Tag Archives: tabletop gaming

Great games for you to bring to the table this Christmas.

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.

Millennials and the Board Game Revival

What’s a Millennial?

As a Millennial, I hear the whispers in the dark surrounding me. Millenials are lazy, burdened by debt, and they’re killing cable and brick-and-mortar stores. They’d rather have craft beer and avocado toast than a house, and they’re always staring at a screen.

But by definition, they are the generation that first grew up with technology. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials spent most of their formative years surrounded by gaming consoles and computers. We remember our first Gameboy and our late hours playing The Sims on the family’s first computer.

Fast-forward to today, Millenials are in a tough spot with low employment levels, crushing student debt, and rising costs in healthcare. Millenials reject the notions of yesteryear in favor of cost-effective and progressive solutions.

gaming with technology

Tabletop doesn’t mean unplugged.

So what draws a Millenials into tabletop gaming? Millenials are not swapping screen time for face-to-face fun. They’re not ditching their phones to play a round of Clank in Space. Odds are, their Twitter feed and Snapchat followers are going to know they’re playing. Games like Werewolf require a mobile app to play, and I know too many people with their character sheets and spell lists tucked on their laptops.

Millenials want to escape into alternate worlds, beyond their student loans and tiny apartments. They have an affinity for nostalgia and cost-effective entertainment.

zelda clue

Fantasy is Main Stream

The line demarcating a nerd of the 70s and 80s – pushing up his glasses and rolling a D20 – is dead. Millenials grew up alongside Harry Potter, and they watched The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in theaters. Today, Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows in history, and Marvel is knocking comic book movies out fo the park. Fantasy is no longer reserved for nerds, and Millennials are soaking themselves in these worlds away from life’s burdens.

From Controllers to Dice

A lot of Millenials have fond memories of spending time with a friend or sibling while they play A Link to the Past on their Super Nintendos. Though Millennials have grown up on video games, they have changed drastically within the last decade. Companies are doing what they can to milk every penny out of each game. Between additional downloadable content (DLC), subscriptions, and paid loot boxes, playing video games is expensive.

On top of that, to play with other people, they also need to purchase a copy of the game. Though a board game and a console game can both run around $50, only one person needs to buy it for a group to enjoy. They are easy to pick up and play with your friends or even your grandparents.

dungeons and dragons at game table cafe

Gaming Cafes and Bars

Millennials can’t afford big purchases like houses, so they use their money for experiences rather than things. That means delicious food, enjoyable company, and entertainment. Places like The Game Table Cafe offer all these things at affordable prices.  From strategy, card games, roll-and-move, and cooperative, there’s a tabletop game for every taste. And you can jump from Settlers of Catan to Monopoly to something weird like Exploding Kittens. The options are endless, and so is the fun.