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 Adam Richards shares his Eight Games. Adam is a forty-something year old board game fanatic and reviewer, living in deepest Cornwall with his family. He loves euro, social and hidden-role games and has a massive love of mysteries of all kinds. Adam runs Punchboard Reviews. You can connect with him via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
1: A game to take to granny’s house:
A family friendly afternoon.
Anyone can learn Cockroach Poker in two minutes. It’s a game about trying to make one person end up with four of the same bug cards. To do that, you pass a card to the next person and tell them what it is… or do you? If they’re telling you the truth and you don’t believe it, you get the card. If they’re lying and you catch them out, they get it back.
It’s a hilarious game about bluffing and double-bluffing. How well do you know the person next to you? Can you read their poker face? Have they really just passed you a rat???
2: A game to take to a restaurant:
Play around the drinks and cutlery.
Silver and Gold
It’s a small game made up of dry-wipe cards. Everyone chooses some treasure island maps, which are connected squares. A card gets flipped, and you all try to cross-off the shape on the card, on one of your maps. Players score for completing maps, finding coins, and can even use cunning combos to cross-off lots of spaces with one turn.
It’s really quick and easy, and the dry-wipe cards mean you’re not panicking over what’s been left on the table by the previous diners. It’s light enough that a game might only take the time between ordering and getting your starters, and it’ll fit in your jacket pocket.
3: A game to take to a reunion:
Some people you want to chat to, others… not so much.
A fantastic hidden-role game of traitors, people-reading and lies. Players get assigned roles as resistance (the good guys) or spies (the baddies), but only the spies know who the other spies are. Someone nominates a selection of people to go on a mission, then everyone turns in a success or failure card in secret.
If even one failure comes up, then the spies win a round – calamity! But you know someone in that group is a spy now, but who?! Let the accusations fly! If all the cards are successes though, you know who’s not a spy… or do you? Was one of the cunning ne’erdowells trying to throw you off the scent.
With a couple of drinks, it’s an incredible ice-breaker, and just the thing to get people talking and laughing.
4: A game to take to a primary school:
Arm yourself with multiple copies and take over a whole classroom.
On your turn, everyone but you knows a secret word. They’re each going to write a one word clue (hence the name of the game) to make you guess it. However, if anyone else has written the same clue as you, your clues don’t get shown. So it’s a case of trying to find a clue that you hope will help someone guess, but at the same time isn’t so obvious that someone else has chosen it.
It’s great with groups of kids, as it’s a co-operative game. You’re all trying to get that person to get the right answer. You write your answers on little plastic easels with dry-wipe pens that have funky erasers on the ends.
5: A game to take to a youth club:
Hook in the next generation of board gamers.
The Villainous games give great asymmetric play with villains from your favourite Disney franchises (Marvel too, if you get Marvel Villainous). By planning ahead, moving your villain, using cards and powers, everyone is trying to achieve their individual goals.
It’s a friendly, approachable theme that kids of all ages will be familiar with, and has some great interactions between players. It’s got the ‘take that’ mechanisms that future American-style gamers will love, and the strategy, placement and resource management that yet-to-be Euro gamers will get a kick out of.
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)
Black Sonata is a game where you’re chasing Shakespeare’s mysterious Dark Lady around London. By trying to second-guess her next movement, finding clues, and applying logic, hopefully you’ll both catch and identify her.
In the sort of work I do, problem-solving and applying logic is key, as is being able to narrow down potential problems until I find the correct one. The game comes in a small box (coat pocket friendly), would happily fit on a bemused interviewer’s desk, and plays in about half an hour.
7: A game to take to a hospital:
No brain-power needed.
You can get a hundred different types of mancala board, from tiny travel ones, to nice wooden ones with polished glass beads. Heck, you could make one out of an egg box and some beads.
It’s an ancient game where you pick up a pot full of ‘things’ in front of you, then distribute them clockwise around the board. Ones that end up in the tray on your right are your score, your opponent’s are on their side. It’s great because it would fit perfectly on one of those wheel-in tables on a hospital bed, and is really simple and widely available.
8: A game to take to a cabin in the woods:
You have lots of time and lots of space.
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Baker Street Irregulars
A copy of this box, a bottle of whiskey, a notepad and pen, and an open fire. I’d be sorted for a long weekend.
It’s a game where you have a large map on a table, a directory, each chapter’s story book and newspaper. Take as long as you want and solve a series of amazing mysteries and sub-plots as you explore Holmesian London, choosing which leads to follow and where to investigate. Perfect cabin entertainment.