Review of Exploding Kittens

In-Depth Review of Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a card game version of Russian roulette in which exploding kittens are added to a deck in the same way bullets are added to the revolver. So before getting any further into this review, I would like to state that if you are thinking of playing Russian roulette I would highly suggest trying exploding kittens out first as it will certainly not be as life threatening. Furthermore, I also do not suggest or promote trying out Russian roulette for anyone! Now with that out of the way I am going to start with the gameplay before getting in the review of Exploding Kittens. This will hopefully help you get a better idea of what the game will be like.

Gameplay

Before beginning the game a player must deal out one defuse card to each player. These defuse cards are the players’ lifeline if they happen to draw an exploding kitten throughout the course of the game. Allowing a player to simple defuse the exploding kitten and put it back into the deck, but a defuse card can only be used once. Luckily players can get additionally defuse cards from various methods one of which is from simply drawing more cards.

After a a defuse has been dealt out to each player the remaining cards in the deck are then dealt out until each player has a total of five cards including the defuse. Some of the other cards a player can receive are as follows:

  • Nope Card(5 Cards)- This card being by far my favorite one to receive, other than a defuse card of course, allows a player to nope any one action except defusing. The benefits of drawing this card are numerous as it can function as an offensive, defensive, or just straight revenge type of card. Nothing is better than throwing down a nope card and stopping the plans of your friends or acquaintances. Be careful though as players may try to get back at you.
  • Skip Card(4 cards)- The skip card allows a player to skip there turn. This card can be great if you know an exploding kitten is imminent and is often used in conjunction with other cards.
  • Attack Card(4 cards)- The attack card is great card to really screw another player over, as it forces them to draw two cards on their turn. An additionally feature of this card is that it allows the player who plays to also skip their turn. Thus, also providing the function of the skip card with the addition of an offensive action.
  • Shuffle Card(4 cards)- This one seems to be one of the more useless cards especially as the deck gets smaller and smaller. It can however be a lifesaver at times when you are out of defuses and are about to draw an exploding kitten, but of course a skip or attack would work just as well.
  • See the Future Card(5 cards)- This card as you can guess allows players to see into the future. Three cards into the future to be exact, as they are allowed to look at the top three and then must place them back in the same order. The downfall of this card as seeing into the future does you no good without the other cards.
  • Cat Cards(4 of each type)- The cat cards are unique from the other type of cards because they do not have a description on them for what they do. Making them powerless on their own, but in combos and pairs can do some amazing actions. For example, if you have a pair you may steal a card from any players hand.
  • Favor(4 cards)- The favor card forces one player to give you a card from their hand. The catch is they get to choose which card.

After all players have received their cards the exploding kittens that should have been previously left out of the deck are now added in based on how many players you have.

  • 2 players- Add 1 exploding kitten card
  • 3 players- Add 2 exploding kitten cards
  • 4 players- Add 3 exploding kitten cards
  • 5 players- Add 4 exploding kitten cards

As you can tell the amount of exploding kitten cards in the deck are always 1 less than then amount of players participating. Once these cards are added in and the deck is shuffled the game begins.

Players take turns in which they may first play or not play any card in their hand, given that it is an appropriate time to play it. After all desired actions have been taken, a player must then end their turn by drawing a card. This is flipped from most games as players typically draw first. Players will continue to keep taking turns until someone is unfortunate to draw an exploding kitten.

When a player draws an exploding kitten they must use their defuse card. Allowing them to avoid being removed from the game and instead placing the exploding kitten where ever they please in the deck. This can be very helpful if you wish to target the next player, as you can simply place the exploding kitten on top. If a player does not have a defuse card they are “dead” and removed from the game. Players then continue taking turns until one player is left. The last player standing is the winner!

Other Gameplay Options

There are a few additionally rules that players can add to make the game more interesting. For one, players can allows the use of special combos. These combos will add an extra layer of strategy to the game. Here are some of the combos allowed in “Advanced Play.”

  • Two of a Kind-Play any two cards of the same type and steal one card from any opponent. This is the same two of a kind function used with the Cat Cards, but now it applies to all types of cards.
  • Three  of a Kind-Play three of any card and you may steal a card in a similar manor to Two of a Kind from an opponent. The difference is that you can declare what card you want. If they have it you take it, but if they do not have the card you ask for you get nothing.
  • Five Different Cards-If a player plays five cards each one of a different type they may look through the draw pile and take any one card.

Other than the Advanced Play rules you may also try out combining decks to increase the number of people who can play. For example, you can mix two of the same deck and have ten people play or mix the regular deck with the NSFW Explding Kittens deck. Furthermore, you can mix the regular deck or the NSFW deck with the Imploding Kittens thus adding even more depth to the game.

Here is the In-Depth Review of Exploding Kittens:

Below I will list positive points, negative points, and a conclusion review of Exploding Kittens:

Positive Points

Exploding Kittens is super easy to learn as it takes only a few minutes which is great in a party game. Another nice thing about it is that it that adds in to making it such a great party game is that a game last roughly fifteen minutes. On top of that the game becomes more intense as time goes on and the deck gets smaller. So in those fifteen  minutes a lot can happen and by the end players will typically wish to play again and again.

Another aspect of this game that makes it great for being a party game or a quick pick up and play game is that its setup is super quick and easy. As previously stated you only have to deal out defuse cards and four other cards to each player. Then put the appropriate amount of exploding kittens back into the deck shuffle it up and off you go. Also with it being a card game and all the cleanup is super easy compared to other games.

Exploding Kittens also adds some very interesting and well done graphic designs on the cards that can be both pleasing and disturbing to look at depending on which deck you own.

The excitement from not know if you are going draw an Exploding Kitten constantly puts players on edge, especially if they no longer have a defuse.  This makes the game a bit of an adrenaline rush for some.

For the simplicity of this game it packs a decent amount of strategy into it, as players are constantly trying to be tactically in when and how they play their cards. Some may target one player to take them out if they notice they are low on cards.  While others may simple play defensive and just not try to aggravate anyone. Furthermore, the strategy can be increased significantly by playing with the Advanced Rules or with the addition of Imploding Kittens.

My Likes

So other than reasons for why it is a great party game I am going to talk about what I liked in the game.

One of the first things that I noticed I enjoyed about the game was the ability to just target a player. Nothing is better than exacting sweet sweet revenge on your friend who screwed you over in the previous game. This game allows you to do exactly that and is by far one of my favorite things to do. Although, if you are trying to win it may not be you best option strategically speaking, but it is definitely a fun option.

The captions on the cards are another thing that I find myself enjoying, as each card has its own description on it. This helps to keep the game from becoming too mundane especially after consecutive plays.

Negative Points

One of the main negatives in Exploding Kittens is that its gameplay is not anything spectacular. Mainly because of its simplicity which does make it great for some things and is a reason it made it on our Best Board Games for Couples List. The unfortunate part of the simplistic gameplay is that it can get boring pretty easily. The bright side is that depending on who you play the game with and in what way you play it you may never have to worry about this.

Another negative that becomes pretty obvious is the randomness in the game. You are never sure on who may target who or what cards will be drawn. To make matters worse some cards are significantly better than others making the luck of the draw a relatively important aspect of the game. Fortunately, this luck aspect is minimized to a point when a player plays strategically enough.

Conclusion

Exploding Kittens is a quick and easy to learn card game that can be a significant amount of fun. It is a perfect party game that can be played with 2-5 players or even more players with the addition of other decks. The game is overall pretty simple as expected with an easy to learn game, but can gain more complexity with the addition of Imploding Kittens. The theme and graphics are very interesting and well done making the overall experience quite pleasant. The gameplay is not bad, but could definitely use some improvement. There is also a significant amount of luck in the game, but there is also a decent amount of strategy involved with the game too. Making it a game that is easy to play with new players and veterans. Giving both types a decent chance at winning the game.

10 Best Board Games from the 90s

Many great things happened during the 90s and many great things were invented. This list however will not be covering all of those things. Merely 10 of the best board games that were made during the 90s. These games are great for any board game lover, 90s junk, and some of them are even great to start getting into board games. So with that in mind, here is out 10 Best Board Games from the 90s.

1.) Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is a great game in general. It contains many desirable elements, which can satisfy a wide variety of needs. First off this game has a unique aspect that it is extremely renowned for; its ability to be appealing to both experienced and inexperienced board game players. Thus, this game can be a great board game for veteran board gamers to use as a gateway game to draw in new members to the hobby. Secondly, this game provides a multitude of game mechanics that user may find very satisfactory, the list of mechanics are as follows:

  • Dice Rolling
  • Hand Management
  • Modular Board
  • Route/Network Building
  • Trading

Finally, Settlers of Catan provides friendly competition that will not be devastating to relationships.

2.) Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering is another amazing board game, well technically collectible card game that was released in 1993. This CCG is still being updated in modern time and has reached above 17,000 cards. Making a countless amount of decks that can be built possible. This game can take some intensive learning and practice to become relatively good.

3.) Tigris and Euphrates

Tigris and Euphrates is one of the earlier great civilization building games. Containing a vast amount of abstract strategy and territory building, players who enjoy strategy in general will find this game enjoyable. An interesting aspect of this board game is that players are scored based on their weakest category which can be any of the following:

  • Farming
  •  Trading
  • Religion
  • Government

This and Settlers of Catan are by far two of the best strategy games on the list of best board games from the 90s.

4.) El Grande

Published in 1995, El Grande became one of the greatest board games of the 90s. Its renaissance styled strategy, beautiful design, and entertainment value lead it to win board game of the year for 1996. However, this game is relatively pricey so do be forewarned if you are looking to purchase this game.

5.) Tichu

Tichu is a partnership game in which players must work together to acquire the most points. Players earn or lose points based on how fast they are able to empty out their hands. There are also interesting ways for players to earn bonus points via “Tichu” calls. Finally, to win the game players must reach 1,000 points.

This game is by far one of the more affordable options. It provides a vast amount of strategy and fun, while also having relatively simple rules and gameplay.

6.) Bohnanza

Bohnanza is the best trading card game/board game of the 90s. This game emphasizes the importance of trading, as players cannot rearrange their hand while also making players play their cards down in the order that they received them. If you love to make deals and trade with others this game is for you.

7.) Middle-Earth

This great CCG is unfortunately been out of print since 1999. Although one can still purchase the 1995 Orgins best card game winner, Middle Earth, its price is now around $50. This was another great CCG from the 90s and as a rather big Lord of the Rings fan I must say that it is a shame that this game is out of print. If you love CCGs this would be a great one to try out, but would not suggest it over Magic if you plan on seriously getting into it or are not a fan of LOTR.

8.) Legend of the Five Rings

Legend of the Five Rings is another great CCG from the 90s. However, this CCG is different from any other CCG, as it incorporates a unique concept of clans. Building your deck around the clans is a must and once you choose your clan you become a part of that clan in the game and in real life.

9.) Space Crusade

Space Crusade is a cross between War Hammer 40,000 SpaceHulk. It provides many great merged aspects that lead to one fun game, especially for the 90s. However, it does have some mechanic issues that buyers of the game should be aware of.

10.) Twilight Imperium

Twilight Imperium is a unique space conquest game that combines multiple elements that make for a unique game. The game relies heavily on the political aspect between players.

Card Games Like UNO

Top Card Games Like UNO

Uno is a simple to play family friendly board game that both adults and children can enjoy together. The basis of the game if you have not played it is to play cards of the same color or number during your turn. To win the game you must empty your hand first if you can’t play a card on your turn you must draw. There are few other cards that add a bit of a twist to keep the game interesting such as the reverse or draw 2 cards. Finding simple to play card games can be a challenge especially if you are looking for ones similar to UNO.  That is why I have created this list of Top Card Games Like Uno to help you find your next game to play with the family or with your friends.

1.) Go Fish

Go Fish is definitely a card game like UNO, as it takes little to no time to learn and is great for a family to play. In Go Fish players have the goal of trying to get the most “books” of cards which are any four of a kind. To get these books players must ask other players for cards that they have in their hands. If the player does not have the card that was asked for the asking play must “Go Fish” and draw a new card from the deck. This happens till the deck runs out of cards and the winner is declared based on their amounts of four of a kind.

2.) Phase 10

Phase 10 is a little more complex than the previous two, but is still easy to learn and takes little time to set up and play. There are 10 phases that must be completed and the first player to complete all 10 phases wins. For example, a phase could be something like play 2 sets of three or a set of four. Phases are completed on a round by round basis and if a player does not complete a phase before the round is over they must start back at the same phase the next round.

3.) Skip Bo

Skip Bo is pretty simple to learn, but the strategies used in the game can be quite complex. The objective of the game is to get rid of the thirty cards that you start with into one of the four building piles that will go from 1 to 12.

4.) Rack-O

Rack-O is a great card game that is similar to UNO considering just how easy it is to learn. The game involves players trying to score the highest points through the collecting of cards on their “rack.” The first player to have all cards on their rack going from lowest to highest win the round. The cards are numbered 1-60 allowing some wiggle room in the game.

5.) Apples to Apples

Although Apples to Apples isn’t really in the same category as UNO is, it still makes for a great family friendly card game that is super easy to learn. In Apples to Apples players take turns drawing the description cards which could be something like “goofy” and then players must play thing cards that best match that. The player with the best matching card wins the round. If you are looking for a more adult version of this Cards Against Humanity is the perfect fit.

Best 6 Player Board Games

Best 6 Player Board Games

Having 6 people who all want to play a board game at once can be quite the challenge, as most board games are suited towards 2-5 players and typically best played with 3 players or 4 players unless they are party games. So what do you do when you are expecting 6 people? Do you split them up into groups of 2 and 4 or 3 and 3 then send them on their way to play their own separate games? Well, you can certainly do that, or you can check out our Best 6 Player Board Games and make sure that you always have one of these on hand just in case.

1.) Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica is a great 6 player board game similar to Pandemic that combines a multitude of elements. As players must work together to keep Galactica in one piece and make it back to earth, that is as long as they are on the human’s side. Throughout the course of the game, players are given loyalty cards that decide which sides they are on. If a player happens to get a Cylon loyalty card their new objective is sabotage Galactica and keep it from reaching Earth. This keeps players on their toes as they must be careful not to get caught if they are with the Cylons, or if they are on the human side to deduce who is the traitor in the group.

Battlestar Galactica is definitely a top pick semi-cooperative board game for best 6 player board games, as it provides players with a decent 2-3 hour game that is certain to have at least some aspect that each player will love.

2.) The Resistance

The Resistance is a quick and easy pickup and play board game that takes roughly thirty minutes to complete and can be played multiple times. The objective of the game is dependent on which side you are loyal to in the game. If you are a Resistance Operative you are trying to help take down the empire by successfully completing the missions and weeding out any possible spies. However, if you are an Imperial Spy your objective is the opposite. You want to sabotage the missions and prevent the resistance from being successful while also keeping your cover.

This game is one of the best 6 player board games available that can be played in such a short time. The minimum players to play is 5 and max is 10.

3.) Power Grid

Power Grid is a bit longer than the previous two when played with 6 players, but is still a great game if you and your group have enough time. The objective of the game is to supply power to the most cities.  To do this players must purchase power plants by bidding against each other. However, players should be careful when purchasing plants as new plants will appear afterwards with the possibility of being more efficient. Thus, granting other players access to superior plants.

Although buying the plants is just half the part, players must also acquire materials to needed to power their plants.

Power grid can be played with 2-6 players

4.) For Sale

For Sale is another quick game that consists of players trying to accumulate the largest amount of wealth. To accumulate wealth players must first bid on properties that are numbered 1-30 the player who backs out of the bidding first gets the lowest property and then the second gets the second lowest and so on. The property bidding happens for a couple rounds after which players try to use the property cards they just bid on to earn checks.

To get a check, players place face down a property card of their choosing the highest card wins and receives the largest check out there the other players receive the other checks available based on their cards number. After players have finished trying to collect the checks they count up their leftover money and the value of the checks they received for the properties. The player with the highest amount of money wins pretty simple.

5.) Ca$h ‘n Gun$

Cash ‘n Guns is one of the most pretty unique 6 player board games on the list in which players must have a Mexican standoff for 8 rounds. Each round players pick a card from their hand either a bullet or a click card and after the boss gives the count players point their foam guns at whoever they choose. Before the boss gives the count again however he may tell one player to switch their target.

Once the boss gives the second count the players show their cards and if you get hit with a bang card you take a wound and are not allowed to take any of the loot cards on the table which helps you win the game. Also, if you had backed out of the round you may not take loot off the table, but you are safe from being wounded. Once a player is wounded three times they are out of the game.

These standoffs continue for the 8 rounds after which all remaining players look to see who has the most valuable stash and that player is deemed the winner.

This game can be played with 5-10 players.

6.) Shadow Hunters

Shadow Hunters is a survival board game in which players are put onto three teams:

  • Shadows
  • Hunters
  • Neutrals

At the start of the game, nobody knows who is on which team and players must try to figure who is on their team without revealing their self to the enemies if they want to have the best chance of winning. The Shadows wish to kill the Hunters and vice versa, but the Neutral players have other objectives that are dependent on each card. One objective may be to just kill somebody in the game it doesn’t matter who just kill them. While another may be tasked with trying to collect 4 pieces of equipment or just not die.

During the course of the game, players roll dice which allow them to go to certain locations. Each location will have its own action there such as draw a card and so on. Each player will take turns rolling the dice and carrying out their actions until either the Shadows kill off the Hunters or the Hunters kill off the Shadows.

Shadow Hunters is an extremely fun board game that can be played with 6 players.

Best 1 Player Board Game

Top 10 Best 1 Player Board Games

We all love to play board games with our friends. It is one of the main reasons that makes any game great is the company you play with. Although, it can be very hard to organize a large group of people to play every time you feel like playing a board game. That is why we have created this list of Top 10 Best 1 Player Board Games. So that you can add some great 1 player games to your collection and never have to worry about not being able to play again.

Here is a quick look at the Top 10 Best 1 Player Board Games:


  1. Scythe
  2. Mage Knight Board Game
  3. Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Curse Island
  4. Board Game: Friday
  5. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
  6. Space Hulk: Death Angel
  7. D-Day at Omaha Beach
  8. The Lord of The Rings: The Card Game
  9. Onirim
  10. Pandemic

Top 10 Best 1 Player Board Games

1.) Scythe

Each player in Scythe is attempting to collect the largest amount of wealth possible before a player places 6 of their stars on the board (game ends at this time).

During the start of the game players select a unique faction. After that they are given a faction card assigned to the faction along with another random card that tells them what actions they can take at what cost and so on. Once they have their two faction cards assign players may then draw the designated amount of objective and combat cards. After this is done along with the placement of a factions starting popularity and power the game begins on a turn by turn basis.

Each faction starts in their designated home territory and from their expands their power through multiple possible actions. Each action will benefit some aspect of the game for a single player depending on what they wish to strive for.

  • Players conquer territory
  • Enlist new recruit
  • Reap resources
  • Gain villagers
  • Build structures
  • Activate monstrous mechs
  • Gather wealth

The design of the game makes it a relatively fast paced for its complexity. Making most games go around just two hours.

The single-player aspect of this game is pretty interesting and quite fun. There is a youtube video on it that you can see which shows a solo play-through against Automa in the expansion. Scythe is a great game in general and with its single player aspect it tops the list as on of the best 1 player board games available.

2.) Mage Knight Board Game

Mage Knight combines elements of RPGs, deckbuilding, and traditional board game into one amazing game that is best with 1-2 players.

In the game, players will be able to play as one of the four powerful mage knights who are conquering the land under control of the Atlantean empire. To be able to conquer the land players must build powerful decks. There is a competitive version of the game in which you may want to work together, but must remember that only one will be able to claim the land as their own.

The solo play of this game is just as great as the multiplayer which is pretty rare. This game is debatable one of the best 1 player board games to date and could easily be number 1 on our list. The only reason Scythe is ahead of it is because of its versatility to be both a great single player and multiplayer. Whereas this game is better for a few players or just one. Regardless both of them are great and can provide you with a significant amount of fun.

3.) Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island

In Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island, players select from one of the six different scenarios to play while stranded on the island. Regardless of the scenario, selected players will still have to do some of the following to survive:

 

 

  • Find food
  • Build Shelter
  • Domesticate animals
  • Construct Weapons
  • Survive changing weather
  • Fight wild beast

Although there is a main objective set by the scenario selected, the game can take multiple different directions influenced by the player’s choices and by the hundreds of event, object, and structure cards.

This game is best with three players, but is still a great solo play game and definitely one of the top 3 for best 1 player board games.

4.) Board  Game: Friday

Friday is a unique solitaire deck-building game in which you the player must help Robinson Crusoe survive the island and prepare to defeat the incoming pirates.

The whole basis of this game is preparing to defeat two incoming pirate ships with the deck that you have constructed. The way you construct the deck is by each turn defeating one of the hazards of the island with a fight card. If a player is successful in doing so the hazard card turns into a fight card and is added to their deck. However, if a player is unable to defeat the hazard the player will lose a life token and have the opportunity to remove a played fight card from their deck.

This is a unique cheap game for someone who enjoys single player games and also wants something relatively quick as the game time is only thirty minutes.

5.) Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective you must put your mental abilities to the test by solving a mystery. You must trace the threads of evidence through the byways and mansions of nineteenth century London. You will also need to interview suspects, search the newspapers for clues, and put together the facts to reach a solution.

There is absolutely no luck in this game just a test of your deductive skills.

6.) Space Hulk: Death Angel

Space Hulk: Death Angel is a card game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe in which players must work together to clean out an infestation of a hostile alien.

In the game, players may select from one of the six combat teams which contain two marines with special abilities. After selecting a team the player is then given three action cards for his combat team then the fun begins.

Facing imminent attack from the Genestealers players must defend on a round by round basis broken up into phases. During these phases players will do the following:

  • Secretly play an action card in the choose action phase that cannot be used again the following round.
  • During the action resolution phase players reveal their action cards and carry out the actions hopefully killing off some of the Genestealers.
  • Finally, the Genestealers attack and the players must roll a higher number than the remaining Genestealers to successfully defend. If successful players grab an event card that spawns more Genestealers and move onto the next area.

7.) D-Day at Omaha Beach

In D-Day at Omaha Beach, Players control the US forces landing on Omaha Beach in which they must successfully land and take the beach from the game which controls the German forces. This is a game best played by 1 player although it can be played by 2.

8.) The Lord of The Rings: The Card Game

The Lord of The Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative board game in which players complete scenarios with their choice of three heroes their choice and a deck of allies. This game is played on a round by round basis in which players must choose to proceed further in the quest or fight enemies. Players must choose carefully as if they ignore the enemies too long they may grow too powerful.

Although this game is best suggested for two players it works just as well with one.

9.) Onirim

In Onirim, a player or players must gather 8 door cards to before the deck runs out to beat the game. To gain a door card players must complete on of the two actions: play three cards of the same color in a row or in some cases by discarding one of the powerful key cards. Players must decide what is the best purpose for their cards, while also preparing for the nightmare cards hidden in the deck.

10.) Pandemic

In Pandemic players are specialist fighting against diseases and must overcome challenges while finding the cures for the four different diseases.

This cooperative game is interesting as one player may be trying to promote the research for a cure. While another is focused on containing the outbreak. Great cooperative board game for those who rather work together.

Board Game of the Year List

Board Game of the Year List

The Spiel des Jahres (A.K.A Board Game of the Year) is the most prestigious award for board and card games. It is awarded annually by German game critics and has been since 1979. So if you are looking for a top notch game then look no further my friend.

  • 2016 Board Game of the Year: Codenames
  • 2015 Board Game of the Year: Colt Express
  • 2014 Board Game of the Year: Camel Up
  • 2013 Board Game of the Year: Hanabi
  • 2012 Board Game of the Year: Kingdom Builder
  • 2011 Board Game of the Year: Qwirkle
  • 2010 Board Game of the Year: Dixit
  • 2009 Board Game of the Year: Dominion
  • 2008 Board Game of the Year: Keltis
  • 2007 Board Game of the Year: Zooloretto
  • 2006 Board Game of the Year: Thurn and Taxis
  • 2005 Board Game of the Year: Niagara
  • 2004 Board Game of the Year: Ticket to Ride

2016 Board Game of the Year: Codenames

Codenames is a social word game with a simple premise and challenging gameplay. Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the table. Their teammates try to guess words of their color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.

The game works very well with 4 players if you prefer to guess without help. Or you can add more players if you prefer lively discussion. There is also a cooperative variant where a single team tries to achieve the highest score they can by playing against the game itself. Codenames is also very affordable and is on our list of 7 Amazing Board Games Under $20

Additionally, there is Codenames: Picture which is a variation of the game where pictures are used as clues instead of words.

2015 Board Game of the Year: Colt Express

In Colt Express, players take the roles of bandits who are robbing a train at the same time. The objective of the game is pretty simple to become the wealthiest bandit in the wild west. Players do this through the use of cards that allow them to steal gems or suitcases. Although, just stealing these items would be too easy players must also use certain cards to attack other bandits. Attacking another bandit can result in them dropping an item.

Each player will have their own unique advantages such as being able to draw and extra card each round or pocketing a bag of loot when you punch someone instead of it just falling to the ground.

2014 Board Game of the Year: Camel Up

Camel Up is a party-like betting game in which players must bet on different aspects of the camel race to earn money. There are four ways to earn money, three of them are betting and one is just progression of the game:

  • Position of a camel at the end of a leg
  • Use of Oasis card to guess where a camel may land
  • Betting on which camel will finish first or last
  • Moving a camel by launching a dice out of the pyramid gets a player 1 coin

This game is super easy to learn and makes for a fun quick set-up and play party game for 2-8 players.

2013 Board Game of the Year: Hanabi

Hanabi is a cooperative card game in which players have one simple task. . . to make the greatest fireworks show by placing their cards on the table in the proper order. The cards are in five different colors and are labeled 1-5 to make things even easier for you. Except it’s not really that easy.

The game adds a whole new level of challenge by requiring each player to hold their hands in a way that only the other players are able to see their cards. This is the challenging part to the game as players must work together to make the perfect fireworks show before they run out of cards.

*This game is roughly $10 dollars so a pretty affordable and great game if you are on a budget.

2012 Board Game of the Year: Kingdom Builder

Kingdom Builder is a fast paced strategy game in which players must construct settlements fit to certain conditions to gain the most gold and win. The way players can earn gold depends on what the victory conditions are. For example, one victory condition could be to build the largest settlement and the player with the largest cluster of settlements gets 1 gold for every 2 settlements in that group. Another could be that players gain 1 gold for each settlement built near at least 1 hex of water. So depending on what the three victory cards are players may be trying to place settlements in certain areas.

The only other way to earn gold is by building next to a location hex which will result in a player getting three gold at the end of the game. These location hexes can also provide other benefits such as being able to move a settlement from its original location.

This game is very quick only takes about 45 minutes and can be played with 2-4 players. The replay value on the game is extremely high, as each map is randomly made up of 4 of the 8 map pieces. Furthermore, there are 10 victory conditions provided with the game and three will be randomly selected each match.

2011 Board Game of the Year: Qwirkle

Qwirkle is an abstract strategy game that contains 108 wooden blocks with six different shapes in six different colors. Starting with 6 of these blocks in their hand, players must strategically place the blocks to score the most points. The blocks must be placed next to a block with a similar attribute either color or shape but not both. After one player places a block the next player must place one adjacent to at least one previously played block.

Players score one point for placing a block and one additional point for each adjacent block to it. A bonus six points can be earned by completing a line of either all 6 shapes or colors. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. The end of the game is determined when the draw bag becomes empty and at least one player plays the rest of their hand.

2010 Board Game of the Year: Dixit

2009 Board Game of the Year: Dominion

2008 Board Game of the Year: Keltis

2007 Board Game of the Year: Zooloretto

2006 Board Game of the Year: Thurn and Taxis

2005 Board Game of the Year: Niagara

2004 Board Game of the Year: Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a railroad building board game in which players compete to build the greatest railroads and accumulate the highest score. This game requires players to make strategic decisions on when to do certain actions. If a player waits too long they may lose their opportunity to another player.

Ticket to Ride can be played with 2-5 people.

Best Board Games Like Pandemic

Best Board Games Like Pandemic

Pandemic has been a rising in popularity ever since its release in 2007 and is why we have created board games like Pandemic. This game is about saving the world from four deadly diseases by finding their cures. Once the cures are found the next task is to disperse them into major cities thus saving the world! Players have a limited amount of time to do so considering that the disease will become more intense as time goes on or if an epidemic card is drawn. There are four types of specialist that players can choose from each with their own special abilities:

  • Dispatcher – Can move other pawns, and move a pawn to another pawns location
  • Medic – Remove all cubes of 1 color with one action, once cure is found, remove all cubes of cured disease on entrance to city
  • Scientist – Requires only 4 player cards to research a cure instead of 5
  • Researcher – Can give any player card to any player as long as located in the same city
  • Quarantine Specialist – Current city and adjacent cities cannot be infected
  • Operations Expert – Can plant a research station without player card, and can move to any research station as action
  • Contingency Planner – Can take and store event cards in discard pile for a second use

Also, the 2013 edition of Pandemic includes two new characters the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist so if you have an older edition they will not be there.


Pandemic Expansion

If you are already a big fan of Pandemic but have possibly begun to find it repetitive. Then some of the expansions may be perfect for you.

Pandemic: on The Brink

On The Brink was first released in 2009 two years following the original game release and is the first expansion. The expansion adds new roles, events, a fifth player, and new challenges that further the complexity of the game. The new challenges make the game harder and can be used alone or together:

  • The Virulent Strain challenge makes the game significantly more difficult by making one disease unpredictably deadly.
  • The Mutation challenge places an unpredictable fifth disease into the game.
  • The Bio-Terrorist challenge makes one player a Bio-Terrorist that spreads a disease.

Pandemic: In The Lab

Pandemic: In The Lab requires both the game and the previous expansion to be played. The expansion comes with a new board which is The Lab that allows the scientist to find a cure for the disease with 3 cards instead of 5.  The expansion also adds four new roles, new Virulent Strain events, and a Worldwide Panic Mutation scenario. Finally, In The Lab allows players to compete against each other individually or in teams with four or six players.


Best Board Games Like Pandemic

If you like pandemic and are looking for new board games like Pandemic to try out then this list is for you.

Space Alert

Space Alert is a cooperative board game in which players become a member of small space crew. The players are sent on a mission to scan a dangerous section of space during which time they must protect the ship from any possible danger. Protecting the ship is done over a 10 minute period in which the central computer plays one of the soundtracks that is also a game timer. During this period players must communicate and decide who is doing what to protect the ship as many things can go wrong. Players must be at the ready to handle any of the following:

  • Battleships and interceptors
  •  Interstellar monsters and abominations
  • Asteroids
  • Intruders
  • Malfunctions on the spaceship

Players will also have to work together to complete the following actions to handle the hazards above

  • Moving around the ship
  • Firing weapons
  • Distributing energy
  • Using battle bots to deal with intruders
  • Launching guided missiles

Only a well-coordinated team will be able to survive the full 10 minutes. As for actually set up and play time a game will take about 30 minutes.  You can also get extra missions from the online mission generator. The replay value of this game and the cooperative aspects make it a top pick for the best board games like Pandemic.

Forbidden Island

In Forbidden Island, players must take turns moving their pawns island which they have built with the cards provided. Players try to collect treasures and items located on the island. Sounds simple right? Well, the Island is also sinking into the water so as the game progress pieces of the island will sink and players must work together to prevent this.

This game is extremely fast paced and can take only thirty minutes to play. The game offers a great variety of options such as characters with different abilities, different island formations, and different difficulties all making its replay value very high.

Forbidden Island is easy to learn and comes with a countless amount of scenarios in which you must capture treasure and keep the island from sinking. This is truly a great game at a very fair price of around $20. Making it not only a top pick for a board game like Pandemic but also in 10 Best Board Games for Two players.

Forbidden Desert

If you found Forbidden Island fun than Forbidden Desert is for you. It is a step up in difficulty from Forbidden Island and is a great follow-up game.

Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game

Based on the Sci-Fi Channel series Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game places players in one of their ten favorite characters from the show. Each player will have their own weaknesses and strengths thus making players work together to achieve victory. However, players should not trust everyone as one player in the game will be sided with the Cylons. As the game progresses more players may become sided with the Cylons as the loyalty cards are passed out again.

If the humans are able to maintain the following they win:

  • Food stores
  • Fuel levels
  • Ship morale
  • Population
  • Keep Galactica in one piece long enough to make it to Earth

But if the Cylon players reveal themselves at the right moment and bring down Galactica, the Humans have lost. This is a great board game like Pandemic that takes 2-3 hours to play and requires 3-6 players.

Shadows Over Camelot

Shadows Over Camelot is a semi-cooperative hand-management and deduction-based board game for 3–7 players. In the game, players take over a role of one of the knights of the round table. Their objective is simple, to gather a majority of white swords before Camelot falls which can be obtained through completed quest. However, if a knight fails a quest a black sword is added to the round table. A quest can range from defeating the Black Knight to find the Holy Grail.

Each turn players must take one heroic and one evil action. Each evil action brings Camelot closer to its demise. How many white swords can you and your companions collect before Camelot’s fall?

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game

Last Night on Earth is a fun cooperative board game in which players get to live out their dreams of being in a zombie apocalypse. In the game, players have multiple characters to choose from each of which having their own special abilities. Additionally, one or two players must be the zombie team and control what the zombies will do. Before playing a game, players should select what game mode they wish to play. The options range from killing fifteen zombies in fifteen turns to defending the manor. After selecting which game type to play the map is constructed by taking four of the six  L-shaped map pieces and placing them on the one square map piece.

To help with completing their goals players can also receive hero cards which can be revolvers, lighters, gasoline, a med-kit, and so much more to help them survive. The catch is that the zombie team will also receive their own special cards that can turn the lights out n the players or trap them inside a house by locking the door.

Having the enemy controlled by another player not only makes the game more fun but also significantly more challenging than some other games. The random selection of the map, the different game types, and the randomness of the hero and zombie cards make this game have significant replay value. Thus, making it a great board game like Pandemic with a slight addition of some competition between heroes and zombies.

Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings is a cooperative board game in which players take on the roles of hobbits from the fellowship and set out on a journey to destroy the ring. The game is pretty straight forward on how players win or lose. To win players must destroy the ring, but they lose if one player becomes too corrupted by Sauron.  To progress players must use playing cards that may represent characters and items from middle earth.  However, corruption is tracked through a special dice. The game can even be played in a 1 player mode if need be.


Conclusion

Pandemic is one of the best cooperative board games of all time that many people love to play. I sincerely hope that these board games like Pandemic will bring the same amount of joy to you if not more! If you feel like another game needs to be added to our list of Best Board Games Like Pandemic feel free to post in the comments below.

Best Board Games Like Ticket to Ride

Board Games Like Ticket to Ride

What is Ticket to Ride?

Ticket to Ride is an easy to play strategy board game that can be learned in under fifteen minutes, but still provides plenty of complex strategies. This makes it a great game for quick pick up and play games, unlike other strategy games which can take an hour or so to learn the rules. For example, Axis and Allies is a great strategy board game but the setup and rule learning is a tedious process. Additionally, a new player playing a veteran will not stand much of a chance. This makes Axis and Allies an unsuitable fit for Board Games Like Ticket to Ride.

The objective of Ticket to Ride is to build railroads and to also fulfill Destination Tickets. Both of these actions can result in a player gaining points. The player with the most points wins pretty simple.

What Makes Board Games Like Ticket to Ride?

Well board games like Ticket to Ride will have a few common characteristics:

  • Easy to learn the objectives of the game and how to successfully achieve victory
  • Game remains interesting and unique through multiple plays
  • Newcomers should have at least a small chance of winning against a veteran

We will do our best to like board games that fit these characteristics below.

Board Games Like Ticket to Ride

Catan

In Catan, players are tasked with settling the island of Catan and becoming the dominate force. This is done through the construction of settlements, cities, and roads. Players need supplies to do such things and often requires a lot of trading to progress through the game.

To win the game players must accumulate 10 victory points from building settlements and cities, having the longest road and the largest army (from some of the development cards), and gathering certain development cards that simply award victory points. Once a player has collected these points they are the winner.

This is definitely one of the top choices for board games like Ticket to Ride. Reason being because of its simplicity to learn, the complexity of strategy, and replay-ability.

Carcassonne

In Carcassonne, players must strategically lay out tiles to construct roads, cities, cloisters, or grasslands. After a player completes one of these they may place one of their meeples on the area which allows them to collect points from placing the meeple. However, their is a limited amount of meeples available for the players to use so they must decide what strategic placement is best for them and worse for the other players.

This game moves at a relatively fast pace even though there are countless choices as each turn a player only plays one tile and an option to put a meeple on it.

Carcassonne is easy to learn and each play through is a completely different experience.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is similar to Settlers of Catan as players must take on the role of builders and resource gatherers. The game has an abundant amount of resources and a multitude of techniques to acquire them.

The major difference between this game and Catan is the diversification it provides. Players in Catan are typically aiming for the same resources for the same reasons. While Purto Rico provides different goals with different rewards based off of what specific players want to pursue.

This is a great board game if you like Ticket to Ride or Catan.

Hive

Hive is quick and easy to set up as you simply just start playing on any flat surface. This game also takes very little time to learn which makes it great for those who want a simple but fun strategy game to pick up and play with their significant other.

The game is played turn by turn in which one player places the first piece down then the other places theirs and so on. This keeps happening till one of the players is able to surround the others queen at which time they become the winner.

This game lacks the complexity of Ticket to Ride but is extremely easy to learn and play.

Pandemic

In Pandemic players are specialist fighting against diseases and must overcome challenges while finding the cures for the four different diseases.

This game is interesting as one player may be trying to promote the research for a cure while another is focused on containing the outbreak. Great cooperative board game for those who rather work together.

Pandemic is by far one of the top cooperative games in the list of Board Games Like Ticket to Ride, as it provides great replayability through different character roles. Additionally, it has some complex strategy to it.

Forbidden Island

Here is another cooperative game which is full of strategy, but the nice thing about this one is it can be played in a hurry. Most games will last only thirty minutes!

Forbidden Island is easy to learn and comes with a countless amount of scenarios in which you must capture treasure and keep the island from sinking.

Bohnanaza

Bohnanaza released in the 90s is another great game that is like Catan in the trading aspect. In this game, players must draw cards which have beans depicted on them along with a money value. After which players must plant the beans and then harvest them to make money. This may sound simple but there is a catch… you can not rearrange your hand the beans must be planted in the order that you drew them. The only way around this is by trading with other players.

This is a super simple game to learn and play. It also provides a good amount of strategy considering players must play their hand in order.

Agricola

The objective of Agricola is to try to build and run the most efficient/balanced farm possible. This is done on a turn by turn basis in which players must decide what chore they want to do each turn to help improve their situation whether its to feed the family or expand the farm. The catch with this game is only one person can do a chore at a time so players can block other players from doing certain chores. It also means that a player can have children if they wish to expand their workforce, but that also incurs a need for more food and a larger house.

There is also a two-player version of the game called Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small that is great if you would strictly like to play this as two player game and also save a few bucks.

Additionally, if you are interested in playing Agricola with a significant other rest assured that it made it on our list of best board games for couples!

For the amount of complexity the game provides, it is relatively simple to learn. Thus making it a great addition to the list of board games like Ticket to Ride.

Conclusion: Ticket to Ride is an easy to play strategy board game that can be extremely fun for new and veteran players alike. If you enjoy that aspect of Ticket to Ride please give some of the games listed above a try.

The Best of Board Games

The Best of Board Games

We all love to play different types of board games. Whether it’s board games that incorporate, strategy, luck, competitiveness, or cooperativeness we all find something we love. So in honor of all these great qualities that make up the best of board games we have written this article The Best of Board Games to bring fourth games that utilize the best of each quality.

So to off The Best of Board Games we will begin with everyone’s favorite strategy!

Best Strategy Board Games

These are games that best incorporate the quality of strategy. One of the favorite qualities for me that make up the best of board games. Some of the top games that are strategy focused like Chess will be listed below.

Stratego

Stratego is a strategy game that is fundamentally similar to chess. You start out with a set number of pieces each being able to do their own thing and try to capture one particular piece, in chess it’s the king and in Stratego, it’s a flag.

Now, what makes it different from chess is, first of all, you do not get to know what pieces your opponent has placed where. You know they have something in each spot a piece is but you do not know if it’s a low-level piece or the strongest piece. So not only is the initial placement of pieces very important but each attack on another piece runs a huge risk as you do not know if you will be able to take your opponent’s piece or they take yours.

Another fun addition to this game that further separates it from chess is the bomb pieces which will destroy any piece that attacks it unless it is the one piece that can take out bombs.

As for buying the game you can get the Classic Stratego Board Game or get the three variation Stratego set.

Carcassonne

In Carcassonne, players must strategically lay out tiles to construct roads, cities, cloisters, or grasslands. After a player completes one of these they may place one of their meeples on the area which allows them to collect points from placing the meeple. However, there is a limited amount of meeples available for the players to use so they must decide what strategic placement is best for them and worse for the other players.

This game moves at a relatively fast pace even though there are countless choices as each turn a player only plays one tile and an option to put a meeple on it.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is similar to Settlers of Catan as players must take on the role of builders and resource gatherers. The game has an abundant amount of resources and a multitude of techniques to acquire them.

The major difference between this game and Catan is the diversification it provides. Players in Catan are typically aiming for the same resources for the same reasons. While Purto Rico provides different goals with different rewards based off of what specific players want to pursue.

Settlers of Catan

In Catan, players are tasked with settling the island of Catan and becoming the dominate force. This is done through the construction of settlements, cities, and roads. Players need supplies to do such things and often requires a lot of trading to progress through the game.

To win the game players must accumulate 10 victory points from building settlements and cities, having the longest road and the largest army (from some of the development cards), and gathering certain development cards that simply award victory points. Once a player has collected these points they are the winner.

Hive

Hive is quick and easy to set up as you simply just start playing on any flat surface. This game also takes very little time to learn which makes it great for those who want a simple but fun strategy game to pick up and play with their significant other.

The game is played turn by turn in which one player places the first piece down then the other places theirs and so on. This keeps happening till one of the players is able to surround the others queen at which time they become the winner.

Axis and Allies 1942

One annoying part of games like Risk is the factor of luck brought in by the dice. You can sadly bring in an army of 15 troops and loses to an army of 5. If you find yourself also disliking the pesky dice in Risk you will absolutely love Axis and Allies 1942.

This game is not for the faint of heart though as one can not simply just jump in and start playing especially if they are a first timer. Not only is the set up for the game quite a task, but you must and mean must read the rule book first which can take an hour or two. On top of that for the new players, you probably won’t fare very well your first game as there is a significant amount of complex strategies to this game.

Risk

This is one of my personal favorite board games and is a little more versatile than chess as it can be played between two to six players. Risk is also a strategy game like chess, but it incorporates a minor chance aspect as each time you fight an enemy you both must roll dice to decide the victor!

The main objective of Risk is to simply conquer the world. This must be done on a turn by turn basis according to the rules. Players gain an advantage for each complete section they control of the world such as North America or South America which makes keeping your opponent from taking over any area very important.

There are multiple versions of Risk that you can pick up and play. Each one having its own special twist on the game. I have personally only tried two types of Risk and that is the classic style Risk game which follows the typical rules.

The other one I have played is Halo Risk which I found it to be a pretty interesting alteration to the game. Instead of just moving from country to country or providence players were able to teleport troops across the board. Additionally, there were certain action cards that were obtained from conquering a territory that could turn the tides of any battle.

If you have played Risk I suggest you try some of the altered versions maybe to something you already enjoy. For example, try out Halo Risk if you have never played it. Or feel free to try out any style of the game I am certain you will enjoy it.

Cooperative Board Games

Nothing is better than working together to conquer some challenge or reach some goal. Games that incorporate the quality of cooperativeness shall be listed below. Most of these games are also on our 10 of the Best Board Games for Couples. Mainly because in cooperative board games you don’t have to worry about having a sore loser. Cooperative is a nice change of pace sometimes and a great quality of the best of board games.

Pandemic

In Pandemic players are specialist fighting against diseases and must overcome challenges while finding the cures for the four different diseases.

This game is interesting as one player may be trying to promote the research for a cure. While another is focused on containing the outbreak. Great cooperative board game for those who rather work together.

Forbidden Island

In Forbidden Island, players must take turns moving their pawns island which they have built with the cards provided. Players try to collect treasures and items located on the island. Sounds simple right? Well, the Island is also sinking into the water so as the game progress pieces of the island will sink and players must work together to prevent this.

This game is extremely fast paced and can take only thirty minutes to play. The game offers a great variety of options such as characters with different abilities, different island formations, and different difficulties all making its replay value very high.

Forbidden Island is easy to learn and comes with a countless amount of scenarios in which you must capture treasure and keep the island from sinking. Making it not only a great choice for The Best of Board Games but also in the 10 Best Board Games for Two players.

Forbidden Desert

If you found Forbidden Island fun than Forbidden Desert is for you. It is a step up in difficulty from Forbidden Island and is a great follow-up game.

Luck Board Games

These are the board games that practically anyone can win because well its all based on luck. Another great or miserable quality that makes up The Best of Board Games

Formula D

Formula D is a racing game in which players must race each other through the use of dice. Each role can move a player into a higher gear thus speeding them up past their opponent. Although, once you hit a turn there is a number of times you must stop using the dice. Failure to do so will result in a losing a tire, gear box, or brake. Worse yet you could eventually blow your engine and be taken out of the race permanently

Zombie Dice

Zombie Dice you are a zombie who is starving for brains. To get the brains you must roll three sets of dice that are green, yellow, and red. Thier are three symbols on each of the dice

  • brain symbol- This one means you get to eat brains. Woohooo!
  • footstep symbol- This one means the victim is on the run and you must chase them
  • gunshot symbol- This one means you get shot. Ouch! Getting shot three times will result in the ending of a players turn

The game goes until one player rolls thirteen brains. Then the final round begins and gives a chance to the other players to catch up and possibly win

Conclusion: The Best of Board Games consist of all sorts of qualities. We have merely touched on a few obvious ones. If you think a game or quality should be added to the best of board games feel free to post it in the comments.

Strategy Board Games List

Strategy Board Games List

This list will be divided into the following Categories

  • Serious Strategy Games– minimum luck, mostly strategy
  • Strategy Games
  • Cooperative Strategy Games

Serious Strategy Games

Chess

Chess is a strategy board game that is intended to be played by two people and is believed to have originated by some in the 7th century. Players set up 16 pieces on a eight by eight checkered game board in which the objective is to take out the opponents king also known as “checkmate.” The capturing of the king is done through strategic movement of ones 16 pieces which consist of one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. During the movement of these pieces a player can remove another players piece from the game board by landing on it with their own piece.

If you love strategy games Chess is by far one of the most esteemed ones for being pure strategy. As their is absolutely no luck involved with this game.

This is by far an absolute classic strategy board game and if you do not own a chess set yet you definitely need to order one today. I have provided a few options below from Amazon that you can order today!

First off is a classic 15″ wood set with a felted interior to store your pieces looks very nice and is if you are prime use like me has free two day shipping!

Next up is something that I just found out and thought was pretty cool its a magnectic travel chess set and as of right now is running for around $10 on Amazon with one day free shipping for prime.

This next one is great for beginners as it comes with cards to help explain the game its called No Stress Chess.

Finally, there is also the Tournament style and for those who want to learn more about the strategies used in chess may be interested in Logical Chess a book that goes over complete games of chess from an avid chess player and why each move was made.

Go

Go is has been renowned as being one of the most elegant brain-burning abstract games in history, with players trying to claim territory by walling off sections of the board and surrounding each other’s stones. The objective of the game is to control as much territroy as possible on the board often times by walling off your opponent. The game can end either when the board becomes full or when both players agree to end it.

This game just like Chess. It is pure strategy and no luck at all.

Axis and Allies 1942

Axis and Allies 1942 is a more complex version of Risk that removes the luck factor of the dice roll.

This game is not for the faint of heart though as one can not simply just jump in and start playing especially if they are a first timer. Not only is the set up for the game quite a task, but you must and mean must read over the rule book first which can take an hour or two. On top of that for the new players you probably wont fare very well your first game as their is significant amount of complex strategy to this game.

Settlers of Catan

In Catan, players are tasked with settling the island of Catan and becoming the dominate force. This is done through the construction of settlements, cities, and roads. Players need supplies to do such things and often  requires a lot of trading to progress through the game.

To win the game players must accumulate 10 victory points from building settlements and cities, having the longest road and the largest army (from some of the development cards), and gathering certain development cards that simply award victory points. Once a player has collected these points they are the winner.

Stratego

Stratego is a strategy game that is fundamentally similar to chess. You start out with a set number of pieces each being able to do their own thing and try to capture one particular piece, in chess it’s the king and in Stratego it’s a flag.

Now what makes it different from chess is first of all you do not get to know what pieces your opponent has placed where. You know they have something in each spot a piece is but you do not know if its a low level piece or the strongest piece. So not only is the initial placement of pieces very important but each attack on another piece runs a huge risk as you do not know if you will be able to take your opponents piece or they take yours.

Another fun addition to this game that further separates it from chess is the bomb pieces which will destroy any piece that attacks it unless it is the one piece that can take out bombs.

As for buying the game you can get the Classic Stratego Board Game or get the three variation Stratego set.

Carccassone

In Carcassonne, players must strategically lay out tiles to construct roads, cities, cloisters, or grasslands. After a player completes one of these they may place one of their meeples on the area which allows them to collect points from placing the meeple. However their is a limited amount of meeples available for the players to use so they must decide what strategic placement is best for them and worse for the other players.

This game moves at a relatively fast pace even though their are countless choices as each turn a player only plays one tile and an option to put a meeple on it.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is similar to Settlers of Catan as players must take on the role of builders and resource gatherers. The game has an abundant amount of resources and a multitude of techniques to acquire them.

The major difference between this game and Catan is the diversification it provides. Players in Catan are typically aiming for the same resources for the same reasons. While Purto Rico provides different goals with different rewards based off of what specific players want to pursue.

Agricola

The objective of Agricola is to try to build and run the most efficient/balanced farm possible. This is done on a turn by turn basis in which players must decide what chore they want to do each turn to help improve their situation whether its to feed the family or expand the farm. The catch with this game is only one person can do a chore at a time so players can block other players from doing certain chores. It also means that a player can have children if they wish to expand their workforce, but that also incurs a need for more food and a larger house.

There is also a two player version of the game called Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small that is great if you would strictly like to play this as two player game and also save a few bucks.

Additonally, if you are interested in playing Agricola with a significant other rest assured that it made it on our list of best board games for couples!

Hive

Hive is quick and easy to set up as you simple just start playing on any flat surface. This game also takes very little time to learn which makes it great for those who want a simple but fun strategy game to pick up and play with their significant other.

The game is played turn by turn in which one player places the first piece down then the other places theirs and so on. This keeps happening till one of the players is able to surround the others queen at which time they become the winner.

Eclipse

Eclipse is set in a sci-fi future of our galaxy in which the galaxy has been at peace for many years. Nevertheless, tensions have been growing between members of the Galactic Council which had the original objective of keeping the peace in this galaxy. Confrontation is certain and you the player must take control of a faction and lead them to victory.

This game uses the same style as trusted games like Risk to draw in players except this time you are in the futuristic space. This time you will not be fighting to conquer the world rather you will be fighting to conquer the entire Milky Way.

Very much like Risk players in this game will use space ships instead of soldiers. The way additionally units are awarded follows the same rules of conquering territories. Furthermore, combat is also decided through the use of dice just like Risk.

This game does provided some diversification as with its resource system players can have multiple options to win similar to games likes Catan. So in the game players will have to decide on focusing their efforts on expanding resources or their control of the galaxy.

Axis and Allies 1942

One annoying part of Risk is the factor of luck brought in by the dice. You can sadly bring in an army of 15 troops and loses to army of 5 which makes a lot of sense. If you find yourself also disliking the pesky dice in Risk you will absolutely love Axis and Allies 1942.

This game is not for the faint of heart though as one can not simply just jump in and start playing especially if they are a first timer. Not only is the set up for the game quite a task, but you must and mean must read over the rule book first which can take an hour or two. On top of that for the new players you probably wont fare very well your first game as their is significant amount of complex strategy to this game.

Cyclades

Cyclades is an interesting strategy game in which players are tasked with building two cities on a group of islands in Greece known as Cyclades. During the course of the games players must bid for the favor of the five gods. Each god provides its own benefits that helps a player reach their goal faster.

  • Ares allows the movement of player armies and the building of Fortresses.
  • Poseidon allows players to move their navies and build Ports.
  • Zeus allows his followers to hire priests and build temples.
  • Athena provides her worshipers with philosophers and universities.
  • Apollo increases the income of his worshipers.

This game is a more strategic than games like Risk, but involves a significantly amount less of combat.

Kemet

Similar to Catan players win in Kemet after obtaining 8 to 10 victory pints. These points can be gathered through winning attacks, controlling temples, controlling fully-developed pyramids, sacrificing to the gods, and wielding particular magical powers.

Players take the role of an Egyptian tribe and must use their troops and the mystical powers of the gods of ancient Egypt to conquer the land of Kemet. Conquering is down in two different manors. First their is the Day phase which players are suppose to take five actions each then the day phase ends. During the Night phase players may gather prayer points form their temples and draw Divine Intervention cards which will determine the turn order for the next day. These prayer points can be used to acquire land later in the game.

Stone Age

In Stone Age players are sent back to a prehistoric time were they must collect key resources which can be used to progress civilization. This game is practically a lighter version of Catan.

Players control the placement of their tribe members in areas such as hunting, trading center, etc . . . that they believe will be most beneficial to them. Players must also keep up with food supply or face the consequences.

Genoa

In Genoa (originally published as The Traders of Genoa), players take the part of Renaissance traders, moving about the city acquiring goods and filling orders for goods. Messages need to be delivered and privileges obtained. Of course, none of this can be accomplished on one’s own. Much negotiation and deal-making is the order of the day in an effort to become the richest deal-maker in Genoa. Flexible rules allow for negotiating almost everything in the game.

Ad Astra

In Ad Astra, humans have evolved into 5 different races each of which are adapted to a particular type of planetary conditions. You as the player must guide one of these races in its exploration of space and growth of its own civilization.

This game is just like Catan except you are in space.

Strategy Games

Monopoly

Monopoly is a fun game in which players take the rolls of land owners and try to purchase property that is placed around the square board. Players then try to avoid landing on other players properties while collecting rent from players who landed on theirs.

This game is a classic and must own board game. Most people who play it enjoy it very much and those who end up hating the game for how long it takes are often times playing by “house rules” and not the official rules. Things like putting money in free parking and not auctioning un-bought properties that a player landed on and decided not to buy are not a part of the game, but added on house hold rules.

This game is definitely a strategy board game although the dice can definitely have an impact, but it is a pretty common game that everyone should have in their collection.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a rail-road building board game in which players compete to build the greatest  railroads and accumulate the highest score. This game requires players to make strategic decisions on when to do certain actions. If a player waits to long they may lose their opportunity to another player.

Ticket to Ride can be played with 2-5 people.

Battleship

Battleship is a strategy game in which players try to strategically set up their ships on the board as to avoid being hit by the opponents guesses. In the game, neither player gets to see the location of their opponent’s ships and must guess where on the grid they are by attacking one spot at a time. This continues until one player has destroyed the others entire fleet.

Risk

Risk is one of my personal favorite board games and is a little more versatile then chess as it can be played between two to six players. Risk is also a strategy game like chess, but it incorporates a minor chance aspect as each time you fight an enemy you both must roll dice to decide the victor!

The main objective of Risk is to simply conquer the world which must be done on a turn by turn basis according to the rules (you can always make your own rules up). Players gain an advantage for each complete section they control of the world such as North America or South America which makes keeping your opponent from taking over any area very important.

There are multiple versions of Risk that you can pick up and play each one having its own twist on the game.

I have only tried two types of Risk and that is the classic style Risk game which follows the typical rules.

The other one I have played is Halo Risk which I found it to be a pretty interesting alteration to the game. Instead of just moving from country to country or providence players were able to teleport troops across the board. Additionally, there were certain action cards that were obtained from conquering a territory that could turn the tides of any battle.

If you have played Risk I suggest you try some of the altered versions maybe to something you already enjoy like I did with the Halo Risk and if you have never played Risk feel free to try out any style of the game I am certain you will enjoy it.

Risk may not be as old as Chess but is definitely a must own board game for any strategy junkie.

Lost Cities

Lost Cities is a card game that consist of a single deck of cards ranked 2-10 in five different colors plus 3 special handshake cards in each suite. There is also a board which functions only to organize the discarded cards in each suite. This game is often considered a great couple game and on top of that a typical game last only fifteen minutes.

The object the game is to gain points by mounting profitable archaeological expeditions to the different sites represented by the 5 colors. Players keep playing the game until the draw pile runs out at which time the players discard what is left in their hands and tally up the scores. The player with the most points wins. There are a few scoring examples below:

  • Scoring example 1: an expedition has a 2,3,7,8,10 for a total of 30. This expedition is worth 10 total points: 30 minus the initial -20.
  • Scoring example 2: an expedition has 2 HS, and 4,5,6,7,8,10 for a total of 40. This expedition is worth 80 total points: 40 points for cards, minus the initial 20, ×3 for the 2 multipliers, plus the 20-pt bonus for playing 8+ cards.
  • Scoring example 3: an expedition has 1 HS, and 4,6,7 for a total of 17. This expedition is worth -6 total points: 17 minus initial 20, ×2 for the multiplier.

Jenga

Ever wanted to just make a mess an absolute mess with you toys like when you were a child? Well then Jenga is perfect for you!

This game consist of building a wood block tower with three blocks per level rotating 90 degrees each level. After the construction you and another player get to remove one piece at a time until “BAMMM!!!” the tower collapses due to gravity and lack of support. Then whoever messed with it last loses the game and in my rule book has to clean up the mess.

For couples this is a great way to decide who should do the chores around the house as you can just make the loser in charge of it all.

So if you want to end those arguments on who should do what or just have a fun time making an absolute mess then go order Jenga right now!

Love Letter

Love Letter is a 2-4 player game in which players are trying to get their love letters into Princess Annette’s hand while blocking off the letters of other suitors. The deck consist of sixteen cards in which players start with one card each in their hand some cards can be very strong and other very weak. To win the game players must strategically decide when to play which cards to keep them in the game, but to also not make them a huge target of each player.

Exploding Kittens

This game is about guess what?! Exploding Kittens. Well not really that would be kind of sick… I guess a better way to put it is its about explosions and kittens and sometimes goats.

Either ways this is the #1 kick starter backed game ever and if I could describe the experience to you I would, but it is such a unique and fun experience you have to just try it out yourself.

Bohnanaza

Bohnanaza is another great game that is like Catan in the trading aspect. In this game, players must draw cards which have beans depicted on them along with a money value. After which players must plant the beans and then harvest them to make money. This may sound simple but their is a catch… you can not rearrange your hand the beans must be planted in the order that you drew them. The only way around this is by trading with other players.

Cooperative Strategy Games

Pandemic

In Pandemic players are specialist fighting against a diseases and must overcome challenges while finding the cures for the four different diseases.

This game is interesting as one player may be trying to promote the research for a cure while another is focused on containing the outbreak. Great cooperative board game for those who rather work together.

Forbidden Island

Here is another cooperative game which is full of strategy, but the nice thing about this one is it can be played in a hurry. Most games will last only thirty minutes!

Forbidden Island is easy to learn and comes with a countless amount of scenarios in which you must capture treasure and keep the island from sinking.

Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert is a step up on difficulty form Forbidden Island and is a great follow up if you and your friend or partner are looking to be challenged even more than when playing Forbidden Island.

Conclusion: Strategy board games can be extremely fun it is just finding the level of strategy and complexity of the game that fits your style. If you think their is a board game that must be added to our Strategy Board Games List please feel free to post it in the comments and let us know we would appreciate it.