Gamers, welcome back! Picking up after last month’s piece about short and quick games, let’s look at some longer personal options that would still work really well as introductions into this wonderful world.
King of Tokyo/New York (45min)
Dice rolling at its simplest and finest, each player is an awesome monster terrorizing the city. Push your luck with the dice to damage the city and other players and try to be the last monster standing.
Forbidden Desert (45min)
Lovely, foreboding game about being adventurers in the desert in search of a mythical flying machine to escape upon. It features cooperative gameplay and thematic elements, including a sandstorm that shifts the board around constantly, as well as piles and piles of sand tiles threatening to bury the players.
Ticket to Ride: Europe (1hr)
Quintessential introductory choice, it’s a simple game to get anyone you know into the hobby. The goal is to get the most points and you accomplish that by collecting and laying down specific train routes across the map. A straightforward and satisfying game for all ages.
Dead of Winter (1.5-3hrs)
Dripping with theme, this game is all about surviving a zombie apocalypse. You struggle to gather basic necessities, find survivors and accomplish a specific mission, all the while fighting back against an endless horde of zombies. There are immersive story elements throughout this cooperative game, and there’s always the potential of having a secret traitor in your midst, deliciously ratcheting up the suspense and tension.
Cosmic Encounters (2hrs)
This will forever exist in my top three of all time. Each player is an alien race looking to be the first to establish five colonies on other planets, be it through warfare or negotiation.
It’s actually a very simple game with one key aspect: player interaction. We always start so innocently, inviting others along to fight, negotiating truces and sharing in wins, but we always, ALWAYS end in the most glorious amount of shifting allegiances, frantic begging, sneaky deals and suspenseful standoffs. Best part? Each player’s race has a tantalizing game-breaking power that makes each session unique.
Bonus: Got a large group? Try Telestrations for drawing insanity, Wits and Wagers for trivia, and Time’s Up for some excellent take on charades and pop culture.