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 Kirsten Lunde shares her Eight Games. Kirsten is a former homeschool mum who fully embraced game-schooling as both an educational tool and a ton of fun. Inspired by the lack of classical music games when teaching her son, Kirsten created Looking Glass Workshop (www.lookingglassworkshop.com) and is planning to publish her first game design, Ovation, through Kickstarter in 2021.

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

Kingdomino
BGG Listing

Kingdomino is so easy to teach and very intuitive to play, but there are still decisions to make along the way that are interesting without being taxing. At just 15-20 minutes per game, it never outstays its welcome and can easily be played more than once. It’s also easy to chat and relax while playing.

At the end of it, you have a beautiful little piece of earth that is your very own. It’s a perfect game to accompany tea with Grams.

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

This only works with 2-players, but Hive is such a perfect take-along game that it even comes with a bag for the standard version. Or you could get yourself the pocket edition and take it everywhere. The pieces are so satisfying to hold and use, plus they’re durable and waterproof if anything spills at the table.

The gameplay is abstract and yet wonderfully themed, so it’s easy to remember how each piece moves (of course the grasshopper can hop!) But ‘easy to learn’ and ‘easy to master’ are two different things. Hive has a chess-like depth of strategy that makes it endlessly interesting and re-playable. I want to play Hive again right now!

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

Wavelength
BGG Listing

The best kinds of party games have people laughing, talking, debating… and wondering what the heck you could possibly have been thinking when you said boiling water was nearly the hottest thing ever. Ever heard of the sun?? Or Hugh Jackman??

Wavelength is definitely one of these great party games that everyone can play. After one turn, everyone will grasp the gameplay and be eager to join in. It may seem like it’d be too easy with family members, but there’s so much variety in the cards… and the things you think, of when you’re on the spot, might not be perfect answers! Plus, who knew Aunt Amy had no idea who Bruce Willis is?!

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

Rhino Hero
BGG Listing

Haba knows how to do kids’ games right. Rhino Hero is a fantastic dexterity game that kids learn instantly and want to play again and again. It’s fun to try to build the tower really high, but it’s also hilarious to watch it come crashing down…especially if the person who knocked it down was trying to get you to move the rhino on the most rickety building you’ve ever seen.

You can skip the game part and just try to build the highest tower you can. Or you can play teams and try to plan for the other team’s defeat. We’ve played Rhino Hero many ways with our kids, and it still hits the table. It’s just that fun!

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

Werewords
BGG Listing

Social deduction games are super popular with new gamers but aren’t always my favourite…except for Werewords. What’s brilliant about Werewords is that it gives the villagers something to do, and not just any something – it’s something awesome!

It mashes up One Night Ultimate Werewolf with 20 Questions, and what you get is a super fun and very re-playable good time game. With rounds lasting just 10 minutes, you have a fun epic ending right before you shuffle up the roles and do it all over again. The changing roles and new words make each play different, and before you know it, you’ve had hours of fun.

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)

Forbidden Island
BGG Listing

For a job interview, a cooperative game like Forbidden Island would be a great way to show how well I work as part of a team. It has the added benefit of letting me know if the new boss is a team player, too!

Forbidden Island has such a beautiful table presence, and it’s another easy-to-teach game that I love to introduce people to. It is the one that got me into modern board gaming, and I still love it. It’d be easy to relate how players have their own skills and unique abilities to employees being unique, too, and that just like at work, the overall goals are the same for us all. Sometimes we need to pitch in and help each other. Sometimes we need to choose which pieces of the island to save, and sometimes we have to know when it’s time let go (glub, glub, glub goes the Observatory). But if we work hard together, we can accomplish great things! Did I get the job?

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

Before roll-and-writes were the hottest trend in board gaming, Quixx was a great seller for Gamewright, particularly in the game-schooling community. Roll some dice, add ’em up, mark your score sheet, get the highest score. Really simple but so enjoyable.

It’s more thinky than you’d expect, and we have multiplication scoresheets to change things up from time to time. For limited space in the hospital, it’s perfectly compact. We played a newer roll-and-write recently, and my husband just said, “I like Qwixx better.” That about sums it up. (See what I did there?)

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

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
BGG Listing

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle doesn’t necessarily take up the most space, but we’ve played it lots and lots and can’t wait for the Charms and Potions expansion to arrive! This cooperative deck-building game lets you become one of the heroes of the story, fighting against nasty Slytherin brats, Death Eaters, and even Voldemort himself. It’s got great choices as you learn spells, gather magical items and enlist the aid of endearing allies to make your turns more and more effective against the agents of the Dark Arts.

There are some fantastic components, too, including the metal tokens you put on locations as they’e taken over by the Dark Lord. I love deck builders, and this one feels uniquely immersive, taking us into the Wizarding World where ideals of empathy and acceptance can triumph against evil. With a weekend at a cabin in the woods, we’d pack our wands, pour ourselves some butterbeers, and begin from year one, playing straight through all seven years and then tackle the four challenges from the Monster Book of Monsters in one epic adventure. Whatever Charms and Potions may bring, we’re ready!