Mental Floss

The Quick 10: The Top 10 Board/Card Games for 2010

Stacy Conradt
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Food isn't the only reason I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. I think I told you last week that when the weather turns cold and it's dark out at 4:30 p.m., I love nothing more than game night. However, since it's just my husband and me, the board games we can play are kind of limited. With so many people gathered for Thanksgiving (and in a small town with not so much as a Walmart), I have all kinds of opportunity to inflict board games on people. I can't wait. If you're the same way and looking for something new to throw in to the mix this year, check out the 10 top games for 2010 according to Games Magazine (they do the top 100 every year, conveniently right before Christmas!).

smallworld
smallworld /
blox
blox /

4. Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age is what you should invest in for family game night, since it was voted the Best Family Board Game. Educational and fun "“ what more could you ask for in a game? Here you have to build more than just a town "“ you have to build an entire civilization. And you only have an hour. Good luck with that.

Amerigo_f_2339
Amerigo_f_2339 /

6. Dominion takes the title for Best Family Strategy game. It's also a card game "“ you're trying to gather the most of a certain type of card. There are Treasure cards, Victory cards, Kingdom cards and Curses. You buy these cards, fending off your competitors who are trying to do the same to expand their dominions as well. And if you get bored with it, there are four expansion packs to keep play interesting.

dixit cards
dixit cards /
orastelo
orastelo /

La Ora Stelo is a remarkably novel polyform puzzle, with pieces based on two types of isosceles triangles whose side lengths are related by the golden ratio. The golden ratio is an irrational number known as phi (approximately equal to 1.61803...), and has more interesting properties than you could shake a slide rule at (anyone remember those?). When up to three of these triangles are combined edge-to-edge in all possible ways, they form a set of 32 tiles called polyores. Phi is very common in formulas relating to pentagons, so it is no surprise that this set rests in a pentagonal tray. It also has five small black tiles to fill the center. At least nine other sizes of pentagons can be constructed with a subset of all the tiles.

9. Fields of Fire is 2010's best Historical Simulation game. It's yet another card game (they must be popular this year) that has you waging war. The settings range from WWII to present day, and you get appropriate terrains for each, so between that and the cards that dictate your weapons and style of combat, no two games are ever the same.

jumb
jumb /

Of course, there are the always-fabulous games in stock in the mental_floss store, including our own brand of quirky trivia. Strange that it seems to be left off of Games' top 10 list"¦ hmm. An oversight, I'm sure.

I will be toting Loaded Questions, The Game of Things, Scattergories and perhaps Scene It to my in-laws' house. Those in addition to the usual cut-throat game of Monopoly, of course (I'm serious. They're vicious). Is there any game in particular your family gathers around the table for without fail? And have you tried any of these?

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