When you’re passionate about board games, you want to share your love of games of all types with your friends and family. Sometimes the wealth of titles and genres can be overwhelming to those dipping their toe in the hobby for the first time, so trying to start off in slightly familiar waters can be comforting. If you’ve got folks who are familiar with classics, perhaps you can suggest something new with one of our recommendations!
If you like Boggle, you’ll like Wordsy
Staring at the grid of letters in Boggle and finding words is a little like watching one of those 3D images for ages until it suddenly clicks. Boggle is one of my all-time favourite word games, and when I tried Wordsy I thought “this is exactly what I’d want out of a grown-up Boggle”. Players will create words using a grid of letter cards, and then any other letters they’d like to throw in – you’ll only be scoring the ones in the grid, but the flexibility of adding letters can make this a vivacious vocabulary adventure. (Wordsy is a real-time word game for 1 – 6 players, designed by Gil Hova and published by Formal Ferret Games.)
If you like Yahtzee, you’ll like Qwixx
Roll and write games are enjoying a surge in popularity right now, and I’m definitely enjoying that. Yahtzee was a game I played endlessly as a kid, and seeing where this genre is going right now is fun. A step sideways from Yahtzee is Qwixx, which is a quick playing game using six sided dice, too. I love that there’s little downtime in Qwixx, unlike Yahtzee – and even though it’s a simple progression of numbers in each row, there are some nail biting decisions and hoping the dice go your way. (Qwixx is a dice game for 2 – 5 players, designed by Steffen Benndorf and published by Gamewright in North America.)
If you like Clue, you’ll like Mysterium
Are you like me, and pretty terrible at logic? I loved playing Clue as a kid, but I was always so far from figuring out whodunnit. Something a little more esoteric and visual is more my speed, and Mysterium has that in spades – and looks gorgeous while doing it. As a ghost, one player will give clues using beautifully illustrated cards – and the players have to decipher why they picked that card and who/what/where they’re pointing to in order to solve a murder case. There’s a dash of Dixit here and some good old fashioned guessing, and the fact that it plays a larger group and it’s co-operative can mean it is far more social and interactive than Clue. (Mysterium is a murder mystery game for 2 – 8 players, designed by Oleksandr Nevskiy & Oleg Sidorenko and published by Libellud/Asmodee).
If you like Battleship, you’ll like Captain Sonar
Sometimes you want to sit down and go head-to-head with a friend in a game of wits and logic – Battleship scratched that itch for many folks during their childhood, a tense back and forth of hidden ships. If you want to level that up in scale and player count, then Captain Sonar is going to be your jam. Your team takes on various roles – maybe you’ll be captain, on the radio, or torpedoing folks – and you’ll be trying to traverse around a map that’s hidden from the other team as you try to find and torpedo them! Oh what jolly fun. (Captain Sonar is a hidden movement game for 2 – 8 players, designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier and published by Matagot.)
If you like Monopoly, you’ll like Catan
Monopoly. You know it. You know when you say to people “I play board games” they say “Oh, like Monopoly?” It’s a classic and it’s had an enormous impact on board gaming. But if you’re tired of
playing it, or one of its many rethemed iterations, try suggesting a game of Catan to folks. It’s got all the good stuff – negotiating, fighting for property, crossing your fingers you won’t get messed over and your resources lost. AND you roll dice every round. I’m not saying that Monopoly is bad, but it can be rewarding to shift to something different to show folks what games can do – and Catan itself is a classic of 20+ years now, so it’s got all the cred you need to sell it to folks. (Catan is a trading and network building game for 3 – 4 players designed by Klaus Teuber, and published by Catan Studios.)