With the rise of the computer game the board games of old seemed to have become an irrelevancy, however, they are fighting back. Whilst the computer game does bring the marvels of technology to our entertainment there is still something to be said for the family gathering around a table to play a good game together. Today there are a huge number of board games that have appeared, with some old stalwarts still standing strong.
We will look at the best board games you can find now, and why you should make some time to try them out yourself this holiday season.
We start off with one of the greatest games of all time, never mind board games. We all know how it plays, go around the board, by locations, build on them, and charge rent and so on. The game gets its name from the aim, to build a monopoly on the board and force out all the other players. It’s an enthralling game that, with its eclectic player pieces including a boot and a hat, has a charm that appeals to everyone young and old.
Games can take a while to play through, but for old school board games, this is as good as it gets.
9. 7 Wonders
This is a beautifully presented board game where each player takes on the role of a leader of one of seven different cities of the ancient world. Players then have to acquire resources, military power and trade routes with other players to expand their city. The aim is to gather enough of the various resources to build an architectural wonder that will last through the eons.
The rules are simple and easy to understand, and the game takes less than an hour to play all the way through, so perfect for all the family.
This is a visually spectacular game where players take control of a band of heroes as the group battles its way through the dungeons to their prize. One player becomes the evil overlord, whose task is to stop the valiant heroes from finding the treasure.
Inside the box is not only the beautifully drawn artwork on the cards and board tiles, but 38 beautiful miniatures that represent your heroes and the monsters sent to stop them. The game takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete, and although you would think something with these sort of options available would be complex to learn, Descent manages to retain an elegant simplicity to the rules that lets all players enjoy the action straight away without trouble.
7. Small World
A fantasy world in which players build up their own race, choosing from various literary tropes such as Orcs, Elves and so on. By taking land from other players and increasing their influence over the world the players chosen race rises to prominence, or just as likely falls to oblivion, where the player can pick a new race and start again! Dominate the board with every race you try to win the game, it has simple and elegant rules, and is incredibly good fun to play for all the family.
Taking around an hour per game, it strikes a good balance between depth and overly complicated, and is presented with beautiful artwork throughout that will enchant even the most cynical of family members.
This one is a cooperative game, where players must work together to solve the world’s problems as diseases gradually spread across the globe. It may seem a little dark on the surface but it is handles with aplomb and makes for an exciting and engaging gameplay experience where teamwork makes all the difference.
Although not as visually impressive as some in this list it nevertheless is attractively presented with rules that are very easy to understand but hide a depth of gameplay that will keep everyone entertained and challenged for a long time.
Games take around an hour to complete, and with everyone either winning or losing together, no arguments about who did what at the end!
5. Mice & Mystics
Another cooperative game, but this time a full on adventure, where players control heroes, loyal to the king and trying to foil a plot to take over by the evil Vanestra. With one slight caveat. They’ve been turned into mice. Roaming through the now huge castle, the mouse sixed heroes must battle the minions of the evil mystic and save the king.
After winning awards for its artwork it goes without saying this is a simple beautiful game, charming and easy to understand, with games taking around an hour to complete, it’s a game that can easily be fitted in to any time schedule. Fun for all as they work together to become the heroes of the day.
4. Settlers of Catan
Take control of your settlers, trade with other players and amass lands and commodities to build roads and settlements around you. The aim of the game is to take control of Catan itself, and this is another game that has a lot of depth hiding behind what on the surface seem quite simple rules.
With its distinctive art style, fantastic gameplay and short, half an hour to an hour game length, this is perhaps the ultimate fast to play family game.
3. Formula D
A racing game. On a board! It isn’t as daft as it may sound, Formula D is presented on a wonderful double sided board, giving to tracks to race around, and comes with some truly marvelous player pieces for the gear mechanic that is the core of the games tactics. A real treat from when you open the box.
It’s very simple to play, but includes a wealth of tactical options to get the best of your foes, It’s a wonderful game that takes just an hour to play.
It’s Star-Wars, on your table. This is a wonderful game, based around the epic space battles between x-wings and tie-fighters we know from the films. It has some great mechanics to keep things interesting and brings a wealth of tactical depth, but the highlight of this game for anyone has to be the miniature ships themselves. They come out of the box all painted up and are just works of art, nothing like the usual blobs of plastic you would expect.
Games can be finished in as little as half an hour, fun, exciting and entertaining, just as a game should be.
1. Ticket to Ride
The game of trains, where each player has to build a train route to connect different cities together. Each player is working on a different route and no one knows what each other is trying to achieve. Wait too long and let someone steal your prime route through town, or go to early and let others guess what you are doing and block you? Endless choices await in this game. The rules are straightforward, the artwork sublime and the gameplay is the best out there.
A true family game, played in half an hour. It looks great and plays great. Ticket to Ride, the best board game there is.