six board games, ticket to ride, santorini, potion explosion, lost cities, hanabi, love letter

Board Game Reviews: August 2020

This is one of my regular reviews on the blog (check out the first one here!) I also rate recipes, entertainment, and books! I’ve always loved to play board games, but it’s mind-blowing that I can play a lot of them online. (Thanks, Board Game Arena!)

The games on that site are mostly indie/underground popular- they don’t have many classics like Yahtzee or Monopoly. (they do have Yahtzee though, still one of my favorite classics) Chris and I play a lot of ‘obscure’ board games and we didn’t even know 1/5 of the games on this site. There are nearly 200 games- I found out because one of my 101 in 1001 goals is to learn and play ALL of them. (Now that they add games ALL the time, I’m thinking that was a huge stretch)

I want to play and review these for you to check out, too. Here are some games I’ve played recently, rated out of five stars:

Santorini ⭐½
This is one of those games (for me) that I played once or twice but don’t have an interest in trying again. There just wasn’t a ton of excitement for either of us. I played on with Chris. It’s 2-4 players, takes about 10-15 minutes, and it’s a ton of strategy. Ages 8+. You build and try to capture a tower. Here’s the how-to-play.

Hanabi ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really LOVE this game – but it’s one where I would only play with certain people. It’s tough to play it on Board Game Arena because the community has certain rules of their own so if you don’t know them or don’t want to follow the unwritten rules, it’s not fun. I love playing with Chris because we have a similar mindset and don’t set up unwritten rules to make things ‘easier.’ This is definitely a strategic, interactive game where you can’t see your own cards but can see everyone else’s… so you have to help them and vice versa. Ages 8+, 2-5 players, 15-25 minutes. Here’s the how-to-play.

Ticket to Ride London ⭐⭐⭐
This is a much shorter version of the original Ticket to Ride and is a stand-alone game, not an expansion. Chris and I picked this up at Walmart before our staycation and played a few times. This would be a perfect introduction to the longer versions of Ticket to Ride and is great for kids! You still collect and play matching train cards to claim routes across a territory but have fewer trains, shorter routes, and a condensed board. I prefer the original! It lasts about 15 minutes, ages 8+, and is for 2-4 players. Here’s the how-to-play.

Potion Explosion ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Such a fun game! I’d love to play this version in real life because the components are pretty unique. I’ve played many times on BGA, though! You pull marbles and match them on your potion cards. Strategy comes into the game when you think a few plays ahead and try to stack like-colors so you create an ‘explosion’ and are able to get several marbles at a time. This is for 2-4 players, 14+, and lasts between 30-50 minutes. Here’s the how-to-play.

Love Letter ⭐⭐½
Not the worst game, not the best game. Chris and I played with another couple virtually and we had fun, but didn’t want to play more than twice. I can definitely see why some people really like it though! It’s a lot of luck and usually I don’t love those types of games. You are trying to figure out everyone’s ‘character’ and try to get them out. It’s 3-8 players, takes about 30 minutes, for players 10+. Here’s the how-to-play.

Lost Cities ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Another one of my new favorites! This can be a pretty quick game (10-20 minutes) and definitely involves lots of strategy. Each player has a ton of different-colored cards and are trying to put them on the individual side of the game board in ascending order. Once you play a card of a certain value, you can’t play anything lower, even if you draw into it later. Simple but FUN! Check it out on BGA. This is only for two players, recommended ages 10+. Here’s the how-to-play.

Check out these reviewed #boardgames – most you can play online with friends! Click To Tweet

Comment below if you’ve ever played any of these games! Which ones are your favorite/which would you want to try?

You might like some of my other posts- ways to give back, beat summer boredom… etc!

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