Summer is the time for warm weather and spending time with friends. But if you live in Berkeley, this summer will probably have cold days and hot days — thanks Bay Area! However, this weird warmer and colder weather can lead to outdoor activities being uncomfortable. The solution to this is spending time with friends indoors, where you can still play games. This doesn’t mean playing a six-hour game of Monopoly in which everyone is bored. There are many other fun board and card games.
This game is equivalent to a Russian roulette card game in which every draw has the potential to blow up in your face (via the titular exploding kitten card) and knock you out of the game. All the mechanics, even those that save a player, lead to a tense finale where the last thing you want is to draw a card. Charming humor and quick gameplay make this an enjoyable way to dip your toe into card games.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Another fast-paced card game, this one relies far more on paranoia and decision-making. In this game, everyone gets a secret role that determines their actions during the “night” phase. Then, during the “day,” it is up to the majority of the group to find out who has the secret role of werewolf, while the werewolves lie about their role. With the days lasting only five minutes (or less), it makes for another quick game, perfect for large groups, as there are many unique roles (including troublemaker, drunk and seer), and the short timespan can keep friendships in spite of its deceiving nature.
If you don’t want to compete with your friends and instead want to all be on the same team, then this cooperative game is for you. Each player gets a role as a member of a disease-fighting team trying to stop four different diseases from overwhelming the world. The game will try its hardest to beat you, but if you want the pure joy of overcoming terrible odds with your friends, then this is the right one for you.
If Berkeley has got you too stressed to enjoy a super competitive game, even if all your friends are on the same team, then this one may be for you. In Tsuro, you are a powerful dragon placing tiles and following the lines on them to swoop around the board. There can be strategy in the game but it also lends itself to just going with the flow and hoping you won’t fly off the map.
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre
If you just want some random and slightly lewd humor with your friends while also feeling like a powerful wizard, this game is the one for you. It is a game of creating insane-sounding spells to sling at your opponents — for example, you might yell, “Midnight Merlin’s Mystifying Testikill.” The last wizard standing wins, but if your friend group has the sense of humor of a fourth-grader, then everyone should be laughing and having a good time.
So if you just want to spend some times indoors with your friends, try out some of these games. My personal suggestion is to go buy these at a local game store such as Games of Berkeley or Eudemonia, as it supports local businesses, but these games can be found wherever games are sold.