Top 6 "Perfect Game Night" Games - Community Edition
The phrase a "Perfect Game Night" conjures up mental pictures different mental images for each of us. Will it be a deep dive into your heaviest games, or casual games with friends, and wine? No matter what your personal viewpoint is the "Perfect Game Night" is what you make it.
In the first Meeple Mountain Community Edition we ask our Twitter friends what THEY think. The results may surprise you. Read on to find out!
Here were the 10 most common games submitted by your Twitter friends:
- 6 Nimmt!
- 7 Wonders
- Terra Mystica
- Castles of Burgundy
- Power Grid
- Sentinels of the Multiverse
- Lords of Waterdeep
Here's the complete list of games from user submissions, along with some basic analysis (because I AM a nerd after all).
I love the idea of starting off with some lighter games. Las Vegas is a great dice rolling game that's fun but still offer some strategy. Turn the Tide is a clever little card game which gives people the chance to play the same hand as all the other players. Forbidden Island gives us the chance to work together towards a common goal just before we try to destroy each other in Isle of Skye and Power Grid. Finally we'd end the night with Cockroach Poker, a hilarious bluffing game that will have us all laughing hysterically as we drive home in the wee hours of the morning!
Las Vegas, Turn the Tide, Forbidden Island, Isle of Skye, Power Grid, Cockroach Poker
A mix of mechanisms and styles. Different companies/designers.. but all well balanced for four players. Some light, some serious. End the evening giggling like mad.
The Speicherstadt, Terra Mystica, GOSU, Medici, Ponzi Scheme, Oh Hell
This is a good mix of everything that I like and includes enough variety that things would stay interesting.
Castles of Burgundy, 6 Nimmt!, Survive, La Boca, Viticulture, Animal Upon Animal
BattleCon, Android: Netrunner, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Infamy, Caverna, The Networks
- 6 Nimmt - Great warm up game 2. Gold West - Fantastic Feld-like game that plays in an hour. Pretty accessible. 3. Power Grid - The adjusting resource market is one of the most brilliant game mechanics I've ever come across. Not TOO heavy as games go. 4. Trajan - Amazing Feld game, so many paths, cool mancala mechanic for action selection. Love it. 5. Alchemists - It's a logic puzzle crossed with a worker placement game. So good. Brain burn-y. Awesome integration of app with game. 6. Steam Works - Another great worker placement game, where players are building the spots to use - you're encouraged to make your spots enticing for other players to use in order to gain points. Very smart design.
6 Nimmt, Gold West, Power Grid, Trajan, Alchemists, Steam Works
I like to game in what I call a Gaming Bell Curve: start light, ramp up the depth, then ramp back down and end the day with something fun. I've come to realize I'm a fan of Stefan Feld's games, which is why three Felds are on the list. I'm a new gamer and my faves of the moment change frequently because I'm constantly getting introduced to new-to-me games, so I expect in about 3 weeks this list would change, though the bookends would probably still be the same.
6 Nimmt!, Castles of Burgundy The Card Game, Bruges, Luna, Yspahan, Las Vegas
I'd start lighter and then dive in to the medium stuff, ending with the only player elimination game that night. I picked games that play well with 4 instead of focusing on player count too much.
Lords of Waterdeep, Concordia, Railways of the world, Zhanguo, Castles of Burgundy, King Of Tokyo
Dalmuti - Simple; Easy to learn; Fun; Play for hours; lots of players Resistance - Social Fun; A little nerve-wrecking; lots of players Forbidden Desert - Coop; Pass/Fail Game Pandemic - Coop; Pass/Fail Game Takenoko - Simple; Easy to learn Settlers - good gateway game
I tend to like games that can accommodate more players at a time and still be quick and fun. The easier to learn, the better. I also like cooperative games because any new player to the game can pick up on it quick without the pressure of failing.
The Great Dalmuti, Resistance, Forbidden Desert, Pandemic, Takenoko, Settlers of Catan
Paul Grogan (Gaming Rules!)
Codenames - its just so much fun, even after a couple of hundred games. A great start or end to a games evening. Mage Knight - what a masterpiece. Epic fantasy adventure done right with lots of skill and little randomness. Through the Ages - another masterpiece. Best Civ game by far and I love Civ games TIME Stories - love the experience of playing this game Trajan - Feld is my joint favourite designer, so it would be wrong to not put a Feld game on this list - I had to pick one, but you could have replaced this with a number of others of his. BattleLore 2nd Edition - not my kind of game at all - lots of randomness, but I made a return to painting in the past year and have just finished painting them all (after approx 8 months!)
Codenames, Mage Knight, Through the Ages, TIME Stories, Trajan, BattleLore 2nd Edition
I want a nice tight game to start the night out with and it doesn't hit the table often enough. Then 7 wonders because its a great game and isn't has tight as Chaos. Then a quick palette cleaner with some games of Succession. Move back to Diamonds because its a great trick taking game anyone can learn. Love the different actions one can take. Back to Lords of WaterDeep for a great worker placement. Tight game but one of those to wind the evening down. Finally codenames when everyone is exhausted and doesn't want to think as hard.
Chaos In the Old World, 7 Wonders, Succession, Diamonds, Lords of Waterdeep, Codenames
I first need Puerto Rico. Its simply my favorite game it so elegant and simple to play but has very cutthroat game play at high level play. 51st State and Glory to Rome both because I love tableau building and crazy card combos. 51st state especially since its much easier to teach to new players. Le Havre next since I need something a little heavier on game nights and its a great one that's easy to teach but tough to play well. Bora Bora since I need one game on this list from one of my top 3 designers and I love the dice placement in Bora Bora. Finally Codenames because its my favorite party game and everyone I've ever taught it to has really enjoyed it.
Puerto Rico, 51st State, Glory to Rome, Le Havre, Bora Bora, Codenames
Montage, Set, and Anagrams are all realtime brain-burning games. You can't really do anything else while you're playing. You play or you lose. This is a great escape from the ordinary world.
Zendo and Concept are about the joy of figuring things out. They're small puzzles that you'll probably figure out pretty quickly, and that usually have satisfying solutions. They're thinky, but they're slow thought.
Dominion is about a bunch of small decisions that add up to a total strategy. It's reasonably fast-paced but not so fast as to preclude conversation. And it's a little different every time.
I would start a session with Set (because it's short) and Concept (because it's easy to drop in on). Anagrams and Montage are best before you get too tired. Zendo goes last because it's not really time-boxed.
Montage, Set, Anagrams, Zendo, Concept, Dominion
Start with an energetic party game (Codenames), work to a more serious game (Hanabi -> Pandemic), take a break with silly fun (Flick 'em Up!), hit the main course (Blood Rage), then play a light filler as people file out (6 nimmt!). If with a group that leans more towards euros, I'd replace Flick 'em Up with Empires: Age of Discovery, and Blood Rage with Alchemists.
Codenames, Hanabi, Pandemic, Flick 'em Up!, Blood Rage, 6 nimmt!
BSG is my favorite game. I love the mystery of who to trust and the conversations that the game spawns. Arcadia Quest is a fun dice chucking, move guys around the board game. Resistance is quick, plays a large number, and always ends with the losing team wanting to play another. Orleans and Terra Mystica are fun worker placement games that reward people building good engines. Flick 'Em Up is a fun, light game that can fit a larger number. Great game to have some beers with while playing.
Battlestar Galactica, Arcadia Quest, The Resistance, Orleans, Flick 'Em Up, Terra Mystica
Start with something very light that gets people in the gaming frame of mind while you wait for others to show up. Get right into a brain burner that is better without much beverage consumption. I like alternating competitive games and cooperative ones so that everyone tries to defeat each other and then everyone bonds together. I love finishing most game nights with Biblios. Such a good filler and always a good source of yelling and laughing.
Love Letter, Race For the Galaxy, The Grizzled, Libertalia, Burgle Bros, Biblios
I like very heavy games. These games don't get played often enough and if I could do them all in one night, that would be amazing.
Dominant Species, Food Chain Magnate, Brass, Keyflower, Castles of Burgundy, Terra Mystica
I love heavy games, which is why Dominant Species and Dungeon Lords are involved. Slightly lighter, but player interaction/attacking gets Illuminati and Blood Rage. Codenames is a brilliant cleanser, and I love the elegant simplicity in the strategy for Parade.
Dungeon Lords, Parade, Codenames, Illuminati, Blood Rage, Dominant Species
I like games that look good on the table and make the players think. Games that use dice in a fun way will always be welcome on my table. I like the variety and style changes with that list. It would make a longer game night, but it definitely has a little something for everyone with Feld, worker displacement/mancala, economic, trick-taking, co-op, and dice selection.
Castles of Burgundy, Five Tribes, Yakitori, Nyet!, Burgle Bros, Yspahan
I am a storyteller at heart and prefer games that build stories. This also means I love cooperative games that allow me to work alongside friends to build the story, whether it be shared victory or defeat. The order of the games is based on intensity. You start out lighthearted and easier with Sentinels, moving into a very difficult and dark Legendary Encounters. Then Agents is a mix of lighthearted with some difficulty. Follow that by a night of fantasy adventuring with the best cooperative storytelling anywhere using D&D. Then, late at night when everyone is tired, hyped up on sugar and caffeine, and getting a bit slap happy, you toss in a hilarious over-the-top adventure using Feng Shui.
Sentinels of the Multiverse, Legendary Encounters: Aliens, Agents of SMERSH, D&D 5th Edition RPG, Feng Shui RPG
My list has games with 2 factors 1) cost 2) time
The order is less important than the chance to play. But I love sci-fi and that's why Star Wars is first. The next few are either pricy or hard to find.
Star Wars: Rebellion, The Gallerist, Council of Four, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Keyflower, Twilight imperium 3rd
Tessa Van Boxtel
All of these games are medium weight or less, and take 2 hours or less. I like these games because they aren't too difficult to teach, but have much interaction and are just extremely fun to boot. Most of these games have expansions that make the game even better and provide great replay value. 7 Wonders is definitely my favorite game, with Carcassonne a close 2nd. Lords of Waterdeep and Ticket to Ride rank 3rd and 4th, then Codenames in the 5th position as it's the best party game ever made. Small World takes the 6th place spot, because it's my favorite cutthroat game, but I don't always want to play it every game night.
7 Wonders, Carcassonne, Lords of Waterdeep, Ticket to Ride, Codenames, Small World
Great fun opener Biggest baddest Ameri... of them all Much needed simplicity after TI3 and those players that go out can start early I just love the traitor mechanic and theme Cos it's an old FF game that is out of print and I haven't found anything better yet Err, cos I want to pitch our new game and joking apart it crosses the bridge between RPG and board game.
Ticket to Ride, TI3, Bang, Shadows over Camelot, Battlemist, Legends Untold
Tichu is one of my favorite game, there's nothing like it with three other skilled players. Crokinole should be in every home, the perfect Dex game. Samurai is elegant, beautiful, and genius. TurfMaster is my favorite game. No other game simulates racing like this one. And it handles eight easily. Neue Heimat - Not all games are nice, happy affairs. This one is brutal. Witch of Salem is the most underrated co-op out there. I'm always surprised it doesn't get more love.
Tichu, Crokinole, Samurai, TurfMaster, Neue Heimat, Witch of Salem
Dominion and 7 Wonders are such wonderful and iconic (and easy to grasp/learn) games that represent their main mechanisms well. Rococo uses deck building as a very minor mechanism in the game over all. Combined with Terra Mystica they are my current favorite medium to heavy euros. Sentinels is a delightful co-op that does a great job of making you feel like a hero (and is highly replayable with combinations from the expansions). Codenames is wonderful and quick to unwind to. I'd probably want to start with Dominion (bit lighter), move to Rococo for a little more in depth, to 7 Wonders (not to have 2 heavier games in a row). Sentinels to have a co-op in the middle, Terra Mystica for another heavier game, then finish the night up with a few rounds of Codenames.
Dominion, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Terra Mystica, Rococo, 7 Wonders, Codenames
So, to have the perfect game night of six games you need to have a bit of flow to it, start out light hearted and fun with some Ca$h N Gun$ to break the ice and get folks talking. After that move into something a bit thinkier, but still light and that has some unique player interaction, Finca. After Finca throw out the big box of Carson City for some iron slinging worker placement fun and then follow that up with Xavier Georges masterpiece of card drafting/area control/hand management/tile placement Ginkgopolis. Then wind down with a seemingly nice, but surprisingly mean Firenze and then at the end of the night throw some For Sale out on the table and see if anyone still has any brains or niceties left in them.
Ca$h n Gun$, Finca, Carson City, Ginkgopolis, Firenze, For Sale
Betrayal at House on the Hill, Magic: the Gathering, Sentinels of the Universe, Dungeons & Dragons, 7 Wonders, Codenames
I realize my list is diverse. This reflects the various groups with which I play. I'm not into heavy/crunchy Euros, with Macao being my upper limit. I enjoy games that can be played in under an hour, with the notable exception of mahjong.
7 Wonders and Tokaido offer the right level of interaction.
For those unfamiliar with Four Dragons, it is a lite version of Tichu.
Liars dice is the purest form of bluffing games. It's solid with a full table or just 2.
Just over the bubble is Cribbage. It plays well with 3 or 4, but I think of it primarily as a 2-player game, so it didn't seem to fit the party game night theme.
7 Wonders, Tokaido, Macao, Mahjong, Four Dragons, Liars Dice
Lots of variety in the types of games, structured from light to heavy. Ending with a single run of TIME Stories to make sure that people will want to come back next time😊
6nimmt, Hanabi, Dominion, Puerto Rico, Alchemists, TIME Stories
Arkham Horror has been a favorite game of mine since freshman year. I love the richness of the theme and storytelling, as well as the complexity of strategies that can be pulled off. Five Tribes is well-balanced and has many strategies to win. Pandemic is a great co-op game like Arkham, but far easier and quicker to manage and play. MtG's Commander rules allow for multiplayer mayhem. If time is of no consequence here, I'd love to get in some backstabs and card combos. I've always loved the exploration in Betrayal, and the tension that comes with the Haunt. Like Five Tribe, Settlers is well-balanced and has many ways to win. I also enjoy the trading.
Arkham Horror, Five Tribes, Pandemic, Magic the Gathering: Commander, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Settlers of Catan
Each of these games is a different dynamic depending on the people I am with. Through the ages is one of my favorite games to play but it is LOOONG - So I don't get to play it that often. When I do get the chance, I jump at it.
Power Grid is one of the best resource management games on the market with a fabulous catchup mechanic. It is really hard to be left in the dust in this game and the supply/demand market is flawless.
Shadows over Camelot is one of the best collaborative games to play with a group of 6-8 (with the Merlins Company expansion). While some think it is too easy to win, I have found that I my groups have had more nail biting finishes of that game than any other in my closet.
Colosseum is just a great strategy game, with great art, and it doesn't take 5 hours to play.
Railways of the world can take a long time, but it probably the best "goods delivery" games out there. I especially like it if we have several players so the maps get crowded.
Bang! is such a great game for a party. Shooting, drinking, hiding behind barrels, what more could you ask for in a western themed game?!
Through the Ages, Power Grid, Shadows Over Camelot, Colosseum, Railways of the World, Bang!
Sheriff is a good starter game, plays less than an hour and has a solid people-reading focus that is important for the rest of the night. You take turns being the sheriff checking (or not checking) merchant's bags on their way into the city. Betrayal is classic and plays different every time its played as the house is explored and the tiles are flipped, and the haunt really adds to the game play (they're making an expansion!!). Redacted is a good partner game where you spend a lot of time putting together clues to decide who to trust as you and your fellow spy try to make off with enemy intel from an ambassador's party. Coup is sort of a faster, less heart-wrenching version of Avalon (or werewolf, or mafia, etc), and makes for a nice break after two longer games while still maintaining a focus on knowing your friends and knowing when to call their bluffs. Power grid is a race to power a target number of cities and gain a monopoly in the electrical business. There is room for multiple strategies and alliances, but is a resource management game at its core. And lastly Dead of Winter is a cooperative game set during a zombie apocalypse that manages to dodge the common cooperative game problem: namely, that it turns into a "best game player at the table vs the game" scenario where everyone's turn is dictated to them. Instead, some randomness with dice rolling and secret extra objectives (and possibly betrayal!) make this a nice finishing game.
Sheriff of Nottingham, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, Redacted, Coup, Power Grid, Dead of Winter
I chose these games because they kind of increase in seriousness and the combination of tabletops, card games, and a board game change the systems just make for an easy transition and great time. I have done something like this at an event, and it made for nearly nonstop laughs and engagement in the tabletops. The order above is the order I would play them in.
Pathfinder, Greed, Munchkin, Monopoly, Call of Cathulu, D&D 5e
My game list is based on hosting and helping to promote games at various community game meetups and events around town. My players are generally parents and their children or people that have had little exposure to hobby board games. As such, I like to have games that offer a unique experience and that offers a good play experience with at least five players. These games don't have to be the pinnacle of game design in our hobby, but should show some aspects of what makes these types of games unique while still being good solid, and fun, games that are easy to teach relatively quickly while also being somewhat easy to pick up after a round or two of play. Each of these games fits that bill and, both together and by themselves, give a good indication of what is possible in modern board and party games without being too overwhelming.
6 Nimmt, Las Vegas, Carcassonne, Codenames, Broom Service, Times Up: Title Recall
Want to have the perfect game night? Find the perfect game group; they make the experience. I've played crap games and still had an amazing game night. I've played favorite games and hated every moment.
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