You’re probably more than familiar with those never-ending games of Monopoly that happen at family gatherings – actually, if you’re like me then you’re probably far, far too familiar with the ensuing arguments that come afterwards, but there actually lots of other great board games out there that are worth a try. Join me while I go through a few of my favourites in the first part of this list of some of the best board games out there.
While most of the board games you’ve probably played in the past have been competitive, with either an individual player or team coming out the other side on top, Mysterium is a cooperative game where all the players work together to try and win. The basic premise of Mysterium is that a group of psychics go to a mansion to try and solve a murder with the help of the victim’s ghost. One of the players takes on the role of the ghost and the rest play as the psychics. The ghost cannot speak to the psychics but must instead use a series of dream-like cards to try and communicate the murderer, murder weapon and the scene of the murder – similar to Cluedo.
Mysterium’s fun comes from the range of interpretations that the players can have of the cards and the frustrations of the ghost in trying to communicate without speaking. A game takes about an hour to play and you might be surprised at just how invested everyone has become by the time it finishes.
Striking similarities with both Risk and Settlers of Catan, Scythe is a game of domination set in an alternate history of the 1920s filled with giant mechs. In Scythe players compete to take control of the game board and perform certain actions which enable them to earn “stars”, these actions include building mechs, winning battles and holding certain parts of the board. Once a player has earned enough stars the game ends and the points for each player are calculated. Points are earned by performing successful actions on the board, and to make things more interesting each player also has a secret goal that they are attempting to compete for a big ol’ pile of points.
Scythe is a nice addition to the tabletop strategy genre, and its mix of action and scheming makes it an engrossing and rewarding experience.
Ticket to Ride
Now, when I say that this is a board game about trains and railways you might be tempted to interrupt with “Hyuck hyuck hyuck, sounds more like a BORED game to me” – well try to resist that urge because Ticket to Ride is a shockingly fun and surprisingly exciting game to play. Just like Monopoly might on the surface be all about the property market, but in reality it is about brutally driving your family out of business; Ticket to Ride is all about ruining the carefully made plans of other players in just a few devastating moments.
In Ticket to Ride, each player is tasked with completing a certain railway route across Europe by turn by turn claiming bits of track, but here’s the rub – each player keeps their route a secret and they’ll need some of the same bits of the track as other players. Ticket to Ride quickly becomes a frantic game to grab the best bits of track on the board, all while stopping your competitors without revealing which route you’re trying to build.
If these three games haven’t whet your appetite, then there is no need to worry, I’ll be back soon enough with even more board games that are well worth giving a try