If you've read our article about the new generation of consoles, you know very well that it may not be possible to buy them for Christmas. However, it is not worth crying because of this, because it is a great opportunity to try something else that will work even better in the family circle.
The more so that in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which very often forces us to be even more dependent on electronics and technology, sometimes it's good to reset with something more analog. Board games are one of the best options, so we will try to convince you of this hobby by presenting noteworthy titles, both for beginners who are just starting their adventure with this world, and more experienced players. Or maybe you think that board games are not for you, because it's fun for the youngest or just plain boring?
It's time to end stereotypes
In that case, we'll start by disenchanting those stereotypes that probably stemmed from the fact that you've tried the wrong games. If your idea of board games is based on such titles as Chinese or Monopoly (or Eurobusiness), it is hardly surprising that you do not associate them with high emotions, exciting gameplay or just having fun. Although both of these titles are classics that are very popular and many of us spent a lot of time with them with our family, they are mechanically ... boring. Similarly to the Talisman, also known in our country as Magic and the Sword, which, although tempting with the subject of classic fantasy and the vision of an amazing adventure, can drag on for hours without offering a satisfactory conclusion, but only a relief that it is over.
Meanwhile, modern board games make interesting choices for players and give the feeling that the result depends on our decisions, not accidental dice rolls (although there is nothing wrong with dice rolling and there are games that have mastered it to the championship). In addition, if you have not played board games for a long time and you have not dealt with them in recent years, you may be surprised how effective they look on the table, tempting with the graphics and components alone. Ordinary plastic pieces have long gone into oblivion and nowadays wooden meeples (human-shaped elements) or even extremely detailed plastic figures are used. In addition, there are meticulously made and decorated boards, tiles, cards and tokens that please the eye at every step and encourage you to play. Just like various topics - horror in the atmosphere of H. P. Lovecraft's novels, detective detective stories, classic fantasy or science-fiction set in the world of Star Wars. The board game market is already so large that everyone will find something for themselves.
Because it's always better in a group
Coming back to the topic of comparing with video games, board games have one major advantage over them. While we usually play computer games alone, or with other players online, in the case of board games the opposite is true. This means that although some of them allow you to play solo, most of them require a larger group (usually from 2 players up). Direct contact with your teammates allows you to tighten ties, and in this respect, board games are unrivaled - there is nothing like great fun and an evening full of emotions with friends. Of course, in the current pandemic situation, it is better to limit yourself to the hour and the nearest, but when the situation returns to normal, it can also be a great excuse to expand the group of your friends.
Unfortunately, such a large selection can be a headache, especially for beginners. And since it is not worth throwing yourself into deep waters at the beginning, because we can quickly bounce off the game, the manual of which is 40 pages long, some help will be useful. At the beginning, it is worth experimenting a bit to see what games we like the most - maybe economic euro games, where randomness is limited to a minimum, and the winning is determined by the best strategy and optimization of moves, maybe the so-called ameritrashe, i.e. titles focused more on adventure, emotion and pure fun, where there is usually a lot of randomness related to wholesale dice, and maybe logical games where we will strain gray cells by solving new puzzles. Well, modern board games are often a hybrid of different genres and it is difficult to classify them clearly, so there is nothing else but to try.
... but what to choose?
And this is where our proposals come into play, making this difficult task a bit easier, with which every geek will have a great time - solo, with other positively twisted geeks or the whole family. We tried to choose the titles so that everyone would find something interesting here, regardless of their experience, favorite genre or subject matter, and we have included on the list both great hits, played by the whole world, and less obvious productions, which, however, have a huge potential. Another factor was also very important to us, namely ... the games are meant to be a Christmas gift for loved ones (which we will test together right away), so they have to be safe and not cost a fortune, because it was an extremely difficult year for everyone. Enjoy reading and playing!
Twang! Don't Tease The Dragon (Lucrum Games)
An undisputed hit of recent months, if not years, that literally everyone will like. Really, we don't know a person who, after an exciting and laughable treasure hunt, would say that they don't want to play it anymore. We will definitely encounter a situation where some people will not want to play anything else (seriously, tested!). What is equally important, it is a game whose rules are literally a few pages and can be explained to others in a few moments, which means that Brzdęk can be a great game to start your adventure with board games, after which we will either reach for more similar suggestions, or we will decide on the next level of initiation, i.e. games of a slightly heavier caliber. What is it all about? Players take on the role of thieves, whose task is to collect as many treasures and artifacts as possible and leave the dungeons in front of their companions ... without irritating the title dragon. Along the way, we recruit allies, fight opponents, collect precious valuables and do our best not to make too much noise, because each Brzdęk can trigger an attack of an angry reptile, who will not be happy that someone steals his trinkets. The game is based on the deck building mechanics, i.e. everyone starts with a specific set of cards, which over time supplies them with better and better ones, allowing you to move, fight, collect treasures and buy new abilities, so that ultimately you get the most points on your account.
Trip to El Dorado (Our Bookstore)
There will also be treasures in the legendary city of El Dorado, which we will try to reach as expedition leaders in this board game - this is one of the candidates for the Spiel des Jahres award and the winner of this year's Board Game of the Year, i.e. the most prestigious award in our country . So many people can't be wrong and we are of the opinion that they are right, because the Expedition to El Dorado is simply a great game that is simple enough for beginners, but at the same time can be demonstrated by more experienced players, and this combination is always nice seen. As we have already mentioned, in the game we will play the role of the organizers of an expedition, whose task is to set off into the jungle full of dangers and find the legendary El Dorado, where supposedly only treasures await (the experience of the conquistadors suggests otherwise, but who would not want to be the first to cross the gates of this miracle? ). However, it is easy to speak and definitely more difficult to do, which is why we have many difficult decisions ahead of us - a ship or a plane, natives or a specialized guide, what equipment to take and what route to choose? There can be only one winner, so better not to think too long, because someone else will take the fame from under your nose!
Tiny Epic: Mechs (Fishbone Games)
The year is 3030. Technology has dominated the entertainment industry. Reality, once referred to as virtual, has become a new everyday life, and sports that used to be hosted on flat screens have entered the third dimension on a global scale. The most popular of them are a perfect example of the present state of evolution, and these are extraordinary performances called M.E.C.H .: The Mechanical Extra League of Cybernetic Heroes. It sounds interesting? Definitely! Especially if you like the atmosphere of the future and mechs, as well as competition - in this case Tiny Epic: MECHS is perfect, because players play the role of well-trained mech pilots who have 6 rounds to defeat the opponent and win the duel. Every round we move around the arena, set up turrets and explosive mines, collect resources, buy weapons, put on power armor, and sometimes take control of a mega-machine. In short, we use all available means on our way to glory, which is not as easy as it might seem at first - the game may fit in a tiny box (as suggested by the series name - Tiny Epic), but it's actually full Learn and master the content and mechanics before we steal our viewers' hearts and become the MECH League champions! This is the perfect gift for every guy, and as you know, it is with them that the biggest gift problems are always :)
Last Aurora (Portal Games)
This is an offer for people who have had contact with board games before, because the title is a bit more demanding, and its heavy post-apocalyptic atmosphere will not appeal to everyone. However, if you like survival games in a freezing wasteland where everything seems to work against you, then you are at home. Here we find ourselves in a very unpleasant world full of rebellious machines, radioactive dust and eternal winter, where we will play the role of group leaders trying to lead their people to the title Aurora - an icebreaker, the last hope of humanity, who flows along the coast in search of survivors. As you can easily guess, the task will not be easy, because on the way we will face a lot of unpleasantness, both natural and from enemies who will try to stop our convoy and deprive us of the chance to survive, and here every second counts. In short, there is no shortage of climate, and from the mechanical point of view, we are dealing with a game in which we will collect loot cards, explore the area, collect items to improve the convoy, fight, gather new survivors and, above all, how to most effectively manage resources that are very limited . The game can be played by 1 to 4 players, each of whom will do everything to ensure that his convoy does the best and reaches Aurora, which often means taking valuable resources and anticipating the movements of other players to get the best out of it .
Get on a train. Europe (Rebel)
Another absolute classic and winner of many awards (including the most prestigious Spiel des Jahres), where there is no mistake and a great Christmas gift for people of all ages. Especially now, when classic travel is not possible, because the game is about building railway connections between specific locations and allows for a virtual journey through the most important cities of the Old Continent at the turn of the last century. In this particular case, because it is worth noting that the series has had many other versions, in which we will find our way to most of the continents of our globe - at the beginning, however, we recommend Europe, and then you can try additions that often introduce new mechanisms. Everyone can handle the game because the rules are as simple as possible - just a moment of translating and everyone knows what to do and how to do it. In a nutshell, players collect cards with images of carriages and use them to build stations and, above all, railway lines between cities, which they have indicated on the task cards drawn at the beginning of the game, using plastic cars of the color selected at the beginning. The goals of the players are secret, so when building, we often spoil the plans of other people who wanted to put their cars on the same route and force them to change their strategy.
Boarding (Our Bookstore)
And since we are already traveling, we have one more proposal for you, but this time we aim higher ... literally, because we change the means of transport from trains to planes. We will also not create air connections or build airports, but we will deal with another very difficult task, namely the proper seating of passengers on our plane. And although at first glance there is nothing difficult about it, the passengers in this game are very demanding and it certainly cannot be left to chance. So let's go! Lovers would love to sit next to each other, children must have adults next to them, businessmen, tourists and environmentalists like to be in their own circle, and some of them must admire the views from the window seat, others prefer to sit by the aisle to avoid scuffle ... and how to reconcile it all? Let's face it, it will not be easy, and the person who is the best in this role of the organizer wins. And remember, although you can always ask someone who does not suit us very well, it is not in the style of reputable airlines, and additionally gives us negative points. As you can see, the game allows for a lot of ideas, but at the same time has very simple and transparent rules, so everyone will learn them without any problems - a great proposition for the beginning of the adventure, but also the old people having fun with it.
Detective - Season One (Portal Games)
Or maybe you've always dreamed of becoming a private detective or a police investigator and solving the most difficult cases like Sherlock Holmes, Lieutenant Columbo or Kojak? We have good news, because board games provide such an opportunity, it is enough to reach for the Detektyw series, for which the recognized Polish author of games, Ignacy Trzewiczek, is responsible. At the beginning, the best choice seems to be Detective - Season One, in which players are given 3 mysterious cases to solve. So we will pursue the murderer of a fingerprint specialist, look for motives and clues in an English mansion full of suspects and try to solve a mysterious mystery in the mafia world. Okay, but how is it played? Each case has its own deck of 24 cards, from which we learn new facts, along the way, writing down tips, thoughts and connecting facts, gradually getting closer to the finale, and it is only up to us whether we can catch the murderers or get away with the crimes . We also get new investigators with special abilities and 24 portraits of suspects, with the help of which we can create our own network of criminal connections, allowing us to better understand the atmosphere and definitely facilitate solving the puzzle. In the worst case, use the notebook, because don't count on you being able to remember everything!
As we should still limit social contacts due to the pandemic, games where already 2 people can have fun may also be a good idea. All kinds of card games will work great here, but remember that they are primarily for people who like a touch of competition - after all, it's about beating your opponent directly! KeyForge stands out here clearly, because although there are many games of this genre on the market, we mostly build our decks ourselves, improving them cards during the game, and here we use ready-made individual sets. Individual to such an extent that, as the creators assure, each deck at All About Movies is as unique as the person who wields it. This means that decks do not repeat themselves, so each duel will be a surprise for us and we will have to learn to react quickly to our opponent's unique moves. For the same reason, the game will not necessarily work for people who are completely new to the genre, for whom it can be simply very stressful - not only do they have to learn the rules (of which there are some), but they are not able to predict what awaits them. In the case of more experienced players, however, it can be a bull's eye, especially if they like games with atmosphere, because there is plenty of it here. During the game, we play the role of Archons competing for the first to discover the treasures of the Crucible - an extraordinary world made of planetary elements. But the task is not easy, so we must use all available resources, creatures, technologies, artifacts and skills!
Kreologia (Fishbone Games)
Or maybe we could face monsters, but not with swords, but with books, in the name of science? Kreology is undoubtedly one of the most unique games on our list for several reasons. First of all, it is beautifully made and in the box you will find a lot of colorful elements that ask you to take them out on the table and play. What's more, this production is mechanically very interesting, and this is due to an unusual genre treatment - at first glance it looks like a dungeon crawler, in which we usually explore new areas to eliminate all enemies that will wind up under the dwarven ax (elf's bow). , knight's sword ... choose your favorites). Meanwhile, it may be a dungeon crawler, but for people who are more peaceful, because instead of killing, we will ... learn about the customs, culture and beliefs of the encountered creatures, and there will also be elements typical of euro games! In the game we play the role of Renaissance scholars exploring dungeons and collecting information about the creatures inhabiting them, all in order to win a competition for a vacant position of a professor at the strangest university in the world. There is only one problem, mythical beings will not necessarily be happy with our presence, because no one likes being stuck in their own affairs, right? And watch out for dishonest scholars (read: comrades), because some may take shortcuts and just steal our discoveries!
DC Superhero Duel and Evil Forever (Egmont)
Superheroes and their worst enemies - this fight never ends and that's good, because it's also a lot of fun! Especially if we can not only watch heroes on the screen (which unfortunately did not work this year), but also impersonate them, getting a substitute for their superpowers. We get this opportunity in the card games Duel of Superheroes and Eternal Evil, where we lead the fight respectively of superheroes and super villains from the DC stable. And although these are two separate games, we decided to include them in one point, because they are really based on the same mechanics, and the fundamental change comes down to who and with whom we will fight - in Superhero Duel, we play the heroes and defeat rogues, and Eternity of Evil allows you to change sides to super villains and kick the heroes ... who likes what! Either way, we are dealing with a deck building card game, i.e. each player starts with the same set of cards, which he then develops, buying better and better, until he is ready to defeat the super villains or superheroes. Before the game, we also choose one hero / villain card, in which we will play, gaining a superpower that makes the game easier. It is also worth emphasizing, although the game is about combat, the person with more points wins, so people who have problems with direct competition will also have a great time with it. And after a few games, we can still reach for additions, such as Rogues, which introduce new mechanics, enemies, characters ... and the fun starts from the beginning!