How about an after-ski board game?
Now that you’ve challenged each other on the ski hill, it’s now time to challenge one another with strategy. No wonder there’s is a renewed interest for board games all over America. Monopoly, Risk and other well know games of a few generations ago have been superseded by new genre of often cooperative and strategy-oriented games. What has not changed though it the opportunity these games provide to laugh and have a fun evening with family and friends. Everyone`s legs are tired after a day of skiing, so before everyone sits down and have their eyes glued to their individual favourite device, why not take out the board game. Here are our 3 favourites.
1. Settlers of Catan
This game emphasizes co-operation, negotiation and social skills, with a mix of luck and strategy. Players are to colonize an island, build a settlement while trading resources. There are roads to build, settlements to be placed, resources to collect and victory cards to obtain in order to get points. Even when it is not your turn, you can participate. The player that has amassed 10 or more victory points can claim victory at their next turn. It’s not as easy as it sounds because you never know how close your opponents are to claiming victory. Throughout the game, no one gets eliminated and everyone gets to play until there is a winner. What makes this game so interesting is that you never know who will win until the very end. Even an early lead does not necessarily lead to a guaranteed victory.
Players: 3-4 (up to 6 players with expansion pack)
Time: 60 minutes
Age: 8 and up
2. Codename Pictures
The game involves word association, deduction and team play. In the original Code Name game players had to guess a word. Codename Picture, is better than the original game, pictures have replaced all of the words. Twenty double-sided cards are set in a 5 x 4 grid, picture side up, while the hidden underside is of a red or blue agent. This game is played in teams. A spymaster sits on one side and gives a one-word clue and a number to his teammate sitting on the other site. The number identifies how many cards can be associated with the given word; teammates must identify. Their teammates try to guess the pictures of the right color that associate with the word. All this while avoiding the cards that belong to the opposing team, and everyone wants to avoid the assassin otherwise you lose the game. Old couples and long-time friends or any two people who share a special connection will have an advantage when playing this game. The pictures are amusing and strange which adds to the fun of identify them using the clues.
Players: 2 to 8
Time: 15 minutes
Age: 10 and up
3.Ticket to Ride
There are many versions of the Ticket to Ride game. All versions of the game are played around a map. The USA map is the original version of the game where railway routes are built and in our opinion the best one. There is a Europe version, which also involves railways throughout Europe and Eastern Europe. Other versions can have boats, cars, trains, hence something for everyone. In the USA and Europe versions, players collect and play train cards to claim railway routes across the map. The longer the route the more points can be earned. No players get eliminated, the game ends when the first player has placed all of his railcars on the map. Then each player’s points are tallied up, the player with the most points wins. This game challenges you to be strategic and find that right balance between trying to achieve more routes or high value routes versus being more conservative. You lose points for failing to build routes that you had targeted to build. This is another game where you’re not sure who will win until the very end at which point other player’s strategies and routes become unveiled.
Players: 2 to 5
Time: 30-60 minutes
Age: 8 and up
These three games are our family’s favourites. There are so many more games to be discovered. The old classics such as Risks, Monopoly and Scrabble are still as solid a choice today as they were a generation ago. These older games have the benefit that almost everyone knows the rules. Whatever game you pick, you are sure to have a few laughs with friends and family or even new friends you made on the hill. Who knows, you might be the new game night Champion.