Don’t hate your family yet? You will.
No, you are not in the wrong place this is indeed still the sports section. Please do not start with me with this “where’s my NFL news, the draft is literally in a week” or “the MLB might return soon right, where’s the story on that?” There is a worldwide pandemic happening, and now is a great time to dive into a tradition as old as time itself: family game night.
If things are getting shaky at home after weeks of being quarantined together, this is your first and final warning to stop reading because ruthless fighting may/will ensue by partaking in these games.
Games for a couple:
Fact: every person on this Earth either knows how to play chess or does not know how to play chess. If are part of the latter never fear, chess is easy enough to learn, and once you get the hang of it you never really forget. However, no matter skill level, do not, I repeat, do not play chess against a computer opponent. Unless the difficulty level is set to “a preschooler that doesn’t know how to win,” the computer will beat you—every time—and your self-esteem will plummet.
Nothing can beat the feeling when your opponent cuts the perfect card that makes your hand go from six points to 16 points. The cool part about cribbage is if you don’t have a fancy peg set, a pen and a piece of paper are a fine substitute.
Your opponent says “gin” and you’re ready to throw your cards at their face because you’ve been one card away from ginning for the last 10 minutes and life is not fair.
Games for a few:
Pinochle is without a doubt the hardest game on this list to learn how to play. Watching it without knowing what’s going on will only add to the confusion with words like rope, meld, trump and trick being thrown around. Looking up the rules won’t help much either. The best way to learn is by playing and asking questions. Pinochle can be played all sorts of different ways with a different amount of people, but the classic two vs. two is tough to beat.
Catan is probably the most expensive game on the list, but you get what you pay for. Catan challenges pinochle for being the toughest game on this list to learn. Again, the best way to learn is by playing with someone who knows how to play because there is too much to take in in the thick rulebook. The beauty of Catan is no two games are exactly alike, and the only universally accepted strategy is the one that wins you the game.
This, out of all the games on this list, is the game most likely to end relationships. Within five minutes you’ll think everybody is teaming up against you, and you will be absolutely correct. Sorry’s tagline is “The game of sweet revenge” and that should tell you all you need to know.
Games for many:
A game so good they made a movie out of it. The nervous tension when the first person to take a guess at solving the crime looks at the cards is tough to match. The jubilation one feels when that person gets it wrong is matched only by the feeling of utter pain and despair one feels when their guess was just barely off.
Rolling a Yahtzee after you’ve already crossed it out can drive any sane person mad. Should you just keep that full house or keep rolling to see if you can get four of a kind? The answer is almost always keep rolling, especially in the early stages in the game.
While not everyone may have Catan or their own chess set, it does seem as if every household has a version of Monopoly. Monopoly can take hours, but time flies by, especially if you have control of the board. Before playing, make sure everybody is aware of the house rules. Should there be money at free parking? (yes, there absolutely should be). Can you collect rent while in jail? Do you need to evenly distribute the houses on your property, or can you dump four houses on St. James Place and pray? Regardless, Monopoly has stood the test of time, and for good reason.