5 storm day board games for friends, families to battle it out

Julian Taylor, co-owner of the Small Print Board Game Cafe in Charlottetown, says those cozy storm days at home are a "perfect opportunity for people to interact indoors" with a few key board games on-hand.

2 Charlottetown boardgamers recommend these 5 games for people of all ages

Patchwork is a two-player, quilt-making game where players piece together odd patterns for points. (Submitted by Small Print Board Game Cafe)

Stuck at home on a storm day and everyone's buried in their phones?

It could be worth sitting around the table and testing your friends or family on something competitive and fun.

Julian Taylor, co-owner of the Small Print Board Game Café in Charlottetown, and Les Anderegg, a game expert with The Comic Hunter, provided some suggestions for cozy storm days at home.

Here's a few of their storm day board games recommendations:

Potion Explosion

One of Anderegg's top picks is a game with "one of the coolest gimmicks" of any game he's seen in a long time.

Potion Explosion is a game where "the game pieces are all marbles … set up on a slightly descending board and they keep themselves from falling out," he said.

Potion Explosion is a game for up to four players. (Submitted by The Comic Hunter)

On a players turn, they remove two colour-coded marbles from the pile and if two or more similar-coloured marbles collide as a result of gravity pulling them down, they get to collect those too.

The marbles are then placed, according to their colour, into potions players have to fill for points. Some potions require a few marbles of one colour, others require many of various colours.

Ticket to Ride

This one has been called a modern classic by many boardgamers that Anderegg calls a "high-risk/high-reward" type of game.

Ticket to Ride is a card collecting game, he said, where players take turns laying out long and winding train routes for points across a large game board.

Players have individual goals to try to make the longest route as well as establish routes to and from different cities.

Taylor also recommended people check out Catan, What Do You Meme and Exploding Kittens. (Submitted by Small Print Board Game Cafe)

Taylor recommended this game too.

"Kids always like trains, adults like trains too, so that's a fun one," he said.

"It's one of those games that takes five minutes to learn but you'll play for an hour and you'll keep on wanting to come back to it."

Ticket to Ride is the type of game that's easy for people of all ages to learn quickly but the strategy element makes the game difficult to master, he said.

Magic Labyrinths

"This is one where the kids catch on really really quickly," Taylor said.

Magic Labyrinths is a simple game where players try to find there way through a maze — but there's a catch.

The players can't see the maze, they have to memorize it. The player pieces sit on top of an elevated board and underneath the surface of the playing area are wooden walls arranged however you'd like. 

Magic Labyrinth pits players in a maze where they rampage through collecting tokens. But the walls of the labyrinth are on the underside of the board, so magnets on the bottom of the player pieces can't pass through certain sections. (Submitted by Small Print Board Game Cafe)

Also on underside of the board, magnetically attached to the bottom of the player pieces are magnets that tell the player when they've hit a wall or when they've ran into a dead-end, Taylor said.

This adds a bit of memorization and "trial and error" to the game, he added, as players race through the maze hitting walls and trying to gather enough tokens to win the game.

"It's funny, kids are better than their parents at the game," he said.

Codenames

Taylor's next choice is a Guess Who?-type word game for four or more players that's different every time it's played.

In Codenames, players split up into two teams with one player on each team taking up the task of giving word clues to their teammates.

Spread out in front of the players are 25 random words on a table — some of which belong to the red team and some belong to the blue team but only the hint-givers know the secret words they want players to guess.

Figuring out what the hint-giver meant is the catch and it's what makes the game a head-scratcher. (Submitted by Small Print Board Game Cafe)

The hint-givers take turns saying one word to their teammates (though it can't be one of the words on the table) and the players must try to figure out the secret words they're suppose to guess.

"There's not much talking on the part of the person giving the clue, but the people that are trying to figure out the words get tot chat and try and see what the other person meant," Taylor said.

Figuring out what the hint-giver meant is the catch and it's what makes the game a headscratcher.

Patchwork

One of the most popular games people take down off the shelf at the cafe is PatchworkTaylor said.

It's a quilt-making game for two players with little Tetris-like pieces that players race together to make a quilt.

Each player has a nine-by-nine sized grid and take turns spending buttons (the game's currency) to build a quilt. Pieces range from small to large so players can build bizarre shaped quilts of any size.

As they progress through the game players will pass checkpoints where they collect more buttons for every patch of their quilt.

It's a sort of spend-money-to-make-money type game where players try and patch awkward shaped quilt pieces together.

The player with the most buttons at the end wins.