Need some advice on what to play next? Check out these recommendations from our Game Guru team.
This game is so rules light it’s barely a game at all, more of a maddening social experience. Simply each player is dealt a card with a numerical value and they must be played face up in ascending order without communicating… Manage that? Ok, now you each get dealt two cards….. highly rated on the fun / stress scale.
Build a deck of cards with letters and powers, shaping them into words to demonstrate your linguistic prowess and make the most of useful abilities. Worse letters couple up with better powers though, striking an interesting balance between making the best deck and more easily crafting words.
An idea so simple yet so brilliant it’ll make you wonder why it took so long to be made. Using nothing more than a board covered in a variety of symbols and a handful of plastic bits, players will attempt to describe people, places, expressions, animals, and so on. Relaxing, intuitive, and endlessly entertaining.
Beautiful, clever, and utterly unique. A Storyteller describes an abstract image as they see fit, and then players aim to identify it admits a sea of red herrings. The catch? The Storyteller only scores as long as at least one but not every player guesses their card. Deliberate vagueness, great art, and a truly incomparable experience.
We’re cheating here as Betrayal is what we call *SEMI* co-op. The group of you start as a team exploring a haunted house, think Scooby Do. Then the weird stuff starts happening and before you know it one of you is outed as a Vampire, Werewolf, Zombie Lord or Spirit, intent on wiping out the team. Thematic as all get go and with 50 scenarios in the box it’ll keep you coming back for more.
Time for a mad scramble against the clock! In magic maze the players collaborate to complete a heist, working on getting the thieves to their designated spots for the daring robbery. Three catches however. You’re against the clock with sand trickling away. You can’t talk to each other, better home they’re all paying attention! Finally, you don’t control a character, instead you can move any character… But only in one given direction! Madness!
Gather round for a ghost story everyone, for in this box the players take the role of psychics, solving a murder by communion with the deceased spirit. Except one person, that person plays as the ghost themselves, trying desperately to communicate information on the murderer via a series of beautiful but baffling images.
A series of deadly viruses have spread across the globe and as the CDC (centre of disease control) your team is responsible for fighting their spread and discovering the cures. You’ll each get a role to play in the group only through planning and teamwork will everyone survive. Time to save the world.
Remember 90’s horror film the Cube? A more recent comparison would be the Saw series as in this game a group of desperate people attempt to escape a technological death trap where in each room a different messy way to get dismembered awaits. While this can be played as a co-operative or race experience WE recommend the ever popular ‘traitor’ game, can you really trust your friends?
A colourful introduction to one of the best and brightest strategy titles of the last few years, my little Scythe takes a deep and compelling game and rounds off the edges, streamlines some of the processes and gives you something more straightforward without sacrificing the decision making.
In Deep Sea Adventure you are all competing to gather as much treasure as you can while managing a shared oxygen supply deep underwater. Play too selfishly however and you risk endangering everyone. Play too selflessly and you end up empty handed. It’s up to you to push the limits of how selfishly you can play.
Four explorers in four colours line a beach before a jungle containing four temples of the same colours. The aim? Get each explorer to their matching coloured temple first by laying down tiles creating pathways through the jungle. Each player faces the same puzzle, so only the smartest (and luckiest) will triumph.
Kingdom-building meets domino-laying in this award-winning game. Quick to set-up, easy to learn, fast to play, but endlessly rewarding. Players take it in turns choosing tiles to take to add to their kingdom, but the tile that they take will also determine the order of choosing next turn: do I take the best tile now, or take a worse one and secure first choice next round?
Players race to own a set of cards worth 15 points first, taking turns either buying cards or collecting gems needed to pay their cost. Each card bought, though, reduces the cost of all future cards, creating an interesting dynamic in which players must choose between buying hordes of cheap cards for no reason other than making other cards more affordable, or spending a little longer to buy cards worth the big bucks.
Players must try and appease three characters in this beautiful game of action-selection and tile-laying: players compete to please the lofty emperor with a pleasantly arranged garden, the overworked gardener by growing bamboo in particular colours and heights, and the greedy panda by feeding it bamboo. Oh, and did we mention there’s a mini-panda in the box?
Players wander leisurely down the famous Tokaido Path between Edo and Kyoto seeking cultural enrichment by making friends, painting vistas, chilling in hot springs, and eating fine cuisine. It’s all about the journey, not the destination, as players leapfrog across the board until they finish their travels.
In this role selection game, players compete to establish trade networks throughout the Roman Empire. The simple mechanics conceal limitless strategic depths, with the innovative scoring in particular rewarding careful planning. The cover art may not be the most beautiful, but the game design is gorgeous.
Bag-building is the central mechanic of this marvellous game, players adding new tokens representing medieval folk to a bag that they draw from at random to determine the actions they can take. Recruit new characters into your bag for one-off powers whilst also maintaining a good distribution to allow for productive turns.
Mars needs terraforming, and you can help, playing the role of a mega-corporation, competing to contribute the most, and reap the most prestige. The huge diversity of cards supports a wide range of strategies, whether you prefer seeding the planet with greenery or bombarding it with asteroids.
As the head of a household in Portugal’s historic university town of Coimbra, you must accrue influence with the towns various factions to triumph. Players draft dice which they then place as workers, to build a tableau of citizens, and indulge in such noble pastimes as pilgrimage, and funding voyages to the new world.
This game of cattle-herding provides multiple avenues to victory: players are able to construct new and powerful buildings, acquire new and more valuable cows, recruit characters that augment their actions, and advance their train for freebies and points. Players can focus on one, or work on multiple, travelling along an ever-changing path that demands a combination of flexibility and forward-planning.
You're a spy, hiding out in one of six countries, the opposing agents are trying to track you down, gaining more information about your location each turn. The catch, they must remove one country from their list each turn. Can they discover your hideout before they eliminate it from their investigation and you escape?
Perhaps the most innovative trivia board game of recent years. A map of the world, a timeline, a ruler and a number track. Questions about anything and everything under the sun. Placing tokens on the right spaces gains you 7 points, being adjacent gains you 3, wrong placements temporarily lose you tokens.
As different to Trivial Pursuit as a trivia game could be. You can win this game knowing nothing other than how to play the odds. A question is asked and everyone writes an answer which must be a number. These are placed in order, then everyone bets on the answer they think is closest without being over. Easy!
In this dice drafting game, players create character sheets for a generic fantasy role playing game, that never gets played. Given a set of criteria to aim for, players fill their boards with dice depending on value and colour, and purchase cards granting abilities and bonus scoring conditions.
Istanbul blends worker placement with a unique path selection mechanic. Using action spaces requires an assistant, tokens that get dropped off or picked up as you travel around the city, and you can only travel so far from the last space you used. It makes for a very pleasing experience, and even more fun with the expansions!