Playing Games – Part 2

Last time I was talking about board games with a quick overview of five of the games we play the most in our house. This time I will overview another five.

Firstly though here are a few useful resources. For research on board games I highly recommend This comprehensive website has forums, videos, reviews and news on all aspects of board gaming. If you are looking for a new game this is the best place to start.

In terms of buying games you can’t beat a friendly local games store (FLGS). If you are in a large metropolis you likely have a good one of these. A high quality store will not only have knowledgeable staff and a great selection of games but they will usually have gaming tables for people to come in and hook up with other players. Themed nights and even a library of “try before you buy” games are common too. Here in Portland the biggest and best FLGS is guardian games and we spend quite a lot of time there. Of course the biggest issue with an independent games store is that they will usually charge the recommended price and it is tough to get a discount. This is problematic for those of us on a budget. Our general policy is to buy our cheaper games from a local store to support them, but get our bigger games online as the savings are often significant.

For online sales, obviously you have the big players such as Amazon, however there are specialist board game retailers that may have bigger selections and deeper discounts. I often use coolstuffinc for online purchases.

So now onto the other Fab 5 games.


This is quite a simple game with some nice art and Japanese themed characters. The players have to travel from town to town in Japan while taking in the sights, buying souvenirs, and sampling the cuisine. This is a good game for people who are novices to more modern games and is also relatively quick to play.


A nicely themed middle eastern setting inspires this game about city building. It has a draw and play mechanic similar to the classic Carcassonne game but adds in some clever twists. There are also a lot of expansions that allow for play variation.


A fun dungeon delving game with a lot of humor. A purely card based game this again has lots of expansions and variations. It’s a great game to play with kids too due to the rather irreverent attitude to dungeoneering.


Mysterium originally started out as a Ukrainian game and has become one of the English language hits of 2017. The mechanics are similar to Dixit which I discussed last time. Except in this game you are using story cards to try to solve a murder as a team of psychics working with a ghost to try to determine who killed them. This is a cooperative game however unlike a lot of other cooperative games the roles are very different. Playing as the ghost is a very different experience to playing as a psychic.


The grand daddy of the current deck building games. If you add in all the various expansions this game now consists of several thousand cards so it can be a bit of an investment to get the full experience. The beauty of this game is that every game is different due to the randomization of the cards. The entry point of the game is very low as the initial recommended decks do a great job of introducing the mechanics.

All those games would be a fun addition to any family holiday event.



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