So I have this sudden inclination to find some new games to play as a family. I don’t have a long history as a gamer or anything; I played a little bit of Risk and Axis and Allies as a high-schooler, but that’s about it. Becky and I play chess every once in a long while, but she’s established a history of being able to beat me in chess at will, so it’s less entertaining (for me, at least) than it could be. There are a few games at which we’re more or less even; Boggle and cribbage come to mind.
So there it is. We’re boring when it comes to games. Our kids aren’t quite old enough to be included in the games yet, so that makes things a bit more of a challenge. But it still seems like we should expand our horizons a little.
I’ve perused the shelves at Walmart and Target, and frankly there’s not much there that interests me. Most of them are either re-releases of Milton Bradley staples (yet another version of Monopoly!) or games that require or encourage vast amounts of pop culture knowledge. Even a game like Apples To Apples (which I’ve played before and enjoyed) requires a level of pop culture knowledge that escapes most kids and some adults.
I’ve heard some of my nerdy friends about other games that might qualify as good strategy games that pique my interest. Settlers of Catan seems to be the archetype; I’ve also heard good things about Carcassonne and Dominion. I’ve got two basic parameters for selecting a new game: it needs to be something that can be played two-player, and it needs to be something that a bright child of 7 or 8 could conceivably learn and enjoy.
So, friends and gamers, what say you? Can you make any game recommendations for a family that needs to move out of the Milton Bradley era?