Best New Family Games – If anything, board games are becoming more popular than last year, when Smithsonian.com officially opened our first board game guide. Analysts estimate that the industry will become a $ 12 billion market by 2023.
The game also becomes more bizarre and more diverse, because in recent years Gloomhaven has given us, a fun complex roleplaying game that is said to contain 150 hours of games and many secrets, and dude, a card game where you say the word “dude” a lot. There really are board games that suit every taste and budget.
Best New Family Games
We sit with several board industry experts (and fans) to find out the best board games in 2018.
Kind of like: Risk of meeting Redwall
Good for: Your serious game group
Only about funny war games that you can imagine. Take control of different forest animal groups that try to control the forest. Marquise de Cat wants to reap forest wealth by harvesting wood for workshops and wood factories. Eyrie who is proud to have to build a new nest, the Alliance unites forest creatures into strong resistance forces, and Vagabond plays all sides. Don’t be fooled by adorable pieces, this is definitely not a children’s game.
Game designer Matt Grosso (Dead Last), who is also the director of Washingon in DC, said that one of the best parts of the game was that each of the four factions (or six with expansion) “played very differently.” Not only does each player have a different purpose— “who all interact in interesting and complicated ways” —but the gameplay changes depending on which faction you control, which leads to dozens of combinations.
Kind of like: Pemukim Catan (not really)
Good for: People who like strategy, but don’t wait
“Space Base is a great game for anyone who likes rolling dice and Catan’s production but is looking for something new,” Grosso said. On Space Base, you play as a commander of a small fleet of spacecraft, update it to transport cargo, mine resources or defend your territory. “This fast-paced game makes everyone start with the same resources, but players will quickly develop their own strategies in fighting over points,” he said. Because each player gets resources when someone throws their numbers, the game moves fast, with some games finished in 30 minutes, and don’t have much to sit and wait for players who aren’t active.
Kind of like: splendor, but with a machine
Good for: Your friends who might stuff their noses when they are little
Other “machine builders” (in the Space Base space), the Gizmos have players who take on the role of inventors at science weekends, competing for electricity and batteries (represented as different colored marbles) to move their discoveries. A smart marble dispenser changes what can be a very annoying part of the game (rolling marbles everywhere) into a fun and touching component. Grosso likes smart mechanics, and Lauren Bilanko, co-owner of the Twenty Sided Store in Brooklyn, praised the simple nature of the game. “It seems that from the outside it will be easy,” but don’t be fooled.
Kind of like: Sudoku, but with a pattern
Good for: Artistic friends
Stacy Dellorfano, founder and CEO of ConTessa, a non-profit organization that seeks to bring a variety of voices to the board, recommends this game for “simple gameplay with lots of strategies.” Like the classic saying, you can teach installing game tiles in a few minutes, but it might take a long time to master them.
The player acts as a tile layer for the King of Portugal, trying to build the most beautiful mosaic. This strategy comes from how you choose tiles from the communal pool and where you put them on your board. The game only takes 30-40 minutes to play, so this game is also great when you are pressed for time.
Azul is also the winner of 2018 Spiel Des Jahres, the most prestigious award in the industry.
Shadow in the Forest
Kind of like: Snakes and Ladders but in the dark
Good for: Children and younger families
One of the most surprising games released this year is a remake of a 30-year-old German classic sect. Shadows in the Forest makes one player control LED lanterns (updates that are not flammable from real tea candles) while other players move black “shadows” around the board, hiding in shadows thrown by cardboard trees. Did we mention you playing in the dark? Turn off all lights, fill off dead-in-dark, and play. “It’s fun,” Dellorfano said.
Bob Ross: Cheerful Crash Game
Kind of like: Pictionary meets Telestrations
Good for: Your artistic friend who is less talented
In this officially licensed game called the PBS cult hero, players quickly scribbled abstract shapes onto a piece of paper, then were given other people’s scribbles that they had to turn into nouns, such as “volcano” or “pizza” or, maybe, “Trees happy little ones. “Other players give squirrels (points) based on which image best captures nouns – or which images are the most creative. Whoever has the most squirrels in the end is the coolest painter at the time.
Type of likes: 7 Wonders
Good for: Your game group knows Seven Wonders
One of the highlights of the top game rather than the video game is the physical game. There is nothing clearer than the heavy strategy game Everdell, which is located in a charming forest inhabited by ferrets, rats and rabbits. This gold coin has a satisfying weight, and berries that are used as a currency to pay for some animal workers you have the right amount of squish. There is a giant three-dimensional tree. Of course, nothing matters if the game is not fun to play – but yes. “The strategy is very good, for someone who wants to level up their Catan game, or 7 Miracles,” Bilanko said. “This is mostly a strategy – not much luck.” And if you’re the only one among your friends who likes deep strategy games, Everdell even has solo mode.
Type of like: Code name
Good for: large groups who are tired of playing the same old party games
Just like Codenames hit 2015, Decrypto has players breaking into two teams to try to guess the secret words. But that’s where the similarities end, Bilanko said. In this game, both teams work at the same time (less waiting for others to take turns). One player on one team gives instructions for a set of hidden words, then both teams try to intercept the code by guessing what is meant by “encryption”. If one team correctly interprets the code twice, or the opposing team intercepts the code twice, it ends! Bilanko said that large groups can play as easily as small groups, and “is very good in the sense that everyone on the team can do something every round.” The ingeniously designed component remembers the early days of computing (even comes with a little floppy disk box), so be prepared to pretend that this is the end of the Cold War and you defend national security.
Kind of like: Dominion meets Boggle
Good for: Book lovers and Scrabble fans
This deck-building game expands and enhances the original Paperback game. Players compete to get letters with high scores in their stack of cards, then play them to spell words with high scores. Grosso said: “This will stretch your brain in a way Scrabble never has. Like any word game, good vocabulary helps, but in this deck making game the strategy of how you play is more important.” Word lovers who prefer less experience competitive can even play in cooperative mode, working together to defeat the simulated literature, the enemy.
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