Board games

Secret Hitler puts a twist on the classic parlor game, mafia. (Chloe Le / Daily Titan)

Being cooped up all day, going from class to class then to work all in one sitting can be extremely tiresome and boring. With energies and motivation decreasing, one thing that has increased during the pandemic has been a love for board games. Other than the classic games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Life, board games have risen to new heights and greater stakes, so here are a few of the best board games to play when you’re bored.

Dungeons and Dragons

Although DnD may not be considered your typical board game, most DnD games suggest using a board for the battles. Yes, there are battles in Dungeons and Dragons. The game’s sales spiked when the popular Netflix series, “Stranger Things,” featured the main characters playing the game, and it has been popular ever since.

DnD is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game that incorporates imagination, strategy and luck. The game doesn’t begin until you have created your characters and designated someone to be the Dungeon Master, or game controller, who helps guide characters throughout their quest. You can create your character from scratch with the help of DnD Beyond, a website that allows you to create your character, their backstory and their strength throughout the game. In addition, the Starter Set provides a handbook, an intro quest, pre-made character sheets and a set of dice.

In the game of Dungeons and Dragons, the dice are very important because they determine your moves throughout the game; whether you can kill someone or get a good punch in.

Once you’ve created your characters and your dungeon master has created a quest or scenario for the game, you’re ready to play!

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is basically the extreme version of Mafia. There are the werewolves which are the “murderers” of the game, a seer, a minion, a troublemaker, an insomniac and many more characters, depending on the number of players. There is also a narrator or announcer who tells everyone when to close their eyes, go to sleep and wake up.

The game takes place during the night and day. During the night, the announcer asks everyone to go to sleep and close their eyes. Once everyone’s eyes are closed, the announcer asks each individual character to open their eyes and perform their assigned role. However, the villagers remain asleep during the night.

The werewolf is able to kill someone, the seer is able to peak at a player’s card, the troublemaker is allowed to switch the cards of two other players, the minion is able to see who the werewolf is and the insomniac is able to peek at their own card. Once everyone goes through their roles during the night, the announcer then announces when it is daytime and reveals who has died.

This game is full of deceit and whodunit. It’s a great game to play with friends and family and can easily bring out the competitive spirit in anyone.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is a game of building land combined with strategy and luck, very much like Monopoly and Life combined. It’s best to play Catan with three or four players. The game starts off with hexagonal pieces that create a larger hexagon in the center where players will fill in with smaller hexagonal pieces or resources. There are five different kinds of resources in the game: lumber, brick, ore, wool and grain. Each player starts off with three resource cards, settlements, cities, roads and a building card.

The first player to get 10 victory points wins. You can achieve this by obtaining or trading resources with other players and using those resources to build settlements and cities as you score victory points.

Although Catan may seem overwhelming with many rules, once you start to play and learn all the ins and outs, you’ll soon find yourself addicted to the game.

Secret Hitler

Saving the best for last, Secret Hitler is a game of deduction and your best poker face. The game is best played with 5-10 players with three roles: liberals, fascists, and Hitler.

The Fascists and Hitler are on one team and the Liberals are on the other. Each team has policy cards, six Liberal and 11 Fascist cards. Liberals win by either killing Hitler or filling up their side of the board with the Liberal policy cards first. Fascists win by filling up their side of the board first or if they get Hitler elected as chancellor after three Fascist policies have been played.

At the start of the game, everyone closes their eyes, and the Fascists open their eyes to see who is on their team while Hitler sticks out their thumb to indicate that they are Hitler. Then everyone opens their eyes and the game begins. The irony is that the Liberal team doesn’t know who the other Liberals are and Hitler doesn’t know who the Fascists are.

Secret Hitler consists of a lot of drama, pseudo-politics and betrayal but it is extremely exhilarating.

With eyes glued to laptops and cellphones, the little time we have not gazing into our screens is vital for replenishment. Especially now, it’s important to expand our minds, find new hobbies and spend some quality time with those in our homes, whether that be with friends, roommates or family. What better way to expand our minds than to celebrate with a board game or two?

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