The humble board game is back with a bang - here's seven to play before you die.
Cheat, lie and bluff your way to dominion over an unstable dystopian regime. Consisting of a deck of cards and cardboard tokens, ‘Coup’ retails for less than €20 and is great fun for two to six players. The game is all about maintaining a calm face as you spin untruths to your rivals — the winner is inevitably the individual with ice-water streaming through their veins.
You’re going to need a big table for this one — but the gameplay is straightforward and intuitive. The zombie apocalypse is at hand and you and your fellow gamers are in control of a rag-tag of survivors. You have to collect resources, plan your escape route and mow down the dozens (and dozens) of zombies eager to chomp on your brains.
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
The latest in this line of “co-operative” games in which the players work together against a common foe. In regular ‘Pandemic’ you fight a global contagion. ‘Pandemic Cthulhu’ is more atmospheric, with you and your companions trying to prevent cultists summoning god-like beings from the beyond and laying waste to civilisation.
Lords of Waterdeep
A relatively complex “euro” game in which you must allocate resources and commit workers to tasks in an attempt to upgrade your abilities and score more victory points than your rivals. It sounds complicated, but once you start dispatching your warriors and wizards on missions, you’ll be quickly into the sword and sorcery swing. Set in the ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ universe, and so will appeal to fans of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’.
Legendary: A Marvel Deck
Iron Man, Wolverine, Spiderman, Black Widow and the gang have assembled to do battle with various villains and henchman. Legendary is a “deck building” game in which you construct an optimal hand of cards by “buying” superheroes and pruning your deck of weaker cards. Again, it may seem a tad mindboggling but gameplay is smooth and logical. Before you know it you’ll be sending Captain America into battle against Red Skull and his minions.
Kingdom Death: Monster
Retailing at $400 plus shipping, ‘Kingdom Death’ is for the serious hobbyist. But it’s cash well spent as you are sucked into a brutal fantasy-horror setting, laced with nightmarish imagery and thrilling encounters. In a dystopian neverland that may or may not be Purgatory, players work together to build a settlement and hunt a series of “big bad” monsters. The game is not for children and is currently out of print — however, a crowdfunding campaign for a second run gets underway in November.
The year’s most hyped game is set in an alternative history 1920s Europe in which players compete for resources, embark on missions and slug it out utilising giant armoured robots. Tricky to get into but absolutely addictive when you are up and running.