Casey Grove has always been partial to board games. They provide the perfect combination of required participation, a bit of skill, a lot of luck, and some surprises. Most folks think of board games, and their memories go back to what they played as kids. However, adult-oriented board games continue the fun, just with themes that make sense for those who aren’t under 20 anymore, at least physically.
Some of the best board games for adults are those that folks have played before but just not with an adult mind. Remember, psychologically, the human brain doesn’t really start going full steam with the abstract until around the age of 13. That means a lot of the games folks played as kids, Casey Grove reminds us, weren’t fully experienced. Obviously, we saw the pieces, the board colors, and even the basic rules, but not the nuances. He suggests a few be revisited with an adult mind.
Battleship is a classic. It’s the fundamental guessing game. Players call out positions on a board representing the sea, hoping to “hit” the opponent’s ships. If one scores a hit, the opponent has to flag it, and the ship is damaged until hit enough time that it sinks. The goal, of course, is to hide one’s ships enough on the board to outguess the other player and sink the opponent first.
Chinese Checkers provides hours of entertainment for a group of three or more. It’s a game Casey Grove grew up with as a kid. The goal is to move your colored marbles across a grid. The same hopping trick in normal checkers applies in this marble game. However, nobody loses any pieces. Instead, a player uses the others’ pieces to speed up their move to win the game. It gets really convoluted when three or four players are involved, and one has to think smart about how to move all their pieces effectively through the traffic jam.
Monopoly is a game based on capitalism and greed, pure and simple. That’s what makes board games so much fun. You need the other players to create your advantages in the game. They literally provide the income for you to make subsequent moves. However, ultimately, your goal is to drive them into bankruptcy as well. The winner is the remaining capitalist after the others fail.
Casey Grove explains that there is an ongoing revolution of modern tabletop board games that can replace some of the digital reliance on gaming. An online resource like Boardgamegeek.com is a great place to explore thousands of games by category. Kick starter is a great place to back and support new board games and designers, giving people opportunities to be part of the creation process by financially supporting games they want to see be distributed.
Board games are tactile, personal, and real-time. That might seem archaic today, but it’s an amazingly fun experience once one engages with them again. One of the best ways to also break barriers with people tends to be board games as well. Even strangers will take time to engage with a board game, given a chance. Just look at how many parks have chess boards embedded in the tables in cities.
Taking a break from the digital chatter and engaging one Saturday afternoon here or there can be eye-opening as well as fun. In Casey Grove’s opinion, games are what make us human again. And board games are great for making adults feel alive again as well.
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