By Harrison Chapman
With so much of our entertainment becoming digital the value of face-to-face experiences are never to be underestimated. The smell of a freshly opened board game or the feeling of cards and dice in your hand along with the tangible competitiveness or comradery that envelops the room makes playing tabletop games a very much sensory/physical experience just as it is a mental one.
With the countless available board games what is the best fit for you and your friends? Perhaps you want to be surviving a post-apocalyptic wasteland together or going to war against each other over resources to become the ultimate ruler of distant lands. Below I have detailed a diverse list of 5 of the most enjoyable games for you and your gaming group to add to your collection!
This game is like a co-operative Cluedo but way more exciting because there are ghosts and psychics. This atmospheric experience has some of the most beautiful artistic direction I have seen in a very long time. The gothic/Lovecraftian art style will leave you wanting to play back-to-back games just to be sure you have seen all the assets. To give a basic summary, a violent crime has been committed at Warwick Manor and you and your friends are a team of psychic investigators charged with getting to the bottom of said despicable crime. One of your friends will take the role of the ghost, now be sure to give this to the most annoying member of your party because this ghost cannot talk. Each night the ghost will visit and give the detectives a clue in the form of dreams. From this they must piece together the details of the crime before the Killer is able to get away with it. Absolutely one for a group who enjoy the uncanny and supernatural, loves solving mysteries and can work together!
Another Co-operative game but with a vastly different aesthetic. Mice and Mystics feels like all your favourite childhood fantasy tales about magic, monsters, warriors, and journeys packaged into one fantastical adventure. It is no surprise this game drips with nostalgia and wonder as its creator was inspired by the children’s adventure tales that he was reading to his young daughter. In this game you will work together with your party of warriors turned into mice by the evil Vanestra.
There are up to 4 mice to choose from each with a cool name like Nez Bellows or Maginos as well as their own special set of abilities essential to helping your other rodent friends defeat the evil that has spread into the castle. Your foes along the way will include cockroaches, rats, spiders, and worst of all the castles resident housecat Brodie.
Mice and Mystics is a magical, warming tale will suck your group in headfirst and invoke a sense that sense of child like adventure that we all long for. This RPG adventure is one for any fantasy lover.
Now for something a little more competitive. Sheriff of Nottingham is a game of deceit and most importantly making coin, what is not to love? Players will act as merchants selling both legal goods and contraband. Each turn somebody new will act as the sheriff during which they can inspect and accuse merchants of selling contraband in their city. However, being wrong will result in a fine, of course the winner at the end is the person with the most money! This is a straightforward and fun battle of merchants with some very fitting, extravagantly greedy character designs and excellent opportunities for some hilarious roleplay.
I am the type of person who reads apocalypse and is instantly invested. Call me a psycho but something about the dread and doom of a post-apocalyptic world is rather entertaining. So, if you are like me, Dead of Winter might be the perfect game for you. If you also like the walking dead or anything else about zombie survival with the word dead in it then this game will definitely be right up your alley. Play with up to 5 friends where you will each lead your own faction of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world teeming with infected. Just like existing in a post-apocalyptic society would, this game can bring out either the best or worst in you. Dead of Winter has been described as a meta-cooperative psychological survival game, meaning that while players have the option to work together, it may be beneficial for some to act upon their own interests. Betrayal and deceit will be no stranger to your group after having finished one playthrough of this. Or perhaps you will rise above the harsh winter and all work together to complete it is a team. One of my favourite things about this heavily thematic game is its chance to finish with various outcomes, maybe you all win, maybe only some do or maybe none of you do. Either way its guaranteed to get the blood pumping for an immersive and extremely enjoyable experience!
It never ceases to amaze me the world building and depth that can be conveyed through the board game medium. Dwellings of Eldervale is one of those games that creates a rich fantasy world that you just want to dive headfirst into and learn everything about. Sitting somewhere between the lore driven complexity of D&D and the strategy of games like catan or risk, Dwellings of Eldervale is a must play for anyone who loves to sink their teeth into something a bit weightier then your regular tabeltop. There are 16 different factions to choose from each with unique design and ability. These factions tie into a series of 8 elements which these factions will belong to. One of my favourite things about this game is the imaginative art design for the characters and factions, I could spend a very long time just looking admiring all the cards before I even begin playing. During the game players will spend their turn placing workers or activating adventure cards. The world is dynamic and full of engaging action spaces that include dungeons, mage towers, deep forests, and ancient secrets. Players will also use magic cards to receive spells, quests and prophecies. The ultimate goal is of course to be the one to control Eldervale, but it won’t come easy! Battle your fellow players and adventure your way to the top. Another one for lovers of fantasy and hardcore strategists.
All of these games are available through dxcollectables.com.au