5 Old-School Board Games that are still fun today
At the time of writing this article, almost the entire world is in lock-down. All thanks to our (not-so-good) friend, COVID-19. This means a lot of us are working from home, but those who can’t… well a lot of them are twiddling their thumbs at home right now, I imagine.
If you’re lucky enough to get paid leave during this time of crisis then you’re likely just sat on your arse binge-watching every single Netflix box set that catches your interest or getting blood-shot eyes to a whole bunch of computer or console games. If you’re running out of things to watch or play though, then maybe it’s time to step back into reality (sort of).
Apologies for this, but it has to be done: “Back in my day we didn’t have all this fancy technology!”. There we go I said it, but it’s true – we didn’t. Our idea of gaming involved boards, counters and sometimes paper and pencils. Very simple stuff, yet it kept us occupied for entire evenings.
You’d be surprised how great these “old-school” board games and table top games still are. If you and the family are stuck at home for however long this whole situation will be then here’s some golden oldies you may either already have lying around. If not, get on Amazon and see what’s about. Just be patient with the post!
Well, this is an obvious start. Doesn’t everybody have a monopoly board at home somewhere? If not, get online and get one. There are so many variations on it, so take your pick of what theme you want it to be and get going. I don’t really need to say much more, apart from the fact this game can keep families occupied for hours.
I am aware Monopoly is the culprit for some family feuds, but that’s all part of the fun. Right?
If you don’t have a Monopoly board for some weird reason, you can grab yourself a brand new one here. You don’t even have to get the regular one either, there’s so many different themed ones now.
A bit more light-hearted than Monopoly. If you don’t know what ker-plunk is then you’re probably very young, or you just know it as something else.
Basically, you put a bunch of sticks or straws (whatever you want to call them) into a rounded centre piece. Once they’re all in place you drop a bunch of marbles through the top so they all get trapped by these sticks. The aim of the game is to take it in turns to remove sticks, but try to make the least amount of marbles fall through as possible.
If any marbles drop you collect them, and whoever has the least amount of marbles collected when they’ve all dropped is the winner. Am I selling it well? Trust me, it’s a lot more fun than it sounds.
Grab yourself a modernised version of ker-plunk here.
For those that like to put a bit of brain power behind their board games. The basics of Scrabble is to make a word with the most points out of the letters you’ve drawn from the bag. Each letter is worth more points than others, mostly uncommon ones such a X or Z. To make it more exciting, you can also use letters on the game board that people have already put down to make words.
That’s the basic concept behind the game if you weren’t already aware but it’s a bit more complex than that in some aspects- not in any difficult way though. The game board can allow you certain advantages if you place a letter on specific tiles, such as a letter being worth double points or whatever.
It’s always useful to have a dictionary on hand for this one too, because some certain jokers in our household have this weird obsession with making up their own obscure words. I’m sure they’re not the only ones that try this.
Unleash your word knowledge and look like a nerd in front of your friends, get yourself Scrabble here.
This two player game requires a bit of a fighting spirit. For those unfamiliar, it revolves around both players placing a bunch of different sized battle ships on their grid and then taking it in turns to take “shots” at specific areas of the grid. The first player to sink all of their opponents battleships is the winner.
If you were feeling ambitious, you could have more fun with this and involve more than two players if you have enough boards. As long as you all take it in turns and each player makes it clear who they’re attacking you could have quite a blast with it.
This one would be good for social distancing also, especially since you don’t want to see each other’s boards. Unless you’re a dirty cheat.
Battleship is one of the best board games to have on the go and isn’t expensive at all. Get yourself a travel version here if you want to save on the pennies.
A chaotic classic. Jenga can work with just about any toy building blocks as long as they’re all an equal shape and not too grippy. Just… don’t go using heavy bricks or anything. That’s just silly.
If you live under a rock and don’t actually know how Jenga works, it’s as simple as removing blocks from a tower one by one without collapsing it. To mess with it even more, once a brick is removed you place it neatly on the top as if you were continuing to build it.
Whoever pulls out a brick and collapses the tower loses, it’s as simple as that. You can have as many players as you like, but we’ve done it in twos before and then had a sort of “tournament” competing for the title of Jenga Champion. Whatever floats your boat, really.
Get destructive and collapse as many towers as you like, grab yourself a simple Jenga block set here.
Got any personal favourites that we’ve not included? Feel free to share, it’ll give us all something to do during this time of social distancing and quarantine. Heck, even after this has all blown over this article is still relevant, board games are good fun anyway!