All on board
Running out of things to do while staying indoors? Try your hand at these board games for all age groups that also come with online versions
Let's make one thing clear at the outset. This article is aimed at suggesting board games that you can play during this period of self-isolation to while time away with people you are already sharing space with. It is not meant to encourage you to call folks over and make a party out of it because, well, you know the reasons why. So if you are two friends sharing a flat in Mumbai, we have suggestions for you. If you are three people living under the same roof, there are suitable options on that front as well. And if, say, you are a family of four, we have got you covered, too. Two people who have founded board game cafés in Mumbai — Ronak Chitalia of Chai and Games, and Ajay Sachde of Ministry of Games — have weighed in with their expertise. There are options for both adults and children. Take your pick depending on your preference.
For kids: Play Chair Hat Toss if you're tired of sitting around all day. The process is simple. Turn a chair upside down in an area with some space. Give the player whose turn it is a hat or any other similar object, which they then have to fling so that it rests on a chair leg, each of which has points assigned to it based on how far it is from the player. "It's a dexterity game, and you can easily spend 20 to 30 minutes playing it," Chitalia says.
For adults: As far as strategy games go, Catan is right up there right now in terms of popularity. The theme is such that all the players are pirates who have been marooned on an island. The objective is to build roads, settlements and cities, and the first to get to 20 points wins. Don't have the actual board game? Not to worry. There is an app and a well-laid out PC version as well.
For kids: Heads-up is a wildly popular game where a person holds up a card against their forehead without seeing it, and then has to ask others questions with only 'yes' or 'no' answers to decipher what's on it. It's a time-based game where the person who makes the maximum correct guesses is declared the winner. There is also an excellent app version that takes care of nitty-gritties like keeping score and the time.
For adults: As the name suggests, Onitama is a Japan-themed game where you are the headmaster of a school who's competing against a rival. You have to beat your opponent at different activities like karate, and it doesn't matter how much you have played it. The game's designed in such a way that everyone has an equal chance of winning.
For kids: You've probably spent your childhood in an igloo in the Arctic region if you aren't familiar with the game, Name Place Animal Thing. Categories has a similar concept, and can be played over video call as well. You sit with a pen and paper, and write down a word based on a specific letter that corresponds to a category. So if the letter is 'R' and the category is 'celebrity', you can write Rihanna if you want to, though it will be cancelled out if somebody has chosen the same option.
For adults: Splendor is a strategy game where all the players are merchants in a kingdom whose aim is to gain maximum prestige by tactfully managing their resources, which are in the form of gems.
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