In Eight Games different board gamers share the eight games they’d select in eight different situations. The games are not explained, but the links are given to Board Game Geek listings for you to find out more. 

This month Denholm Spurr, designer, director, actor, lefty, lover; General Assistant at; playtester for David Turczi; reviewer for Zatu Games….  chooses his Eight Games.

Denholm Spurr

1: A game to take to granny’s house
A family friendly afternoon.

BGG Listing

My granddad REALLY hates board games… but he loves gardening. So perhaps a game like Photosynthesis could tempt him into the path of light and suddenly he’ll realise that board games are GREAT! In Photosynthesis you control a species of tree in a forest, growing in the sunlight. Larger trees give you more life points and also cast shade on your opponent’s trees stunting their growth. The game has a unique shifting sunlight mechanic, which really immerses you in the theme. I hope this will have a similar effect on grandpappy!

2: A game to take to a restaurant: 
Play around the drinks and cutlery.

Chubby Bunnies

Chubby Bunnies involves stuffing marshmellows into your mouth one after another followed by saying the phrase “chubby bunnies”. Any player who cannot say the phrase or swallows any of the marshmellows is eliminated. The last player standing is the winner. A game perfect of a night of fine dining at the Ritz…

3: A game to take to a reunion
Some people you want to chat to, others… not so much.

13 Dead End Drive
BGG Listing

Reunions are melting pot of old lovers and rivalries. Which of the class has hit the big time? And whose greatest achievement was being awarded Most Liking to Be A Supermodel at Leavers Ball? Reunions can make you feel… frankly murderous. So what better game to play than the reunion at 13 Dead End Drive where various friends and family of the recently deceased Aunt Agatha attempt to topple each other — literally — in order to inherit her vast fortune. It’s fundamentally a roll and move but with a unique twist and some awesome death-inducing components. Brings back childhood memories…

4: A game to take to a primary school:
Arm yourself with multiple copies and take over a whole classroom.

Century: Spice Road
BGG Listing

I introduced this game to my landlady’s son while he was still in primary school and he was addicted! It’s a game of trading cubes… to get more cubes… to fulfil cube-based contracts. There’s a spice-trading theme pasted over it, but the theme is so loose that they made a second edition where the cubes are all golems. The game is great fun, it flows really well and is very simple. It’s great for introducing younger players to more hobbyist games and helping to create the future generation of hardcore gamers.

5: A game to take to a youth club:
Hook in the next generation of board gamers.

BGG Listing

Not only is Citadels extremely portable (you’ll often find my guilty of having a copy in my pocket “just in case”), it also plays well at larger player counts and is highly interactive. Players are trying to build their medieval cities by paying gold to play cards from their hands. The interesting thing is that each round is like a new generation with a new King and other shifting roles. Therefore turn order and available actions keep changing. Citadels is a great entry-level game. Why not immerse yourself in the world fully with an array of silly costumes. Highly recommended. 

6: A game to take to a job interview
Demonstrate your best qualities and answer questions while you play? (This really should be a thing).

BGG Listing

What better way to get to know your future employee/employer at a job interview than this hilarious social game about a job interview? Each round, one player is the employer who is on the look out for a new employee in their given industry (a new nanny, for example, or hairstylist, or regime dictator…). Players swap cards from their hands with those available on the table, then use these cards to explain why they are the best candidate for the job. It’s a great ice-breaker and will showcase your (and your interviewer’s) sense of humour.

7: A game to take to a hospital: 
No brain-power needed.

Ticket to Ride Legacy (home-made)

Either as patient or visitor, you would most likely hope/expect a visit several times across your stay. So where better to play a legacy game than from the hospital bed? Each time you play a legacy game, you intrinsically and permanently change the game board, conditions, rules or actions.  Your decisions from the last game affect how you play the next one. Sadly there’s no Dice Hospital: Legacy (yet). You could certainly plump for the most successful of legacy games Pandemic: Legacy but that would be too obvious, right? Time for some shameless self-promotion. Why yes, I have made a legacy game, thanks for asking. One of my favourite games of all time is Ticket to Ride, it is a near-perfect game and has that quality which makes me say “yes” if anyone ever suggests playing it.  So I set myself the task of seeing whether the legacy format could work with Ticket To Ride, and even if I say so myself, it really does! Sadly, Days of Wonder haven’t called me to sign my design (yet) so until then you’ll have to contact me directly to have a playtest. It’s also got a cool magnetic board, perfect in case that broken leg accidentally knocks the board flying!

8: A game to take to a cabin in the woods
You have lots of time and lots of space.

BGG Listing

A cabin is a pretty spooky place to play a game so that cools for spooky game to match the place. Mysterium is a bit like Dixit meets Cluedo. One player is the ghost, the victim of a horrific murder. Each round they give clues to all the mediums (the other players) at the table for them to decipher, which should lead them to correctly guess who is responsible for the ghosts untimely demise. The game is quite long and plays well with large and small groups, so whether you’re on a spookily candle-lit romantic getaway for two, or a group of friends about to embark on a trip worthy of a b-list horror movie, Mysterium is a great choice… even if it’s your last.

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