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A BETTER CLASS OF FAMILY BOARD GAME
Bored of Monopoly, Scrabble, or Candy Land?
If you’ve ever played Monopoly with the whole family, you know high- tension classic board games can bring out the worst in people. Whether your sibling gloats after putting your most valuable property into mortgage or a tyke flips the board in a feverish rage, some of those old games can do more harm than good. But there are board games that won’t turn family fun time into a heap of tears and yelling. Here are a few modern hits that blow Parker Brothers’ basics out of the water: SETTLERS OF CATAN The perfect entry point for a more intricate world of board games, Settlers has become something of a cultural phenomenon in recent years. In the game, each of the four (or up to six with an inexpensive expansion) players represents a settler establishing colonies in a fictional new land, represented by a series of colored hexagonal tiles. Throughout the course of the game, you’ll take turns rolling dice in order to collect different types of resources, which you can then spend to build settlements, cities, and roads. It sounds and looks fairly complicated, but you and your family should be able to pick it up in a single round (which usually lasts an hour
or two). We can assure you, there’s a reason this game has sold over 22 million copies worldwide.
TICKET TO RIDE You don’t have to love trains to be obsessed with this country-spanning strategic adventure. Each player is tries to establish as many train lines between American cities as they can before the game ends. The system is deceptively simple, consisting mostly of matching colored cards to their corresponding train lines on the board, which makes it incredibly easy to learn. But the strategy involved ensures that each game is a completely different beast. Break out your tiny plastic trains and start your trek across the country! CARCASSONNE In this game, each of the two to five players takes turns flipping over tiles and playing them to develop the ancient town of Carcassonne. You can direct your workers to develop the fields, guard the roads, or inhabit the cities, and each activity earns you points. Every board ends up completely different as you place tiles and expand the playing area, which is what makes this game so endlessly enjoyable.
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