Board games can be a great way of escaping from the day-to-day worries, thoughts and general logistics, even if it’s just for a short time. Board games are just one form of escapism, of course. Books, films, arts and crafts, hiking, solving crossword puzzles and many other activities can achieve something very similar for yourself or other people. You have to find what works for you, but in this article, I want to talk about board games and how they are a form of escapism for me.
You will never, in your life, see cats co-operate to create gravity-defying sculptures. It just doesn’t happen. Cats tolerating each other is about as far as it gets. However, that’s exactly what happens in this latest mint tin dexterity game. I can already hear you asking me: “Are you Kittin?” by Alley Cat Games.
I could hear screeching tyres and gunshots coming from video game machines, the melodic sounds of fruit machines and some general hubbub of laughter, talking and other noise. I was standing at one end of the air hockey table, with my opponent on the other side. Yet, even though it felt like we were at some sort of amusement arcade, we were both at home and hadn’t left the house. We were just about to play a game of Klask.
It was getting dark, which meant it was time to light the campfire. We had already collected plenty of wood and tinder and someone had started to build the first layer of the fire. Now we were going to take turns and add more wood to it. After all, we were on a teambuilding camping trip, so we had to show we could work together. Of course, most of us were very competitive and soon people were starting to show off. The head of marketing decided that adding branches vertically, balancing them on the base, was the thing to do. IT, of course, went one further and decided to light the fire in a couple of places to add extra peril. It was quickly turning into a mad competition of Tinderblox by Alley Cat Games.
Let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed the holidays and had a chance to relax and recharge. Now that 2019, it’s time to look ahead at my most anticipated games of the coming year. The list happens to consist purely of Kickstarter projects, because that is how I buy most of my games these days, but as the year goes on I will of course keep an eye other releases as well. The list is sorted in expected delivery order, rather than alphabetically or anything else. So here goes.
We all know classic dice rolling games, like Yahtzee, or games using dice to decide the outcome of battles or events. You may also have heard of, and probably even played, roll and write games, such as Roll to the Top, Avenue, The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game and many more. However, more recent games use dice in quite different ways, creating interesting game mechanics that I want to talk about.
If you play in a regular games group, you probably play certain games several times – you may even have one game that is your group’s go-to game. If so, you may have started to record game end totals, so that players can try to beat their own score, or even aim for the group’s high score. You may even start to record more details, such as the factions played, number of rounds or game time. Maybe you also have an end of year awards ceremony, where people in your group with the highest score in each game, or with the most games won overall, get a small prize – or everyone gets a printout of their scores.
Once you get hooked on tabletop games, you quickly amass a mountain of games. It is so easy to buy yet another game with an exciting theme, new game mechanics, amazing miniatures, realistic coins or resources, or some other reason that justifies the expense – but has the hobby suddenly turned from playing games into collecting them? Will you actually play them all?
Recent tabletop games are aimed at younger as well as older players, widening the age range. Many traditional games usually only cater for young players, because they are too boring for older players. On the flipside, games aimed at older players are too complicated for younger players.