Bored with the board? There’s more to home gaming than chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, and the other usual suspects. Why not check out one of the following, lesser-known games? You might find something for the holidays that the whole family can enjoy or a game that makes you a hero down at your local bar’s games night…
Carcassonne is a tile-based game that depends on players drawing and then placing tiles to create an ever-expanding landscape of cities, farmland, and roadways.
Once a tile has been placed, the player has the choice of placing one of his “meeples” on it (small tokens shaped as robbers, knights and abbots, etc.). When an area is complete then meeples score points, so players must decide whether they wish to place tiles to expand their own cities or to expand their opponents, therefore delaying completion of their project.
This card game is great for any fan of the cyberpunk aesthetic.
Designed for two players, Netrunner is set in a dystopian future and sees one player in the role of a megacorporation and the other in the role of a hacker. The aim of the game is to take control of data.
This game (Chinese poker) is another card game that’s great for groups with a mixture of prior poker knowledge and ability.
Known for being particularly beginner-friendly (due to players only requiring a very basic knowledge of poker hands to start playing), it’s a good option for larger groups and requires no new equipment or games sets to be purchased – You’ll just need a normal deck of playing cards.
An amalgamation of two games, Escape from Atlantis was originally released in 1986 before being merged with Parker Brothers’ Survive series and released by Stronghold Games in 2011.
In this iteration of the game, players must evacuate their pieces (people pawns) from an island that is sinking into the sea and can do so by various means, including swimming or using boats, but must avoid obstacles. The player finishing with the highest points (based on the value of their rescued pieces) wins.
You might have played a computer game of the same name, but this is not the same game.
Civilization sees between 2 and 7 players compete to advance their respective civilizations in terms of culture, economy, and politics. Players must develop their societies and introduce new advances in areas such as law and education in order to better furnish their civilization with the means to manage their problems and advance even further.
Originally released in 2004 and reprinted in 2005, 2011, 2012, and 2017, this game is rare and has achieved collectible status.
Set in an environment (loosely) based on Italy in the Middle Ages, between 2 and 4 players must each choose a condition for victory, selecting from:
The condition for victory is paired with a patron saint, which each player must choose at the beginning of the game. Players then fight to advance until natural resources are exhausted or somebody wins!
Sci-fi fans, assemble!
If you loved Joss Whedon’s sci-fi serial, Firefly, then now’s your chance to own the game.
Between 1 to 4 players (that’s right, you can play alone) travel by Firefly-class ship between planets and recruit crews to complete jobs of varying legitimacy.
Completing jobs wins cash and the first player to complete the goals wins. However, beware of Alliance vessels, whose crews can board your ship, confiscate goods and leave you struggling to make ends meet.
A game for 2 to 6 players, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia is a gift for any aspiring Machiavellian.
Players each lead a team of workers (dice), the whose rolled number represents a level of knowledge (you don’t them being too wise!) and recruits (cards), one of which is loyal to you but the other is unsure. You can win their loyalty by reaching milestones or manipulating your opponents into reaching those milestones for you.
Players accrue stars and the first to 10 wins.