The best board games for your quarantine blues

Courtesy of Gamewright

Ben Hume, Web Editor

Your campus shut down, you’re bored out of your mind, and worst of all, you’re trapped inside like a responsible citizen because you’re self-quarantining. If you need something to do besides look at your depressing Twitter feed or scroll through idiots going on spring break during a worldwide pandemic, try some board games. Whether you’re trapped with your roommates or your family, there is a fun experience for everyone.

My recommendations will not be the terrible family destroyers of old like Monopoly and Risk, but the much more fun and engaging board games from this millennium. There are many to choose from, so here are just my favorites.

Sushi Go!

This adorable draft-style card game has been single-handedly getting my family through the quarantine with a combination of fast gameplay and simple rules. All you have to do is get the most points by collecting various sets of cards that all score in different ways.

In each of the three rounds, you start with a hand of cute little anthropomorphised sushi to select from. Everyone takes one card, places it in front of you, then passes the rest of their hand to the left. You play until all the hands are empty, simple as that.

Games take about 20 minutes, short enough to want to play more than one round, but long enough to be enjoyable. All of that, and the game is still under $10. A real great deal, and highly recommended.

Pandemic

A little on the nose, perhaps, but this co-op disease killing game is a perfect way to let out your frustration on an inanimate virus while simultaneously learning the beautiful value of teamwork. Two to four players work as specialized members of the Centers for Disease Control to stop the spread of four deadly pandemics, color coded for your viewing pleasure.

There are far more ways to lose Pandemic than there are to win: if you run out of cards that you draw every turn, you lose; if there are too many disease outbreaks, you lose; if you run out of little colored cubes for any one of your four diseases, you lose.

It sounds intimidating, but makes success all the more tasty. Cure all four diseases, and your team of doctors and scientists win. Extra credit for naming each of the four diseases fun names, because it’s not as fun to defeat the black virus as it is to cure the world of Dave.

Codenames

If you haven’t heard of this game, you have definitely been missing out. This team-based word guessing game has been considered by many to be a modern classic. Two teams of spies are trying to guess which of the 25 words in front of them are theirs and which are not, taking turns listening to their team leader’s single word clues to tie their random words together.

Imagine watching your roommate stare in agony as they desperately attempt to give you a one-word clue that ties together Moscow and flamingo while trying to avoid a clue that includes penguin, and you will understand the popularity of this game.

While, unfortunately, only really playable with a minimum of four people, this is a must-have for anyone looking to keep boredom at bay during the lockdown.

There’s no telling when things will return to normal, but even if you only manage to get a hold of one of these wonderful games, I can almost guarantee your quarantine life will improve immensely. Stay safe and have fun, kiddos.