The Best Board Games, According to Me

Is Cards Against Humanity no longer funny to you because you've played it too many times (more than 3)? Are you sick of having shitty opening cards in Settlers Cattan and basically being fucked for the whole game? Are you sick of hearing people talk about Settlers of Cattan? Probably.

Well, here are the best board games, according to me. In no particular order...

Scattergories

This is one of my all-time favourite group games. There are 2 or 3 simple rules to learn and you're good to go. I love that you use your noggin in a relaxing and non-frustrating way when you play Scattergories.

General Idea: Roll a dice to decide on a letter for each round. Pick one card for everyone to use for that round. Each card contains a different list of 12 related topics. Set a timer, and in 2 minutes you write a corresponding word to each topic listed that starts with the letter that was rolled. So for example: Fast Food + the letter rolled is M. You write McDonald's. You get a point. Unless someone else writes McDonald's, then nobody gets a point. And if you wrote McDonald's McChicken, then you get two points for your alliteration.

So fun, and more challenging than you might think. 

Killer Bunnies

I'm fairly new to Killer Bunnies, but it's a fun game if you're up for just a few minutes of explaining. It's best to play this game for the first time with someone who knows the rules.

General Idea: You are trying to kill each other's bunnies and get carrots with a series of cards that you draw and play. You can give other people's bunnies diseases and stuff like that. It's kind of morbid. Also, nobody is really every in the lead because everything you own is destroyed or taken from you several times during the game. People can get pretty upset at each other in this game: don't play with your friends if there are other issues going on. Or do, and be entertained. 

There is no board - it's cards placed on a table and actually looks really cool. They are very colourful. 

Try Killer Bunnies if you're looking for something that is just a touch complicated on a rainy afternoon at the cottage. With your tipsy friends who aren't in a fight yet, but will be soon.

Pit

Oh man, Pit is such a fun, simple, energetic game that is great for groups. You could play with a whole bunch of people who have never played before and in five minutes everyone will completely understand what's happening, and what's more, they'll be screaming and smashing your dining room table.

General Idea: This is a stock market game where you trade cards (by yelling) and try to have a hand full of one commodity (rye, flax, wheat, barley, etc.). There are some wildcards that can make you lose points. So it's kind of hilarious when you have 80 points and the person next to you isn't just at 0, they're at -230. Sucker! Also fun fact: This game has been around since 1919. There is a reason it is still around.

Carcassonne

Sweet baby Carcassonne. This is definitely the most-played game of my adult life. My brother gave it to me for Christmas a couple years ago, and to be honest, when I first saw the box and all all the little pieces, I was like, dang, this looks like it's for nerds.

Either I was totally wrong or I'm a total nerd.

General Idea: Create your own board full of roads, rivers and cities by piecing together square pieces that you draw randomly. Claim cities and roads, and get points when you complete them. Final points aren't tallied up until all of the tiles have been drawn, so it's cool because you really have no idea who is winning until the very end (aka no Grumpy Gus's who are pouting because they're losing the whole time). 

Also, there are a whole whack of Carcassonne expansions to buy, so the game is always changing and becoming more challenging. My favourite expansion is Traders and Builder, and my favourite mini-expansion is The Fliers (you can really frig people over!). 

This is a great game for 2 players, or 3, or 4, or 5. Personally I don't like going over 5 because I get bored. 

Scrabble

I know, I know. Everybody knows about Scrabble. But it's one of my favourites so I thought I'd include it. I love a late, sleepy night with a glass of wine and scrabble on the table. 

General Idea: Psych! I'm not telling you how to play Scrabble because I'm not an asshole.

But, what I will say, is that if you're just a basic Scrabbler, maybe it's time for you to step your game up. Memorize 2-letter words and quite being that person who's like, "What? Qi is NOT A WORD", cause honey, it is. And if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  

Bonus:

If you're sick of Scrabble or find it too sweepy, try Quiddler! It's basically scrabble with cards instead of a board, and is a bit more fast-paced. Totally simple and you can learn how to play it in one round.

 

Puzzles

Okay, so I'll admit, I upped the wattage in my dining room light-bulbs just so that doing puzzles at night would be easier for me. 

I friggin love puzzles. I love doing them when the TV is held hostage by hockey playoffs, or when I want to listen to a podcast but I don't want to just sit and stare at a wall while I do it. 

My back hurts when I do puzzles at the table so I keep dreaming up this mega-puzzle-oriented coffee table setup. DIY post to come in 2019.

Real talk: I thought puzzles were stupid. They sort of are. But they're surprisingly relaxing for our busy brains. 

You know how you keep reading about how you're supposed to turn off all screens two hours before bed? Ya. Nobody does that. Because other than reading, what do you even do for those two hours? Well, board games are a good answer. They're good when you run out of things to talk about with your significant other (you know it's true, babe), they're great for hanging with your family, they're great for the cottage and New Year's Eve and for being stuck in airports and drinking in parks.

If you've made it this far in this post, thanks for letting me nerd out. Also, let me know what your favourite board game is! Unless it takes like an hour to learn. xo