And that sense of summer fun, I guess, is where this month of blog posts is coming from. I couldn’t decide on just one topic to base a month-long list around, so this month I’m dedicating to a few mini-lists of summer favorites. Adventures, hobbies and summer movies, if it’s summer, or goes great with summer for me, it’s fair game.
So, without further ado, I present my first mini-list of the month:
PICKED UP AS AN ADULT
Because of this, I got rather acquainted with reading and writing, which I guess is a pretty good thing for me, now, and games of all sorts. Video games and computer games were great for me, because I didn't always have the friends necessary to play board games, but even though I could rarely play them I always loved them. Now that I'm an adult and have friends, I've really gotten to embrace my love for tabletop games of all varieties.
And I'll say this. Board games have changed a lot since I was a kid. They've gotten more complex, more in depth, and have a lot more mechanics for creative gameplay than I remember in the games of my youth. While I still love a lot of those classic games (I will destroy you at Monopoly), today I wanted to dedicate this list to a handful of my favorite games I've discovered as an adult.
Because it allows me to inspire madness. While other players try to write definitions that other people will mistake for correct, I don't particularly care about winning and try to use it to make people laugh. My definitions have included such bizarre tangents as "a salesman of erotic doorbells" or "the compulsion to show your grandmother a jar of gravy" and "Swedish translation of, Why yes, I would like to see your monkey farm!"
So, naturally by trying to break the game and just have fun, people tend to vote for me anyways and I've won more than my share of times. What do you know.
Simple and twisted in its way, the true place this game shines is that it actively encourages storytelling, making you come up with the craziest possible reasons to make these misfortunes make some kind of sense in an overall story. Sure, this part of the game isn't necessary, but it's made for some fun nights at our household trying to figure out just how messed up we could make it.
3. Dead of Winter
Like many a modern board game, this one is set in the zombie apocalypse. And having played a lot of zombie board games, I can tell you they usually just come down to either killing a whole lot of zombies, or running away from a whole lot of zombies, with very little personality to the game itself.
Dead of Winter sets itself apart from that in that it focuses more on a community of people just trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. Every game comes with one big group goal to accomplish, while each player has their own secret goal they must also achieve in order to win, which may or may not involve betraying the entire group. It's mostly cooperative, but there's always a question of trust in every game. In addition, there are crises that come up with every round of play that have to be averted lest something horrible happen, and random events, or "Crossroads", that can be triggered under specific circumstances that often offer cruel yet beneficial choices to be made. It's fun, it's hard, it's deep, and each game you play really feels like it could be a movie in its own right.
2. Cards Against Humanity
I don't think I have ever laughed more in my life than playing this game with friends and family.
In Pandemic we're set as a group of characters working for the CDC, each with a special ability, trying to race around the world curing a number of diseases before they kill everyone on the planet. A simple, classic goal to be sure, but working together to decide how best to work our moves, combined with a constantly changing game board of disease hotspots and outbreaks, has made for many a fun game night, and a strong contender for one of my favorite new games.
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-- Matt Carter
(We know there's a lot of Matt Carter's online you could spend your time with, so thanks for hanging around this one!)