Your friendly neighbourhood board game blog

Caught them all!

Caught them all!

Being a Pokemon professor is not a profession to take likely. A grueling exam is required for those precious representatives of the Pokemon industry who wish to offer a proper tournament environment at their place of gathering. After much study, Dan sustained his grand professor title with a whopping and mathematically confusing 1000% score.

Celebration was required!

 

Okay. It's mostly just about any excuse to eat cake. That doesn't make it any less legit. Great job, Dan!
Busy Busy!

Busy Busy!

Welcome back to your school-year routine!  While it is certainly nice to have some structure back in the family schedule, all that hustle and bustle of the daily grind can really get you feeling overworked and on edge. 

Does this sound familiar (*deep breath): A soon as the buzzer sounds on Monday morning you wake the kids, make sure they're clean and presentable, feed'em breakfast and make their lunches, race to the bus stop then go off to work.  Work.  Leave work, grocery shop, pick up the kids then burst into the house and watch as they shed all of their belongings into the hallway.  Complain about how the kids ate their snacks and not their sandwich as you clean out lunch containers, put away groceries and make dinner.  Extracurriculars tonight?  No?  Time to clean the kitchen while supervising homework attempts and get the laundry going.  Prompt bedtime routines twice before supervising the entire process.  Social media with tea, Netflix, bed.  Repeat until Saturday.

The trappings of a busy lifestyle can sometimes prove overwhelming. Taking micro breaks during the day and dedicating time to mental health and family relationships during the week can really help to renew your spirits and recharge your batteries.  Sometimes we're so busy striving for a better tomorrow that we can forget that life is what we make of it today. 

Before you know it summer will be here again.  When you look back at the school year you'll appreciate the time you put aside for yourself and your family more than any of the time you spent in the hamster wheel.  So grab a friend or family member and go do something fun!

Co-operative Games, or: Why Can't We Be Friends?

Co-operative Games, or: Why Can't We Be Friends?

Board games aren’t just about crushing your opponents (seriously, Kyle, they’re not.) For those of us who enjoy working together with our friends (instead of backstabbing them on your merry way to victory), we have a whole genre of co-operative games.

The most well-known modern game in the co-op genre is Pandemic, designed by Matt Leacock. In Pandemic you and another 1-3 of your friends must work together to save the world from an outbreak of four virulent diseases. You can increase or decrease the difficulty of the challenge, which is a great feature for people who are new to board games.

 Forbidden Desert.

If medical thrillers aren’t your favourite flavour, that’s OK, we’ve got you covered! Matt Leacock has published several other co-ops, all with a different theme and with a slightly different feel. Forbidden Island, the simplest of this set of co-op games, puts you on a sinking island full of wondrous locations, and you must rescue the four treasures before you can escape in your plane. Forbidden Desert has you stuck in the middle of a sandstorm, where you have to explore and dig to find all four pieces of a mysterious flying craft that you can use to make your escape, providing you don’t run out of water first.

If you’re a science fiction fan you might consider trying your hand at The Captain is Dead. In this tense game you take on the role of an officer aboard a ship that isn’t quite the Enterprise but might well remind you of it. The aliens are attacking and systems are rapidly breaking down, and you must work together to get the Jump Core back online so you can escape before you are overwhelmed with alien boarders. Just try getting through this game without at some point shouting, “The engines, they canna take the strain!!” in your best Scottish accent.

 

While I could go on for several more paragraphs about all the great co-operative games available, in a multitude of themes and complexities, I’ll just assure you there’s lots of choice for those who want to experience the thrill of camaraderie in the face of cardboard danger. Imagine yourself as Robinson Crusoe, or in the middle of some scary Ghost Stories, or crafting a fireworks display in Hanabi, or (one of my recent faves) a young wizard in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle. If you enjoy working together for shared victory, I guarantee there is a board game that will be just right for you.