Did you know that India invented board games over 5000 years ago? Chess and Pachisi are two good examples! Today, we have thousands of iterations of board games that are played around the world and the hype surrounding them never dies. That’s just how universally loved board games are, they are versatile and can be played over and over again with friends and family. In this article, Imnasanen Jamir talks about 10 of the most popular and unique board games to ever exist. Some might be more popular than others but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable than them!
Age Rating: 8+
Inspired by ‘The Landlord’s Game’, Monopoly is easily one of the most played board games in the world. Players roll two dice to buy and trade properties and collect rent from fellow players to bankrupt them. This game is so unpredictable, but that’s what makes it fun! With the complete randomness of Chance and Community Chests, players that are falling behind can easily move ahead and players that are ahead can suddenly go to jail…or worse…bankruptcy!
The Game of Life
Age Rating: 9+
Genre: Family/Kids Classic
Why do we like it? Well, this game is designed to take us on a journey through life like getting a job, starting a family, or buying a house. Players spin the wheel in the centre, which becomes the deciding factor for outcomes like investment, careers, etc. The player who has the most assets by the end of the game becomes the winner. One thing I love about this game is that it shows life in its purest form i.e., things may never go as planned and that’s okay because that is life.
Age Rating: 10+
Genre: Military Strategy
Risk, although hardcore, is not just thrilling but also educational as it teaches diplomacy, self-control, and strategic planning to players. It teaches players to think things through because actions have consequences, and only critical thinking can help them avoid an unfavourable situation. To win, one must acquire and dominate all 42 territories to become the sole winner of the game. Hence, this game may take a while to finish but it is the journey that counts right?
Age Rating: 7+
With a little bit of luck and brains, anyone is set to play Sequence. I love playing Sequence with my friends and family because it brings me closer to how they think, which equals me understanding them, thus growing closer to them. Forming a row of five poker chips called a sequence is essentially the objective of this game. A plus point for Sequence is that it is one of the most replayable board games to ever exist which also makes it perfect for family or friends gathering.
Age Rating: 8+
Catan is a trade, build and settle type of strategy board game which has won the hearts of so many people from around the world, and as proof, 40 million copies of the game have been sold so far. Players roll the dice to get resources and points are awarded for building settlements, having the largest army, etc. A player wins when they gather 10 points and announce it to the rest of the players. Here’s a warning before you play Catan, this game is so addicting, that you may find yourself begging your friends and family to play this with you all the time, it is just that good!
Age Rating: 8+
Q.E. or Quantitative Easing is an auction-based board game where players have unlimited funds to bid on items/companies and winning bids earns you victory points. But here’s the trick, the one who ends up spending the most amount of money loses all their points so players have to be careful not to spend too much. This game is unique because, unlike other board games you cannot be in the lead to win. Sounds tricky enough? Here’s a tip, balance is key here, try spending moderately.
Age Rating: 12+
The Perfumer is a game where players have to use their sense of smell to identify the right scents for specific perfumes to earn points. This gimmick alone lands the game in a pretty peculiar spot among other board games. There is a myriad of fragrances that are printed into the cards and based on that you have to identify them all and match them accordingly! Let the best Perfumer win!
Age Rating: 14+
In Merchant’s Cove, we can immerse ourselves into a medieval world of fantasy where we as players have to craft items that suit the customer’s needs and the twist is that every player will have a different way of creating it. Additionally, the supply and demand can be changed by the players. The wealthiest merchant after three business days will be announced as the winner. Get rich, and get lucky is the game. Forge connections, and most importantly never give up, and I guarantee you’ll have a great time with Merchant’s Cove.
Shadows in the Forest
Age Rating: 8+
How this board game stands apart from others is the way it uses the real-life environment around us to stimulate our gaming experience. As the name suggests, this game is best played in the dark. We as players have to work together to move all ‘shadowlings’ away from the light of the lantern which is placed in the centre of the board. However, one player (the seeker) can move the lantern through a glow-in-the-dark dice. If the shadowlings can gather in the same shadow before the seeker finds them, they win. So, in a nutshell, stay out of the light! Always be in the dark… unless you’re the seeker.
Tsuro of the seas
Age Rating: 8+
Genre: Nautical Strategy
In Tsuro of the Seas, each player has a ship and they want to stay on sea for as long as possible. Sea monsters exist everywhere and so, players must defend their ships against them where the last one standing will be called the victor. The sea monster can also move depending on the rolls of the dice, so be extra cautious! You never know when those sea monsters will appear!
Board games are fun and all but don’t you think they also provide a good educational value? The Game of Life shows you how life can be fascinating, Risk teaches you to make decisions after thinking through, and Sequence shows the importance of a calculative mind. Without a doubt, luck also plays a big part in these types of games but strategy and tactics carry the other half which makes board games equally enthralling and exciting!