We’d like to share popular board games which can be played with your family and those you are sharing this uncertain social-distancing time with. We’ll provide a brief blurb on the type of game and it’s core objective. Not only is it great recreation …it is an opportunity to deepen relationships and apply meta -cognitive skills such as deduction and critical thinking, amongst others.
While a bit on the nose given the current situation, Pandemic sees up to 4 people try and fight off multiple diseases from spreading across the globe. What makes this a great family game is the co-op nature as players work together to tackle the problem. Players will take on different roles, each with powers that can help stop the viruses from going rampant.
Pandemic plays in 45 minutes, you can find videos online that teach the rules and is recommended for ages +8.
Want something a bit quicker, then Sushi Go is your option. A clever little game that has players choose what kinds of Sushi to get. Get the right combination of Sushi to score big points! Players will draft cards over multiple rounds trying to get the best sushi. It’s a very easy to understand game and works well as filler between supper and bed. Getting the Party version is your best bet as it comes with more cards and lasts a bit longer. Like any good meal should.
Sushi Go plays in 20 minutes and ages +8 can handle it.
Ticket to Ride
What can only be described as a classic, Ticket to Ride is a modern family game. Players take on the role of railroad tycoons trying to expand across the United States. Using a clever ticket system player built train routes trying to connect to different cities and score points with secret Destination Cards. Perfect still is the fact that until the game ends you can never be too certain of who is in the lead. Will you try and grab more train tickets, grab an extra destination card that you might not be able to complete in time, or will someone snag a route before you can. Ticket to Ride is a challenge but very accessible. Also, there is the fun of placing little miniature train carriages.
Ticket to Ride comes in various versions, but my personal favourite is Europe, rules are again online for those that don’t wish to learn by book and the game can be handled for children +8 upwards. Plays in around 60 minutes.
The Quacks of Quedlinburg
This is a whacking game but enjoyable for the whole family and has such a cute theme. Players are mixing potions and brews, adding ingredients each time trying to make them better and better in a pinch, but if players get too greedy and add one to many ingredients, they could just see the whole thing blow up in their face. Quacks of Quedlinburg is a new exciting game released last year in 2019. It’s a bag building game, where players add alchemical ingredients to their bag hoping to pull them out when the time is right. Push your luck as far as you can, but if you add too many bad ingredients your potion pot will explode!
Quacks, plays in 45 minutes for 2-4 people and if you like the theme of making potions, this is a great buy. It is for ages +10 since the skill requirement is a bit higher.
If the idea of getting the family into a competitive game is a bit frightening, then don’t worry. Forbidden Desert is another cooperative game that lets the family work together to overcome trouble. Players have crash landed in a harsh desert and must try rebuild their aircraft before the shifting sands and sweltering heat get the better of them. What makes Forbidden Desert great is the ever-shifting board that will change up the puzzle each round. As well as a clever mechanic to try and locate those aircraft pieces.
Forbidden Desert is for 2-5 people, plays in 45 minutes and comes in a very cool and small tin box making it easy to keep. A bit more tricky than pandemic as its recommended age +10.
Want something more bright and cheerful to get the children interested? Well Takenoko is your game. Players will cultivate land and grow bamboo all to appease the emperor. However, they will also have to look after the emperor’s prized pet, an adorable panda. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game. It’s cute and easy to learn and what child can resist a panda?
Takenoko, plays up to 4 people and takes around 60 minutes to play. Ages +8 can enjoy it and you can even watch videos online of groups playing it.
If you are a family that enjoys a bit of competitiveness, then Ticket to Ride and Sushi Go are great buys. If you want to work together more then Pandemic and Forbidden Desert are the choice. If you want some beautiful games then Quacks and Takenoko are the pick.
If you are wondering where to buy these games and get them delivered to your door, then supporting local business like the Timeless Board Games is the way to go. Alternatively, online sites like Raru and Takealot.
But, by the time you read this article, the lockdown will be in place. This means getting things like games to distract the family from local shops is not possible. Thankfully the digital age means new ways of accessing games and we have added online links above for the games via the Google Play Store, PC Steam Store, and Apple store.
You don’t need to burden your family with monopoly or scrabble anymore. There is a lot of fun here for you and your family.