5 Games That I Want To Play With You Right Now. Yes, You (Brandon Kempf)
So this week, rather than giving you a Caveat Emptor article, I thought I would do something fun and a bit different for me. I'm going to do a Top 5, but my Top 5 is not my favorite games, or my favorite designers or even my favorite mechanisms. My Top 5 is going to be 5 games that I would like to sit down and play with you, right now. These may be games that I have played before, or games that are completely new to me that I think would be fun to learn and play with you. the reader. Yes, there may be some ulterior motives behind wanting to play these, the main one being that I just want to play them myself.
Okay, so, you are a family with younger children and you are wanting to get your children into gaming possibly. You know, you want to have family game nights instead of sit on the couch watching TV nights. So with you, I would like to play Rhino Hero: Super Battle. Children love Rhinos, at least the ones I know do, and children also usually love building things with their hands that eventually may be destroyed. Add in some more really fun Super Hero animals to go along with Rhino Hero and we've got the making of fun for the entire family. The children may get a bit frustrated from time to time if things don't balance the right way for them each and every turn, but that's part of gaming and life, right?
Alternate: The game that got my family and I into gaming, The Magic Labyrinth.
Next up, you are a couple of people curious about gaming and wanting to find something new to do with your time so you came to the board game meetup full of curiosity and energy. For you, the easy pick right now, is I want to sit down and I will teach you both, Azul. There are a couple reasons for me wanting to pick Azul at this moment, the first one being that it's a fantastic Gateway Game. It's full of interaction among the players, you are continually engaged because you need to watch what your opponents are doing, plus, it's a wonderfully tactile game, the tiles are just a joy to handle and they look fantastic on the board in play. That's something that you absolutely need in a great Gateway game nowadays. Plus, it's just downright fun and can be enjoyed fully at any player count.
Alternate: Let's go with a classic here, Carcassonne. It may lack a bit of the beauty of Azul, but it's simply one of the greatest Gateway Games around.
So, we're at a party now, or at least a larger gathering, maybe say we have 8 people that would like to play a game. Yes, yes, I know that seems rather specific, but go with it. We're going to sit down and I am going to teach you all Captain Sonar. Captain Sonar is like Battleship grew up and wanted to actually be a fun game. It has fantastic presentation with those board dividers between the teams, it has vocal interactions with the opposing team with the radio operator "spying" on the other team and trying to learn their locations and most of all it just has a lot of fun and excitement. We won't be playing this turn based after the first couple rounds, once you get your feet wet, we're going live action real time fun and you will thank me for it. I will warn you, this one can get tense, and there may be some adult language uttered by some of the players, but that's okay, we're among friends here.
Alternate: We'll play some Mascarade. It's a small box that covers a large player count quite well, some may argue that it's one of those few games that is better the bigger the group is. Social deduction that doesn't take itself too seriously.
You want a two player game? You've come to the right place, at least I think you have because I have got a selection for you. This one kind of depends on your style of play, but I'm going to go with Patchwork. Patchwork is a wonderful competitive two player game about putting together a Patchwork quilt. Who knew that could be so stressful. This is another title where you have to stay fully engaged the entirety of the game, you have to pay attention to what your opponent is working towards and you need to play accordingly. Like most head to head competitive games, it can be seen as a bit confrontational, but that's a good thing, if we wanted to just simply make a Patchwork quilt, we'd make a Patchwork quilt and not fight over the pieces.
Alternate: We'd go a different route and we'd play some space card combat! Star Realms would be the perfect alternate for those who want something a bit more exciting that competitive quilting. And of course we would play this one face to face, not on the brilliant app.
Last up, we've got four seasoned gamers, and we want to play something that is going to challenge us and something that is new to us. Right now, that's going to be, Noria. This one is a bit self serving, as I've been reading the rules and laying the game out to learn it recently, but I think you all will be curious about it as well. This is the first game from designer Sophia Wagner, who was helped along the way with the design for Noria by winning a Spiel des Jahres Fellowship. Ultimately here we are trying to spread our influence on political tracks, that's really the end goal, but getting there seems to be the interesting point of the game with these wonderful wheels that we will manipulate to give us the best actions to take on our turn. This may be a flop for us, but right now, I don't think there is much out there that is trying to do something quite so different. But that's what we are here to find out. For science! It also helps that Noria is just an absolutely beautifully illustrated board game by Klemens Franz and Michael Menzel.
Alternate: We'll see if Clans of Caledonia can redeem itself for me after that first play that left me a bit befuddled and curious as to what the buzz was about. There were a couple mistakes made in the rules, so let's find out if that changes anything.
So there you go, my first list of 5 Games That I Want To Play With You Right Now. This was a good exercise for me, it got me thinking about different games in different settings and what may be appropriate and what would not be. I do realize that these are very Euro slanted, but that's how I lean in my play style, in future editions of this column, I'll look at other styles a bit more and see if me getting out of my comfort zone could lead to interesting results. Let me know in the comments whether or not these are good choices and maybe tell me what you would like to play with me!