Let’s face it we love to play games. As you gather with your others to celebrate this season you all know you want to bring out some games and try and get people to play. Sure, some will be more interested in football or catching up on the latest gossip. However,these games are sure to be inviting and perhaps help you gather people around the tabletop for your favorite pastime.
Short and Immersive.
Some people are convinced that our hobby only offers games that take hours to play. They grew up playing Risk or Monopoly and have no idea what great games are available today. A short game works perfectly before the family feast. These games have a short play time but also keep people continuously engaged.
Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. Playtime 25-30 minutes. On your turn you place a tile to decorate the Chinese Emperor’s Palace Lake with beautiful floating lanterns. Every time a tile is placed everyone at the table receives a lantern tile. Based on the arrangement you just made you can draft cards to ultimately score points. The game moves quickly. Players are drawn into the game by the beautiful array being created and the fact that you are watching to see how other players’ placements will impact your options when it is your turn. This game has been a big hit with families at the café.
Curios: Playtime 15-20 minutes. Let me just say for a 20-minute game you will not find anything better than Curios. Fast, immersive and a hoot-lotta fun. In Curios you are illegal treasure hunters searching the worlds famous archaeological sites for lost artifacts (curios). However, the market value for each type of curios is only partially known by each player. You know some but not all the facts about this shifting market and as each player acts to move their treasure hunters from one site to another you can gain additional information based on their actions. Curios is an immersive game of deduction, bluffing, and quick decisions like no other. This simple and intuitive game is quick to learn and even quicker to play!
Easy to Understand Game Mechanic.
Sometimes we just want a game that you can pick up and play within minutes of opening the box. Especially when introducing games to non-gamers. Here are two of our top choices.
The Mind: One of the biggest hits this year is The Mind. In the Mind you have to mind-meld with the other players around the table to place cards in the correct order. It is more than just a game. It’s a magical experience, an experiment, a journey in which you can’t exchange information, yet will become one to defeat all the levels of the game. The Mind was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres award and won the Origins Award for best game.
Silver: A fast and engaging traditional card game with a werewolf twist! Everyone starts the game with five face-down cards, with everyone being able to see two cards of their choice. On your turn you draw a card. Play it for its effect or use it to replace one of the cards in your village triggering that cards effect. Your goal is to rid the village of werewolves. When you think you have succeeded you call for a vote. Several expansions with additional cards are soon to be released.
Themes to draw them in. Here are a few games where the theme helps draw in new players.
Forbidden Dessert: The is an awesome cooperative game where you have crash landed in the desert and must work together to survive and fix your airship. You’ll need to coordinate with the other players and use every available resource to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm. Find the missing parts and escape before you die of thirst. It plays up to 5 players and since it is cooperative new players can freely ask questions and seek advice from the other players.
Fuse: Fuse is a timed cooperative dice game. There are 20 bombs aboard your ship and you have ten minutes to disarm them. Dice are rolled, players select dice to resolve their part of the disarm requirement, and you succeed or fail as a team. It is a race against time that is sure to have everyone scrambling and working together.