In recent years, board games have made a comeback. This might be for several reasons. Perhaps people are craving more of an interactive gaming experience. Also, there is something unique about being able to touch and feel the pieces of the game we are playing.
What is worth noting about the new generation of games is how they balance complexity with playability. We believe many popular modern-day games might eventually turn into classics.
Here is a list of board games – old and new, quirky and normal – that you should actually play!
Note: For this list, we have listed a game’s manufacturer as the company most identified with the product. Also, many of the older games are still in production today. As so many were produced (sometimes in the millions), there is a good chance you can get it off eBay for a reasonable price.
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1. Shogi by various companies
Year Introduced: 15th Century
Average Playing Time: Hours, days, months!!!!!
There are several versions of three-dimensional chess, using two or more boards. But if you want true madness, there is an ancient Japanese chess-like game called Shogi that uses a staggering nine boards!
To complicate matters further, there are numerous versions of this game, with different numbers of boards, board sizes, rules, moves, and pieces (including one called the Drunken Elephant).
This game is so weird that it’s enough to drive you to the edge of insanity! But if mastered, it is said to offer a profound experience and a sense of achievement like no other game.
2. Gloomhaven by Cephalofair Games
Year Introduced: 2017
Player: 1 to 4
Average Playing Time: 1 to 2 hours
This style of tile-and-card game is a fairly recent innovation, where the traditional game board is replaced by a more adaptable and flexible playing surface consisting of interlocking pieces.
It is set in a world of swords and sorcery, and is a stunningly designed game with the basic set containing 95 scenarios, 17 playable classes, and more than 1,500 cards, in a box that weighs a staggering 22 pounds!
Not surprisingly, this game is not cheap, normally retailing for over $100.00. It is also one of the highest-rated games of all time!
3. Terraforming Mars by FryxGames
Year Introduced: 2016
Players: 1 to 5
Average Playing Time: 2 hours
Rated a respectful 8.4 out of 10 on a leading games review site, this game allows you to do what NASA can only dream of and colonize the planet Mars by terraforming its surface.
The game looks stunning and has a medium complexity rating. The main aim of the game is to raise the oxygen, temperature, and water levels of the planet, for which the players earn victory points.
If terraforming Mars is not enough for you, a recent expansion kit allows you to try and colonize Venus as well!
4. Power Grid by 2F-Spiele
Year Introduced: 2004
Player: 2 to 6
Average Playing Time: 2 to 3 hours
I bet you never considered running a power-generating company and competing against other companies to supply electricity to various cities. Well, this game allows you to rectify this oversight in a surprisingly interesting and challenging way.
During the game, the challenge is to make your power stations as efficient as possible, while not overspending as you do so. The game is highly rated with many expansion packs covering a wide variety of countries.
5. Pandemic by Z-man Games
Year Introduced: 2008
Players: 2 to 4
Average Playing Time: Less than 1 hour
This game is unusual as it’s a cooperative game where the players work together and not against each other. The game begins with four potentially deadly diseases breaking out in different regions of the world. Each player can choose to be one of seven possible specialists: dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher, operations expert, contingency planner, or quarantine specialist.
Then, by the players working together, they try to avert a global pandemic. Given the recent outbreak of Coronavirus, it feels chillingly relevant.