Game nights at Barnes and Noble

So you’ve read about these exciting new board games, but don’t know where to start? Then I’ve got great news for you. Barnes and Noble is scheduling board game nights, and the first one is this Thursday at Colonie Center at 7pm. The store will feature employee guided demos for  one of the five great new family board games each week. Even better, the demoed games will be available for sale, and you can receive free promotional cards and pieces for participating in the demos.

Below is a quick rundown of the games to help you decide which nights to attend:

March 3rd  

King of Tokyo: Imagine Yahtzee, except instead of trying to roll various sets of numbers you are rolling dice to determine who is the strongest in a knock-em-out game of monster king-of-the- hill. The game features fantastic art and crazy power up cards so that no two games play alike. In a stroke of brilliance, the game has direct confrontation, but avoids the hurt feelings that can result from feeling targeted by other players.

Yahtzee with monsters!
Yahtzee with monsters!

March 10th

Sheriff of Nottingham: A recent trend in board games has been the emerging popularity of social deduction or bluffing games. In these games the actual rules of play are very simple, and most of the nuance comes from trying to lie or bluff one’s way into a more advantageous position. This is definitely a game for those who like trying to read other players and know when to call someone’s bluff. The game was also featured on the Geek and Sundry YouTube show Tabletop, a fantastic show that features celebrities playing popular board games:

 

March 17th

Splendor: A positively eloquent and simple gem buying game that has a lot of depth. Players use gems, represented in the game by nice chunky poker chips, to purchase location cards that provide permanent access to one of the five gems represented in the game. The goal is to build an empire of gem location cards in order to buy even more expensive locations that score points. One of my favorites that provides a satisfying feeling of building an efficient point scoring engine.

Navigating the gem buying market.
Navigating the gem buying market.

March 24th

Codenames: The party game of the year for 2015. In Codenames teams of 2-8 people work together to identify words in a 5 by 5 grid that match the team leader’s one word clue. However, they have to be careful not to choose words that belong to the other team or the dreaded “assassin” which causes your team to immediately lose the game. This game has been a hit with everyone I have shared it with, and is perfect for a party with people joining or leaving the game whenever they’d like.

Spy vs. Spy
Spy vs. Spy

March 31st

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival: Another beautiful game where players place tiles that depict colorful paper lanterns during the harvest festival in Japan. Each tile rewards all players with cards depending on which color faces them, and the strategy lies in trying to collect the right colored cards to score sets while not giving your opponents the colors that they need to complete their own scoring combination.

A beautiful tile laying game.
A beautiful tile laying game.

All of the games being demoed are fantastic for folks looking to get into the hobby or try something different than the games they’ve played before. If any of these games pique your interest, I encourage you to go check it out. The game nights will be going on all March long every Thursday at 7pm. If you can’t make it out on a particular Thursday evening, many of the local game stores also have these games on the shelf and friendly employees who would be happy to give a demo or explain the game.

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