Snow Storms and poor weather are here. So we all need options for when the power goes out.
If you are new to tabletop games, an expert, or a casual player who has only played games like Monopoly and Parcheesi your entire life, here are some fresh options. All of these are great for family and friends and are available wherever board games are sold. Many of these games also have digital versions available in the App Store, Google Play Store, and on Steam. These official digital versions are well made and are great editions if you are in a time crunch or wish to play by yourself with less mess.
Ticket to Ride is a great game for those who have not played many strategy board games. The rules are made so that you only have one thing to do per turn rather than many steps. You either pick train cards, build, or pick destination cards. This allows beginners to focus on single steps and think of strategy in stages. Building will grant points based on the size of the track you built. Players also have destination cards which can help or hurt the player. Ticket to Ride has 3 standalone editions with some rule variants – these are the USA, Europe, and Nordic versions. Ticket to Ride also has map variants that come only with a double sided board and rule variants as well, and need a full version to be played. These include: Africa, Netherlands, Asia, India, and the United Kingdom.
Ages 8 & up. 2-5 Players. Published by Days of Wonder.
Pandemic is a cooperative strategy game where you and up to 3 teammates work together to cure 4 diseases that are infecting the world. The cooperative aspect allows beginners to learn together or easily learn with more experienced players. Each player is given a different role with varying abilities that make them more effective at different facets of the game. You may be better at treating the disease, building, sharing information, or traveling. When you feel you have mastered this version you can move on to the various expansions, which add rules and more roles. Another possibility is to play the extremely popular campaign version, Pandemic Legacy.
Ages 13 & up. 2-4 players. Published by Z-Man Games.
In Splendor you are a merchant trying to mine gems and build up your prestige in order to grab the attention of nobles. At the end, whoever has the most prestige wins the game. Splendor is good for beginners for the same way that Ticket to Ride is, simple mechanics that make you choose one action from multiple possibilities, you either grab gems, buy cards, or reserve cards. Splendor boasts great artwork, is great for beginners and experts, and is a popular tournament option. A recent expansion called Cities of Splendor was recently released.
Ages 10 & up. 2-4 Players. Published by Space Cowboys and Asmodee Games.
Sushi Go is a card game that is easy to pick up for players of any age. The goal of the game is to create the best sushi plate. First, a player deals out cards to every player who then puts one card down and passes the rest of their cards to their left. This continues until there are no more cards to put down. This is done a total of 3 times with the cumulative score from all 3 rounds determining the winner. Points are scored based on the combinations each player has made. This is a simple yet intricate card game that can be played with up to 5 players. Sushi Go Party is an expanded version that supports up to 8 players and includes new cards.
Ages 8 & up. 2-5 players. Published by Gamewright.
Spyfall is a discussion based roleplaying game. The game comes with 30 different locations from a military submarine to a Hollywood set. Players are dealt one card. If their card says Spy they are the spy for this round. The Spy’s job is to hide their identity from the other players while also trying to ascertain which location all the other players are at. This is done by asking questions to the fellow players about the location to see what they know and how they answer. The trick is to make sure you don’t give away too much information in the question. Otherwise, the spy will too easily know the location. This game requires strategy and some improv skills but is a great party game. The recent sequel Spyfall 2 adds in a second spy for those who want even more mystery.
Ages 13 & up. 4-8 players. Published by Cryptozoic Entertainment.
If you have any questions about the games above or any other tabletop game, or if you have a favorite that didn’t make the list above, let us know in the comments section.