I’ve thought through some of the boardgames that I’ve recommended here on Saturday, and I’ve come to the conclusion that most of them aren’t particularly entry-level.
And by that, I mean “somewhere around Uno”.
I mean, sure. Most of us probably have played a number of weird and wonderful board games before and would be more than happy enough to sit down and play something as complicated as Eclipse or Lords of Waterdeep for the first time but, let’s face it, if we go over to Gramma’s and Aunt Winnifred is there and ‘ittle Cousin Wally (“don’t call me little! I’m 8!”), we’re not going to get everybody to play one of those.
So what’s a good game that we *COULD* play? I’m talking something as simple as Uno.
Well, I was recently given a card game called “Anomia” and it’s *PERFECT*. Here’s the conceit: everybody has a deck of cards and flips one over at a time. In the middle of the card is a symbol like a hash or a plus sign or a circle or something. There’s text at the top or bottom that names a category. Something like “cake ingredient” or “collective noun” or “Dickens Character”. Everybody has a deck full of these and you go around the table flipping cards until there are two identical symbols on the table. Then the people who have the two identical symbols have a feud and they have to name a member of the category on their opponent’s card.
So you’ll be staring at your opponent’s card that says “Sporting Equipment” and blanking out on “hockey mask” while s/he’s staring at your “One Hit Wonder” card and trying to remember the group that came out with that one song. “Men Without Hats!”
People will be yelling and whooping and hollering and, most importantly, laughing as they play. It takes less than a minute to learn, Gramma will be even more equipped to play it than ‘ittle Cousin Wally because Gramma knows “Elvis Songs” and Wally doesn’t even know who Elvis is.
How can you not know who Elvis is?
Anyway, if you’ve been wishing for a game that you could play instead of Uno for the umpteenth time, give this one a try.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))