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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 Byron Raal chooses his Eight Games. Byron is a board game enthusiast who loves trying out all types and genres of games. He runs the geekgeargalore.com blog where he puts together in-depth guides, articles and tutorials about all things to do with board games. 

Byron Raal

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

If your Granny is anything like mine then she will love knitting, sewing and quilting. My granny is always on the lookout for beautiful patterns and has a great eye for detail. This is the reason I have chosen Azul as the board game for this occasion. Azul is an easy to learn abstract strategy board game that focuses purely on patterns and aesthetics for its scoring. The game is tile based, where the goal is to create the best mosaic using with the different coloured and patterned tiles available to you. Scoring in the game is based on how you place your tiles on the board and involves just the right amount of strategy, luck and creativity to win. A real winner that all ages can enjoy!

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

Onitama
BGG Listing

When my wife and I get the rare opportunity to get a babysitter and head to a restaurant for dinner for a night out – Onitama is the go-to game we take along. The game is perfect for a restaurant setting – it’s small, easily fits into my wife’s purse, it takes up barely any table space, is super quick to learn and it’s addictively fun. The game is a full information abstract strategy board game that looks like a mini-chess. Each player controls 4 pawns and 1 king on the board. The movement of these pieces are dictated by cards (2 in each player’s hand and one on the side of the board). Once you play a movement card you pick up the card on the side of the board and replace it with the card just played. The game seems simple, but because you know all moves available to yourself and your partner AS WELL as all future movements available to them based on your decisions – games can become super intense and deep. The perfect game to play between courses!

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

Monikers
BGG Listing

Monikers is a great party board game that can be played by up to 20 people. It adds a unique twist to the classic charades game and is super fun to play. Players are split into two teams with each player being dealt 8 cards. These cards will have a celebrity, historical figure, internet meme or other well-known personality on them. The game is played in three rounds of 60 seconds where the aim is for the team to guess as many of these cards as possible. Each round has different rules of how players may act or speak in order to get their team to guess which character they are trying to portray.

Round 1: One player from the team can use any words, sounds or gestures to get the team to guess who is on each of their cards.
Round 2: A different player from each team must use only ONE word to get their team to guess who is on each of their cards.
Round 3: The final player from each team must use only charades – no words to get their team to guess who is on each of their cards.

At the end each team tallies the amount of points on the cards guessed correctly and the team with the highest points wins. This is a great game for a reunion because it gets everyone involved, chatting and laughing together. A great way to break the ice!

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

Apples to Apples Junior
BGG Listing

I am a firm believer that board games are one of the best tools to make education fun for kids. Apples to Apples Junior is a game that is not only fun to play, but will help educate children about adjectives and how to incorporate them into their writing – all without actually feeling like they are being taught!

The game is very simple. There two decks of cards (one red and one green). The green deck contains cards with describing words (e.g. angry, loud or kind) and the red deck contains cards with people, events, places and things on them.

The game is played in rounds where each player gets dealt a number of green cards. A red card is then flipped over and each player must pick the best adjective from their hand to apply to this card. The judge then picks the best of these cards and awards that player the red card.

The player at the end with the most red cards wins.

 

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

One Night Ultimate Werewolf
BGG Listing

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a simple, interactive and fast paced hidden identity game that is great to play in large groups.

The idea behind the game is that werewolves have infiltrated a town and its up to the villagers to identify who is a werewolf before it becomes night, where the werewolves will transform and take out the villagers. The trick is that no one knows who is an innocent villager and who is a werewolf (decided randomly by tokens at the start of the game).

The game is played with a companion app that is downloaded on a mobile phone. This app will walk players through every step of the game (telling which players should close their eyes and when etc.) It is overly dramatic and super funny.

The app will have different players carry out different actions – and in doing so provide snippets of information to the players. Once all actions have been carried out, players then vote for who they believe the werewolves are. Villagers win if they vote all the werewolves and the werewolves win if they don’t.

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).

Escape Room in a Box: The werewolf experiment
BGG Listing

The most important thing in an interview is to convince your potential employer that you have the skill set to carry out the job and are the best person for the role.

There is no better way to show off your ability to think outside of the box, solve problems and work as a team more than an escape room. There is one issue though – having to actually go to the physical escape room… That’s where Escape Room in a Box comes in. This is a board game that takes all the mysteries, riddles, puzzles, locks and cyphers from a classic escape room and packages it into a portable box style board game.

Without spoiling too much (if you’ve done an escape room before you know what I mean)… the game comes with a whole bunch of locks, keys, riddles and clues that all lead to a final ‘cure’ you must get as a team within the time limit.

Like One Night Ultimate Werewolf above – the game comes with a companion app that will keep the time, provide clues when you are stuck and help you put the box back together again once you are done.

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

The Mind
BGG Listing

All my experiences of hospitals are that they are noisy cramped places where its hard to get a word in edge ways. So, for this occasion I have chosen a simple card game called ‘The Mind’. The game is great to play in a noisy environment because it requires no talking… it’s actually one of the rules!

The game is simply a deck of cards with the numbers 1 to 100 on them. The game is played in rounds with each player getting dealt the number of cards for the round you are up to (1 card each for round one, 2 cards for round two…)

The objective is to play cards on the table in a single discard pile in ascending order – from the lowest number to the highest. Players simply play their cards when they think they have the lowest card. If a card is played, when a lower card could have been played by the other player. A life is lost.

The game is simple, but as rounds progress can become nail bitingly intense. It is a great way to pass the time and is super easy and fun.

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

Exit: The abandoned cabin
BGG Listing

What could be better to play in a cabin in the woods than an escape room style card game based on an abandoned cabin in the woods!

Exit is a newer type of game released that, like Escape Room in a Box above, is all about the riddles, and puzzles that come with an escape room experience. The difference is that Exit is entirely card based and can only be played once (without spoiling too much… you are going to need to destroy some of the cards).

The idea behind the game is that you and your friends (the other players) find yourself locked in an abandoned cabin and have to try and find your way out using the clues available to you (in the form of cards). The game has a ton of riddles and I am not going to lie… I found some of them very challenging! It is however a super fun way to spend time and a great way to get a whole group of players working together cooperatively!

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