It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I didn’t post last week because the baby Nerdologist is now here, so was busy getting settled into the life of being a dad. I’m still figuring that out, but also back at work and into […]
Tag: Zombie Dice
THIS IS HALLOWEEN!
With possibly my favorite holiday coming up, probably Christmas then Halloween, I thought it would be a fun to toss out some of my favorite or good ideas for scary books, board games, movies, anime, or anything else. They are going to be horror focused, obviously, for Halloween, but there are probably going to be a few interesting ones out there that are more monster features versus Halloween horror.
So, starting with board games, because I love board games in case you haven’t noticed, what are some cool game options for Halloween?
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Super easy first option, this game is literally distilled Halloween, you could be playing a game where the traitor is death or you could get stuck in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. You never know, it’s the Cabin in the Woods of board games, it can hit every classic horror trope. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, you are exploring a haunted house, however, one of you in the betrayer. You don’t know who that betrayer is going to be, because omens of bad things to come start being drawn, and depending on what omen is found in what room, the haunt is going to be different. This game does have a few issues with some of the scenarios not being balanced, but it’s more about the horror feeling you get from the game as you joke around exploring the house, and suddenly, everything is serious.
Mansions of Madness
While I think that Arkham Horror LCG (Living Card Game) is more enjoyable for me to play, probably because I’ve played it more, Mansions of Madness hits the HP Lovecraft horror out of the park as you are exploring a location and all sorts of horrific things are happening. You and your group of investigators are pushing forward while fighting off monsters, solving puzzles, and trying to stop monsters from being summoned. This game has some of the same feeling as Betrayal at House on the Hill where you are exploring the house, finding what horrors might lie inside of it. I would recommend playing Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition as the app integration makes the game run really smoothly.
Because zombies, that’s really why it is on this list. Also because it’s a simple, light game, where you are just rolling dice. You are the zombies who are in search of brains, and trying to collect as many as you can and figuring out when to stop, before you get blasted away by a shotgun. Zombie Dice is a great ice breaker game because it’s easy to teach, turns go fast, and it’s easy for people to still have conversations while playing this game.
King of Tokyo
When it comes to Halloween, I still think of giant monsters. And while King of Tokyo doesn’t have deep horror roots, playing a bunch of monsters trying to get points and smacking the other monsters around is a blast. You can play as not-Godzilla, not-King Kong, and a lot of others. It’s another fight game, and the Yahtzee style rolling mechanic makes it an easy game to teach as people generally are familiar with that. This is definitely a more family friendly style of Halloween game, like Zombie Dice above.
I’ve only played Onslaught, but from what I know, Dreadmire has a similar feel. This is a fun horror/space marine sort of game in the vein of Alien and Starship Troopers. It’s less silly than Starship Troopers, but has the feeling of fighting off swarms and swarms of bugs as they try and overrun the base. You’re working as a team, each person defending their own side of the base from the alien bugs by building up a line of defense and hoping to get lucky. The game has a nice cooperative feel and generally feels like you’re close to winning, though, if you get the bugs in the wrong order, especially the wave boss bugs early in a wave, it can set you back a long ways. However, you get a chance to help your fellow marines while the bugs are attacking which gives the game a unique feel for a deck builder.
Dead of Winter
This is for the more serious zombie player. You’re trying your best to survive the cold winter, deal with zombies as they show up, and complete your objectives before time runs out. This game has a nice feel of somewhere between a classic zombie film and The Walking Dead where it’s more focused on the characters. The game runs with a lot of tension as well because there might be a traitor among you and you all have secret objectives, so everyone looks a bit like the traitor. Can you work together well enough to survive and complete your objective, will the traitor cause you to lose the game, and will you be able to complete your own objective. This game can have some heavy moments because of the Crossroads story cards it uses, so it isn’t a game to play with children.
Now, obviously there are a lot of horror or monster based games. Games like Descent, Claustrophobia, Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, and many more can work for Halloween. What are some of your favorite games to pull out at Halloween?
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So, early on I did a post on different types of board games, and I’ve been wanting to come back to that topic, but I’ve been distracted by other posts, time constraints, and forgetting about it from time to time. Now is the time, though, where I’m going to be running a more in-depth look at board games and the different types of board games.
The first category that I want to touch on, keeping with the theme of Board Game Nights, is party games. Party games don’t have to go along with a specific board game night, but can be worked into a lot of different get-togethers.
What Makes Games Fall Into This Category?
Party games are generally games that can be played quickly, can be easily incorporated into the social side of a party, and are easy to pick up. You don’t want to stop the interactions to get the game rolling, but when there is a lull in talking, or as people wind down, you can pull out these games and add some energy back into the room.
What Are Some Examples?
I would say that some of the most common and classic examples are games like Scattergories, Catchphrase, and Apples to Apples. These games are the ones that my parents had, along with games like Taboo and Guesstures. These games are aimed at getting you to speak with other people and laugh as you try to get other people to guess a word, and are generally for keeping people entertained.
There are some games that have continued in that line which have come out recently. Games like Stipulations, which was just kickstarted in 2015, and Wits and Wagers have built upon the concepts of previous party games, and games like Cards Against Humanity have taken them to a darker place.
But these aren’t the only types of games that would fall into the category of party games. There is a card game series (each a stand-alone game) that is themed many different ways — the game Fluxx. This game, and its various versions, is a fun simple game where the rules are always changing, so you can’t plan ahead and make any strategy. And another example, Zombie Dice, is a game where you try and collect the most brains and avoid being shot, just by rolling dice. There’s also Tsuro, which Kristen wrote an article on recently; it is another fun game that goes fast and is always changing. And finally, We Didn’t Playtest This At All is a game that can last as little as five minutes, and you can play it over and over and over again. These are all great examples of games that you can play instead of games that fall into the more classic party game category.
Finally, there are games like Telephone Pictionary that you need nothing more than paper and pencil to play. And any game that makes you act out something or do something silly works well for a party. Cranium is the combination of Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, and charades; most people have heard of this one, but a similar game, Dicecapades, is a fun dice-based twist on that. These games keep you active and involved more than other games.
Do They Get Old?
This is an important question that you probably won’t think of all that much, but if you play these games often, especially the ones from higher on my list, they do get old. Catchphrase, while a fun game, has a limited number of options, and eventually, it seems like the same thing over and over again. Even Cards Against Humanity can get old. With a limited set of cards, you end up playing the same cards over and over again, and the variety eventually runs out. Thankfully, they are putting out expansions, but even those don’t change up the game greatly. But a lot of the games further down on my list have higher replay value. Fluxx changes every time, as the name would suggest, and Tsuro has some different strategies while going by quickly. We Didn’t Playtest This At All runs into the same issues as some of the other games on mylist, but they offer you some twists to the usual format. I think the most important thing is knowing your group. If you have creative types playing, games like Scattergories and Stipulations are going to get a much longer run for you.
If You Were to Recommend a Couple of Them, Which Would They Be?
The top three that I would recommend are Fluxx, Tsuro, and Zombie Dice. These games offer you a variety of playing styles, and are luck-based games. And most other people have some of the “thinking” party games like Scattergories. The nice thing about Fluxx and Tsuro is that they are easy to transport, so if you want to take them along to someone else’s place, you can do that.
What party board games do you like?
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