I'm a Gamer. This is What We Do.

Our buddy Emmet is in town, which means we've been playing more games than normal. It's been a while since I talked about board games. Here's what we've been playing. (I promise to be less crazy than last time).

Start off as a poor farmer. You and your spouse have to choose how to manage their time. Do you collect building resources to build fences or improve your house? Do you plant grain? Collect animals? Build a fireplace so you can actually cook them? Eventually you'll want a larger family, which lets you get more work done, but you have to feed them all too.

This game is surprisingly balanced, and it handles 1 to 5 players. It's not even very hard to teach. The only real problem is the time the game takes. According to the box (which we've found rather accurate): half an hour per player.

Betrayal at House on the Hill
Play a group of explorers checking out a creepy old mansion. Weird things happen as you explore each room until eventually you discover what's really going on. Maybe one of the explorers is an alien scientist trying to trap the rest of you for his experiments. Someone might become an incubation chamber for a nest of giant spiders, and you have to save them. Maybe you'll have to beat Death at a game of chess.

There are 50 different scenarios to play out, chosen randomly each time. Whereas Agricola is all about strategy (there's very little luck involved), Betrayal is all about the story. As a writer, that's what I love about it. I love when the young boy befriends the strong madman (Sloth love Chunk!). Or when the tough Ox Bellows turns on his girl, and she has to maim him with a strange dagger she found just to get away. I love that you can win even if almost all the explorers are killed (just like a real horror movie!). The game's a little creepy, but totally fun with the right people.

So what have you been playing lately?


IanBontems said...

Betrayal looks pretty cool.
I used to be a pnp RPG'er but that was years ago.
This xmas I have mainly been playing:
Last Night on Earth - zombie board game with my l'il brother. Very easy to pick up and pretty fun.
and Settlers of Catan with my girls, another fun and easy game.

Carrie said...

I'm not a gamer, but these sound down right interesting!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

My boys love strategy games like Civ IV, so they would probably love Agricola. The only problem is when the older ones want to keep playing for hours, and the younger one gets worn out!

Harry Potter Clue was our most recent family board game - we're a HP household, so it was extra fun because of that.

Matthew MacNish said...

Whoa. These are BOARD games? They sound incredible!

jjdebenedictis said...

Ditto Matthew Rush. Betrayal at House on the Hill sounds awesome!

Adam Heine said...

@Ian: I've heard good things about Last Night on Earth. I hope to try it someday. And Settlers is one of our old favorites, right behind Ticket to Ride as one of our main standbys.

@Susan: Your boys might like Settlers too, if they like Civ (I was a Civ ADDICT back in the day myself).

If you're unfamiliar with the new generation of board games (like if you still think of Monopoly when someone says "board games"), you might want to check out this post. Germany, in particular, has been making some FANTASTIC stuff in the last 10-15 years.

Sarah Ahiers said...

ok, dude, we have BOTH those games! We actually just bought betrayal on house on the hill and have only played it once but it was a lot of fun