Tabletop games have grown in popularity over the past decade and it’s anticipated to grow further for years to come. We still have the age-old games we grew up with as children like Monopoly, Scrabble, Mouse Trap, Candy Land, and others, but there has been a massive wave of new games.
If you’re the type who wants to reconnect with old friends and have a good time, it’s important to look for more games than these. Yes they’re nostalgic, but the newer wave of games have new dynamics you wouldn’t have considered before.
With this in mind, here are some of our picks for board games to invest in.
What Makes a good Board Game?
Before getting to that list, there’s some things to consider with what makes a good board game. Everyone has their own opinion on games after all, but I think the best games have these specific qualities:
- First is that it has massive replay-ability. One of the beauties of those old games is that you can play them again and again and get different results. Some times you get great rolls while other times you won’t.When looking at new games, you want to make sure they have those same elements as well. You want to make sure it doesn’t get to repetitive. Especially if you’re only buying one game.
- Second, be familiar with your preferences and your friends preferences. The landscape of board games has changed a lot. You’ve got co-op board games now, board games with direct or indirect competition, games that are simple or complicated, games with themes or built on mechanics, and more.
If you’re new to board games, go ahead and experiment with them.
Here are our suggestions to consider.
A good summary of this game is that it has a good mixture of genuine strategy and has unpredictable results that can end in hilarity. Each game will last for about an hour or two and is designed for three to five players.
The only real drawback is that people don’t know what to expect from this game. Other than that, it’s easy to pick up and play, it’s different every time you play and it has competitive elements without being overwhelming.
Overall, this is a game that gets better the more that you play it.
The goal of every game is to be the first to build five colonies on other players’ planets. How that happens is by negotiating with other players or by battling them using numbered cards. The only catch to this is that each player has unique powers that breaks the rules a little.
For example, one alien power allows that player to win battles if the results end in loss of that battle. Another is when a player uses battle cards, that power permits you to take those battle cards should you desire it.
What’s even better is the base game starts off with 50 of these alien power cards. So even if you stick to the base game, the possible combinations of powers and interactions will be different in every game you play.
For those new to board games, this is a great one for beginners. Designed for two to four players, each game should take under an hour. The rules are easy to explain and it’s one of the least expensive games money wise.
This game is strategy focused, but it’s not a complicated game so it’s not good for those who want more challenges. Regardless, the replay value is immense.
The premise of this game is you are buying cards with various colored gems. The thing is that every card you buy will give you more gems of other colors. All of this creates a snowball effect that is satisfying to go through,
Your goal is to accumulate 15 points. How you get those points is by buying those higher-valued cards. In many cases, the high-valued cards are going to be the ones with the points. Once someone gets to 15 points, each player has one round to buy one last card to get the most points.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1
As I said, the board game landscape has shifted so much that we’re not always at each others throats on a board game. In this case, this board game pushes the players to all work together for the most part.
The Pandemic series are games meant for two to four players. Each session will last 60-90 minutes as well.
The premise of the game is that you and the other players are trying to stop diseases from outbreaking all over the world. On each turn, that player needs to take actions to move around to various locations and treat the diseases. All the while they need to build research stations and look for cures so you all can win.
The only problem with all this is that you are allotted four actions each turn and every turn there are more diseases that show up. If those diseases build up too much in one location, it’ll spread to other locations nearby.
So the twist to all this is that every player has to work together and plan ahead. Who can get to one spot the fastest? Should you focus on one city at a time or should you spread out and treat many?
On top of that, each player has their own unique power. That power allows them to excel in specific tasks over others. This adds another layer to planning.
Another fun series to consider is the Survive series. Each game will take at most an hour to complete and is meant for two to four players.
The premise of the game is that you control a group of people who are thrown into various scenarios where they have to, well, survive. From fending off a zombie horde to being dumped into Atlantis, the number of scenarios is expansive.
All of these games have a clear goal in mind. Get the people to specific safe zones on the map. The catch is that it’s not easy to get to those points. In the Atlantis version, your dumped into the water with no boat.
But what makes this game interesting is that you’re not only moving the people, but also the monsters or hordes too. This can cause players to gang up on other players and overall provide complications for other people at the table.
This makes a great game because there are so many scenarios that could happen. You don’t know where the creatures will spawn or how each player will use them.
The last board game I’ll cover is Photosynthesis, a game that’s solid for families and friends alike. It’s built for two to four people and each game will take an hour or less to complete.
The premise is that you’re playing as Mother Nature and are competing with other players to plant your tress in the best spots on the board. These best spots are going to be the ones with the most light of course.
The design is overall appealing, making it a visual delight every time. What’s also nice is every players trees are different in shape making it friendly to those who are color-blind.
When starting the game, each player places two small tress near the edges of the board. You’ll have a bank of small, medium, and large trees for later in the game. After those are placed, you’ll place a sun token along two sides of the board.
This is how your trees will get light and you get points. The sun’s rays will move in a straight line across the board from the token. So if your tree is on the line of the sun token, you’ll get points.
Where problems are created is when tress start blocking that light. Of course in the case where one’s tree is blocked by another, the points will go to the person blocking the others. Not only that but the bigger the tree, the more of a shadow it casts which means it can block even more.
But don’t feel too bad about it. As you know, the sun shifts over the course of the day and it does the same on this board too. Every turn, the sun tokens will shift. The game ends after the sun has gone all the way around three times – or in 18 rounds.
All in all it’s a game with lots of strategy as you can’t get to larger trees until you plant new trees near your existing ones. It also takes several turns for your trees to grow into larger ones so it’s a matter of planning ahead too.
Get Started with these Great Board Games
The list of board games to try out is growing every day and each one is great in their own way. The key here is to experiment and to enjoy yourself as well. Each game is worth buying for their own reasons. The question is which reasons are more meaningful for you.