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The Joy of Oldschool

Boardgames Still Thriving

By Sara HudsonPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
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Zombie Dice, Get Bit and Tsuro. Photo by me, Sara Hudson

In this time of video games and newer virtual reality games, I discovered I still have a love of board games, and their following and enjoyment is still very much alive. I have always loved playing board games. Growing up there was a family in the neighborhood who had a family game night, where everyone in the family needed to be home and they would play games as a family. I was invited a few times and truly enjoyed it. The idea of family game night stuck with me and a number of years ago I started the tradition with my family.

Not long after I set this tradition in motion, I stumbled upon the web series TableTop with Wil Wheaton. The first episode I saw was one demonstrating a few short games, Zombie Dice, Tsuro: The Game of the Path, and Get Bit. My son's birthday was coming up, and I ordered all of them as gifts. We totally enjoyed all of them, with Tsuro and Zombie Dice becoming frequently played favorites.

Get Bit! is the perfect game to pack along on your next beach trip or to pull out during Shark Week. Put out by Mayday Games, it is a fun, fast paced game where you try to keep your swimmer in the front of the line away from the shark, lest you lose hands, arms, feet and legs. Can you keep your swimmer whole?

Zombie Dice is a fun dice game by Steve Jackson Games, consisting of thirteen special black dice with pictures in green, yellow or red. The green dice have three sides with brains, two sides with feet and one side with a shotgun blast. The yellow dice have two brains, two feet and two blasts and the red have one brain, two feet and three blasts. In the game you are the zombie, trying to collect brains and avoid being shot. Without looking you select three dice and roll. Every footstep roll gets to be re-rolled. You do this until you choose to stop rolling or if you collect three shotgun blasts. If you get three shotgun blasts you lose any brains you collected, which is why you can choose to stop, in order to hang on to the brains you have collected. There are two expansions, Zombie Dice 2 – Double Feature and Zombie Dice 3 – School bus Expansion. Zombie Dice 2 adds three dice, the hunk and the hottie from the big summer action movie portion of the double feature and the Santa from Santa Clause meets the zombies portion of the double feature. The hunk has two footsteps, two shotgun blasts, a double shotgun blast and a double brain. The hottie, in pink, has three footsteps, two shotgun blasts and a single brain. Santa, a red die, has some new goodies, a football helmet, which allows you to take a 4th blast before you die, an energy drink which allows you to convert footsteps to brains, and then the normal footsteps, shotgun blast, brain and a double brain. Zombie Dice 3, on our wish list, adds a large, school bus yellow die with black images of blasts, footsteps, brains, and a few never before seen treats or terrors. The goal is always to collect 500 brains before your opponents do.

When we first opened Tsuro:The Game of the Path by Calliope Games, I was struck by the elegance in the design of the pieces and the game board graced with wonderful artwork. The game play is straightforward and fun while offering a strategic challenge. It fast became one of our favorite games to play. We liked it so much that we purchased Tsuro of the Seas when it came out. It too was just as visually pleasing with a wonderful new element of daikaiju that roam the board during play, their movement determined by rolling two dice, that makes it slightly more challenging than Tsuro but just as fun. Tsuro of the Seas also has an expansion pack: Tsuro- Vetran of the Seas, which we have not played yet, but it is on our wish list. When they came out with Tsuro:Phoenix Rising, we added that to our collection as well, and it didn't disappoint. With lanterns and stars and stones added in along with the game pieces and path movement, it again increased the challenge factor while remaining fun and true to the form of the original, and they continued the aesthetic attractiveness as well. If you enjoy things with artistic quality, and fun, strategic games that are fairly quick to play then I recommend checking out any and all of these in the Tsuro family.

From time to time, life interrupts our weekly schedule, but we always come back to family game night. It is just that much fun. Random Saturdays or Sundays can find us playing longer games like Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot - a favorite of mine from my single days gaming with friends. I introduced my son to it as soon as he was old enough and he fell in love too. All of the games mentioned here I have seen offered through big box stores as well as independent sellers, so get to your favorite game store and pick up a few today, and discover or rediscover a love for good, old fashioned board games.

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About the Creator

Sara Hudson

I am here in hopes it will motivate me to write everyday in some form and return to one of my earliest passions that has too long been buried.

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