It can be tricky figuring out what kind of game is appropriate for what situation. Obviously it’s probably not the best idea to bust out Cards Against Humanity at your Grandma’s birthday.
But mostly it’s not that cut and dry when deciding on a board game for a given scenario. Below is a list compiled for a few games to try out when you find yourself in a spot with specific parameters.
Now, your situations and opinions may vary (we’re all snowflakes right?) but this list should be a decent guideline to get you pointed in the right direction.
YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW MINUTES
Love Letter is a card game of deduction, risk and a bit of luck. Good for 2-4 players and each game lasts about 15 minutes. The entire game is only 20 cards so it’s also a good one to play on the go (which is why it comes in a snazzy little velvet bag).
Sushi Go is a fast paced game where the objective is to snag the best Sushi combo and pass the junk to the other players. You get points for making the most Maki rolls and collecting a full set of Sashimi. You also need to accommodate for dessert. Gather the most points to win. A game for 2-5 players and lasts about 15 minutes.
Coup Coup is a game of bluffing, to win you need to have the most influence. Players start the game with two coins and two influence cards (character cards) face down. Your objective is to lessen your opponents’ influence through actions that force them to reveal their face down character cards, while at the same time maintaining your influence by preventing your character cards from being revealed. For 2-6 players, games last about 15 minutes.
Scattergories A Party game where teams come up with answers that fit categories listed on their cards. The catch is answers need to begin with the letter determined by a die roll and answers must be unique, no points are awarded if another team provides the same answer as you. Come up with as many answers before time runs out. The team with the most points wins.
Rory’s Story Cubes The objective here is to create a creative story. There are 9 six sided ‘cubes’, each side with a picture. Your job is to generate a story inspired by the pictures presented after rolling the cubes. You can add complexity by creating cooperative stories (each player contributing) or by implementing a point system. A fun, quick and simple game for any number of players.
Blokus Blokus is a fast paced strategy game. Each player starts with 21 game pieces and the objective is to place all of them on the board before your opponents. But each piece placed must touch another piece of the same color, and must only be touching at the corner. Simple to learn but complex to play, good for the whole family.
YOU’RE DRUNK AND SO IS EVERYONE ELSE
1. Cards Against Humanity Have you ever tried playing CAH sober? Yeah me neither. Two drinks deep is basically a prerequisite for having a good time with this one. The premise of the game is simple (and awful) – One player plays a prompt card and the other players play the most ‘appropriate’ response card to compliment the prompt. Points don’t matter and the more horrible your response generally the better.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast-paced game where everyone plays a different role. In the course of only one night and the following morning, the players will determine who among them is a werewolf…hopefully. This is a game of deception and deduction. Each game only lasts a few minutes which is a bonus because you’re drunk and aren’t paying attention anyway.
Sheriff is a game of bluffing, bribery and negotiation. Players take turns playing the role of the Sheriff while the other players are merchants. Merchants are attempting to bring goods into the city for profit, the Sheriff’s role is to catch merchants smuggling contraband into the city.
This is a game perfect for role-playing and how better to role-play a medieval sheriff or merchant than by being totally lit? Win the game by having the most money by smuggling the most contraband, accepting the most bribes or by being an honest merchant.
YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE UNEMPLOYED
1. Mage Knight
Mage Knight is a game of Epic Exploration and Conquest that mixes character development, intrigue, and the clashing of swords.
This a dense, complex and long game – it’s part random tile exploration, part deck building, part dice rolling. A mishmash of fantasy excellence. But it’s long. And requires a healthy bout of stamina to complete. Did I mention it’s long? You’ll need a day to play it. Literally.
The Grand Poobah game of intrigue, cunning and negotiation. The strategy game to beat all strategy games. The objective is to expand your empire over pre-World War 1 Europe through any means necessary, usually by building alliances with other players then back stabbing them.
Generally not recommended to be played with friends whom you want to keep as friends. Play time listed on the box is 360 minutes which is an optimistic approximation.
3. Arkham Horror
Are you a fan of the Cthulhu Mythos, co-op games and have six hours to kill? This is the game for you. Players can select from 16 unique playable investigator characters, each with unique abilities, and will square off against the diabolical servants of 8 Ancient Ones, including Ithaqua, Hastur, and the terrible Cthulhu!
Written by: Andrew Mayfield