We have a not so secret to divulge, we are serious board gamers. We love finding new games to play with our friends and often just the two of us (best date night for us, hint hint). Both Drew and I discovered board games in college playing with the people who lived in the same dorm and though we did not know it at the time we were 1 separated by one building. From freshman year on we were both hooked. Kay’s friends had Thursday night game nights (that continue to this day with the inclusion of Drew) and Drew had weekly or biweekly game nights if not more throughout his 4 years in school. This passion for gaming has grown even more as we bonded over this commonality early in our relationship. We met each other’s friends through game nights and introduced games to each other’s families. Board games are a great icebreaker and help people get to know each other better. For the holidays this year, we asked for a bunch of games to add to our collection and have now moved our board game shelf out of the office and into the living room. Drew had a lot of fun arranging all of the games to his aesthetic and now we would like to share it with you as well as tell you about our favorites.
We also want to note that thankfully we have an eye for a bargain and have purchased games that have been mass-produced now that they are older and more popular, therefore not as expensive as when they were first released. Drew also has kickstarted a few games and this allows him access to the game and often a reduced price though this can be a risk if games are not fully funded or they can take years to be produced.
- Splendor – I could play this game for hours I absolutely love it. The game is simple to learn and play and is quick lasting only about 30 minutes a game. It is fun because it combines strategy and luck. My favorite way to play is with the expansions because they add new elements after playing the game over 30 times. Including expansions we have played over 60 games and my family has even purchased a copy that traveled with us on our summer trip to Africa.
- Catan – I know what you are thinking everyone now owns a copy of this game and it has achieved household status similar to Monopoly, well what can I say? I love it! It is a long game but it is so fun to play and the set up creates a new board every time you play, maintaining the excitement.
- Castles of Burgundy – This is a brand new holiday addition to our growing collection. At first, the task of learning the game seemed daunting, but we watched a few youtube videos and reached out to the board game group on Facebook and soon figured it out. I really like this game honestly, it combines splendor and Catan so it gives me the best of both worlds! The game can last over an hour but you can also adjust the number of rounds to shorten the game while not altering the game mechanics.
- Coma Ward/Betrayal at the House on the Hill – One of my favorite types of games are the cooperative type. It’s fun to work with others to explore and achieve a goal. Some popular ones include the pandemic series and forbidden Island. Now Betrayal and Coma Ward are unique in that the first half is cooperative but at a certain point the game switches. In Betrayal it will always be a 1 vs all (hence the betrayal) while in coma ward it could be anything. The theming for each game also gets me. Betrayal is set in the old creepy house you see in every Scooby-Doo episode while Coma Ward is set in an abandoned hospital.
- Sheriff of Nottingham – I love games that force people to do something that they don’t normally do. In the case of sheriff its lying. The game incentivizes lying to the current sheriff to get contraband. The game is quick and fun and definitely worth having.
- Splendor – Against my better judgment I have put this game on my list as well. It was one of the first board games I bought and continues to be one of the most played games on our shelf. Its combination of strategy and luck means that anyone can win and it’s simple enough so that anyone can play.
- Splendor and expansion
- Spyfall 2
- Unstable Unicorns
- Carcassonne Safari
- Catan + 5-6 player expansion
- Ticket to Ride Europe
- Cards Against Humanity
- Cash N Guns
- The Resistance
- Codenames Disney
- Bang the Dice Game
- Betrayal at The House on the Hill
- Sheriff of Nottingham
- Red Dragon Inn
- The Castle of Burgundy
- Coma Ward
- The Game of Life Classic Edition (not pictured)
- Spartanopoly (not pictured)
- Risk (not pictured)
- Clue (not pictured)
- Quixx (not pictured)
- Various Magic the Gathering Cards (not pictured)
- Million Dollars But… (not pictured)