We talk a lot on this site about how we want board games to be "for everyone", but to an awful lot of people the games we recommend are prohibitively expensive. That said, putting together an amazing board game collection can be cheap. Below, we've assembled a list of the very best games that could collectively cost you less than ten bucks, depending on your situation.
This isn't some unsatisfying sampler platter. What lurks below is a moveable feast of some of the greatest games ever made. Were you to gather all of these games, I'd prefer your collection to ones I've seen costing $1000.
If you approve of this feature, please do share it far and wide! It represents a lot of work for both Team SU&SD and our donors, who we bothered about cheap games we might have missed (special thanks to subscribers Amanda and Jeff, who were especially great).
Let's get started.
Paul: The honest, complex and difficult answer to that question is both yes and no.
Quinns: Paul would you like another game of thrones board game
Quinns: Terrific because here comes A Game of Thrones Catan Brotherhood of the Watch!
Paul: I’m glad they picked a name that rolls off the tongue.
Hearing that this game of epic adventure and dangerous expeditions was now out in the wild, you can bet that Paul unwrapped his copy faster than you can say “You can have a dog in your party.” He’s been journeying high and low ever since. So what does he think?
DON'T TELL ANYONE, but some of the best roleplaying games out there are not available at your local retailer. Thanks to the magic of the internet, they're completely free.
These irresistible blossoms of RPGs can suddenly appear on Twitter or Reddit only to vanish within a few days. Sometimes they'll quietly bloom on a designer's Tumblr or publisher's homepage. A few older ones thrive quietly in the dark places of the internet to be occasionally plucked by some intrepid RPG gatherer who brings them back into the light. There's even a contest-fed bouquet of 200-word RPGs out there, as Quinns and Paul mentioned in a recent edition of Games News. The brightest flower of all these lovely free RPGs, however, is Lady Blackbird.
Paul's been inspecting the darling buds of Bruges, a Stefan Feld classic that we're expecting a reprint of any day now. After that, Matt and Quinns continue their analysis of the bloomin' brilliant Tigris & Euphrates, chat about their time with the somewhat-toxic Zombicide: Black Plague and run through a field of Railways of the World.
Returning home after this educational hike, the boys read an email about ghosts and answer another asking why we haven't reviewed the excellent Game of Thrones: The Card Game (second edition). Finally, we discuss a folk game sent in anonymously by an ambulance crew. What could possibly go wrong?
Known in the United States, at least, as Gen Con's quiet but friendly little sibling who lives in Columbus, Ohio. Also known for revealing major summer releases well in advance of Gen Con.
But what really goes on at Origins? Shut Up & Sit Down was curious, so I donned my best black hoodie and infiltrated the scene. Slipping past the bronze statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger that guards the convention center, I entered a bustling space filled with thousands of gamers. Fortunately I seemed to blend in, and… oh, alright. It was just a great con.
Locals and industry people were open and nice, it was easy to get into events or find gaming space at the last minute and, above all, the Columbus Convention Center is a quick walk from the North Market, where there's all kinds of good, nutritious food like Vietnamese noodle bowls and donuts and gourmet ice cream.
Quinns: Yaks can be pretty important, you know. When I was backpacking in Tibet they were a cornerstone of agriculture. Yak dumplings. Yak-stuffed bread. Yak butter tea.
Paul: Yak butter tea. What was that like?
Quinns: Well, try to imagine what something called “yak butter tea” might taste like.
Quinns: It tasted exactly like that.
Paul: Is this yak anecdote going anywhere?
Quinns: No, I think I just slept funny
Paul: Should I get on with the news?
Don’t know who Reiner is? Don’t like tigers? Allergic to tiles? Well frankly, that’s just not good enough. This box is a bulwark against boredom, a titan of the table, and the new edition deserves just a little more love.
Paul: Oh yes. Murder. Seems there’s always a lot of murder in board games.
Quinns: Gotta give the public what they want. Shall we fire this thing, then? We should let loose the news that Fantasy Flight Games are releasing the new Whitehall Mystery, a standalone cousin to SU&SD hidden movement favourite Letters from Whitechapel.