Bored Games, and my family

My family’s got a decent collection of board games. Five different Monopoly sets (for whatever reason), Trouble, Connect Four, a couple trivia games, a few other obscure ones, blah blah blah. Nothing so “strategic” like Risk or Axis and Allies, my dad is fully not a board game geek and so we just have miscellaneous games.

For a while, we had essentially three games that were choices on any given board game night. Six Cubes, Parcheesi, or Creationary.

creationaryCreationary is a Lego building game that works similarly to Pictionary. You have to build things and other people have to guess them. This game started out pretty fun but in the process of playing, the cards start to repeat a decent amount, and with only a couple people who can decently construct things in the house, it became tiring.

six cubesSix Cubes is a fairly simple game. You have six dice and you roll them to achieve certain patterns, called “winners,” which you can use to move your piece forward on the board. It’s not, ah, un-fun, but the game is mindless re-rolling. In fact, the game is so simple, that I wrote a program to calculate all the possible rolls to see what the average progress was. The average score is 305, and since scores come in increments of 50 the only object was getting to 350 or failing while trying. So I personally got sick of it.

What we’ve been playing more since, and indeed played twice tonight, is Parcheesi. Parcheesi’s a pretty old game, and it’s similar to Trouble (or Trouble’s similar to it). You move your four mans around the board according to your dice rolls. You get your dice as individual numbers, though, and there are ways to take pieces, block other pieces, and land on safe squares to keep yourself alive. There are also huge bonuses to successfully getting pieces home or taking other people’s pieces. It’s a great game of risk and reward, and has tense moments and strategy even in its somewhat random element of dice rolling.

There’s a reason it’s so old and yet people still play it. I wish we had more competitive games around.