Are Board Games Coming Back Out of the Closet?

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April 24, 2016 at 7:39 pm  •  Posted in Other Geekery, Reviews by  •  0 Comments

I can’t help but notice the resurgence  in popularity of board games, and I’m delighted about it!  If you’ve joined Meetup it’s quite likely you’ll have seen a local board games group that meets weekly or a couple of times a month down a local pub.  Our own local group currently has 178 members and has a weekly meeting on a Wednesday and also the occasional Table Top day on a Saturday.

It’s not just the classic childhood board games like monopoly, but strategy and table top games too, which takes me back to my college years when I spent many hours painting Warhammer models in meticulous detail.

Feeling very out of touch with the world of modern board games, I decided to do a bit of research into popular games for teens / adults and also up and coming games from independent designers on Kickstarter.

Dead of Winter: A Cross Roads Game

Dead of Winter: A Cross Roads Game

Our first game is Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

RRP: £49.99

Players: 2-5

Game Length: 60-90 mins

This looks really fun (it’s a zombie survival game).  The gist of it is that it’s a team strategy game but everyone also has their own secret objective which achieving will lead to overall victory (or everyone’s down fall.)

Loads of 5 star reviews on amazon and one that I’ve added to my wish list.
XCOM The Board Game
The next popular game we found is XCOM which is based on the tactical video game

RRP: £44.99

Players: 1-4

Unusual for a board game that you can play it on your own although most reviewers state that it’s much more fun when played as a team game. You must also download an app as part of the game, so no getting away from screen time here!

This is a strategy game where 4 department heads must work together to respond to an alien invasion.  Every decision you make impacts how the game will play out in the end.

Overall, the instructions sound quite complicated and even seasoned gamers report taking 4-5 plays before they start to understand the rules.

Moving away from the strategy games, the next game I looked at is Exploding Kittens.  The recommended age for this game is 30 years and up!!!

RRP: £16

Players: 2-5

Game Length: 15 mins

Exploding Kittens Card Game

Originally funded via Kickstarter (and reported to be the most funded game in Kickstarter history), this is now widely available online.  There is a kid friendly version of this but the one I’ve featured isn’t!

The concept of the game is each turn you have a number of cards in your hand that allow you to do a number of different things. You end your turn by drawing a card. If you draw an Exploding Kitten card, you are out of the game and the card is removed from the deck. There’s one less Exploding Kitten card in the deck than there are players, eventually one person will win when everyone else has drawn an Exploding Kitten card. The real fun is had from the other cards in the deck.  There are different actions which add a strategic element to the game.

Overall, this looks like a fun game to kill a bit of time down the pub with your friends, or maybe buy the family friendly version for Christmas get togethers and summer holidays.

The last game I’ve looked at is still in production but was what prompted me to write this blog post in the first place when I saw on the news that it had hit £1 million in pledges in 48 hours (their final target was £50k) on Kickstarter.  At the time of writing this, it is nearly at £1.5 million in pledges and still 21 days to go.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 20.21.45

Dark Souls: The Board Game
Currently on Kickstarter and not due for release until 2017.

Described as an immersive combat exploration game for 1-4 players and looks to probably retail at £80+.

Based on the video game, and the fact that it hit its funding pledge in minutes speaks volumes about the potential of this board game.  Check out the Kickstarter page for yourself to get an in-depth idea of the game play, the board and the pieces.  The glam shots they’ve created are epic!  What’s more, it’s been designed in the UK!

How about you, are you a board game fan? Do you have any you’d recommend?

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