So you are thinking about getting into the board gaming hobby but have no idea where to begin. You have fond childhood memories of playing games with friends and family and now that you have a family of your own, you would like to share games with your own children. Well, we are going to try to help you out with some suggestions that you can play with your kids (depending on their ages, of course) and with your friends. We are going to list the mechanics and explain them so that perhaps you can choose games that sound more like your style. Here we go. . .
Racing games are exactly what they sound like – you are racing to beat your opponents to a particular goal or objective. The race may be in the form of horses, camels, cars, you name it!
First up for our beginning racing games is Jamaica. In Jamaica, the players represent pirates (based on real life ones!) who are racing around the island of Jamaica, trying to make their way to Port Royal first. The game plays 2-6 players aged 8 and up. The game takes between 30 minutes and an hour depending on the player count.
In order to make their way around the island, players will play cards that can either take them to a port, battle other players, load goods into their holds, or move their ships forward. The decisions based on the cards that the players have in hand are critical to the player’s success.
The second racing game that we are recommending is called The Quest for El Dorado. This game plays 2-4 players, ages 10 and up. The game takes between 30 to 60 minutes depending on how many players there are.
In this game, the players are trying to get through lakes, desert, and jungle spaces to get to El Dorado. In order to do this, the players will play cards that represent the items, guides, and allies that they need in order to go forward on to the goal. Because the boards in this game are modular, the exact layout of the course can be changed from game to game to increase or decrease the challenge for the players, depending on the player’s preferences.
Deduction games are those in which the players must deduce something in particular, like the name of the criminal, where the criminal is, or in some cases, a particular number.
Code 777 is our first recommendation here. This classic game is now over 30 years old and has remained in print for that entire period, so that should tell you something. The game is for between 2-5 players, ages 10 and up. Code 777 takes approximately 60 minutes to play.
Code 777 is a game in which players have tiles with 3 numbers in front of them. The players do not know what their 3 number code in front of them is, only the numbers in front of the other players. All the players are given clues throughout the game to see if they can deduce the number that is in front of them. If they guess correctly, they win the round and a point, but if they are incorrect, they have to start with a fresh set of tiles. The player who earns 3 points first wins the game.
Our next recommendation is Scotland Yard, another classic deduction game. This game is recommended for 3-6 players, ages 10 and up. The game takes approximately 45 minutes to play. Scotland Yard won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award in 1983.
In Scotland Yard, one player takes the role of Mister X, who is secretly hidden and moving around the city of London. The other players must deduce his/her location. Every now and again, the detectives pursuing Mister X get a glimpse of where he/she is, but then have to catch up to Mister X again.
Pick Up and Deliver Games
Pick up and deliver games are games in which the players are required to pick up an item and deliver that item to another location. They may deliver the item via railroad, truck, or any of several other delivery methods, and will score points when the delivery is accomplished.
For our first selection here, we have chosen Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is for between 2-5 players, ages 13 and up. I believe that this game could be played by children as young as 10, depending on the child. The play time for the game is around 60 minutes.
In Cinque Terre, the players are trying to make deliveries to 5 villages along the coast of Italy. The players have to harvest the vegetables from the hillside and take them into the markets to sell them for the best price. They are trying to earn the title of Most Popular Vendor for each of the villages. The player who successfully fulfills the most orders will win the game.
Our second choice for an introductory pick up and deliver game is The Great Heartland Hauling Co. The game plays 2-4 players, ages 10 and up. The game only takes about 30 minutes to play.
In The Great Heartland Hauling Co., the players take on the roles of truck drivers hauling pigs, soy, and other products around the Midwest United States. They have to keep an eye on their fuel levels and manage their resources though so that they can actually make their deliveries.
Board Games are Fun!!
This is going to be a multi-part series as we discuss our suggestions for introductory board games. Obviously we find board games to be fun. They are wonderful ways to have multiple family generations sit down to a table and actually talk to each other. They are also great ways to socialize with your friends. We hope you will find a game on our list that sounds like it is right up your alley!
In case you missed our first post on introductory board games, you can check it out here. Part 3 will be up Thursday, June 13th.
As always, for information on these and thousands of other games, please go to Board Game Geek here.
Thanks for reading!
Stasia and Beth