a сеrtаin tесhnоlоgу thrеѕhоld in оrdеr tо рlау thе оrаngе саrdѕ and аcquirе their ѕресiаl роwеr.

In addition, уоu can ѕсоrе points during thе gаmе bу оссuруing grаѕѕlаnd оn a continent оr thе twо rеgiоnѕ on орроѕitе sides оf a wаtеrwау ѕtrаit.

Plауеrѕ tаkе turns until еithеr all of thе pieces are оn thе game board, оr all thе tiles hаvе been асԛuirеd, оr аll thе саrdѕ оf оnе color hаvе been drаwn. Once thiѕ happens, players tally their points for оbjесtivеѕ, grаѕѕlаndѕ, straits, tесh tilеѕ, аnd cards ѕtill in hand to see who winѕ!

Gaming on The Cheap: Popular Board Games [by Fergus MacPherson]

Gaming on The Cheap: popular Board Games

How to save money and still play games

With the current swell in interest in Tabletop Gaming, from your classic board games to card games and pen and paper roleplaying games. There seems to be a new game coming out every week.

When even a relatively simple board game starting at the £30 mark in most retailers it means that you need to guard your pennies carefully and take every chance you can get to try before you buy or even pick up a cheaper version of a game.

So we are going to list off some of the best ways to save money whilst still getting to play some fantastic games.

Thanks to the rise of platforms like Steam it has become a more and more appealing idea for board game manufacturer to create digital versions of some of their most beloved games.

These versions of the games are often a great way to not only play the games you love on the cheap but also introduce new players as the computer takes care of tracking some of the more complex rules.

Talisman: Digital Edition

Physical Edition Price: £43.37

Digital Edition Price: £5.59


Talisman really is one of those games that impresses when it is all set out. From the large, colourful map of fantasy lands to the detailed minis of brave adventurers, it truly is a sight to behold.

Of course that all come at a cost and so if you are looking to play the classic game of magical questing then you are going to be spending something in the area of £40 to £50.

Which is where the Digital Edition comes in, clocking in at only £5.59 it is a steal compared to the physical version. Add in the top notch conversion job that has gone into the Digital Edition, from flashy animations to high resolution recreations of the artwork and it becomes even more of a steal.

Sweetening the deal is the online multiplayer that lets you enjoy a game with friends and family no matter where you all are and you have one hell of a package.

Digital is also the only place you will be able to pick up the Warhammer 40k “Horus Heresy” flavoured version of the game since the sad demise of Fantasy Flight and Games Workshops relationship.

 

Twilight Struggle

Physical Edition Price: £38.87

Digital Edition Price: £10.99

 


Arguably one of the most beloved board games of all time, Twilight Struggle casts the players in the opposing roles of the US and USSR during the Cold War.

The uniquely structured game, where the passage of each turn will see the advantage swing between both players, often leaving one with the challenge of trying to make the most of a bad situation is definitely not the kind of game to break out for post christmas dinner fun. However it is one of the most tense and rewarding to play games around.

The PC port, originally Kickstarted is a bit more expensive and one could argue that it is a little bare bones. There is little in the way of flash to the game, with only the soundbites and odd bits of stock footage giving any kind of nod to the games new format.

However that hardly distracts from the game and it has made the transition over to the digital realm pretty painlessly. With the computer helping you to keep track of the oftentimes complex goings on and once again we have Online Multiplayer in the mix as well.

Consider the daunting complexity of the game this is the best way to try it out before you take the plunge on the physical edition of this complex and tense board game.

The Witcher Adventure Game

Physical Edition Price: £46.49

Digital Edition Price: £6.99


The Witcher series has had something of rocky history. Starting out as a series of Polish fantasy novels it found international attention when it was turned into a PC game by the then unknown CD Projekt. Whilst that first game failed to set the world alight the series has gotten better with each new game and the popularity has only grown with time.

So it was hardly surprising that a board game would eventually arrive on the scene. The structure of the game is somewhat similar to that of Talisman. Casting the players as one of four heroes from the series as they travel around, completing quests and striving for victory.

The physical edition is a treat for the eyes, the minis alone are nearly worth the price for me, and the PC rendition continues that high standard. With polished menus and animations this is a game that looks the part in every way you could want. The music, taken from the main series games, only adds to the charm of this version of the game.

Once again the online multiplayer sweetens the deal.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few of the other Board Games that you can pick up on the PC right now.

Ticket to Ride

Physical Edition Price: £28.55

Digital Edition Price: £6.99

Another classic of family board game night this Digital version works a charm.

Settlers of Catan

Physical Edition Price: £26.80

Digital Edition Price: FREE


This digital conversion of the classic game of trade and competition has taken a interesting Free 2 Play model.

Armello

Digital Price: £14.99

This Digital Only game casts the players as animals vying for the throne of the mad and dying King. Earning acclaim for fun gameplay and stunning visuals this is well worth a look.

Nothing is Cheaper than Free!

 

So it is more than likely that the game you really want to play is not on the list above. Indeed there are plenty of board games that are unlikely to ever make the leap to the digital realm.

So what are you supposed to do when you don’t have the cash to buy a game or simply don’t want to take the risk of spending a large sum on something that might turn out to be, to put it lightly not very good?

 

Tabletop Simulator

Price: £14.99

Tabletop Simulator really is exactly what it says on the tin, a programme that will simulate a tabletop and the things you can put on that table.

Built to allow for easy modding the programme has become a hotbed of not only brand new and exciting board games but also digital conversions of pre existing ones.

Taking a glance at the Steam Workshop you can grab a digital rendition of the recently released Dark Souls: The Board Game along with the parts needed to play the cartoonishly expensive Kingdom Death: Monster (The expansions for KD:M are $100!).

All of this is only a single button press away and it is a easy, if slightly clunky, task to set up the boards for these games. The game supports multiplayer and VOIP so you can chat and play with your friends.

The major downside of the programme is born from just how utilitarian it is. Since everything on the table has physics it can be all too easy to accidentally sweep pieces off of the board or set off a chain reaction that ruins the board state. Its funny the first time it happens in the same way it is funny the first time you hit the button that flips the table but once you actually try to play a proper game it can wear on you.

However that is a minor downside when you consider being able to try out games before you take the plunge on actually buying them or in some cases this is the only way to play games that are no longer in print.

If you want to dig deeper into the software you will find powerful tools for scripting some of the busy work of board gaming, from shuffling decks and dealing cards to calculation damage values.

 

Join us on the forum to have your say and give your opinions.

Popular Board Games

Most Popular board games, 2017

If you didn’t play popular board games such as Monopoly or Risk as a child then you missed out on so much fun. But you can always make up for it now, thanks to designers who are dreaming up new games to entertain both adults and children.

Just recently at the Origins Game Fair and UK Games Expo, new board games were released, and the availability of geeklists made it a lot easier to anticipate certain games. Isn’t it high time you moved on from Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble and Cluedo to the more advanced, fun and varied games of today?

Don’t you just wonder at the increased interest in board games? Well, some studies show that the quality of these games (like the art and playing pieces) and the ease of online access to reviews and play guides have attracted a huge number of new players to board games. Take your time to go through these new games, and prepare to have the most pleasant fun time ever if you try them out.

Some of the Most Popular Games
    1. Fields of Green – At $30, Vangelis Bagiartakis‘ Fields of Green is a board game that brings farming in the latter part of the 20th century into gaming. You get to enjoy a newer version of Among The Stars, with you growing your livestock, harvesting from your fields and producing a farm within four years all through a game system.

    1. Divinity Derby – This game was designed by Carlo A. Rossi, and it runs from forty- five to ninety minutes. Three to four players can enjoy this racing game on Mount Olympus, with its betting/wagering mechanics. Players of any age can participate in this fast racing which will have Zeus as the final judge. You’ve got to be able to read the intentions of other players.

    1. FTF: First to Find – Playing this game is like playing out there in the open. It’s everything from the real world. Two to six players participate in a geocaching activity. Whoever arrives at the cache first becomes the winner. Designers Aigar Alaveer, Inga Alaveer and Artist Kaisa Holsting made sure that this card game is competitive enough for all players.
      popular board games
    2. Adrenaline – This game is a first person shooter style eurogame using mechs to deal damage. You and your friends position yourselves in different rooms and maneuver and exchange shots from your killbot mechs. The game is really about area control and getting the most hits on other players. As you take hits your adrenaline boosts your mech until eventually you die and respawn.

    1. LisboaVital Lacerda designed this game worth $70 for one to four players, and it lasts about two hours. Disasters like earthquakes and a tsunami destroy the city, and the players try to rebuild it to make it the most modern city in the entire world.

  1. Witches of the Revolution – The style of this game is a cooperative deck builder. It is a card game for one to four players, and all players are expected to support covens of witches who aim to free a nation from the rule of a tyrant. If your team achieves the four objectives, you win.

Most popular board games continued…

Other great games include Ethnos, Near and Far, Sword and Sorcery, NightLancer, Spoils of War and a host of others.

If you have no other reason than to play these games with your friends or kids for fun, remember that board games have got great benefits for your mental health, trust me.

Congratulations to this year’s Origins Award winners!

Card Game:
Mystic Vale – AEG

 

 

Miniatures Game:
Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team – Games Workshop

 

Collectible Game:
Pokemon XY11 Steam Siege – Pokemon USA

 

 

Family Game:
Happy Salmon – Northstar Games

 

 

 

Game Accessory:
Blood Rage Organizer – The Broken Token

 

 

Role-Playing Game:
No Thank You, Evil! – Monte Cook Games

 

Board Game and Game of the Year:
Scythe – Stonemaier Games

 


 

Why not follow our blog now to keep receiving updates on the latest board games and how you can get them. Join our forums to contribute in the discussions and visit the store to buy any of the games you’ve seen on the site.

 

UK Games Expo 2017 [UKGE]

UK Games Expo

UKGE
UK Games Expo

For all those who still are not familiar with this amazing event, the UKGE is a games convention that lasts three days during the Summer Half term, and it takes place in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom.

It’s a public event allowing all family members to participate and have fun while playing, buying and participating in board games from around the world.

This year around 30,000 people visited this event in order to find and see new games, buy some others and play with the ones that grabbed their attention.

It’s an experience you can’t miss! But if you didn’t make it this year, don’t worry, here are  the highlights and some of the games that stole the show during the UK Games Expo 2017.

Color Chess & Lure

This entertaining new chess-like game is based on the well-known regular chess we are familiar with but with a brand new spicy touch.

Everything seems normal, you make your move into one color square and your opponent has to move to the same color square in his first turn. But for his second turn they can move a different piece to a different color, so when you notice, both of you are manipulating each other’s game.

But hold on, because there’s more! As if this strategical board game was not enough, the board can be used for various other games like Lure.

Lure

Lure is a game that originates from Color Chess & Lure’s board. It’s a game based in which you have a limited number of turns to move your pieces defensively, attempting to fight the opponent’s pieces and manage to break up their game or movements.

 

XO BRAINER

UKGE
XO Brainer

Who didn’t spend their childhood playing naughts and crosses on napkins, notebooks or even the floor when bored? Used to draw that little 3×3 square and start the fun while struggling to make a row without interruption.

Well, there comes XO Brainer to revive everyone’s childhood but with a new –frustrating- touch to make the game more interesting.

The game consists of choosing either pink circles or blue crosses, and trying to get 5 in a row but knowing that the fourth piece always has to be your opponent’s color. Which means that either you want it or not, you will be always helping them if you don’t play correctly.

On the other hand, this event not only offer its’ guests, the opportunity to enjoy the whole experience but also awards all those exhibitors who participated in the contest with their games.

People of all ages enjoyed the experience and shared boards with partners and opponents in order to make the best strategies to thrash the opposition or just join in a game to play and have a lot of fun.

What a crowd!

This major event already released this year’s attendance and you will be surprised!

On Friday 2nd June, 8,749 were at the UKGE, but during Saturday, the amount went up to 13,142. The last day, Sunday, saw 8,852 people attending.

The volume of attendees reflects how popular this event has become, making it clear to everyone that the UK Games Expo is the 2nd largest hobby and tabletop games convention in the whole world.

List of Winners
  • Best Family Game – Sushi Go Party
  • Best Children’s Game -Baobub
  • Best Euro Game – SubTerra
  • Best American Style Game – Dark Souls
  • Best Strategic Game – The Colonists
  • Best Card Game – Statecraft
  • Best Abstract Game – Ominoes
  • Best Miniatures – Dropfleet Commander
  • Best Role-Playing Game – Adventures In Middle-Earth Player Guide
  • Best Role-Playing – Syrinscape
  • Best Party Game – Chameleon
  • Best Expansion – Dropfleet Commander: Reconquest Phase Two
  • Best Accessory – Dropfleet Commander Modular Spacestation Pack
  • Best Miniatures Rules – Dropfleet Commander

Dates for the UKGE 2018

If you ended wanting more of this magnificent and fun event, don’t worry, because next year it will open its gates for all its guests again!

That’s right. During this year’s event, they announced the dates for next year and here they are: the 1st weekend of June 2018, from 1st to 3rd June, people will be able to come again and enjoy one of the most incredible tabletop game expositions ever.

So be sure to get everything ready for next year so you don’t miss anything of this wonderful experience!
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Dungeons & Dragons board games [Best fantasy board games]

Dungeons & Dragons board games

The board games that we’re looking at here are the dungeon crawl style games that started with Castle Ravenloft. Great series of games that have the flavor of D&D but are simple enough that anyone can play and enjoy them. A definite addition to a collection of the best fantasy board games.

There are now four games in the series: Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, Legend of Drizzt and The Temple of Elemental Evil.

The components are similar in each game and the quality is first class.

The rules are simple and the games are easy enough and not too D&D heavy so they are fine for casual gamers.

They are cooperative games where all the players are a party of adventurers on a dungeon crawl style adventure playing against the game mechanics.

 

The games are all very similar but the mechanics do develop and evolve with Drizzt and again with Temple.

The miniatures in the games com unpainted so if you’re in to painting models and minis then you create something very special with this. Check out this picture of the minis when painted-

best fantasy board games

If you are a fan of D&D but your board game group are not then this may be a way to compromise. Simple enough to play with new gamers and the family should enjoy these on a family games night.

Playing these games with kids

The dungeons & dragons board games are a fantastic range of games for a family board game night or a wet and miserable Sunday afternoon. Get the family together and enjoy a co-op session with lots of fun. The fact that you’re working together helps to enable the younger players to fully participate as you offer help and advice. Recommended age range on the box is 13+ but I play it with a 10+ range and we have lots of fun.

Pop over to the forums to discuss these dungeons and dragons board games in detail.

 

Family Game Night [Best fantasy board games]

Family Game Night

What better way to spend quality time with all the family than to have a family game night. Get everyone away from screens and gather them around a table for an evening of fun and social interaction. Here are some great games for the whole family to enjoy.

Storytelling Games


Storytelling games are a great way for children to use their imagination and join in with the adults as you all collaboratively build and tell a story. If you have younger children I suggest you try ‘Once Upon A Time’ by Atlas Games, it takes about 20-40 minutes and really encourages creativity and collaborative play. If you have older children (14+) then ‘Winter Tales’ by Fantasy Flight is a great option, it takes about an hour plus and is for 3-7 players that form two teams.

Cooperative Board Games


Working as a team to beat the game rather than the other players is a great genre of game that brings the family together as they strive for victory by helping each other out. For younger children I recommend ‘Forbidden Island’ and ‘Forbidden Desert’ by Gamewright, Players control specialist characters who have to work together to collect treasure and escape before disaster strikes. For older children then ‘Pandemic’ by Z-Man games is superb, again all players play specialists but this time they are striving to prevent 3 diseases from destroying humanity.

Competitive Board Games


When playing competitive games with the family it’s best to choose games that are a lot of fun and not too serious. Younger children especially will not enjoy a fiercely competitive game if they are not winning. ‘Ticket to Ride‘ by Days of Wonder is a lovely family game, very easy to learn and because a lot of scoring happens at the end then the winning player is not often identifiable during play.

Another fun game is ‘Dixit’ by Libellud, players describe a picture card they have either by a word or phrase or a tune, any way at all, but the challenge is not to describe it too accurately as the other players then try to guess which card was described from a selection of cards gathered in secret from all the players.

For older children we can get a bit more competitive but still keep it lots of fun, ‘Munchkin’ by Steve Jackson games is a great fun game where one player wins by reaching level 10 by helping other players, being helped and the best bit…by stabbing the other players in the back!

Summary

The main objective to having a family game night is to bring the family together and have fun together. There are hundreds of games out there to suit any family. Check out Youtube for some very good reviews  which makes it easier when buying a game as some are pretty expensive.

Enjoy your family game night and have fun!

Visit our store to browse these games and many others.

Ticket to Ride Europe [gateway game in to fantasy board games]

Introduction


Ticket to Ride : Europe is a variation on the original game. In the original game you were building railroads across North America, in this version it’s Europe with the addition of mountain tunnels and sea ferries.

It is a very simple game to play and learn and an excellent way to introduce new players to boardgaming. It’s a game for 2-5 players and takes up to an hour to play.

It is definitely one of the best gateway games to turn people in to players.

What’s in the box?

Ticket to ride europe
1 Quality board displaying Europe and the train routes.

240 train carriages

110 train cards

15  stations

46 tickets (route cards)

5 scoring counters

1 rule book

How to play

In Ticket to Ride [Europe] each player has several routes, in the form of tickets, that they have to complete during the course of the game. The players keep their tickets secret. Players collect train cards to buy train carriages that they can place on the board to claim routes.

Scores are calculated at the end of the game by counting up awarded points from routes completed, the longest route, trains used and stations not used.

Each turn a player can take one of three actions; take a route ticket, draw cards, cash in cards to place trains on the board and claim a route.

There are eight types of regular train cards in sets of 12, blue, purple, orange, green, black, white, red and yellow. Collect these and cash them in to claim routes between cities. There are 14 locomotive cards which are wild cards when claiming routes and also necessary when claiming a ferry route.

Who is this game for?

Ticket to Ride [Europe] is a brilliant gateway game to bring new players in to the world of modern boardgames. A fantastic game for a family games night or for playing after Sunday dinner with friends and family.

It is a very simple game to learn and is lots of fun. There is a good amount of competition in the game as players strive to complete their tickets and claim routes.
Ticket to ride board

Join us in the forums to continue this discussion and more.