Try Something New - International TableTop Day 2016 April 29 2016

Tomorrow we'll be celebrating our second International TableTop Day at For The Win Cafe. Promoted and started by Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day and the folks over at Geek & Sundry, International TableTop Day is a day to celebrate board games. If you're looking for a venue for your very own TableTop Day gathering, why not join us over at For The Win?

Everyone loves their favourites - the classic games like Monopoly, Jenga and Risk. But why not challenge yourself with trying something new this weekend? Here are a couple of alternatives to some old classics. We picked games that were on the same level of difficulty in terms of learning-to-play, that way it won't be too intimidating for people.


If You Like: Scrabble  Why Not Try: Letter Tycoon

Scrabble is a timeless game for wordsmiths of all ages. At the end of the day it mostly comes down to the biggest vocabulary. Letter Tycoon adds the element of economy without creating much complications. It essentially introduces the element of patenting letters. Any time a player uses your letters, you receive royalties from the bank. It's a neat pairing of Scrabble and Monopoly.


If You Like: Jenga  Why Not Try: Rhino Hero

Jenga is the most played game at our cafe, and comes from the most popular category of games - dexterity. One of our favourites is Rhino Hero. It adds a few simple mechanics to transform the Jenga formula into more of a game. Players take turns building walls and placing roofs, some of which add twists to how the next player has to take their turns.


If You Like: Clue  Why Not Try: Mr. Jack

One of the most common games I see attempted by two players is Clue. The game is not intended to be played by two, but some people still try it. Instead of forcing a game to bend to your will, try a game that was meant to be played for just two. Mr. Jack is Clue for two. One player plays as Jack the Ripper, attempting to flee the city undetected, while the other plays as the Detective deducing which of the characters in the game is Jack. I guarantee you'll enjoy this one more than playing Clue for two.


If You Like: Monopoly  Why Not Try: Lords of Vegas

Monopoly is a family classic that has all the elements that people remember and love about board games: dice rolling, pawn moving, earning money, spending money. It's a game all about economy, but often times it comes down to a lot of luck. Lords of Vegas has all the glitz and glamour of Monopoly but provides a more controlled randomness. And here the "luck" factor is thematic with the Las Vegas theme. Players build and control different casinos all over Vegas in order to earn the most money. If you're in a pinch for a few dollars you can even visit other players' casinos to try and steal a few bucks by gambling your own. 


If You Like: Yahtzee  Why Not Try: Can't Stop

Yahtzee still holds up very well in today's offerings of games, in comparison to other classics. However, the one thing Yahtzee is sorely missing is player interaction. It just feels like you're playing alone with no way to impact others. In Can't Stop, players share the same board and climb each number together. The goal is to roll the sum of two dice a set amount of times depending on the odds of that number being rolled. Players still make meaningful decisions every step of the way, but now they can also compete for certain numbers and try to cut other players off. 


If You Like: Risk  Why Not Try: Eight Minute Empire

Risk always takes more time to play than you want it to. It's probably the most popular area-control board game. A mixture of luck and negotiation with some careful strategic plotting. Eight Minute Empire condenses the experience to a much tighter package. While not the same kind of dice-rolling mayhem, Eight Minute Empire provides the same area-control gameplay with a bit of set collecting and economy. 


If You Like: Anomia  Why Not Try: Buffalo

Anomia is a fast-paced party favourite that gets a lot of play at the cafe. It creates a good debate on whether certain things fit into specific categories.  But one of the worst parts about it is when someone gets a card that no one is familiar with (usually Rock Opera). In Buffalo, whenever the game gets stuck more cards are added and players can connect any of the visible cards together. It brings people to discuss things like whether Kim Kardashian really qualifies as "Influential" "Inspirational" & "Vampire".


If You Like: Munchkin  Why Not Try: Cutthroat Caverns

Munchkin is not really a classic in the general sense, but it's certainly one of the most popular modern games being played today. While its a fun parody of dungeon crawling, it's also one of the most finicky and frustrating games when it comes to the rules. Playing the game can feel a bit labouring and random. Cutthroat Caverns delivers everything that Munchkin promises on while giving a much better engine to play the game on. I'd argue it's even easier to learn, because once you learn the base mechanics everything just flows smoothly. Cutthroat Caverns is probably our favourite dungeon crawling, card game.


These are just a couple of suggestions for games to hit your table this Saturday. We have many more at the cafe. Be sure to join us on TableTop Day, as we are giving away five $20 Gift Cards for checking-in on Facebook with a photo. We've also got a few promos we'll be giving away with the purchase of any game. 

See you soon!



Images courtesy of BoardGameGeek and its users