Friday, May 2, 2014

Three Casual Games That Everyone Should Play

On a semi-regular basis, my gaming group and I like to travel down to our local FLGS (Halflings Hideaway) and have a different kind of game night. Instead of playing some Pathfinder or whatever roleplaying game we just so happen to be playing at the time, we decide to take a break and crack out a few board/card games.

Most of the night generally consists of long bouts of Munchkin, Settlers of Catan, Cthulhu Fluxx, Dixit, and Chez Cthulhu. However, we usually try to play a few casual, light-hearted games in between those bigger ones to give ourselves a breather and a moment to collect ourselves. 

The following are three casual games that I honestly love and believe everyone should play at least once. They're easy to learn, play relatively quickly, and act as great palate-cleansers. Most of these should also be easy to find and on the cheaper side (with one exception). Since I like all of these games equally, I'll present them in alphabetical order: 

1. Get Bit!
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Get Bit! is a card game designed by Dave Chalker. Each player is attempting to escape a hungry shark who would love to take a big bite out of you. Throughout the game, you play cards to determine how fast you are swimming. The fastest swimmer move his miniature to the front, the slowest swimmer falls to the back, and those who play matching cards don't move at all. The final swimmer alive wins the game. The game is incredibly simple, but has a nice visual aspect and trying to predict what cards your opponents have and will play is really fun. The only downside is that its a little on the expensive side for a quick, casual game (roughly $25).

2. Love Letter
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Published by AEG, Love Letter is a card game where you take on the role of one of the many suitors to the lovely princess of a small kingdom. Hoping to give her a number of letters to show her your love, you must prevent the other suitors from beating you to the punch. You do so by playing cards, which have their own special abilities. The person with the most points when the deck runs out or the last person remaining in the game wins the round and receives a token of affection. The number of tokens required to win is based on the number of people playing. Love Letter is a very simple game that actually has some depth to it. While playing, you are also trying to determine what cards your opponents have so you can raise your own chances of being the winner. It's really good if you're playing with individuals who possess really good poker faces. 

3. Zombie Dice
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Steve Jackson Games has published a few products that could have easily made it onto this list. However, I can only choose one. After thinking about it for a few moments, I decided I had to give the spot to Zombie Dice. As the name implies, Zombie Dice is a dice game where you take a cup full of multicolored dice, shake it vigorously, and pull three of them out and roll them. Each die has three symbols engraved onto them: a brain, a blast, and a set of footprints. Your goal is to roll as many brains as possible. However, you should be careful because if you get three blasts, you loose all the brains you've earned that turn. You can also choose to roll additional dice, but you have to include dice that landed on the footprint symbol with the new grouping. The player who earns thirteen brains wins the game. Like the other games, Zombie Dice is really simple to learn as well as really fun to play. 

Question Time: What are some of your favorite casual games?