Getting your friends interested in tabletop games can be tough. Often the games have a ton of rules, several pieces to keep track of, and can be overwhelming to people who are new to the tabletop world. And we all know that if you have to play Monopoly with your family one more time you will lose your mind as well as a few pieces under the couch. To help you keep both friend and your sanity, I’ve compiled a list of a few games that can be great for anyone looking for a great casual game night.
This is a great game for casual board gamers, since it takes no more than literally a few minutes to learn, it’s easy to set up, and you have the option of competitive or just-for-fun play. Monikers consists of three rounds. The first one is where you can use nearly any word to get your team to guess what’s on your card. The second round is where you only get one word to guess the card, and a final “charades” round where you cannot use any words at all. The cards you deal out consists of everyone from famous people to tape worms. The team with the highest score at the end wins. Of course, if you just want to play to have fun, you can play as many rounds as you like, in whatever fashion that you like. Unlike Cards Against Humanity, this is one that you don’t need to be embarrassed to play with your mom.
Love Letter is another game with relatively easy set up and tear-down. Despite being a game of bluffs and strategy, the rules are pretty simple. After the Queen’s arrest, several eligible bachelors must try to win the heart of Princess Annette. Since she is locked in a tower, however, the bachelors must get their love letter to the Princess while stopping the other bachelor’s letters. Win the Princess’ heart; win the game. Despite the simple premise, the strategy, risk, and sneakiness needed to win Love Letters is the perfect game for new tabletop-ers who love a bit of friendly competition.
Don’t worry about reading up on the rules. Check out Wil and the rest of the team over at TableTop try their best to get their letter to the princess.
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While this game is a little more complicated than a game like Monikers, the object of the game is just as simple. The game uses discs to play rather than several tiny pieces of an impossibly large board. Each turn, you put down two disks and guess how many flowers you can turn over before you hit a skull. You can force players to bid higher if you happen to be hiding a skull under one of your cards, but be careful. If someone calls you out, you will need to turn over both of your cards first – even if you have a skull lying in wait. Because a lot of the actual play happens in the player’s heads rather than a complex turn system, it’s pretty easy to teach to first-timers. Plus, bluffing games are always a hoot to play with a group who knows one another well like close friends or a family.
Fluxx is a great game for casual players because it’s easy to pick up, and the rules are incredibly fluid. You draw a card and play a card. How you win and play the rest of the game comes from the cards you put down on the table. Draw more, play more cards, or completely change the win condition; every card you play will shift the strategy of the card you play next. You can customize your Fluxx experience by getting one to suit your interests. Whether you love zombies, pirates, the holidays, monsters, or even more specific things like Cthlulhu or Monty Python; chances are strong that you’ll find a Fluxx game that is perfect for you.
Chances are extremely high that every single person who has any sort of board game knowledge has either heard of, played, or owns some sort of Ticket to Ride game. Because its so well-known, it’s probably going to be pretty easy to get people in on a game, and chances are pretty good you won’t have to explain much. You can always watch this episode of TableTop if is still confused about how the game works. You play by collecting playing matching cards to claim railways laid across the game board. The quick and dirty explanation is you win by having the most points, which you get from owning railways. It’s a fun, competitive game, and it is about a third of the stress you get from trying to play Settlers of Catan with first-timers.
Much like Fluxx, this is a game with lots of genre-specific spin-offs. The game is great whatever form you play. Munchkin is essentially a dungeon adventure–rife with trickery, backstabbing, orc-killing, and treasure thievery. You can check out the creator of the game take on the TableTop team in this episode if you want a taste of what’s in store for you. A role playing game with a fun, irreverant twist, this one is a great gateway game for anyone trying to get their friends and family into more complex endeavors.
This is another well-known game with fairly simple rules – save humanity. After a disease breaks out in the world, the players must work together, using their skills to help eradicate the deadly disease. If you’ve ever played the game Plague Inc. on your phone, Pandemic is kind of the opposite of that. This game is great for those who like to achieve something and win, but don’t handle direct competition well. In Pandemic, either everyone wins or everyone loses–or in this case, dies from a deadly disease. If can’t find enough brave souls to save the world with you, TableTop has you covered with an extended edition of their attempt to save humanity.
What kinds of board games to you like to take out to a party or what kind of game are you thinking about trying next time you have a game night? Let us know in the comment section below and keep watching TableTop for some great ideas on what you should be playing next time.
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