By Koy Mapolon
With the rise of board game cafes in the past couple of years, such as prominent ones like Ludo and Puzzles, came the spike of interest in tabletop and card games as well. While many of these games have developed a strong fanbase of hobbyists and players (common ones include Dungeons & Dragons, Cards Against Humanity, Jenga, and more), there is a large number yet to be discovered, and are actually highly accessible in your local board game cafe. These pieces are equally, if not more, entertaining, colorful, while also being relatively easy to play–board game newbies, be not afraid! Here’s a list of five underrated games to elevate your bonding sessions with your family and friends.
7 Wonders Duel
With games, the norm goes by “the more, the merrier,” but no one ever said you can’t have fun with just one other person. This game takes the classic 7 Wonders and condenses it to a version that is strictly for 2 players. There are multiple ways to win—domination of the military or in the sciences through a point system. The setup and gameplay admittedly take some time to get used to, but after the first 2 or 3 games, it’ll definitely be a breeze. Because the game is uncommonly crafted for a duo, it’s perfect for those days when you want the entertainment of a board game, but not too many people to play with.
Tsuro: The Game of the Path
In this game, you and your friends are dragons flying through the skies. The whole game is composed of only three things: the dragon tokens, the board itself, and the tiles. Players aim to eliminate their opponents by sending them down paths to the end of the board, or those that lead to a collision to other opponents. Although simple in its mechanics and gameplay, the game is very amusing and players still get flustered as it goes along. Another thing about it is even if you were to glance at your competitor’s hand, you still wouldn’t be able to figure their plan out. This is a quick playing game, but its entertainment value isn’t diminished by its simplicity at all.
Monopoly Star Wars VII Edition
Put on the shelves after the release of Star Wars VII, this game is a spin-off to the classic Monopoly with an added intergalactic twist. Unlike the traditional game, this version encourages teamwork by pitting two factions–the red empire and the blue rebellion–against one another. Two players make up each team and both must work together to buy more bases on planets than their opposing team. This premise guarantees intense games every time especially when paired with the special cards and tiles that can either boost a team to the top or cause their hard work to crumble.
King of Tokyo
This game pits friends against each other in a match to the death (or a race of victory points). Each player is a monster looking to take over the city of Tokyo and deal damage to its opponents. Those outside Tokyo aim to reduce the life points of the one inside to zero, or at least scare it out of the city. Players collect energy cubes which they can use to purchase upgrades or sabotages—a mechanic that adds more oomph to the game. This dice rolling game is very easy to play, but the competition can get intense.
Have you ever encountered a game that’s different every time you play it? This may just be it. The base game comes with 8 factions out of the box, each with its own specialty, and is played with 2 factions shuffled together per person at a time. This makes for a huge number of deck builds and strategies, which is made even greater by their expansion packs. As of now, there are 9 expansion packs, adding at least 4 new factions per pack, and more scheduled to come. Confusing, we know, but a game like this with really high replay value will ensure that you won’t get tired of playing.
7 Wonders Duel, Tsuro: The Game of the Path, King of Tokyo, and Smash Up can be found on the Gaming Library website, and the Star Wars edition of Monopoly can be found in all branches pf Toys R Us. Or you can check them out at board game cafes near you.