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 Oliver Kinne shares his Eight Games. Oliver is the owner and editor of the Tabletop Games Blog, as well as the co-host of the Tabletop Inquisition podcast. He is also an associate writer for There Will Be Games and a contributing author to the Tabletop Spirit digital magazine. You can follow Oliver on Twitter

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

Carcassonne
BGG Listing

I think this game is one that anyone can learn and play quite quickly. It’s very visual, almost like a jigsaw puzzle and can be played to win or simply to make a lovely map.

I have played this competitive game with my own parents, as well as my wife’s parents, all of whom are grandparents now, and my brother-in-law’s family have played it many times with their young children, so it definitely covers a very wide age range.

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

Mint Tin Mini Skulduggery
BGG Listing

As the name suggests, this is a mint tin game. In fact, it comes in a mini mint tin, which is really tiny and fits into a coat pocket or a handbag. It also doesn’t use up much room on the table, is set up and put away in seconds and plays usually within 15 minutes, so is very quick. It’s a competitive game all about rolling dice, so relies on a lot of luck, but can be played with 2-4 players, and there is also a solo mode.

It’s an ideal game to play while you’re waiting for your food and is a lot of fun for children and adults alike. There are many more min tin games available, but check out subQuark’s range, because these games are all hand-assembled and have lots of love poured into them.

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

The Crew
BGG Listing

Trick-taking games can be… well… tricky. They’re usually not easy to teach or learn, but The Crew is very different. If none of you has ever played a trick-taking game, you will all learn together, as this game is co-operative. You are also not allowed to talk, but inevitably you will chat. It does take a bit of focus for the first few rounds, but once you get into it, I think you will quickly re-form those long lost friendships and maybe even forget spats from the past and make new friends.

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

Kingdomino
BGG Listing

You will definitely need a few copies of this game, but it’s not hugely expensive, so it should be possible and if you ask the publisher nicely, they might even donate them to the school.

Kingdomino is basically a version of domino and can be played with 2-4 players, allowing you to split the class up in whatever group sizes you need. It’s very easy to learn, quick to play and very visual, with bright colours, which will hopefully be a draw to the pupils. The components are also very tough, so once you’ve bought a few copies of this competitive game, they will last a long time.

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

Lords of Waterdeep
BGG Listing

If you want to capture the imagination of the next generation of board gamers, then a mix of role-playing, worker placement, hand management and resource management should do the trick. Set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, this competitive game has been around for a while now, but it’s the one that introduced me to modern board games and was my stepping stone into the hobby.

I think it has a great mix of mechanisms, there is lots of beautiful artwork and it’s set in a fantasy world, which will fire up everyone’s imagination. I would say, it’s relatively easy to learn and doesn’t take too long to play and you can focus purely on the gameplay or you can weave your own stories as you complete your missions. It’s a really wonderful introduction to modern competitive board games.

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)

The Mind
BGG Listing

I don’t know if this game shows off your skills and experience, but it will seem like magic to people who play it for the first time. After all, in this co-operative card game, nobody is allowed to talk, there is no turn order and everyone has to decide when to play their card. It makes no sense, and it makes even less sense when I say that the cards you play are from a deck of cards numbered 1 to 100, and all you have to do between you is play the cards you’ve been dealt in numerical order – so first 5, then 19, then 28, then 87 for example.

Explaining the game to people is always interesting, because nobody thinks it’ll work or that it makes much sense, but as you start to play you realise how crazy it is and feels like you’re almost reading each other’s minds. I think a potential employer will be impressed with how well you all can work together as a team.

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

I think if you want to take a game to hospital, it needs to be small, so you can easily stash it in your coat pocket, and it needs to use little room when set up. Top Cake ticks all of those boxes and also doesn’t take up a huge amount of brainpower, so you can still chat while you play. It’s a competitive game where you try to make the best cake, so the theme is light and a bit of fun. It also doesn’t take long to play and you easily play it a few times, if you want, or you can stop it at any time and pick it up again later.

Mind you, I’m probably biased, because I love mint tin games, but I think you will get hooked too, once you realise how wonderful these types of games are.

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

Here is a game that creates a world with a lot of depth from very few components, which is amazing. Eight cards make up the landscape, a deck of cards gives you special abilities and actions, a bunch of attack and defence dice and some tokens to represent the players and their armies – that’s all. Yet, you get a good 2-3 hours’ of gameplay per game, and you can play through a whole series of games to tell a story, as the decisions players make in one game have an effect on subsequent games.

So, if you like a competitive game with a bit of area control, player interaction, alliances and betrayal, then Oath is for you and should keep you busy evening after evening in front of the wood fire.