Top 5: 4 Player Games
Alright, now we’re into the sweet spot for games. There are a lot of them out there that really work best at 4 players. This can be for a number of reasons, but most of the time it’s because 4 players is the maximum player count and the resources are balanced for that player count. If you have a lower count, the board is too large.
Not Gloomhaven, Gloom is a silly little card game where you are telling a story about the horrible things that are happening to your characters. And then you are trying to kill them off so you get the fewest (or most negative) points possible. While I like this game with lower player counts, the higher player counts mean that you get to tell a silly story as a group. The more people you have to play good cards on, the funnier it is as you really do all tie your stories together as you play and create this crazy shared world with your miserable little families.
This game does play well at two players, but I like it at the higher player count as it keeps you from getting in as much of a rut with one person burning a card to give a clue, the next person using that clue to tell the other player what to burn to get another clue and so on and so forth, if there aren’t better clues to give. It also means that each player has more information with the higher player count because you can see more hands of cards. This is sometimes stressful because you hope one of the other players will give a clue that you want them to give.
3. T.I.M.E. Stories
With four players in T.I.M.E. Stories you might get less time to complete the scenario, but I feel like it gives you the right breathe of characters. You get the characters who are strong at fighting, but also the ones who have the social skills. It also gives you another brain in the mix to help figure out the puzzles and find the clues that are at the various locations, maybe hidden on the image that you are seeing. Now, I think that T.I.M.E. Stories is still a lot of fun with any player count, but with four players you can really get the whole experience of the game and be able to use your time more efficiently.
2. Blood Rage
This epic Viking area control, card drafting, variable player power game is the most fun at four. You get more epic battles with the higher player counts and you really have to decide when to make your move going after a resource. They do a solid job of adjusting the board size for lower player counts, but to have that more open game is really enjoyable. And when you have a lot of players fighting over Yggdrasil, it’s a fun time. You also get to play with all the cards in the drafting round for the age. That means that you get to see a great variety of cards and can tailor your strategy around what you can see. The game doesn’t seem to take much longer with four players either, which is nice.
1. Pandemic Legacy
Now, I know some people will like this with fewer players and generally they are considered easier with fewer players. For that reason I actually like it at the higher player count. It adds to the stress of the game as you try and complete everything, and you can’t rely on a single character leading the way. In the first season, playing with the Dispatcher and Medic would be playing on easy mode as you’d be able to keep the diseases pretty well under wraps. But with more players, you don’t get those two important characters making moves as often. This is also true for Pandemic in general that the higher player count I find more fun, unless you’re picking odd characters. Otherwise the game can be a bit too easy.
Now, there are so many games that are great with four players, and I want to toss out a couple of games that haven’t made the list yet. Smallworld and Five Tribes. Neither of these are going to make of the lists, because I like them with any player count. Five Tribes does change it’s feel with different player counts, but it works well. And Smallworld has different maps for each player count which makes the game work very well.
What are some games that you really like at four players? Are there some games that shouldn’t be played at four players?
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