Top 5 Board Games to Stay Up All Night With

Board games are probably one of my favorite ways to connect with my friends. However, board games are a bit expensive, and getting the right one can be daunting. Should I pay $40 for the card building game or should I pay $20 for the social deduction game?

I am hoping this brief list will give you some help when deciding your next board game.

5. Fluxx

Fluxx

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Players: 2-6
  • Time: Short (3-20 Minutes)
  • Type: Card game, competitive

This is a simple and fun card game. The rules are so simple that game instructions suggest you just start playing the game (if there is someone else in the group has played) instead of reading through the rules. This game has a ton of different versions, and the base game is not necessary, as each deck is a full game and the game decks aren’t designed to mix. Each game deck is essentially the same game with a different theme and sometimes special card types. I, personally, recommend the Pirate Fluxx deck or the Monty Python Fluxx deck.

The game rules and objectives not only change every game, but they can change just about any turn. However, no matter the rules or the objective of the game, there are always 5 main types of cards (and sometimes special cards depending on the deck):

  1. Rule cards
  2. Goal cards
  3. Action cards
  4. Keeper cards
  5. Creeper cards

At the beginning, the rules always start as draw one card and play one card, and you start with a hand of three cards. Depending on what you play each turn, you can change the rules of the game (sometimes to make it so you can draw more cards each turn or play more cards each turn), change or establish the goal of the game, play a keeper card (which combinations of these are what is listed on the goal card), or play a creeper card (which keeps you from winning the game).

This game is sure to create laughs, and is super quick! Though, it doesn’t quite have the same addictive qualities as some of the games below

4. Forbidden Island

forbidden island

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: Short (15-20 minutes)
  • Type: Treasure hunt, board (kind of), cooperative

This is a great introduction to cooperative games. Not a lot of people have played cooperative board games before, as there aren’t many classic games that are cooperative, but this is really easy to understand.

Essentially your board is a collection of cards that represent different areas on an island. The island is slowly flooding, and you and your friends need to collect all the treasure on the island before it floods. To do this, you collect cards throughout the game that help you unlock the treasures.

It is good to start this game at a low difficulty just to understand the ropes, however in order for the game to be repayable you will most likely need to increase the difficulty of the game, otherwise it will get far too easy.

There is also other expansions for this game, like Forbidden Desert. Forbidden Desert is a little bit more complicated than Forbidden Island, however I think they have about the same entertainment value. Great to go round after round with the friends and fine tune your perfect strategy!

3. Small World

small-world-[2]-1910-p

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: Depends on the group size. Ranges from 25 to 45 minutes.
  • Type: Board, land conquest, competitive

This game is never not a blast. Imagine Risk, but quicker, more light-hearted, and not about to destroy lifelong friendships. The setting of small world is a small ass world where you are competing with a number of races for the most territory. At the end of each turn, your territories are counted and you receive that number of victory tokens (race buffs can give you more). The goal of the game is to get the most victory tokens.

The weird twist of this game is that you don’t only play one race. Your race will explode out into the world, but, at some point, due to lack of forces you will be unable to spread out your race any further. At this point, you will have to put your race into decline in which you cannot control them anymore, and you choose a new race to explode into the world! Sometimes you can control a race for one turn, sometimes you can control a race for 4 turns. It just depends what your strategy is!

I have not found someone that doesn’t fall in love with this game. The last time I played this with someone, they immediately went out to buy the game the next day.

You can also play Small World on Steam!

2. Dominion

dominion

  • Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
  • Players: 2-4 (can get more with expansions. Plus I find that the you can easily just add in players to this game with a few tweaks to rules)
  • Time: Long (30-60 minutes)
  • Type: Deck building, competitive

I feel for this game what many people seem to feel for Settlers of Catan. This is without a doubt my bread and butter game. In this game, you slowly build a deck from a selection of power up cards, victory cards, and money. With the deck you build, you can do bad ass combinations that are sure to devastate your opponents.

Though, this game is a little bit complex, hence why I am not even attempting to get into the rules of this game. However, the rules are logical and the cards themselves guide you through the game quite a bit.

This game has a ton of expansions, and I would be lying if I said I even knew what all of them are. Out of them, I have played the base game, Intrigue, Empires, and Seaside. I wasn’t a big fan of Seaside when I played it, but I love Intrigue and Empires! You can combine the expansion decks however you like, however the rules come with some recommendations for card combinations for newer players.

You can try out the base game for free online!

1. Secret Hitler

secret hitler2

  • Difficulty: Super easy
  • Players: 5-10
  • Time: 10-30 minutes (really just depends how much you and your friends want to talk)
  • Type: Social deduction, teams (competitive and cooperative)

Imagine mafia, like the game you play around a campfire, but simpler. This is easily my favorite game to play with my friends. It is a social deduction game so the most important aspect of the game is how you interact with the people you are playing with. At the beginning of the game, everyone is assigned a party affiliation (either fascist or liberal), and one of the fascists is also Hitler. At no point in the game are you allowed to show people the cards you were assigned, but you can tell them anything you want. However, fascists know who the other fascists are.

You are not disallowed from sharing any kind of information you may know with other players, but at no point could you ever fully know if a person is lying or not. The game progresses by the President (goes around the table one by one) and the Chancellor (nominated by the president and then voted on by everyone at the table) choosing policy cards. There are only two types of policy cards: fascist or liberal. There are a few ways teams can win, but the objective of the game is to get as many of your alignment policy cards enacted as possible.

Essentially everyone poses as a liberal and you try to figure out who the fascists are based on cards that are being played and what the characters are saying.

You can play for free by getting the game rules and printing out these cards on the game creators website. Thank you, Goat, Wolf, and Cabbage!

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I Knew You Were Howard Dean When You Walked In

I made this a while ago, but I only posted it on Facebook. So I thought I would share it!

Short Film: The Heavy Load

In high school, a group of friends and I made a series of silent movies for a film and video class. I though they were ridiculous enough to share here. I will share a few of them throughout the week.

New Drawings: Daft Punk, C2C, and Porter Robinson

I recently made a set of three drawings related to different musical artists and their music videos.

Daft Punk – Harder Better Faster

daft punk

From the Daft Punk Movie Insterstella 5555.

C2C – Delta

Delta

From the C2C music video, Delta.

Porter Robinson – Shelter

Shelter

From Porter Robinson & Madeon’s music video, Shelter.

Storyism: A Personal Philosophy

Through my life, I have held a number of philosophies that guide my behaviors. At one point, I was super obsessed with Ayn Rand and was a die-hard objectivist (the philosophy that Rand developed). I found objectivism to be logically sound, but I wasn’t happy. Why bother hold a philosophy if it doesn’t make you happy though? In high school I tried to delve into Catholicism, but that was really short lived. I know many people that are happy Catholics, but god damn did that not work out for me.

However, over the past year I have developed a new philosophy of my own. Philosophy might be a big term for this idea I have, though. It doesn’t provide any answers to why we exist, what the purpose of life is, or what is good and what is wrong. Instead, my idea is more of a guiding light on how to lead your life.

I think of my life as a story being read. I would love for people to write books about me and for people to read them, but that is not what I mean when I say this. Your story being read is simply imaginative. Sometimes I like to imagine that I am playing the main character (or a character) in some story that is being read in an alternate universe. The person reading the story has no idea that I am real or the setting I am living in is real.

My story being fictional is important to this philosophy. It is important because think of how you feel about villains in real life vs. villains in a fictional story. You might think Darth Vader is an awesome character, regardless of how horrifying he is. However, you probably don’t think the same about Joseph Stalin.

With this, the goal of storyism is simple: be the character you would find interesting in a fictional story. I imagine that if others adopted storyism, they could have different goals from it though. I imagine that most people would aim to be the hero of a story, but that is not my goal. I have no interest in being a hero or a villain in my story. I am more interested in being the interesting character that may do good things and may do bad things (or at least perceptibly good or bad to others). The important part is that they do interesting things (or at least things that are interesting to me). So far this philosophy has done me pretty good. Definitely adds more excitement into my life than objectivism or Catholicism did.

However, my character has no interest in convincing others to adopt Storyism 🙂 He simply wanted to share his thoughts on it. Chances are I am not the only person who has had this idea, so if you have heard it before, leave it in the comments!