Monday, September 22, 2014

Three Replacement Games

When asking someone who doesn't identify as a "gamer" to name a board game, you will most likely hear one of the following answers: Monopoly, Scrabble, & Clue. Although seen as classics, there are numerous games that offer similar experiences and happen to be a lot more enjoyable to play. I feel the following three games are great "replacements" for the classics.

#1. Lords of Vegas
Lords of Vegas completely replaces Monopoly in my mind. Published by Mayfair Games, the players take on the role of powerful developers in Las Vegas. You start with nothing but empty parking lots, but you quickly start building bigger and better casinos along "The Strip", earning money and victory points along the way. However, you better be ready to gamble because those little Mom & Pop shops you've built won't be as profitable later in the game. Are you willing to risk it all to become a Lord of Vegas? The game offers a similar experience to Monopoly, allowing you to claim areas of the board to build different things & manage money. However, I feel Lords of Vegas' rules are much tighter and it really sticks to its theme.

#2. Word on the Street

I almost went with Bananagrams as my Scrabble replacement, but I feel like Word on the Street from Out of the Box Publishing is the better choice. When setting up the game, seventeen letter tiles (all the consonants in the Alphabet besides J, Q, X, and Z) are placed in a strip down the center of the of the game board. On each turn, one player (or team) is presented with a category and that player has thirty seconds to come up with an answer in that category and move the letters in that word towards their side of the street. The first player to claim eight letters wins. The reason why I like Word on the Street better than Scrabble is because I like how you can work in teams, everyone uses the same pool of tiles on the board, and its much quicker. 

#3. Mystery of the Abby
While I still enjoy playing Clue from time to time, I feel like Mystery of the Abbey from Days of Wonder (one of my favorite game publishers by the way) offers a much more enjoyable experience. Mystery of the Abbey is a deduction game where a monk has been murdered in a Medieval French abbey. Players maneuver their way through the Abbey examining clues and questioning each other to find out who is the culprit. While the game possesses similar elements to Clue, Mystery of the Abbey offers a little more depth due to you having to figure out the different traits of the killer (is he fat or skinny? bearded or clean-shaven? Benedictine or Templar?) and the game looks great. If you love deduction games, this is definitely a must buy. 

What about you? What games would you use as replacements for Monopoly, Scrabble, & Clue? Leave your replacements in the comments below.