I wanted to do something a little different this week. I recently have been playing a lot of board games and I regularly host a board game night so I wanted to share some of my gaming group’s favorite games. They tend to like lighter games so the list clearly reflects that. The games are organized by categories since comparing board games often like comparing apples to oranges.
Favorite Co-op Game: Pandemic
When it comes to co-op games Pandemic is king and you absolutely need Pandemic’s On the Brink expansion. You really do feel like you are saving the world when you go through all the motions. The game perfectly scales up difficultly and it has several variants to keep things interesting. Forbidden Island is another good co-op game and it is absolute must in any board game collections since it is so cheap. I also want to try Flash Point: Fire Rescue in the very near future.
Favorite Travel Game: Love Letter
Love Letter is such a simple game with only 16 cards but it surprisingly packs a lot of game. It has a bit of luck, a bit of deduction and a bit of bluffing. We usually start board game night with this game because it is so quick to play and set up. I have the Legend of the Five Rings version and the theme is just perfect for the game.
Favorite Deck Building Game: Star Trek Deck Building Game
Dominion has gotten old lately and I saw the Star Trek Deck Building Game: Next Phase Edition game for only $10 in Amazon. You can’t beat that and right now it is actually one of my favorite games to play. Unlike many deck building games, there is also space combat and space exploration and I love it. There is actually three scenarios in the game, a free for all scenario, a Borg Invasion co-op scenario (our favorite) and a team vs team scenario so it is quite versatile and it manages to stay fresh even after playing a ton of games.
Favorite Deduction Game: Lady Alice
My gaming group didn’t really play deduction games until I found a copy of Clue in the trash and we decide to try it out. To our delight, we love deduction games! Lady Alice is a strict upgrade from Clue though. It combines deduction, bluffing and betting all in one game. In Lady Alice, you play as Sherlock Holmes assistants and you make accusations each turn (like Clue). The other players will tell you if you are correct or not and you have to deduce the right answer from those clues. But unlike Clue, you don’t have to roll a dice to move around the board. Instead you are betting on what you think is the correct answers on the board so you don’t have to take notes and it is possible you can win without making the final accusation.
Favorite Euro Game: Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan is one of our gateway games. We used to play this game a ton. The beauty of the game is that basically anyone can win regardless of skill with many paths to victory and it is great way to introduce euro game mechanics. Our favorite expansion by far is the one that adds fishing which make the coastal cities more valuable. Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of time during the week anymore and the set up of this game takes forever so more often than not and we wind up playing other options. Still it is a classic that we bring out from time to time and to be fair there is a million ways to customize a game (for a cost).
Favorite Drafting Game: 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is another euro-y game and it by far the best drafting game out there. Like Catan, there are a ton of paths to victory and a ton of choices to make each turn. It has a good theme and the games move fast. Sometimes it really feels like the counting of the points at the end of the game takes longer than actually playing the game. But if you are looking for a lighter drafting game, we also like Sushi Go.
Honorable Mentions: Tsuro, Wits and Wagers, Heroclix and Munchkin
Tsuro is probably my favorite abstract game, Wits and Wagers is my favorite trivia and party game and Heroclix is probably my favorite miniatures game (although the rules are super complex and the wording on cards can be a bit ambiguous). I am not sure what category Munchkin falls under but it was my board game group’s favorite game for awhile. I am sure others still want to play it but all the backstabbing in Munchkin kind of gets old for me.
You may notice there are no traitor games like Resistance/ Werewolf type of games on the list. I totally admit I am a terrible liar and my brother always picks up on that so I am terrible at those games. With that being said I have heard good things about Bang! The Dice Game and I would like to try that out at least once.
I have tried a ton of games but I know I barely scratch the surface. I am always open for board game suggestions and you can leave that at the comment section below or feel free to tweet them at me.