What I'll Be Playing
It’s that time of the year when people who often don’t see much of each other throughout the year feel it is important to spend time together for the day. Just because that’s what happens. However, by the time New Year’s Eve has arrived, the turkey has been eaten and one is often indulged in doing what one would actually prefer to be doing - cracking open the new board games and playing them un-interrupted, without having to re-explain the rules of Dobble the nth time to an aged relative.
For us, this New Year’s Eve will be a chance to spend the evening with immediate family and enjoy games more suited to 6 or 8 players. Telestrations will definitely make a showing. This is a light-hearted game for up to eight where Pictionary meets Chinese Whispers. Each player is given a card with a list of words. Everyone draws one word from their card and passes their masterpiece to the left. The next player then needs to interpret/ identify what is drawn and write down that word (covering the original picture). The booklet is then passed to the next player.
So the game progresses around the players until all have either drawn of guessed the different words. Telestrations is great fun as what might start off as a simple picture of a beehive will metamorphose to rubbish lorry for example. Points are scored depending whether the word remains “intact” when doing the rounds. Granny’s drawing skills and Grandad’s ability to think laterally are often the weakest link here.
Another game that is certain to get an outing on 31st December is Flutter. Originally published by Spear’s games in 1950. In Flutter, up to 10 people are buying and selling shares. It is a bit like Camel Up, but this time with stocks and shares. Dividends and rewards are given to players who hold shares that perform well at the end of each round. However, there are only a limited number of share certificates available. This gives the wonderful dilemma of buying shares when they are cheap and unpopular, or waiting to see how their value is changing and hoping some shares are still available. Each round takes minutes and the game can be brought to an end at any point. Although there is some luck, this game shows who should be in charge of the family finances for the year ahead.
While we are waiting for Big Ben to bring in the New Year, I’m hoping we’ll be getting to grips with Five Tribes by Days of Wonder and/ or Everdell by Starling Games. What we play will depend on what is in Santa’s sack.
Five Tribes (for 2-4 players) brings you into the land of the Three Wise Men. It is a mancala style puzzle where players aim to control different factions in a fictional Middle Eastern land. Sometimes the best move is to block and prevent other’s game rather than going for an all-out win yourself. The component quality is second to none and this medium heavy-weight game usually takes only an hour. This should leave plenty of time for another game option before the “bongs” and fireworks.
Everdell (for 1-4 players) is a streamlined worker-placement game which looks visually stunning. Yet for all its pretty artwork it appears to have a complexity that might leave you pondering how you could have built your village more efficiently before winter starts. The typical game time is about 80-90 minutes for four players. There may be time for a quick filler game such as Curios to hit the table before midnight.
With keen gamers of all ages in our family of, New Year’s Eve is sure to bring a variety of games to the table, ranging from the light hearted to the slightly heavier Euro-style game. Happy New Year one and all.
Check out our full New Years Eve feature here for more great suggestions!