Thanks to Wil Wheaton’s web series TableTop on the YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry, Dave and I are now addicted to gaming, board gaming to be specific. Prior to discovering TableTop, I was never really into gaming. Sure, I played board games growing up and at the random game night party, Dave and I played Magic: The Gathering every once and a while, and yes, I liked playing Super Mario Brothers, but I never considered myself a gamer, that is until now.
For our anniversary, I bought Dave Castle Panic and Tsuro. We immediately feel in love with Castle Panic, a tower defense game where you must save your tower from the oncoming monsters. What I like most about Castle Panic is that it is a cooperative game, either you all win or you all loose. This is very important because I feel like Dave is a lot better at games than I am and it’s no fun to lose all the time. Tsuro is fun too, we just don’t play it very often. Soon after getting Castle Panic, we purchased the The Wizard’s Tower Expansion, which made the game a bit more interesting and a lot harder to beat.
Pandemic, Forbidden Island, and Elder Sign are all cooperative games like Castle Panic. In Pandemic, you are part of a CDC team trying to contain and eradicate four diseases around the globe. The game play of Pandemic is somewhat similar in Forbidden Island, but here you are trying to escape a sinking island after discovering four buried treasures. Elder Sign is a lot different than any of our other games as the majority of the game play is using several dice. Elder Sign is themed around H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Carcassonne is a tile laying game where you try to build cities, roads, and farms for the most points (it is not a cooperative game).
Small World is a strategy game sort of like RISK, but a lot simpler and it has a fun fantasy theme to it. Civilization is based on the computer game of the same name, it’s also a strategy game and it’s very complex, but fun. Ticket to Ride is a very easy game to learn and the goal is to lay down track for your train to go from one destination to another.
All of these games are a lot of fun to play once you get the hang of them. Some of them are more complex than others and some seem complex the first time you play, but easy to play once you get the hang of them. Gaming has replaced a lot of the time we would normally spend in front of the TV or reading separately, it has been a fun way to do something together that is both challenging and fun.
I highly recommend you visit your local game store to check out something that meets your fancy. If you’re near Ann Arbor, visit Vault of Midnight. There you can rent any of their games and they have a lot, they’ll even teach it to you if you want. To rent a game, you put down a deposit for the full price of the game and keep it as long as you like. When you return it, you can choose to buy it and they’ll just hand you a new copy of the game or if you don’t buy it, you get your deposit back minus $5.00. It’s a great deal and a great way to learn new games.