What to Play During Your Next Game Night in Little Rock
How to Pick the Best Board Game for Your Game Night
It used to be that there was a standard rotation of board games for people to choose from – Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, etc. And these are still excellent games, but with the absolute explosion of game culture, there are some options that basically blow these classics out of the water.
But how can you choose the right game with this new and overwhelmingly large landscape of games now available to you as a player? There are a few questions and concepts you can consider to help you find the right game for your next game night in Little Rock:
Do I Prefer Cooperative or Competitive Games?
Some games require everyone in the group to work together towards a common goal – cooperative. Other games are designed to pit you against each other in (hopefully) friendly competition and result in one player winning it all – competitive.
Both kinds of games can be equally fun to play, but take your group dynamic into consideration. Are there a few people whose feelings are easily hurt or who become ultra-competitive (we’re looking at you Alpha Nerds) to the point of making it less fun? Cooperative may be for you. Do people become frustrated by not having control over their own decisions? Competitive is the way to go.
Think About Direct vs Indirect Competition
If you end up choosing a competitive game, consider the difference between games where players compete indirectly (like poker) versus games in which you directly attack one another (like in chess). Some people find it more motivating to pit themselves against each other directly, while others don’t appreciate direct aggression and would rather just do their best.
Do You Want a Simple Game or a Complex One?
Once again, this is all about reading the room. Some people love long term strategy games and other people are just looking to relax and laugh with one another and get frustrated by complex rules. If you have young kids playing simple is definitely going to better. But if you’re an experienced group of gamers trying to kill an afternoon, complex may be the way to go! Evaluate how much time you have and go with your gut – or just poll your group text!
Theme vs Mechanics
Having a strong theme can help people grasp and retain the rules and also add ambiance to the night. For instance the “Spy” theme of Codenames or the “Outbreak Quarantine” theme of Pandemic. Some players just need to know the rules and enjoy a more abstract game that allows them to build their own experience.
There’s nothing like a classic board game on game night. Setting up the board, laying out the pieces, gathering family or friends around the table… Just thinking about it is bringing a warm fuzzy glow to our nerdy hearts! And 2019 had quite a collection of new games to add to your normal rotation. Let’s do a quick review of some of our favorites:
This game is an instant classic, and its design allows for multiple replays without it getting repetitive or stale over time. This game is for 3-5 players and the rules are easy to learn and stay the same over each playing. But at the beginning of the game, each player starts out with a different alien power and the combination of these unique powers and how the players utilize them massively influence the outcome of the game.
Another cool feature of the game is that it can be played collaboratively, separately, as a game of negotiation, or in battle mode depending on the players’ moods! And if you have a large group of friends never fear – there are six (6) expansions available that add new rules, mechanics, powers, and space for more players.
Splendor is a compact strategy game that is easily accessible very easy to learn how to play. You buy cards with gem tokens in varying colors and every card gives you more gems to play with and buy new cards – so the game snowballs in a particularly satisfying way, allowing you to buy higher and higher point cards until someone hits 15 and wins!
There are only three possible actions each turn and you can only choose one per turn. This makes every move high stakes and it drastically impacts your next move. New cards are flipped over as other cards are bought so you have to pay attention and shift your strategy accordingly – the agile win in Splendor! We rate this game as Highly Addictive.
Quacks of Quedlinburg
As the name suggests, the theme of this game is that each player is a “quack” or fraudulent potion maker. The goal is to create your potion out of “ingredients” drawn from a bag of potions without making your potion explode and reveal itself as complete quackery! This game is a little more luck-based than strategy, but it’s endlessly entertaining and reminiscent of games like Exploding Kittens – a Russian roulette that appeals to your Schaudenfrued (so satisfying when someone else draws the “cherry bomb” token!) and the thrill of revealing the joy or the horror of your next draw!
If none of these sound quite right, contact us or visit us in the store! We’re always happy to talk games and help you figure out the perfect game for your next game night in Little Rock.