The Lost Lighthouse Xmas Top 10 Board Games Part 2

Welcome back readers! Today we continue our top 10 count down for The Lost Lighthouse Xmas Top 10 Board Games. Part 1 can be found here. We want more families away from the tv and playing together. Well, maybe some tv as well. So here’s our top 5!

5. Cosmic Encounters

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This was one of my first “modern” board game that forced me down the rabbit hole. Cosmic Encounters has all the ingredients needed for a great after Xmas meal game. Possibly the longest rules set of the top 10 but by no means unachievable to teach people, especially if you already know how to play the game. You are all alien races trying control the galaxy. Each of you draw a card that gives your aliens it’s own special rules, and the great thing is they go up in difficulty so you can keep it easy for people and just stick the green cards. You try to get your spaceships onto other players planets and once you hit 5 you win the game. If you haven’t picked this game up yet, please do! It’s amazing. 1-5 players, or more with expansions. For my full review click here.

4. Ca$h & Guns.

Possibly the king of party games. Certainly the top of my party game list. Ca$h & guns sees up to 8 players trying to dish out the loot after a bank heist, problem is, everyone wants the lions share. You all start with a hand of cards, some represent blanks, others bullets! You all, at the same time, place a card face down, then point your gun and another player. Some might get shot, some might not. Then people who haven’t been shot get to divide up the loot. And you do the same thing for a couple more rounds. Such a great game! And you get awesome foam guns!

3. Pictomania.

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Often referred to as Pictionary on speed, and rightfully so! Pictomania has up to 5 players trying to draw a thing/concept while, at the same time (!), guessing what the other players are drawing. The cards are set in difficulty so you can keep it simple if Nan has had a few too many snowballs! The laughter starts quickly and keeps building as you play. Trust me, drawing skills are not a necessity. 3-8 players. For my full review click here.

2. Dobble.

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Dobble was a surprise hit for me this year. I never excepted it to be so good. At it’s core, it’s a hardcore game of snap but it has so much more! There’s several variants included. You could crack this out at the staff party and within minutes people will be loving it! This is one of, if not the ultimate, stocking filler! For my full review click here.

1. Ticket To Ride.

Yes, it had to be. I’m making this a new Xmas day family tradition. Is it the best game on the list? Probably not, but it is the best game, to me, to get everyone involved. The theme is nice, the game takes minutes to learn and it lasts for just the right amount of time. It’s a simple game of building train routes and collecting points. longer the route, the more points, but if you don’t complete the route before the end of the game it will give you negative points. I’ve played Ticket To Ride loads of times, but if someone suggests playing it, I’m still super happy play.

Well we hope you enjoyed that. I can honestly, and full heartedly, recommend any of these games.

Have a great Xmas, and why not give one of these games a go with your family and friends!

What would you choose for your Xmas game?

Gary

The Lost Lighthouse Reviews: Dobble

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It’s not often a game takes you completely by surprise. In a golden age of board gaming, it’s easy to over look a little game like Dobble. It’s not in a huge, flashy box or costs loads of money, so it must not be worth it, right? Wrong, so very wrong!

I had not heard of Dobble before playing it, but I love Jungle Speed, a game made by the same publisher (Asmodee), so I gave it a go. Within a few minutes I fell in love. It asks for so little but gives you so much back in return. It’s hard to describe how much joy you can pack into a metal container, barely bigger than a can of tuna.

I like to think of it as “hard-core snap”, that might not make it sound as good as I’m preaching, but trust me readers, have I steered you wrong before? In one way or another you are trying to match up a symbol from you card with one on a central card, or someone else’s.

The symbols are nice cartoony designs, some more abstract than the others. I particularly like the cat & the gingerbread man, which the rules name “Orange Man”.

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The overriding objective could not be simpler: “No matter the game, you always need to be the fastest to spot the identical symbol between two cards, name it out loud and then take the card, place it or discard it depending on the rules of the mini-game you’re currently playing”.

This objective carries over into the 5 mini-games included in the rules, here’s my 2 favourites:

“The Well”. In this game the cards are dealt face down to players with the last card face up in the middle. Then players flip their pile of cards and try to discard them to the middle pile by matching symbols. The last player to get rid of their cards loses!

“The Hot Potato”. This is the first of the mini-games that consists of multiple rounds. Each round players takes one card and keeps it face down. Then everyone flips and tries to be the quickest to match and pass their card to another player, which then becomes their new card to pass on until one player has all the cards from that round! Then the round starts again, and this continues until all the cards are given out. Who ever has most cards loses.

All 5 games are great though. It’s really interesting how you can create different games from one core concept.

One of my favourite things about this game is that, while children playing and calling out their matching symbols is super cute, grown ass adults shouting “gingerbread man!” Out loud is hilarious.

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If you’re looking for a new, fast pace, super fun game that all the family can enjoy, then I’d suggest you pick up Dobble!

available from Waterstones on the high street for around £12.99 and online from WHSmithArgos and Tesco.

Gary.

A sample copy was supplied for this review.