New Board Games You Should Try

Within the past few years, I’ve fallen back in love with board games.  We all have good memories of playing Sorry or Monopoly with friends and family (though maybe not necessarily with Monopoly…), and it’s always just fun to sit down and play a game with other people.  My best friend from back home introduced me to more modern board games, blowing away the classics we all grew up with. Now that I’ve started a collection with my girlfriend, and have played quite a few others we don’t own yet, here’s my list of games you should definitely buy (or at least try out) to fall back in love with the incredible thing that is board games:

 

Lords of Waterdeep ($50 retail)

This game is branded by the popular tabletop RPG game Dungeons & Dragons, but you don’t have to know a thing about it to play this board game.  It takes place over eight rounds, and is a worker placement game: you have a set amount of meeples (those little pieces you use to move around a board--they have a name!), and collect resources to complete quests, which get you points.  There are multiple mechanics to the game, including buildings that you can buy and let all players have more options to gain resources, and Intrigue cards to gain resources or temporarily other players in their tracks. You also “play” as a Lord of Waterdeep: certain quest types (or buildings) will give you added points if you’ve completed them before the end of the game, which adds post-game points that could buff you into the lead.

 

I also have the expansion to this game, which adds 2 more small boards with six new placement spots in total, new Intrigue, quest and building cards, and a new mechanic: corruption.  If you like being a bit too chaotic and are willing to take the chance of getting more resources for a potential loss of points, this is the mechanic for you! It becomes really fun and crazy, especially with cards that let you take corruption away from the game: permanently making any corruption worth more points lost to you.

 

Sushi Go!/Sushi Go Party! ($10/$20 retail respectively)

 

This is a quick card game with adorable art of different kinds of sushi.  For such a cheap price, it’s honestly such a steal, with how much fun and joy it’ll cause you whenever you open the tin.  Each game lasts three rounds, with one round constituting going through all cards in each player’s hand. Each player gets a certain amount of cards in their hand (depending on how many players there are, with 10 cards max each for a 2 player game).  You draw a card, reveal it, and then pass your hand to the player next to you.  It’s a really unique mechanic to a typical point-based card game, and all the different cards have different ways to gain points.  There are the basic nigiris, which are just worth a base amount of points based on which one you get (there are 3 in total). Then there are the wasabi, which multiply a nigiri played on top of it by three--giving you 3, 6, or 9 points in total.  Dumplings stack, where one is worth 1 point, but then go up to 3, 6, 10 and 15 for a stack of 5 dumplings. Other fun card types include those that need multiples to gain points (like tempura and sashimi), and chopsticks that let you replace the card back into your current hand and grab two cards instead.

 

Sushi Go Party! is kind of an expansion on this game, where you now get a play mat to track points, as well as the choice of new and old types of sushi, desserts and “specialties”: you create a menu for the game, and those cards get shuffled in.  New cards include different desserts: fruit and green tea ice cream; specialty items like soy sauce, and edamame for games with at least three players. It’s such a cute game, and I feel the updated version of Sushi Go Party! allows a refreshing element to each game, where the menu can be changed up every time, as well as also going back to the basic setup of the original Sushi Go!.

Ticket to Ride ($40 retail)

Like travel?  Like creating continuous tracks/pictures while playing a game?  Then this is the game for you! Travel back in time to the heyday of the transcontinental railroad, and create tracks between destinations to score points from your “tickets” (the cards that say what cities you need to connect).  Collect cards of different colored train cars, play them for points and for building the longest continuous railroad in the game. Ticket to Ride is definitely a long game, with definitely delayed gratification, but it’s fun to play a very relaxing, not-so-competitive game with friends--and pronounce silly city names you didn’t know existed (I get so excited whenever I get a card saying I need to start or end in Duluth).

The game now has different base sets, like Ticket to Ride: Europe, and a ton of expansions like 1910, Africa, the Netherlands, and 1912 (for the Europe base game).  The only annoying thing is the tiny size of cards, which are hard to shuffle and kind of hard to hold onto and sort, but the later games have fixed this and sized up the cards to standard.  If you have the $40 to drop on a game, I highly suggest this, because it’s really fun, and you feel really satisfied when you finish a long 20-or-so point ticket that’s transcontinental.