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Gather ‘Round the Table: The 10 Must-Have Board Games for Family Game Night

Forget Monopoly and Trivia, please.

Gather ‘Round the Table: The 10 Must-Have Board Games for Family Game Night
Randy Meeks

Randy Meeks

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5100 years ago things were not so different from today. People also fell in love, worked, hated politicians, and brought complicated board games to dinner parties with friends for the pleasure of saying, “Well, a little game, eh?” Senet started it all in Egypt and, over the millennia, the same thing has happened that happens when we take a very old game off the shelf: the rules have been lost.

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Fortunately, as a society we have left behind games like Monopoly, Trivia or Taboo to give way to an almost overwhelming number of modern “must try” games. It is estimated that 3000 new board games are released every year, not counting versions, adaptations and bestsellers. So that you don’t get lost and leave Catán aside, we are going to tell you those ten board games that can’t be missing in any good house. No, we are not referring to Parcheesi.

10) 7 Wonders Duel

You only have one person to play with and you’re sick of brisca? Try the version for two of ‘7 Wonders’, which surpasses (by far) its mother. In this game you will have to create an empire through three different eras getting the right resources to build your wonders without leaving aside the power of the army, science and, perhaps, get the favor of the gods. As easy to learn as it is difficult to master, ‘7 Wonders Duel’ is a must for any bookshelf.

9) Werewolves of Castronegro

You’ve played this game a thousand different ways (usually using cards from a regular deck and calling it ‘Town Sleeps’), but none can beat the quintessential social game, on which even reality shows like ‘Traitors‘ have been based. If you have a large group where you all know each other, this is the ideal game to never stop: a town full of innocent citizens, a few werewolves, daylight trials, impossible loves, hunters with one last bullet and girls who can be the first to fall. It never gets old!

8) Marvel Champions

Yes, yes, I know. If you’re a fan of European board games you’ll be holding your hands over your head, but… ‘Marvel Champions’ is the perfect adaptation of a powerful license to a collectible card game. Don’t let its somewhat complex rules hold you back. When you start to beat the villain of the day with Spiderman or Captain America you’ll immediately know why it has it all: excitement, adventure and the possibility that even Rhino will have a good hand and give you a haircut.

7) Pandemic Legacy

In any list, in any way, we would not propose ‘Pandemic’ as a game to be considered beyond a few pachangas. But ‘Pandemic Legacy’, especially in its season 1, changed everything we believed about the game. Twelve games, twelve months, twelve decisions that can change the fate of the world forever. Hold on to your character and boost his special powers, because as you open boxes, expand the rules and turn the plane of Earth into a place of uncontrollable infections, each month will become more and more difficult.

6) Terraforming Mars

And if we destroy Earth, the time has come to make Mars a habitable planet. But of course, several companies are fighting for the same thing. Buy the right cards, play smart, use strategy and claim a victory that won’t be clear until the last minute. A warning: you will probably need a couple of games before acclimatizing yourself to all the new concepts proposed by the game, but when your head clicks… You will be facing the most exciting two hours of your life.

5) Blue

Not everything is going to be games for hardcore gamers: you have to leave room for those that your father could understand if he wanted to. Azul’ and all its variants is a guarantee of eating your head off for a while, playing to annoy your opponent and, in the meantime, trying to decorate your own palace. Most likely you will end up eating many more pieces than you would like, but with a style of play so easy to understand and, at the same time, so complex to strategize, it is an absolute must that comes to replace the classics of a lifetime in the family.

4) The mansions of madness

Halfway between a role-playing game, wargame and horror is ‘Mansions of Madness’, a game that must be played with a mobile application and in which you must confront the hosts of Lovecraftian evil while you fall little by little in the lack of sanity. Each step will literally bring you closer to success or failure, and it is vital that you take it wisely. You may have to leave that object on the ground or not investigate that noise, the important thing is to get out alive!

3) Dune Imperium

Dune Imperium’ is a constant struggle between different factions to take over the power of Arrakis: build your deck little by little, gain influence and power, polish your strategy, make pacts with the other factions… And, if you can, win the war for the Spice. Ah! And once you get tired of it, in a long time, don’t let its expansions pass you by: pure playable gold.

2) Arkham Horror

We return to Lovecraft once again to get into one of the most famous card games of all time. Play alone or with another investigator, encounter cultists and try not to fall into madness when you see creatures beyond comprehension. All your choices will have consequences, and you may not finish this adventure alive – if you do, don’t forget to get any of the many, many, many expansions that extend the adventure to the limit!

1) Gloomhaven: Lion’s jaws

Although the deepest gamers prefer ‘Gloomhaven’, without extras, the truth is that its sequel is much simpler to set up and play, without losing a bit of the excitement, the fight, the struggle and the atmosphere of the original. A cooperative game of tactical combat in which you will have to finish off the monsters that come to finish you off. The best part? It’s as easy as opening the box and starting to play through the 25 campaign scenarios – learn as you play! An absolute must-have that improves on the original in every way. Not a good house without its ‘Gloomhaven: Lion’s Maw’.

Randy Meeks

Randy Meeks

Editor specializing in pop culture who writes for websites, magazines, books, social networks, scripts, notebooks and napkins if there are no other places to write for you.

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