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    Thursday
    May212009

    The new hotness: Board Games!

    My love for Steve Jackson's Munchkin card games has been well documented on TRS.  Our regular crew of @alexalbrecht, @dannytrs, @jerrytrainor, and @zandbro still makes it a priority to find time to argue our way through those fiendishly clever games of screw your buddy as often as we can.

    But a new addiction has begun to seep its way in as well.  I've recently discovered the wonderful world of German board games!  Evidently, as we Americans have been spending our time playing "party games" like Pictionary, Cranium, and Apples to Apples (all of which I love, BTW), those crafty Germans have been utterly perfecting the classic board game.

    If, when I say "Board Games", the first thing to pop into your mind is Monopoly, Clue, or Candyland, prepare yourself for a paradigm shift.

    I give you: Settlers of Catan and Puerto Rico.

    Honestly, even games I considered more "adult" classics, like Risk and Stratego, can't hold a candle to the refinement, strategy, and pure freakin' fun of these games!  And here's the key difference: in both cases, the brilliant game designers broke down that most fundamental element of board games.  Namely, the structure wherein you take a turn, and I wait... the next person takes a turn... and I continue to wait - oh, it's someone else's turn... still nothing for me to do... thank god!  My turn! 

    No.  Here, every player is active and thinking during every moment of the game.  No matter whose turn it is, I am involved.  There is something for me to do, something that will effect my immediate circumstances.

    I cannot recommend these experiences enough.  If you know 2 or 3 other adventurous souls who are willing to give these games a try with you - who have the patience to not balk at rules which may at first seem complicated - a purchase of one or both of these games is a must.

    Now I know the seasoned board gamers among you will already have a list of other games for me to try.  Yes, I'll get there.  Rest assured, I have spent the requisite time on boardgamegeek.com investigating the best of the best.  I am only more excited that there are so many other rad experiences waiting for me.  In the meantime, I must say, from personal experience: give these two a shot!  Board Games are the new hotness!

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    Reader Comments (66)

    All night LoTR Risk marathons were definitely awesome back in the day. Hmm... kind of really want to play right now.

    June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

    I've played all the Settlers versions. Best. Game. Ever.

    Puerto Rico is awesome- as is San Juan (a simplified card-based version).

    I also love Carcassonne and the Pillars of the Earth Game.

    Board game versions of PC classics Star Craft, Age of Empires, and RailRoad Tycoon are all supposedly pretty good as well (though I have not tried them).

    A board game review segment to TRS would be awesome!

    June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiatomic

    I've been into the Euro style boardgames for a little over two years and it has turned into quite the addiction. There's nothing better than a good board game with friends. Settlers is what got me into it but it quickly branched out into a plethora of others. Enjoy the journey of discovering all of the awesome games out there!

    June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

    I agree with the board game review idea on TRS! That would be sweet.

    June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

    I am from Austria and as I moved to California I realized that Americans only know and play "Party Games". I ran from store to store in search for my beloved board games (Settlers of Catan & Carcassonne), but I could not find them. The only thing I found was a small selection in a cigar shop! My next problem was that people here do not know these kind of board games and also don't play them. I did a research on the internet and found an interview with the game developer of Settlers who said that America is a different market and hard to get into. Well, there went my hope. I haven't played these games in years. So, maybe, if there is somebody out there in the San Francisco Bay Area who likes to play these kind of games, I'm in! Please contact me!

    June 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVerena

    I am a little late posting, but oh well!

    I am a big fan of Catan as well. Although for about a year after I bought it I couldn't find anyone to play with me. Finally I convinced a bunch of my friends to play and we had a blast.

    I have an easier time convincing someone to play carcassonne cause you only need two players.

    Keep up the blog, eh?

    June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErica Wagner

    I remember emailing fans@totallyradshow right after the review of that volcano game about checking out Puerto Rico. Glad you checked it out Jeff :)

    July 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermitchbones

    I'm a huge fan of board games of all types. Really got into them a couple of years ago and there's been no turning back. It's amazing the diversity of games and how many new ones come out each month. You guys could easily add a board game segment to the Totally Rad Show because, honestly, board games are totally rad!

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    August 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteragikenokrhign

    If you want to play some fun board games, check out cheap ass games (cheapass.com) . I especially like Kill Dr. Lucky. Many of the games are between $2 and $6 dollars.

    Good stuff for not much scratch.

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    December 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternienkeklaar

    Awesome post.....
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    January 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralicia

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    March 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjulius

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    April 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdoni

    Jeff, you need to check out Dominion! I think TRS should pick this up and try playing. The other great game is Stone Age.

    April 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBShifflett

    Though known by different names, the ultimate goal of all board games today is to entertain and enhance the mental capacity at the same time.

    May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAiza2010

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