Board games to eliminate your boredom

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Here are popular board games to eliminate your boredom during the quarantine.  Photo by     Ylanite Koppens     from     Pexels

Here are popular board games to eliminate your boredom during the quarantine. Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

We all know that “Monopoly” is long past its time of being a civil family game. It’s well known to forge and break bonds, mostly the latter, amongst families. Assuming you also have a large amount of time now to try new things, here is a list of board games that aren’t as commonplace, but are still popular and can be a great start for a new board gaming hobby.

“Codenames”

Number of players: Two to eight 

Play time: 15 minutes

Price: $20

Best played with at least four players, “Codenames” is the cooperative word game where two teams compete to see who can make their team guess all of their corresponding words first. One person from each team, known as the spymaster, uses a key that shows what each team’s corresponding words are on the board. The two spymasters take turns giving their team one-word clues to try and guess as many words as possible without guessing words that belong to the other team or accidentally revealing the assassin, a word that is predetermined by the key to instantly lose the game for the team that chooses it. When one team manages to uncover all of their words on the board, they win!

It’s a quick and easy-to-pick-up game that requires some creative thinking on the spymaster’s part to try and connect as many words as possible in one clue, but it also tests a team’s communication skills. 

“Sushi Go!”

Number of players: Two to five 


“Sushi Go!”  Photo courtesy of    amazon.com

“Sushi Go!” Photo courtesy of amazon.com

Play time: 15 minutes

Price: $13

“Sushi Go!” is a fast-paced card-drafting game where players are dealt a hand with different kinds of sushi on each card. From their hand, players choose to keep one card and pass the rest of the cards to the next player. This continues until there are no more cards left. Each card has different point values and may offer bonus points if combined with other cards so players have to strategize quickly or risk not getting enough points in one of the three rounds. After three rounds, the player with the most points wins.

It’s a quick and simple game to pass the time with a small group of people. Plus, each card has adorable sushi art on it, and it’s all neatly packaged into a cute bento box tin.

“Love Letter”

Number of players: Two to six 

Play time: 20 minutes

Price: $12

In this card game of risk and deduction, players compete to knock each other out of the game in order to win over the princess’ heart. On each player’s turn, they draw another card from the deck and choose to either play the card or keep it and play the card that is already in their hand. Different cards have different effects, which lends to the game’s sense of risk. This continues until there are no more cards in the deck and the player with the highest valued card wins the round. Alternatively, if all other players except one is eliminated from the round, then the remaining player wins the round. It’s a game that really tests your wits and is rewarding if you can deduce which cards remain and eliminate the other players.

“Ticket to Ride”

Number of players: Two to five 

Play time: 30 to 60 minutes

Price: $45

“Ticket to Ride” is a simple game where players collect different types of train cards and subsequently use those cards to build their own train routes around the country. “Ticket to Ride” has players strategizing throughout the game since different train lengths award different point values. Players can fulfill train tickets with predetermined tracks on them, which give them bonus points at the end of the game. 

This is one of the most popular games on this list, to the point that there are multiple expansions that change the board so that it takes place in different countries.

“Obscurio”

Number of players: Two to eight 

Play time: 40 minutes


“Obscurio”  Photo courtesy of    tabletopgaming.co.uk

“Obscurio” Photo courtesy of tabletopgaming.co.uk

Price: $50

Best played with at least five players, “Obscurio” is a simple image-based communication game that includes a traitor amongst the players, who assume the role of wizards working together to escape a mystical library before they’re trapped there forever. 

Each round, the player controlling the grimoire, a magical book, will provide clues to the players to help them identify the exit card on the board. Players then have time to share their ideas and deduce which card is the correct exit card based on the clues they were given. But be careful, because the hidden traitor has placed traps and misleading exit cards that will trick and hinder the other players. 

“Catan”

Number of players: Three to four 

Play time: 60 to 120 minutes

Price: $45

Argued to be one of the most popular board games of all time, “Catan” is a game of strategy and adventure. To put it simply, the board is made up of randomly placed hexagonal tiles that have different resources on them. Players win when they have 10 victory points, which can be awarded based on the number of settlements they own or from development cards that simply award points. As a result, players try to accumulate as many resources as possible and must strategize on where they place their settlements at the beginning of the game in order to get the resources they need.

“Pandemic”

Number of players: Two to four 

Play time: 45 to 60 minutes

Price: $40

“Pandemic” is a cooperative board game where players work together to try and save the world from deadly diseases while averting disasters along the way.

The game’s creator, Matt Leacock, wrote in the New York Times about the game’s relevance to the current pandemic and the importance of cooperating and communicating effectively with each other to overcome this crisis. 

In “Pandemic,” each player has different abilities based on the role they’re assigned, so it’s up to the group to strategize how to maximize each player’s potential. The board consists of a world map with popular cities littered throughout. Players take four actions on their turn, such as treating disease or moving around the map. After they use up their actions, it’s their turn to “infect cities” by drawing cards from the infection pile, representing how the disease spreads rapidly. It’s up to the group to research all four cures before too many outbreaks occur and the world succumbs to disease. It sounds scary, but it’s a fun game when the group manages to work together to triumph over the disease.

“Bargain Quest

Number of players: Two to six

Play time: 30 to 60 minutes


“Bargain Quest”  Photo courtesy of    amazon.com

“Bargain Quest” Photo courtesy of amazon.com

Price: $40

This is another card-drafting game with cute and interesting art. Instead of playing the heroes in a roleplaying game who must defeat the monster, players are instead tasked with the jobs of shopkeepers who sell equipment to the heroes.

Players win at the end of the game by having the most victory points, which are awarded for every time their sponsored hero successfully wounds or defends against the monster’s attack, and for how much money the player has at the end of the game. Each round has many steps, but it’s rewarding once you learn them.

“Betrayal at House on the Hill”

Number of players: Three to six 

Play time: 60 to 120 minutes

Price: $50

“Betrayal at House on the Hill” puts players in the shoes of characters exploring a haunted mansion that’s different in every playthrough. Room tiles are shuffled every game so no two layouts of the mansion will be identical. Players gather items as they explore the mansion, and creepy events occur that might fortify or weaken their physical or mental attributes. 

After a certain number of omens are drawn and a player fails a dice roll associated with it, the “haunt” begins. This is where the “betrayal” aspect of the game comes in. One player becomes the traitor and the players must work together to escape the mansion or defeat the traitor, based on whatever the haunt scenario tells you. Besides having a unique board every game, there are 50 haunts included in the base game, adding to its replayability. 


Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at brandon.barzola@uconn.edu.

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