Kevin has written a great guide over on The Dell House website describing modern games. Dell Con is a residential games weekend in Malvern run several times a year. Well worth checking out, they even do day tickets for ‘locals’.
Where to start?
It is remarkably difficult to convey the ‘idea’ of modern board games.
If I were to say the word “car” you’d picture something from the last ten years, yes? Reasonably fuel-efficient, comfortable, good brakes, maybe even ABS and SatNav.
If I were to say the word “boardgames” I’d wager that you’re now thinking of games from the time when cars had starting handles, bench seats and pop-up indicators. Consider the modern Fiat 500 and the 1930’s Austin 7. The Fiat is a small runabout car, it has a wheel at each corner, steering wheel, brakes, lights, seats. It gets you from A to B. In this sense the Fiat and Austin are the ‘same’ but I doubt you think of them as the same thing at all.
If you haven’t played any new board games for a while and not sure where to begin, look no further. We’ve listed similar games to all of the major classics. We’ve tried to list games which are available to buy and should feel familiar yet exciting by highlighting a key aspect similar to the classic game.
Modern board games have come on a huge way in the last 20 years. Give it a try and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. This list is also subjective. There are many thousands of awesome games out there so if you have a better suggestion do let us know.
Monopoly; Set collection, why not try Ticket to Ride Europe (£30) or Power Grid (£30)
Monopoly: Getting rich, why not try Lords of Vegas (£40)
Monopoly: Building / Making things why not try Suburbia (£45)
Risk; WAR! why not try, Small World (£35) or Blood rage (£55)
Chess; Two player abstract why not try Hive (£20), or Santorini (£50) or The Duke (£30)
Other roll the dice to move game, Why not try Jamaica (£30)
Scrabble; Spelling, why not try, Upwords (£15) or Qwirkle (£20)
Cluedo /Clue; Who dunnit? why not try, Mysterium(£30) or Love letter (Various themes including Batman, Archer) (£10) or Mystery at the Abbey (£35)
Liars Dice; bluffing, why not try, Coup (£15) or Skull (£15)
Angry Birds; Dexterity/ Destroying things) why not try, Pitch Car(£40) or Terror in Meeple City (£40)
Pictionary; Drawing, why not try Telestrations(£25) or Pictomania (£40)
Cranium; party, why not try Telestrations (£25),Dixit (£25) or Pictomania (£40)
Trivial Pursuits; General Knowledge, why not try Wits and Wagers(£30) or Timeline (Various versions and themes) (£15)
Scotland Yard; Hidden Movement, why not try Letters from Whitechapel (£40) or Specter Ops (£40)
Magic the Gathering; Clever card combos, why not try 7 Wonders (£30) or Evolution (£30) or Seasons (£40)
Finally did you know it is possible to play cooperatively. You and your friends or family against the game. It is not as easy as it sounds and is a great way to play with a mixed skill or age group. Sound interesting? Why not try Pandemic, or Flash Point: Fire Rescue?
A lot of these games have excellent app (iPhone / Android) implementations or can be played online at sites like Boardgamearena.com
Pubs and cafes are a great place to play games and over the coming months I plan to list the best pubs in the area to rock up, play games. Having a game shelf in a pub is becoming cool but with so many games out there where do you begin? (particularly if you are not hugely into gaming).
So here is Herefordshire Board Gamers Top 10 ultimate pub game starter kit.
This doesn’t include ‘the classics’; chess, dice / Yahtzee, cards, dominos, draughts and Jenga.
These games are all reasonably cheap to buy, are tough enough to survive abuse, including losing the odd piece and punch well above their weight for fun. A lot of these have a good ‘wow factor’ and are great to watch.
Prices correct 23/05/17 and will link you to a price comparison site.
Dobble (Beach): Super simple dexterity game, good with 2-8. The beach version is hardier and waterproof, think snap but meaner and funnier! . Under £15
Rhino Hero: 2+ players simply funny and great to watch stacking dexterity game, very visual as you try and build a skyscraper with cards. Under £10
Penguin Trap: 2+ player, quick dexterity game, simple yet suspenseful. Great fun to watch. Ebay under £10
Codenames: 4- 12 players. A very clever yet simple social word game, good for audience participation too, one of our favourites. Under £15
Timeline: 2+ players A simple trivia game about putting things in the right chronological order, much trickier than it looks, when were glasses invited anyway???. Under £15
Love Letter (Original or a theme i.e. Archer or Batman): 2-4 player light card game quick and fun. Under £10
Zombie Dice or Martian Dice: 2+ players.Push your luck quick and simple dice game Under £15
Skull: 3-6 players, bluffing game , simple and clever game but with lots of replayability (this can be played with a deck of cards too). Under £15
Telestrations: 4-8 players. Drawing, party / social game for ,chinese whispers in drawing form. One of the clubs most played games along with Codenames. Under £25
Qwirkle: 2-5 players Simple strategy game like scrabble but with shapes, bright, simple and attractive Under £17
King of Tokyo: Dice rolling, group game, based on a familiar Yahtzee style game but with more depth, beautiful and clever cards give the game depper strategy. Under £25
This list would also be great or cafes, community groups, schools, or other shared spaces looking for a new activity.
If you have a better or different list please let us know!