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Top 5 Quiet Games To Play On New Year’s Day

quiet games - my city

The party is over but your head feels like it is still going on. You want to play some more games but you can’t face a loud shouty type of game, so what’s the solution? I asked some fellow bloggers to give some of their favourite quiet games to play on a nice quiet day when a more civilised and relaxed experience is required and here is what they said in their list for quiet games to play on New Years!

My City by Dan Street-Phillips

Whether partying late into the night or watching a film and falling asleep before midnight strikes, New Year’s Day is always a time of recovery and quiet games. After an exhausting festive season, there is nothing like chilling out with some low-fi relaxation music and playing a calm yet satisfying board game.

Reiner Knizier’s 2020 My City is his first foray into legacy games. A legacy game is an experience where the game changes as you play.  Some things are destroyed, some are added and rules continue to morph as they become more and more complicated. But Knizier takes this genre and simplifies it into a beautiful and simple tile placement game.

You start with a stack of building tiles, all different colours and shapes and a tiled board that begins as an empty field. The basic premise of the game is as you turn cards over from a shared deck, you add building tiles to your town. Each one must be adjacent to a previous and you will score based on ever-changing rules. Each chapter in the campaign, is three games long and each game is only ten minutes in length. Each chapter will introduce something new into the world, however without going into spoilers it is really hard to discuss in too much detail. All you need to know is the very simple puzzle of laying tiles is a perfect way to give your brain some exercise without pushing you to any extremes.

Once the campaign is over, you can flip your board over and play the ‘eternal game’ which takes the core rules and allows you to play a version that can exist all on its own. My City is the perfect ‘Sunday afternoon’ experience but with the right amount of serotonin released as you reach for the next envelope and discover a new little adventure.

Sherlock Holmes - Consulting Detective by Natalie Morant

Draw your favourite armchairs up to the fireplace, don slippers or tuck your feet up on the seat. Depending on how hard you were partying last night you might want to pour yourself a brandy or a hot chocolate first. Light a couple of candles to set the scene.

Sherlock Holmes - Consulting Detective will not require you to sit at the table and move pieces across a huge board. You won’t need to argue over the best course of action. You will be reading a story (and also a couple of newspapers), and passing a map from time to time. It’s all very comforting and cosy. True – there has been a gruesome murder, but the only real danger you are in is not being able to work out who dunnit.

You will be playing the part(s) of Sherlock’s gang of informers, and trying to beat Holmes to the solution by following as few leads as possible. A lead consists of looking up any place or person you want to visit and reading about what happens when you get there. Some of the information gleaned will be useful, some will not.

Don’t be too complacent. The ten Victorian murders you can choose from are not easy cases and the great Sherlock Holmes has only had to investigate a handful of leads before his sharp mind perceived the answers to the relevant questions. Your aim is to use fewer leads than he does. You will need to take notes, and perhaps construct a timeline. You’ll discuss theories about suspects and motive. If you are REALLY tired, the mental effort required in this game may be too much for you today, but if the mind is willing, read the introduction and start by simply choosing a destination to turn to in the comprehensive directory. Will you visit the crime scene? The house of a witness? Someone mentioned in the newspaper? It’s over to you!

Tiny Towns by Rob Wright

So you’re sitting/lying there, questioning your life choices and making a resolution to never ever drink anything ever again. Wouldn’t it be better to do something positive? Make something? Like a Tiny Town for cute animal townspeople? Yes. Which is why it's one of the best quiet games!

Tiny Towns combines the accomplishment of building a town with the satisfaction of making Tetris-like patterns. Each turn, the lead player chooses one of five resource cubes to place on their board and everyone else gets to place that resource on their board. Once a player has placed resources in a particular pattern, they can remove those resources and replace one of the squares they used with a building corresponding with that pattern.

The town grid is four by four, so space is at a premium, but part of the fun is finding a work-around for your patterns. Each player also has a unique build, which will give them extra bonuses or abilities, so not everyone ends up playing the same strategy – my favourite is the building which pretty much implies that you are building a big graveyard and/or zombie town (I am a curious child). There might be a touch of hate drafting towards the end, but for the most part there is no conflict and players can lose themselves in their own tiny world.

There are also a number of expansions that involve earning coins and placing workers, but the base game alone will keep you going for a good while, and having six town grids means that it accommodates more than four people, kinda handy in the festive season when guests drop in, clutching their heads and pleading for solace and serenity. Pretty, pastoral and gentle.

The Crew by Thom Newton

It’s New Year’s Day. Your head hurts a little. You want to play one of those quiet games but don’t fancy all that noisy chatter. May I recommend The Crew! A game where you are not allowed to talk at all! The Crew, original or underwater version, is a trick taking game with a nice little twist to it. For those not in the know, a trick taking game basically has players competing to play down cards to win ‘tricks’. Tricks are basically the cards that each of the players have played down that round.

The crew is a little unique though as it is a cooperative game. So, the players are working together to make sure that certain players end up with certain cards in their pile of tricks. And this is where the no talking comes in. See, it’s pretty easy to say, “Hey, I’ve got these cards, if you play that now, I’ll play this and you’ll get the card you need”. Now try doing that without talking.

There is communication of a sort though. Players can play one of their cards face up in front of them with a little token on it. Depending on where that token is it indicates that the card is their highest, lowest or only card of that colour. The trick, if you’ll pardon my pun, is to work out what is the most relevant information you can communicate out to the other players with just this one gesture. It can be so gratifying when somebody manages to pick up the thread that you’re laying down and you play the perfect hand down that completes your objectives.

Speaking of objectives, both games come with 50 different scenarios that have varying goals and restrictions, some not allowing any communication at all. Thematically, there isn’t much to this game at all. But even if you don’t play trick taking games, I urge you to check one of these out. They are a unique experience that give you a lot of opportunities to feel clever and to really enjoy spending some time with your friends.

Picture Perfect by Neil Proctor (Board Game Happy)

Ironically I have chosen a game all about trying to get everyone perfectly lined up for a picture at a party. But don’t worry as this is not a loud game, rather it is a quiet considered game where you are sneakily placing your characters behind your screen so that your opponents can’t deduce where you placed the colonel or the plant! (Hence the quiet games part)...

Picture Perfect from Corax Games & Arcane Wonders is an amazing game all about lining up your fourteen guests perfectly for a family photograph. Seems simple enough but everyone has requirements such as I want to be next to this person, I don’t want to be next to this person, I want to stand near the table, I want to make sure no-one sees the face of this person, and so on.

You only have limited information each round and then some (or maybe all of the characters) envelopes are passed around the table and then you find out you really shouldn’t have placed the dog next to the old lady but what should you do as she wants to be next to it?

At the end of the game you use your mobile phone camera to take a photo and then everyone compares their photos against all of the characters requirements and the person with the most points (most accurately placed characters) wins. A brilliantly simple game but one with endless re-playability and many laughs as your opponent knew you really should not have put the plant next to the posh boy. If you like the game (and you will) also look into the three expansions which all add an extra layer of variety and slight complexity.

Thanks for reading this blog and I hope you have found a new game perfect for that quiet New Year’s Day, if you have any suggestions come find me on twitter @BoardGameHappy and let me know what they are.

That concludes our list of Top 5 Quiet Games To Play On New Years Day. Is there any we missed? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames.