The Games We Play

18 Jul


Recently, a very good friend introduced me to the game of Qwirkle, and I’ve used it no less than three times when hanging out with family and friends to get us doing something OTHER than fidgeting at each other or (lawd help us) watching tv.

Qwirkle is like a cross between dominoes and scrabble. You choose six tiles per hand, and play the tiles for the largest score by matching either color or shape with the existing tiles on the board.

It’s fun, easy to learn, and luck-based enough that really skilled players only have a strong advantage if they want to play a super-defensive (see also, “Ugly”) game.

This is our new go-to game for hanging out.

Killer Bunnies

Killer Bunnies is a card game that involves a lot of reading, so it’s less appropriate for casual gaming with all ages than Qwirkle is.

It’s worth the time spent reading the cards and interpreting the rules, though. The game itself is a series of strategic plays to keep your own bunnies alive while simultaneously killing the bunnies of your opponents using weaponry ranging from a whisk, green jello with evil pineapple chunks, and thermo-nuclear warheads. Somewhere in the chaos, players snatch up carrots as quickly as they can.

The winner isn’t the player with the most carrots, though. The winner is the player with the WINNING carrot, and there’s no way to know which carrot that is until after the game is over.

Quirky, fun, and hilarious, this game takes more time to set up and teach to friends, but it is hours and hours of gleeful, cackling mahem once it’s begun.

(We nix the food and water cards when we play as part of our House Rules. Everyone seems to enjoy the game better if we pretend they don’t exist)

The “If” Book

When we’re looking for more conversation than gaming, we turn to The If Book.

The book is nothing more than pages and pages of questions that all begin with the word “If … ?”

If you could have a one hour dinner with any person now dead, famous or otherwise, who would it be and what would you talk about?

If you could shapeshift into any animal, what animal would you choose?

If you were on death row and could have only one more meal before you died, what would it be?

We take turns passing the book around, opening it to a random page, dropping our finger, and reading aloud the question it lands upon. Everyone answers, and we learn a lot more about both ourselves and the other people we’re playing with.

This is a quieter, more contemplative kind of game, but it reaps its own rewards.

Your Favorite Games

What about you? What are  your favorite, go-to games for spending time with friends and family?

What do you play that’s easy to learn? What do you play that’s worth the effort of learning the rules? What do you play when you just want to relax and be non-competitive?

I’d LOVE to hear from you!


6 Responses to “The Games We Play”

  1. Caulle July 19, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    Red Dragon Inn!!! This would be my current pick to play with my family. Most of my board games are way too complicated for them, but this is a nice easy card game. The one thing I love is that while each game is only for 4 players, you can combine the expansions to have up to a 12 player game. I have also discovered that playing a card game about a bunch of drunken adventurers is way more fun when you are in fact drunk yourself.

    As for my friends we’re really digging Mansions of Madness right now. There’s still a dice which means theres still some randomness to it, but it’s not quite as complex as Arkham Horror which makes it an easier game to get into. Well, so long as you have someone who doesnt mind being the DM.

    • Tami July 19, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      Oooh, all new games for me to look up. Fun! I’ll have to look up Red Dragon Inn, that sounds like a blast. Sadly, I don’t think we have enough regulars for Mansions of Madness (and nobody with DM skills).

      • Caulle July 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

        You could also check out Betrayal at House on the Hill which can be super fun depending on if you get a complicated Haunt or not.

      • TamTami July 20, 2011 at 8:52 am #

        oooh, another one to check out. *adds to the list*


        That one sounds familiar, I think I’ve read a review for it …

  2. Zachary July 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    I designed Mad Scientist University as an easy-to-pick-up party game,
    I’ve become addicted to Dominion of late,
    and I’ve been teaching new people Legend of the Five Rings: What I think is the world’s most complex card game, and still an incredible time.

    • Tami July 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      Mad Scientist University certainly SOUNDS awesome!

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