Getting sunshine and exercise in the winter is essential to physical and mental well-being. However, few people are in the mood to do anything in the evening, a stark contrast to the energy of spring and summer. This is a great time of year to play board games. Some of the old classics are still around, providing fun for two or more players. You will have heard of most of this following this or you may have played them many years ago.
This is the most fun you could have with five dice. It’s a great quick game to play, usually over in 30 minutes with two players. You play 13 rounds, for each round each player can throw as many dice as they wish up to a maximum of three times. The plan is to get each sequence on the score sheet, but you can only use each sequence once. For example, a Full House is three of the same number and two of another (but the same number) such as three 3s and two 2s. It is a game of both luck and strategy, forcing you to make the best of your score.
An even shorter game than Yahtzee, you have two minutes to come up with as many words as you can from the grid. The game uses dice with letters on, arranged in a grid of 4×4 squares, simply place the lid on the grid and shake it until all the dice fall into place. Then, lift the lid and begin – don’t forget to turn the timer over. Create words by moving in sequence through adjacent letters including diagonally. You may not use the same dice twice. After two minutes, score your list and compare results.
Test your reaction time and nerve against this timeless game. It’s simply stacked wooden blocks in layers of three with the next layer at ninety degrees from the last. Each player takes his or her turn to remove a block from the lower levels of the tower and place it on the top level. As more blocks are taken away from the bottom and added to the top level the tower becomes that much more precarious. The loser is the person who causes the tower to tumble.
This is another planning and strategy game rather like Yahtzee, but dealing with numbered tiles. Take all of the tiles and turn them upside down on a table. Mix them around a little. Each player takes 14 tiles at random and places them on their rack, not letting their opponent see. You will notice that numbers come in different colours. The point of the game is to get rid of all of your tiles into the playing area by manipulating the board (a little like scrabble) creating sequences or four of a kind. If you can’t play, take a new tile.
This game requires pairs of players. In each turn, one player will draw and the other will guess what the sketch is supposed to be. Guess correctly in the time limit and you get to throw the die and move forward the number of steps for the next card. If you don’t get it, it moves to the next player. Work your way around the board by correctly identifying the sketches until one player reaches the end.
Pass the Pigs
Proving once again that the short and simple games are often the best, Pass the Pigs requires the player to throw a pair of small rubber pigs into the air. How they land determines your score. You can keep playing until you decide to “bank” your score for that round and pass the pigs to the next player. Keep going until any player passes 100. While you could win without any other player having their go, banking during a good run removes the risk of losing it all.