This episode features the quietly fabulous tile-laying of Gunkimono. There's Taj Mahal, the fourth in a fantastic series of beautiful Reiner Knizia remakes. We've had a first play of Trade on the Tigris, a new negotiation game from the designer of Space Cadets. Quinns talks about how GKR: Heavy Hitters is almost his favourite game of all time, if it could just be combined somehow with Critical Mass (see podcast #84). Also, like the rest of the internet, we've begun playing Root and can't seem to stop.
Finally, the pair chat about a reader mail asking when, and where, we'd consider playing board games for money. 💷💷💷
Full podcast transcript available here.
Are you thinking about buying a new game to play with your relatives? Or are you wondering which game to buy for the stalwart board game collector in your life?
Either way, we’ve got you covered with the below holiday game guide. Enjoy, everyone!
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.
Thrower: Well hello there! Nice of you to stop by. Hope you had a good journey. It's rare we get the chance to entertain adult visitors, with all the space the children take up. So, please, let me show you round the house.
The first thing you learn as a parent is that every other parent lives in a pristine house. Even when chasing after kids has left them looking like exhausted pandas, their houses are still clean and tidy. Naturally, ours has to be the same. We'd all be happier if everyone could drop this charade and wallow in their familial filth. Anyway, it's nice to have someone here who might appreciate the results.
Hang your coat up over there...
Matt: Contrary to popular belief, I am not a man of infinite luxury. Paul has an entire cupboard just for games - Quintin has a cavernous loft to explore. Many have climbed that ladder and never been seen alive again, fading away to become a new addition to the dark and dusty collage of cardboard and bones. Basically those boys have space to play with. I however, have a shelf.
But it’s a big shelf! Oh my. There’s plenty of room in the rest of my flat, but my wife is a bit of a cheery dictator when it comes to interior design - so the sins of the husband must be tidied away. It’s occasionally annoying, but it does mean I get to live in a genuinely beautiful, tidy place? Swings and roundabouts, life is compromise.
But if you ask our team which game they've played the most, you'll only get one answer: Skull*. Arguably the best bluffing game ever made, and a glittering showcase of just how much game you can get out of a minimum of rules.
If you're still not sold, check out Matt's review and a recipe! Skull with Fresh Pizza.
*Though Quinns' Netrunner habit and Paul's Carcassonne addiction do offer some competition.
Skull & Roses is the game Matt's reviewing here, although throughout the review he calls it Skulls and Roses, and actually, the new, gorgeous edition is just called "Skull".
But never mind our charming incompetence! This isn't just one of the simplest games we've ever played. It's one of our favourite games, period. And just to make sure your friends come over and get involved, Matt's also going to teach you the single darkest secret known to SU&SD. How to "make" "pizza".
But what if I were to tell you that for the next Opener, we're planning something even better? Ah, it's a good time to be a board gamer. A very good time.