Hi y’all! Long time no talk! 2020 has been a weird freaking year, huh. It started out for me at work, planning every little detail of the transition for our company to work from home for “two weeks” if COVID-19 became an issue. Then I left to celebrate a family wedding in Costa Rica. Then I rushed back into the United States before we maybe closed our borders because the virus was taking over the world. Since then (that was… 8 months ago?), I: discovered that I like working from home most of the time, took up making oceanscapes out of resin, spent way too much money on dog surgery (Rigby loves eating socks as snacks), gave up resin, worked out a lot, read a lot, stopped working out, knitted a bunch of hats like it’s cold in San Diego, missed my Mom (Dad, you too of course), became REALLY good at roasting a chicken, and watched more TV than I’d like to admit. Luckily my brother pays for Netflix (don’t worry, he’s a lawyer and makes enough money to fund my television pass time).
Anyway, somewhere between wearing a hazmat suit to the grocery store and “covid” becoming part of my regular vocabulary, I realized that I really miss writing. The only problem is that I haven’t had too much to write about – traveling isn’t really an option and I’m not sure many people care about the details of caring for a dog who received intestinal blockage surgery. Last night, after playing one of my favorite board games with my Quarantine Crew, I decided on a good comeback post: The 5 Board Games Everyone Needs in their Cabinet! I hope you all agree and play along!
If you love words, this is your game! Perfect for four or more players (although I think four is the ideal), this play at your own pace game requires teams to use clues to link together their assigned words in less turns than the other team. It’s easy to pick up, very fun to win, and even comes in a two-player version (Codenames Duet)! It can be played with new friends and old friends, and is especially fun when you can use inside jokes and personal references to score a win! Not only is there a Codenames App available to purchase, but the regular version can definitely be played via Zoom as well!
Monikers is the perfect combination of Catch Phrase (another great game to own) and charades, and it’s guaranteed to have your group laughing! After breaking your group up into two teams, each team has one minute to get through a deck of cards (each card has a noun ranging from a normal noun, like Bob Ross, to more obscure nouns, such as an underwear vending machine) using the typical catch phrase style. After the deck is complete, you go through the same deck for two more rounds for a total of: 1. say anything to describe the word 2. one-word description 3. charades. The idea is that you remember the cards as you go, so while each round gets harder for the clue giver, the clue guessers have some context from previous rounds to help. We’ve played this at casual outdoor restaurants and other tables have gotten involved in the hilarity! I’ll let you imagine how funny this game can get when words like “a wedgie” and “Bill Clinton” come around!
Do you like yelling at your friends? HAH – apparently I do! Resistance is a game of deception; you have to lie to your friends to win! Each game play lasts 20-30 minutes and requires a minimum of 5 players, so you usually play multiple rounds of the game. I think it’s best to be played with a group of people who are comfortable with each other, and while this game can get loud, I promise it’s a ton of fun! Note: If anyone has played Secret Hitler or One Night Werewolf, it’s a similar concept.
4. Ticket to Ride
I held out on trying this game for so long because it’s a bit more expensive than a typical board game, but I’m glad I finally bit the bullet, as it gets played so much in our house! Let’s hear it for a multi-player game that can also be played with two players and be just as fun! In this game, you and your opponents ride your way across a map of the United States, creating train routes for points as you go. Each turn is pretty short, so while you’re not racing a clock, the game moves along quickly! The winner at the end is the person who has the most points from completing their desired train routes. Another great option for playing remotely – there is a phone app for $5.99 that allows you to invite friends to play online on their own device!
No game list is complete without Catan! This strategic game requires some effort to learn, but once you know how to play, I promise you will love it! Settle across the land and harvest resources to build cities and expand your civilization, all with the goal of earning victory points. The first person to 10 victory points wins! Catan is made for 4 players, but expansion packs are available to allow for up to 6.
I hope you have fun playing your way through quarantine! If I missed any favorites, let me know! I’m always down to try something new!