When the temperature outside is soaring, it's time to bring your board games out.

Here are some board games that are sure to keep you and your friends entertained.

Going solo

No one for company? Then try these.

Memory: Open one tile/ card at a time and find its pair in the bunch. The quicker you find the pairs or the minimum number of moves you make to be left with no cards, rates you a better player.

Solitaire: You will need a pack of cards for this one. Sort the random pile of cards according to their suit (hearts, spades, diamonds and clubs) and rank (Ace to King). The game's also called Patience as you'll need loads of it!

Peg Solitaire or Brainvita: Available as a board game, it requires you to move one marble over the other into a vacant spot two positions away to remove the jumped marble/peg. The objective of the game is to be left with just one marble/peg at the end, and preferably at the centre of the board.

Classics:

Monopoly: A ruthless brain-game based on the monopolisation or domination of the “market” by one player. The one with the most assets at the end of the game is declared the winner.

Scotland Yard: It's your quintessential “police and robber” game played indoors on a board. This mentally challenging game, requires a team of players — the police, to work together and track down another player — Mr. X the criminal, who is somewhere in the city of London.

Jenga: All you have to do is take turns to remove a block from a tower and balance it on top, creating a taller structure as the game progresses. Though it sounds simple, the gradually unstable structure will test your mental skill.

Scrabble: Test your vocabulary with this classic word game, where you go on building words in turns across the board and earn points for them.

Battleship: A legendary guessing-cum-strategy two-player game that requires each player to position their ships (aircraft carrier, battleship, submarine, cruiser and destroyer) on the grid. The aim of the game is to destroy the other person's ships by guessing their position on the grid as arranged by the opponent and “bombing” them with “missile” pegs. Also check out Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Chinese Checkers, Connect Four…

Newer options:

Anti-Monopoly: This is your classic Monopoly with a twist where the players are divided into teams — the Monopolists and the Competitors. With a set of new rules and contemporary setting, the aim is be the richest competitor.

Taboo: This is a game that requires you to think on your feet. Played in teams, one player from a team must make his team members guess a given word that is printed with a list of related vocabulary that cannot be given as clues. How you make your team guess the words without using the “taboo” words is the objective of the game.

LIFE: It's a fun game of chance which through a wheel of fortune gets you through life's ups and downs across the length and breadth of the board. You may graduate as a doctor, inherit your aunt's cats, bail out your uncle from jail, get married, find hidden treasures, pay bank loans and so much more. Ultimately, the person who reaches the finish line with the most assets and money gets to retire in style, or simply win!

Othello or Reversi: A two-player game, it requires one to trap the coins of the opponents to convert them into his/her own. The player with the most coins on the board wins!

Pictureka!: A whacky, fun game that pits you against your opponents in various “find the objects in the board” challenges. It could be a direct challenge like finding a particular object or random requests like “things that can fly” or “sweets”. If you find it, you keep the card. The player who collects six cards first before the time runs out is the winner.

Guess Who?: A two-player game where each gets to guess the person chosen by the other from cartoon images of 24 people. It is done by alternately asking each other “yes or no” questions like “Is she a red-head?” or “Does he have a moustache?”

Create your board game

1. Decide your age group for your game

2. Pick an interesting theme

3. Choose an interesting whacky name for your game

4. Set unambiguous rules and directions

5. Rough sketch of game layout (Look and Feel)

6. Decide the materials to be used (Wood, Cardboard, Plastic)

7. Test and re-test with your mom and then friends

More than the game, the experience of creation itself throws up lots of fun. For instance, during the recent workshop we conducted, we gave the theme as “School”. One of the kids explained a game — how to reach school after avoiding all natural disasters (tsunami, volcano, quicksand, etc).

Courtesy: Bambaram Toy Library

At Landmark, Chennai

Photos: S. Divya, II Year, M.A. Communication, M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women.

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