In Eight Games different board gamers share the eight games they’d select in eight different situations. The links are given to Board Game Geek listings for you to find out more. 

This month the Board Game Gumbo team (BJ, Steve and Verla) choose their eight games. Board Game Gumbo is a group of gamers from Louisiana and their friends from all over the US who play, review, and talk about games, games, games!

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

BGG Listing

[BJ] When I think of visits to my grandma, I think of long, lazy Sunday afternoons visiting with a multi-generational family.  After gorging on a pot of smothered sausage with fried corn and candied yams, we would all retire to the parlour to play some Bataille or Bourre. So, what better way to involve three or four generations of gamers on a Sunday afternoon than a relaxing game of Wingspan? 

Elizabeth Hargrave’s masterpiece about building a bird sanctuary  is colourful, quick to teach, has plenty of depth and replayability, and plays at a breezy enough pace that we can still visit and chat about what’s going on with the families.

Wingspan features in The Dark Imp’s Board game recommendations for different key stages.

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

BGG Listing

[Verla] Illusion is a good restaurant game has to be portable, does not take up a lot of room, does not require absolute silence, and won’t steal the tip you leave under the water glass. I have never seen Illusion steal a gratuity.  But it has more than that going for it — Wolfgang Warsch designed a colourful game that has just enough rules complexity to challenge any type of gamer, yet patrons of the restaurant walking by the table will easily figure out what is going on and say “Wow, I want to be a board gamer, too!” Or, more likely, ask, “What game is that?” 

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

Just One
BGG Listing

[Steve] Just One was easily the party game of 2018. We played this game with new gamers, old hands, and everyone in between.  The box is not large enough to hide behind when that teacher who gave you a C- in World History walks by, but it is definitely portable. Heck, leave the game box at home, get a decent hair cut instead, and borrow a set of words from another game. As long as you can find markers and paper — and what High School reunion has none??? — you can play.

Plus, you really want to win the Queen of the Reunion award, right, so make themed sets of words that are tied to the high school / college memories! 

Just One features in The Dark Imp’s Top ten family games for Christmas.

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

Slide Quest
BGG Listing

[BJ] This one flew a little bit under the radar for us. Blue Orange has a great rep for well produced games, and Slide Quest is no exception. It is billed as a “video game / board game” because players will cooperate to move the brave knight across a colourful board, trying to avoid the “bad guys” and make it to the next level (there are 20 in the box).

It uses an innovative system of handles on a floating game board with a very movable knight. The kinder-kids will probably not advance much past the first few rounds unless you cheat, but they will have fun telling stories about the knight’s adventures. And let’s be honest, you’ll probably cheat. 

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

BGG Listing

[Verla] No high school game club would be complete without at least one Disney themed game, and Villainous designed by Prospero Hall and published by Ravensburger is one of the best (at least until Jungle Cruise comes out?)

Players are cast as the best of the Disney Villains, and anyone familiar with the movies or shorts will easily recognise the thematic elements that make up the player boards and decks. It plays up to five, but I don’t recommend it with more than three players unless your game club has an annoying group of five or six that you wish would go off and play on their own on the other side of the canteen. (You know what to do.) 

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)

[BJ] What better way to show that you are perfect for a job than to “mind meld” with the interviewer?  Grab two decks of Medium, the party game where players look at two disparate words and try to come up with the “medium” (in between or connection) between the two words.

Shout out the same answer, and you win points! Or become gainfully employed! Now, let’s talk about the benefits and bonuses….. 

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

Ganz Schon Clever
BGG Listing

[Verla] Roll ‘n writes are a perfect way to play board games in a hospital, and are just tailor made for those weirdly sized rolling tables that they all must buy on Ganz Schon Clever game is a masterpiece of interlocking puzzles, with a great solo mode that makes you want to play over and over. 

The best part?  When a nurse comes in with the mystery meat and lime jello, you can easily and quickly put the game away into the bite sized box (or use the box itself to store turkey jerky to nibble on.)

Ganz Schon Clever features in The Dark Imp’s Recommended board games for different key stages.

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

Legacy of Dragonholt
BGG Listing

[Steve] Enjoying a stay in a cabin in the woods is all about the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared”. Have four friends with you but an extra uninvited friend-of-a-friend shows up? No problem!  Legacy of Dragonholt plays up to six. Is the rain cancelling your planned paddle board trip to the sandbar?  It’s barely an inconvenience — this game plays from 60-999(!) minutes! 

Plus, the narrative elements blending elements of roleplay with dungeon diving adventure will surely make the weekend pass by way too fast. And since you don’t need a game master, it is less likely that one of you will be left behind by the rest of the group accidentally on purpose. 

About Board Game Gumbo

Board Game Gumbo is a group of gamers from Louisiana and their friends from all over the US who play, review, and talk about games, games, games!  

BJ Rozas is an attorney by day, and the editor of Board Game Gumbo by night. BJ is a regular contributor to the Dice Tower Network and a proud member of Punchboard Media. He teaches and demos games at conventions all over the country, including Gen Con, Pax, BGG Con and Dice Tower Con for some of the biggest names in the industry.  BJ hosts a Facebook Live show (Gumbo Live!) every Tuesday night at 8:30 PM Central where he interviews designers, publishers, artists and content creators each week. He loves euro games with an energy as massive as the sun, but will play just about anything. His current favourite game is Aquatica — as he has probably told you already!

Steve “The Name Father” O’Rourke is the producer of Gumbo Live! and an educator in the NYC area. He is known far and wide for his talent in creating clever names for things (he’s the runaway leader on The Dukes of Dice podcast for naming episodes!)  Steve keeps the Chat Krewe going on Gumbo Live! and is a frequent contributor and game player on the show. 

Verla “The Board Game Ambassador” LeBaron is a board game content creator on Instagram who also works in the board game industry.  She has written travel stories for the Board Game Gumbo blog, and is a frequent con visitor (she’s been to Essen Spiele!) You can also find her helping the Gumbo Krewe on Gumbo Live! as a contributor and game player. You can find her content here:

If you’d like to submit your own Eight Games blog we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch.