Board gamers: recommend me some games

I know it’s early, but I want to start compiling a list of potential games to get for MrWhatsit for Christmas this year. We love board games at this house. He and I play two-player games against each other quite a bit, and then we get together with my sister and brother-in-law on a near-weekly basis to play some games that require more people.

Games we have and enjoy so far include Bohnanza, Carcassonne (a huge hit with my sister and brother-in-law, who have every single expansion), Titan, Can’t Stop, Ticket to Ride, Advanced Civilization, Lost Cities, Lord of the Fries, Awful Green Things from Outer Space, and Settlers of Catan. More standard party games that we play on a regular basis include Taboo, Apples to Apples, Hear Me Out, Trivial Pursuit (I think we have just about every edition of this), Boggle, Scrabble, and Cranium.

So if anyone could recommend me some additional board games that they particularly enjoy or think would be good, that would be swell.

Card Game: Rock, paper, scissors. Even fun for adults and has great potential for a drinking game.

Michigan Rummy is one of my all time favorite games. Involving poker and cheating and bluffing (at least in our family rules. Your family’s moral terptitude may vary.)

Skills game:** Jenga** ( also a drinking game. If you make the tower collapse, you have to buy the next round. Never play this with Professional German Drinkers. I lost every round.)

Sequence is a game I have lined up for Xmas already for the kids. Looks very promising. I’m sure it could be a drinking game too. :slight_smile:

Miscellany: Floor pong. Ping pong paddles, a free standing net or wall made out of blocks and ping pong balls. Good times. Yes, it could be a drinking game too.

Good on you for thinking ahead! I have 60% of my Xmas list done for the year. Nice to know someone else plans ahead.

Monopoly (by the rules, it doesn’t last forever and can be quite strategic).

FFG has finally printed another run of Through the Desert. Hip hip hurrah! Camels that look like Sweetarts! Avaricious landgrabs! Truly, it is the most awesome abstract strategy game for 2-5.

If you’re interested in the Hot New Thing, Powergrid is creating quite a stir in our circle.

Personally, I have my eye on Primordial Soup, aka Ursuppe. It’s like Evo, if by any chacne you’ve played that, but, IMHO, more elegant.

Try The a-MAZE-ing Labyrinth. It looks simple, but the design is elegant and it’s lots of fun. It has adaptable rules for kids and adults. I know someone who loves board games, particularly Settlers, and can’t get enough of Labyrinth.

You didn’t include Puerto Rico on your list. If you don’t have it, you should definitely get it. It’s an excellent game. The only downside I can think of to say about it is that it’s a weak game for two players.

Yep, that’s what I came in here to suggest. :slight_smile:

I’ll second Little Nemo’s suggestion of Puerto Rico- the rules are not complex, but the strategies definitely are.

If you like Puerto Rico but don’t like the “not good for 2 players” element, look at San Juan, the card game that is loosely based on the board game.

Other games I’d recommend? Powerplant is a relatively new game, but I’m completely fascinated by it and think it has a lot of good levels of depth.


You have a copy of Titan? Jeez, I’ve been trying to get one forever (it’s out of print), and all the ones I’ve seen cost $500 or more. Where did you get it? Have you just had it since it was in print?


OK, here are my recommendations (besides ones that have already been posted):

Tigris and Euphrates
Babel (for 2 people only)

And, since you already mentioned Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, I’d suggest Seafares of Catan and Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. Good stuff.

Roborally. It’s a little maze navigating/fighting game with robots.

It’s out of print right now, but it’s going to be rereleased in a month or two.

Empire Builder and all of its flavors (Iron Dragon, EuroRails, et cetera). It’s the drawing-railroads-with-crayons game which plays reasonably well with two players but much better with four.

Princes of Florence is a Puerto-Rico-esque game, also from Rio Grande, which I’ve highly enjoyed.

I see you’ve mentioned some Cheapass games. For four players, I’d also pick up Deadwood (and its expansions), Kill Doctor Lucky (and its prequel, Save Doctor Lucky), and Captain Park’s Imaginary Polar Expedition. Generally you won’t go wrong with Cheapass games, but there are some duds in the mix. I’d avoid Ben-Hvrt and US Patent #1, but for five bucks, they’re worth a shot.

Lord Of The Rings: RISK is a rather decent variant on the classic that works extremely well for two or four people. It’s a relatively quick game, compared to some of the more massive tabletop wargames, and is a much ‘lighter’ game than something like War of the Ring, which is also a great two or four player game if you’re Tolkien buffs and want to kill a few hours.

It belongs to MrWhatsit. I assume he’s had it since it was in print; he’s had it as long as I’ve known him, which is 10 years now. Uh… $500, you say? :eek: Not that we’ve been careless with the pieces, but holy flurking schnitt, I’m going to have to start playing with protective gloves on. Yow.

(It’s a great game, btw. I dunno if I’d lay down 500 bucks for it, but it’s a lot of fun.)

Thanks for all the other suggestions piling in. I’m furiously taking notes. Puerto Rico is definitely at the top of the list, as is Power Grid. I’ve been wanting Kill Doctor Lucky for awhile anyway, so that’s a definite possibility. I’m going to look up a bunch of the rest of these on Boardgamegeek to see what they’re all about. Keep it coming!

God I love board games.

If you’re open to card games, Fluxx and Set are both extremely high-quality.

A good drinking and shouting game I just played is Scene It. Requires a DVD player and at least one sober person. :slight_smile:

If I may hijack for a moment, I’m very curious as to what your house rues may be. We have a weekly game (a few hours of Michigan Rummy, then a few hours of standard poker), and I’d love to mix the game up a bit.

Our only current house rule is “must have a pair or better to take the poker pool”.

I highly recommend TransAmerica. Fun, easy to play, easy to clean up. Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about a player before you making your planned move impossible. All they can do is make things easier for you. This makes it easier to plan ahead; consquently there’s a lot less waiting for your turn.

Since my two favorites, San Juan and Carcasonne, have already been mentioned, I’ll put my two pence in for Munchkin and its iteration of Star Munchkin. It’s a multi-player card game, and wicked fun.

Here is what I had to say about it last time it came up. (In fact, that whole thread might be helpful).

Seriously, give Chain Reaction or Homemade Pictionary a try. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have in a party game situation, and costs nothing!

Another vote for Tigris and Euphrates.

The kind of game where all the strategy and planning and conceptualization can be undone by treachery and underhandedness, forcing you to take deep breaths and remind yourself that physically beating your fellow players is bad form.

Rummikube is a great game. It’s played with tiles. I can easily spend 20 minutes analyzing the board to figure out how to play one tile.

My family loves Sequence, but personally I’m not that fond of it. Maybe it’s just me.