Monday, 18 February 2019
Sir, — A year ago, I recommended some great alternative games for you to consider for Christmas for the family, as gifts or just to ring the changes. Here, I’m offering an update.
Top of the heap is the train game Ticket to Ride. I’d recommend the original but there are a few country and complexity alternatives. Older children and adults will love the competitive nature and speed of play.
If you still want to build houses but dread Monopoly then opt for Alhambra. Collect money, buy house tiles, design your city.
Fed up with Cluedo but want to play detective with some CSI mixed in? Then go for a deeper deduction game in Deception Murder in Hong Kong.
Next, with lovely cards, cool components and an easy-to-learn system, you can play Century Spice Road, my preference being the Golem edition with alternative cards and tubs full of gems.
For a party game I suggest any of the Codenames series, this being an alternative to the children’s “matching pairs” system but with great twists and rules.
For the younger family members you should definitely try award-winning IceCool or Meeple Circus. Both are dexterity games full of fun and replayability.
Want pirates? Then go for Jamaica. Race to the finish, collect treasure, fight your enemies and make sure you have food to last.
If those don’t really tickle your fancy there are plenty more. The best place to find out about the hundreds of games that outdo, outplay and outgun the mass market fodder is Eclectic Games in Union Street, Reading, where the extremely knowledgeable and very friendly staff will hold your hand as you delve into a world of board games you never knew existed.
So play, enjoy and, above all, have yourselves a wonderful Christmas. — Yours faithfully,
Crisp Road, Henley
17 December 2018
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