The things we do for love.

The musician entangled in an embrace with his cello, candlelight flickered and danced about. The fragrance of lush sauces, herbs and spice filled the air as much as the sounds of bustling of pots and searing pans from the kitchen. As waiters and cooks busied about, you and your partner remained in an intent trance. Not the food nor the crowd could pry away your focus. As she gazed upon you, she lays down a card and whispers, “Highest card, 8 for Princess, I win.” You smile with content, “A princess, who has won my heart.”

Many Board Games and Card Games are perfect to tag along for date night. Especially this Valentines Day bank line would be long; restaurants packed and booked. Tagging along a game or two can save you from the unnecessary wait.

Here’s my recommendations of quick games you can keep in your pocket:

  1. Lost Legacy – this comes from the line of micro games from Seigi Kanai the designer of Love Letter. In Lost Legacy players play cards for their effect in hope of finding the Lost Legacy card, whether it’s in the Ruins pile, or possibly in the opponent’s hand. When the draw deck runs out the Investigation phase begins starting with the player whose value card is the lowest. Quick and easy and uses up very little tablespace.
  2. Roll For It – A dice game with the simplest of premise yet delivers excitement and intriguing decisions along the way. Players roll their dice and commit any among those they’ve rolled to an objective card that matches. If the card has all dice values matched that player wins that card and gets that many points. However, if it doesn’t then the other players can vie for that card as well. Use the box lid as a dice tray, to avoid disturbing the guests around you, or else you would find the dice flying off the table. The designer of the game Chris Leder intended Roll-For-It so his non-gamer wife can enjoy the hobby with him.
  3. Coin Age – this is a tiny two player game, as small as a credit card! In fact, it does come in plastic. All you need is the card and a bunch of change from your pocket. On your turn, take your set of coins, shake them in your hand and flop them onto the table. This determines actions, which allow the player to conquer areas on the board. One can usurp another by placing a smaller denotation on top of theirs. In the end, each area conquered by the top-most coin gets that value in points, players with the most points win. Intriguing in decision making and unlike any other in portability. You might have to ask the counter for some change though.
  4. Oddball Aeronauts – Designed by Nigel Pyne to answer the problem we all face, lack of tablespace. Whether you are waiting in line or stuck in a cab, this is just for that. You do this by taking your deck of cards and keeping them in on one hand face-up. Then you both signal to each other the number of cards to be played from the top of your deck. Decide which type of attack you will use, which then corresponds to a total value. You compare this with your opponent, including any extra effects the cards might do and whoever wins cause their opponent to discard that many cards. You do this by putting that many cards to the back of the deck face down. Eventually, whoever knocks the other out of cards wins. The symbols will need some getting used to, but once you’re familiar it is very fast to play.
  5. Codenames – this is a party game but also works very well as a cooperative game. In Codenames a bunch of words are laid out in a grid. The leaders are shown a card which tells them which among those cards are on their team. The leaders give out a clue and a number corresponding to how many cards in the grid match that clue. Players do not see that answer key card, so they only rely upon the clue given by their leader. If the players guess correctly, then the cards team color is placed on top of it otherwise the opposition may get it. There are also civilian and the dreaded spy. If the spy card is chosen, then that team automatically loses. As a cooperative game, it is a nice way to get to know your partner revealing moments that you see mind to mind. We will discuss this game in detail soon, more so on the VariablePlay variants we have tried it with. Many worked like a charm, a few were cringe worthy.

Share the things we do for our love of board gaming this Valentine Weekend. Until next time make your games count!