How I learned to love Game Night
I was blessed with two very snarky, sassy kids who love board games as well as video games. Much to my surprise, when we first started having “game night,” beyond the first night’s resistance, the games we played captured everyone’s attention enough to prevent the normal teen arguing. We try to keep things lighthearted, so we play “board games” that don’t take terribly long and don’t get too serious.
An older, more involved game we frequently play is Descent: Journeys in the Dark. This requires a volunteer to be the Dungeon Master to set things up, and more planning than a quick, “Hey let’s play this real fast,” but it’s well worth it. Players can trade items if they can’t use them and help one another build a more powerful character. While you can no longer find the First Edition we have, the Second Edition is found online and in many game retailers. This is the sort of game we can set up for a weekend, and have our own dungeon crawl without having to roll up characters and the like, limited only by the DM’s imagination and whatever items you acquire.
Munchkin in its base form is wonderfully irreverent, and its numerous expansions only help its case. Not only is the goal of the game to win, but it’s to prevent everyone else at the table from winning by whatever means necessary. Once they’re feeling confident, and in the midst of a fight, you throw down a Curse card that changes the tide of battle; many are capable of mucking up the works enough your opponent can’t beat the monster. From there, you have a choice – you can watch them fail and enjoy whatever “Bad Stuff” happens, or you can offer your assistance (and name your price). Half of the enjoyment from the game is watching who forges what alliance and how long it lasts before the backstabbing begins.
The card-type games have taken the world by storm over the last few years, and you can find one to suit nearly every taste out there, but I have my eye on one in particular: Kombat Kittens. I have a soft spot for animals, and while the mechanics are a bit different than what I’m used to, I feel like the humor factor will compensate for the learning curve, as well as the wait. Sadly, never having played it, I can’t offer much in the way of insights, but I know some play-testers for it, who enjoyed it a great deal.
It’s eerily quiet in my house lately, as it has been for the last month or so. My two teens have been visiting their dad, which means any interactions we have are long distance. We’ve used things like Skype for voice chat during games of League of Legends, Smite, and so on, but it’s not the same as the fun, friendly banter we have when we’re in the same room. I’m definitely looking forward to quality, imaginative family fun when they get home!
If your family gets bored with the weekly Scrabble, Sorry or Stratego games, you may give a card-based game a try. Oh, and by the way, there’s even one with Killer Bunnies!