10 Games That’ll Make You Wonder Why You Ever Went Out On A Friday Night
Alright, so you may not currently be able to venture out on a Friday night, but we bet that even if you could, you’d opt to spend hours playing these online games and board games instead. Most of them are multiplayer games, but if you’re looking for (more) solitude, some of the online games can be played on your own too. The majority of the games we’ve listed can be played by two players or more, so you can start playing them whilst we’re in isolation. You’ll then probably become so addicted you never stop playing…
You don’t need to be a massive Harry Potter fan to play this game, though it will certainly add to the enjoyment. We don’t want to make grandiose statements or anything, but this might be one of the best games of the last decade. The game is cooperative, so you’re all trying to defeat the villains together to win the game – this can be great if you have the type of family who generally gets super competitive with games.
There is a box with new cards and rules for each of the seven books in the Harry Potter series, and they get progressively more difficult as you go along. Because each box can take up to a few hours to complete, you can literally play this game all day and not get bored.
Once you’ve played this version, you can also get the Monster Book of Monsters expansion box, which introduces new creatures and characters. There’s a two player version of the game too – Defence Against the Dark Arts, though you can play the original game with two players. The Defence Against the Dark Arts version is simply faster paced, in case you haven’t got as much time to play.
Overall, the game has been really well thought out, and has so many elements to make it interesting and slightly different each time you play. It’s not the cheapest board game you can buy, but we think it’s definitely worth the money.
This is another cooperative game, though far less complicated than Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle. The premise of the game is that you’re on a sinking island, and you need to work together to collect four sacred treasures before they’re lost forever. As the island is made up of separate tiles that are shuffled randomly, you get a new experience each time you play the game.
For more experienced players, it’s also easy to increase the difficulty level when playing – either by allowing less chances for the water to rise and sink the island, or by laying out the board in such a way that you’ve got to develop serious strategies amongst your team in order to win.
Forbidden Island is beautifully designed, with lovely artwork and treasure pieces. It’s a fantastic game to play as a family or with a group of friends, with each game taking around half an hour to complete.
You might be sensing a bit of a theme at this point, but this is the last cooperative board game on our list – we’re just big fans of working together! You work as a group to prevent diseases from becoming viral and spreading across the globe. Admittedly, this may be hitting a bit close to home at the moment, especially if your role in the game is the quarantine specialist… But don’t let that put you off – this is a brilliant strategy game for anyone aged eight and above.
Be prepared to be beaten by the game though – you’ll probably win about as often as you lose. If you do get good however, there are different experience levels you can play, to make the game more challenging.
There are multiple versions of Pandemic – some are thematic, such as the Cthulhu version, while others put you under more pressure by including time limits, like the Rapid Response version. As with a lot of board games, Pandemic isn’t that cheap to buy, but we consider it an investment – if you total up the amount of hours you’ll enjoy playing this game, it doesn’t work out to be that expensive after all.
If you’re a massive fan of Lord of the Rings like us, and you own a Playstation, we’d definitely recommend buying this game. The game is set between the events of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, though you will come across a few well known characters like Gollum, so the storyline will be new and exciting.
The game is often compared to Assassins Creed in the fighting style and general layout, but will obviously appeal more to Tolkien fans, and has some clever additions such as the Nemesis system. This tracks how many times you defeat certain villains, and those you come up against the most often become your archnemesis – they’re harder to kill as they’ll remember how you defeated them last time.
Unless you’re a completionist, this game doesn’t take obscene amounts of time to complete, so doesn’t have the chance to become repetitive or boring. There’s plenty of twists and challenges to keep you entertained for hours, and visually the game holds up pretty well too – we’re particularly impressed with the portrayal of the Spirit of Vengeance.
The tagline for Villainous is ‘The Worst Takes it All’ – sometimes it’s good to play a baddie. You can choose from a number of iconic villains, and scheme and plot against your fellow villains in order to win the game. You’ll have foes related to your Disney character – if you’re playing as Captain Hook, for instance, you’ll be up against your nemesis Peter Pan. Each player has different goals to reach, and a variety of obstacles in their way.
The brilliant thing about this game is that once you’ve mastered the strategy for one villain, you can swap your character and try to win as a new villain. This might be hard for some people though – you may become rather attached to your villain. That could be the only issue with Villainous – playing the game may make you wish for a different outcome when you’re watching Disney films, as you’ll be rooting for the villain rather than the hero…
Arguably some characters are easier to win with than others, so if you’re playing with younger players, it can make the game a little fairer to allow them to choose villains such as Maleficent.
If you’ve got a large family, or a big group of friends who enjoy board games, you can also combine the different versions of the game to allow more people to play. There are three versions that allow up to three players (Evil Comes Prepared, Wicked to the Core, and Perfectly Wretched), so if you use these villains along with the six that come with the primary version, you can have up to 15 players in total.
Sushi Go is a relatively quick game to play, though it takes a little longer with more players. If you’ve ever played Spoons with a pack of cards, the premise is similar, with lots of added elements, and a focus on sushi (not surprisingly).
You’ll need to decide on a strategy for each of the three rounds played (starter, main and dessert) and create combos to earn as many points as possible. The deluxe edition also allows you to customise each game, by including new cards from the ‘à la carte’ menu.
This is a great game to travel with (when we’re allowed to leave our homes) as the box is pretty small, and can be a good game for those who don’t typically play a lot of board games, as it’s straightforward and quick to play. Even the strategy element of the game isn’t complicated – you just need to make a few judgement calls on the best cards to collect. Sushi Go is aimed at players aged eight and over, so it’s fun to play as a family as well as with friends.
Nintendo Switch or PS4 Game
Undertale was originally a computer based RPG, but due to its popularity was released on PS4, and then the Nintendo Switch a few years ago. You play a child that has fallen through a magic barrier, finding yourself in the Underground – a region beneath the surface of the earth that contains monsters you’ll need to fight.
The game is very old school – the graphics are similar to those of the original Mario games – so if you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia, this is a fantastic choice. Because of the old fashioned design, there is no audio speech, just subtitles, so it can be tricky to keep up with some of the cut-scenes as a younger player, but overall the game has a great feel and is fun to play regardless of age.
Perhaps one of the best things about Undertale is the storyline – you can choose to treat the characters you meet on your travels in different ways, which can change the outcome of the game as a whole.
This game has been popular for a number of years, and for good reason. Ticket to Ride has an elegant design, and can be played multiple times without being boring, as you’ll have different travel objectives each time.
The idea is to connect the cities you’ve been assigned together using train carriages, with bonus points for the longest total journey. It’s marketed as a family game, for players eight and up, but is also great fun to play with your friends, especially those who are train enthusiasts.
The original game (Days of Wonder) was set in America, but you can also get versions set in Europe, and expansion games for places like Japan, France and Poland. The only thing we should warn you about though, is that you’ll almost certainly have the Beatles song of the same name stuck in your head for days after playing the game.
Xbox One or PS4 Game
One of the best things about Subnautica is the gorgeous design. Sometimes you may even forget that you have goals when playing this game, as the scenery is so beautiful and distracting. The game starts with you crash landing in the ocean, and you’re against the clock to start finding resources to keep you alive and to develop your equipment for exploring.
Obviously the objective of the game is not as simple as just staying alive – there’s a mystery afoot regarding the planet you’ve landed on, which you need to solve to win the game. There are not a lot of tutorials throughout the game, so you need to figure out things on your own – this can be challenging, but it’s all the more rewarding when you get things right.
Subnautica is completely immersive, and can be incredibly relaxing to play, but most importantly it’s a game quite unlike any other. So few games are set almost entirely underwater, and the visuals are simply breathtaking. This is particularly appealing at the moment, when we’re not allowed to take a trip to the beach! You can go along at your own pace, and it almost feels like you’re filming an episode of Blue Planet, albeit a rather surreal episode.
A lot of us remember playing this game as children, as it’s been around for years. The game is similar to Gin Rummy, which you’d play with a pack of cards, but you use tiles and can interact with and change other people’s sets and runs of numbers.
This is a game of strategy as much as chance (you don’t get to choose your tiles) and you can end up making about twenty moves, just to get rid of one tile on your board. Regardless of how complicated you can make this game for yourself though, it’s aimed at players aged seven and up, so it doesn’t have to be ridiculously convoluted.
Rummikub is a quick game to learn, though make sure you read your version of the rules thoroughly. Some families play with odd quirky rules in place, which we’re convinced originate from some of the older versions of the game. Or perhaps some players just like to make things more interesting, who can really say?