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17 Cool Board Games to Beat Boredom and Spice-up Game Night

Friday night is game night, and there’s nothing like a good board game to bring people together to create lasting memories. However, for one user in a popular online forum, playing new board games became boring. Looking for some fresh options, they wrote, “I’ve personally been less and less interested in the new stuff, which makes me a little sad (though my shelf and wallet are happy), so I was curious as to what new stuff you have found to have really given you a cool, fresh new experience!”

Cat in the Box

Cryptid.
Image Credit: photography33 and Depositphotos

Cat in the Box is a trick-taking card game for 2-5 players where no real cats are used. Your card’s color isn’t defined until you play it. Plan your tricks carefully to claim the color of a card once the same number has already been declared. 

Captain Sonar

submarine in water.
Image Credit: 1971yes and iStock

Torpedoes away! In this adventurous board game for 2-8 players, you’ll hunt for your opponent’s submarine. You’ll learn to work as a team, be organized, and communicate. 

Stationfall

space station on moon.
Image Credit: Vitaly Kusaylo and iStock

Stationfall is filled with blackmail and betrayal, murder and mayhem, danger and destruction. One to nine players are set on a space station that will be incinerated upon returning to Earth. In this game, you’ll collaborate with others to achieve your goals. Just be careful they might betray you. It’s a game of deduction about your opponents’ identities and motives.

John Company 2nd Edition

John Company 2nd Edition.
Image Credit: GaudiLab and Depositphotos

One commented, “No game has made me feel anything compared to that game: excitement and dread when someone rolls dice, evilness because we roleplay an evil organization, greed, and collaboration at the same time, a system that just clicks right away, and the need to return to it, always. It is just beautiful.” Ultimately, the game is about reputation…not wealth. It takes players through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the period of imperialism and globalization and hones in on their negotiation skills.

Cryptid

friends playing game escape room.
Image Credit: JackF and iStock

Cryptid is a unique deduction board game with honest misdirection to uncover their opponent’s clues. Each player holds on piece of information to help find the creature and each turn they try to gain more. Just don’t give away too much or your opponent might beat you. One player emphasized, “It’s so cool that there’s only one answer and everyone is trying to figure it out together but it’s not co-op. It feels like a true mystery-solving game.”

Heat: Pedal to the Metal

race car on track.
Image Credit: Tom Merton and iStock

This intense game requires at least seven players. Players are put in the driver’s seat in intense car races to cross the finish line first without overheating. You’ll need to select the right upgrades for the car to hug the curves and keep the engine cool at top speeds. One emphasized, “This is the first racing board game that I’ve played that really felt like a race where you’re pushing your car as hard as it can go, just short of flying apart. As opposed to games with racing themes where it’s about betting or hidden roles or whatever.”

Micro Macro

female officer interrogating suspect.
Image Credit: Motortion and iStock

Micro Macro is perfect for players who want to solve something. This detective game is played on a city map where crime lurks around every corner. The police are no longer in control. It’s up to you. One player said, “[I] enjoyed the game fully with the wife. It’s fun just staring at the map and following random characters. Excited to one day play it with my son once he’s older.”

Crash Octopus

Crash Octopus.
Image Credit: GaudiLab and Depositphotos

“A circle of nautical rope defines a sea in which game pieces representing treasure, flotsam, and people float. Using tiny nautical flags, you physically slide objects to hit your little wooden boat meeple where they are delicately balanced on it, or to slide the boat’s anchor allowing movement. While this goes on, it is possible to move a gigantic set of bright pink octopus meeple parts around to thwart other players, or to entirely ruin their day. It’s part strategy and part dexterity and there is nothing at all like it. Plus, it is fantastically gorgeous on the table.”

Tokyo Highway

tokyo highway at night.
Image Credit: Melpomenem and iStock

Tokyo Highway is an automotive Jenga-like game for 2 players. “Build ramps made of wood balanced on blocks in order to strategically place little wooden cars on the ramps according to specific rules. The road building also follows rules of height and structure, and by cleverly weaving them over and through other elevated roads and ramps, more cars can be placed, and the game won. The end game looks like a fantastic sculpture in a museum. It was an amazing experience.”

The King’s Dilemma

king and scroll.
Image Credit: Annika and iStock

The King’s Dilemma is a cooperative narrative game where players take on the roles of advisors to a king or queen in a medieval kingdom. The game is played over multiple sessions, each representing a year in the kingdom’s history. The central mechanic of the game is a series of dilemmas that the players must resolve by making decisions that affect the kingdom’s prosperity, stability, and reputation. The game is designed to be highly replayable, with different outcomes and storylines depending on the choices made by the players. 

One user added, “It didn’t blow my mind away with mechanisms. It was my group, how we leaned into the narrative and role-played our houses, and the story that unfolded with our reactions.”

Thunder Road: Vendetta

race car crew.
Image Credit: dpm75 and iStock

“Thunder Road: Vendetta is one of the only games where I have fun every time I play, and I don’t even care if I win or lose. Everyone I’ve played with will gladly play again and again.”

In this revved-up restoration of the classic 1986 game, you’ll pick up a crew, roll the dice, race cars, and try not to wreck. The game offers players more choices to repair damage, have a nitro boost, and send out an attack copter to fight fire.

The Search for Planet X

man in space.
Image Credit: lexaarts and iStock

One boasted, “[I] recently got The Search for Planet X, and I love the deduction, never really had that in a board game before. The feeling of blindly grouping for a round before getting some hunches, and then narrowing down your search till you got something certain is a rush for me.” Take on the role of astronomer in this game where you’ll use observations and make deductions to search for a hypothetical planet.

Zombie Dice

friends playing board games.
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One player wrote, “Zombie Dice is a silly little push-your-luck game that’s ultra-low complexity and travels really well.” 

This quick game is perfect for zombie fans. There are 13 custom dice victims, and you’ll push your luck to eat their brains before the shotgun blasts and ends your turn.

ISS Vanguard

man in space.
Image Credit: FlashMovie and iStock

ISS Vanguard is a Sci-Fi adventure board game with tons of different storylines. The game is designed to be immersive and challenging, with a focus on storytelling and character development. Players will explore the universe, encounter alien species, and engage in exciting space battles…a unique and engaging experience for players who enjoy science fiction and role-playing games. One player proclaimed, “OMG… this game is SO good. It hits all my organization OCD sweet spots. If you enjoy sorting things – this game is for you.”

Age of Steam

Age of Steam.
Image Credit: valerianic and Depositphotos

Age of Steam is a strategy game that simulates the building and operation of railroads during the 19th century. Players must manage their resources carefully, including money, locomotives, and track tiles, to build and expand their rail networks to transport goods and passengers to generate income and improve their infrastructure. The game is known for its challenging gameplay, as players must balance short-term gains with long-term planning and strategic decision-making. 

One raved, “Age of Steam is incredible, and because the level of interaction is so high, every time I play it – even if it’s on a map I’ve played before – it’s always a totally different experience. I think I could play it hundreds of times and never get the “this is just more of the same” feeling that OP is talking about.”

Bites

family playing.
Image Credit: PeopleImages

Bites is a strategic and interactive game where players must not only focus on their own moves but also anticipate and adapt to the moves of other players. The game’s theme of ants collecting food along a trail also adds a fun and engaging element to the gameplay, while the variable “rules cards” add an element of unpredictability and replay ability to the game, making each playthrough unique and challenging. 

Someone enthusiastically praised the game, “It’s a super simple concept, where there are 5 colored ants, and each ant correlates to the same-colored food (red ant = apple, purple ant = grape, etc.). Nobody “owns/plays” one particular ant. It’s just about collecting the food strategically to get points.”

Small World

wizard.
Image Credit: QunicaStudio and iStock

Small World is a strategy game where players control various fantasy races and battle for control of a world that is too small to accommodate them all. Players control a diverse group of characters including dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs, and humans. These characters deploy their troops to occupy territories and conquer adjacent lands, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the other races from the game board. The game is known for its colorful cast of characters and strategic gameplay.

We hope you have enjoyed this list of newer board games to spice up your next game night from Reddit.

Put the Phone Down: Here’s How to Spend Less Time on Your Phone and Simplify Your Life

how to spend less time on phone
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Data from Exploding Topics reports that the average American spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone–smartphone users average nearly 4.5 hours every day. Americans check their phones an average of 58 times a day (almost 30 times at work alone). Exploding Topics found that the average user picks up their phone within three minutes of the last pick-up.

In this article, we’re dishing out tips on how to spend less time on your phone and simplify your life.

The 12 Biggest Lies Told in Human History

group of friends talking; pretty women,
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Exposing instances of lies and deception in current events or in their personal lives is important to some people. One user of a popular online forum asked, “What is the biggest “lie” told to people in human history” to understand its influence a little better.

How to Have a Minimalist Christmas You’ll Never Forget

minimalist christmas
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The holiday season can be stressful for most of us, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Want to know how to have a minimalist Christmas that you’ll never forget? You can have a very merry Christmas that’s minimal, intentional, and simply wonderful.

 

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