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Behind The Bloggers – Sophie Jones

Behind the Bloggers - Parks

This week on Behind the Bloggers, I am speaking to Sophie Jones to find out all about her favourite game amongst other things. So as the nights are drawing in, snuggle on down and read on.

What is your favourite game?

Picking a favourite game is a tough one for me. Favourite questions have always been difficult as I change my mind constantly. I’m quite a casual gamer. I like a board game which is challenging but also something that looks great and isn’t too complex to set up. For that reason, my current favourite has to be Parks. Parks is a game where you take 2 hikers on an adventure. Along the way you will collect resources and use these to visit America’s national parks. The artwork is beautiful. When paired with a calming soundtrack it’s a great board game to play during the midweek slump.

Parks also plays well solo and at its highest player count which suits my preferences. The set up is easy and the run time ideal at just 1 hour.

I’m not sure how long Parks will remain in my top spot but with its ease of play, serene theme and crunchy mechanics it's bound to keep my attention for a while. I also need to get the Wildlife expansion which will mix up the gameplay.

What game would you recommend to get someone into gaming?

This is a tricky question as it always depends on the person! But I will go with Ticket to Ride. Ticket to Ride, is easy to teach and has nice components which draw new players in. The rules are simple. Players only need to concern themselves with 2 actions, picking up cards or placing trains. This makes it easy to introduce to newcomers. Despite its simplicity, there is enough to engage players. Do they wait and save up cards or do they place their trains straight away. These choices might stop them completing routes as others steal the tracks. It’s a game which includes strategy but also push your luck as you never know which cards you’ll get.

I used to be a big board gamer as a child, but I lost touch with the hobby for about ten years. It wasn’t until my sister introduced me to Ticket to Ride Europe that I started playing board games again and collecting them. It was a great game to get me back into gaming and so far, everyone I have introduced to it, love it as well.

What three board games would you play (if you could only play three) for the rest of your life?

Well of course I would have to choose Parks as it is my current favourite so would make its way onto the list.

Then it would be Ark Nova. Ark Nova is a heavy weight game with lots of cards, components and ways to win. I love Ark Nova for its theme. As you can probably tell, I am a sucker for a wildlife or nature theme! This game is all about card collection and building up a tableau. What I love is that you get to place polyomino tiles into your zoo. This visual puzzle is a fun addition and adds another layer into an already great game. With an expansion announced at Essen Spiel, this mammoth game is set to grow and keep me entertained for a lifetime!

My final pick would be the Lost Ruins of Arnak. This game is all about discovering Arnak and battling its guardians. Over the course of the game, players choose different dig sites to explore. They collect resources which they can use to travel, research or buy gear and artefacts. I like how each game changes based on the characters you choose and the paths you take. The components for this game are tactile and look great on the table. Additionally, its theme reflects some of my favourite video games and movies like Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones. Everything about this game is enjoyable, exciting and dynamic.

Combined, these 3 games give me the option to play something light, a bit more complex and then something far more challenging. I’ll have a game to suit every mood.

Sophie has made some great choices there. I do enjoy Parks and agree it looks amazing on the table. I am interested in the Wildlife expansion Sophie mentioned and the Nightfall expansion. It is a great game when you want something which gives you decisions but not burn your brain. From personal experience, i know Ticket to Ride is a great introductory game. I have introduced a number of friends to gaming via Ticket to Ride. It was also my introductory game too.

I have not yet played the Lost Ruins of Arnak but it is one I need to check out. The variability of gameplay is something which appeals to me. I also like a game which has slight asymmetry to it as it keeps the game feeling fresh.

Join me next time when Lauren is my guest. Now I’m off to make a nice big mug of tea and buy Lost Ruins of Arnak…