A power ranking of tabletop games

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An excellent way to spend all this time indoors, and possibly with your family, is by playing board or card games. Beware, though. Some games might end with you wanting to murder the people you’re playing with — people with whom you’ll be presumably spending the rest of the semester, if not longer. This list is here to prevent that. Here is a power ranking of tabletop games you can play that should end with you still liking everyone playing.

5. Exploding Kittens

A long, drawn-out competitive game might make you want to strangle your competition. This game is about avoiding drawing an exploding kitten, which keeps the rounds at a reasonable length. There isn’t enough time for anger to build, but you can mess with other players. For this reason, it’s not higher on the list, because you might not like getting screwed into automatically losing. At least if that happens, you won’t have to wait too long to play again.

4. Jenga

Another competitive game, but at least this one keeps you from getting angry. This is a classic game that involves pulling wooden blocks from a tower until it falls. Jenga rewards being careful, calm and calculated. Being mad at your fellow players might just cause you to knock down the tower accidentally. As a bonus, if you do lose, there’s no one to be angry with but yourself and your lack of dexterity.

3. Pandemic

This game might be a bit too relevant for our current situation, but it also might be cathartic. In this game, you and your fellow players are trying to stop multiple diseases from becoming global pandemics by treating outbreaks and finding cures. Pandemic is a cooperative game, which means you and the other players are competing against the game, not each other. As long as you can get along and communicate, you shouldn’t get too annoyed at your fellow players.

2. Forbidden Island

Being reminded of everything that’s happening can cause some stress. This cooperative game is far removed from anything related to disease and should let you escape into a fantastical (though sometimes stressful) situation. The point of the game is to find and recover ancient artifacts on the titular island. As you play, the island sinks beneath your character’s feet, so you must balance exploring and shoring up the island in order to escape with all the loot and win the game.

1. Solitaire

Any game that involves other people might end with you hating their guts. At the top of the list is a game only requiring yourself and a deck of cards (or an app). It’ll still have you trying to puzzle out the right move, but in this case, no one can mess you up before your plans come to fruition. If you just want something to do with your mind, then why not give Solitaire a try?

Dishonorable mention: Monopoly

If there is one game you probably shouldn’t play, it is Monopoly. The game is slow, and people can dominate it without you having any hope of beating them. You’ll probably end up hating your sibling or roommate by the end of it because they wouldn’t just trade the one property you needed, even though they were losing regardless.

So, socialize with the people you’re stuck with by having a game night. If none of the games on this list strike your fancy, then find a game you remember being relaxing and play that instead. A board game is a perfect excuse to socialize, and these days you might need that more than ever. Have fun!

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .