Board games are the perfect answer to a slow day, a rainy day, a sunny day…well, any kind of day! Here’s a selection of games for you to try your hand.
Fight your battles on an eight by eight chequered board! Chess is one of the most popular two-player games played that employs brains and virtual brawn. Each side — black and white — consists of eight pawns, a king, a queen, two rooks, two knights and two bishops, each of which has its respective moves. The objective is to capture as many pieces of your opponent and ‘checkmate’ or trap the king. Don’t forget, you’re fighting a battle on the chessboard — the only place where you can be smart and brutal.
Our own Viswananthan Anand is the current World Chess Champion. You knew that, right?
Did you know?
The purpose of playing Snakes and Ladders was to teach children moral values. Ladders represented the result of good deeds and snakes represented vices.
Scrabble was originally named ‘Criss Cross Word’.
“Special Edition” Monopoly was manufactured to include hidden maps and compasses during World War II to help prisoners of war escape.
The Jewel Royale Chess Set from Britain, made of gold, platinum, diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, is the world’s most expensive chess set, valued at US $ 9.8 million.
Battleship, in which you must sink enemy ships and conquer the high seas, was once a pad-and-pencil game before it was made into a board game.
Chaturanga: The Indian Connection
Chaturanga is an ancient form of strategic board game that prospered in India in the 6th century. It was later adopted as Shatranj by the Persians, who brought it to medieval Europe. Chaturanga was played on an eight by eight unchequered board and it is from this game that modern-day chess was born. One might recall this game being played in the Indian epic Mahabharata , in which the Pandavas and Kauravas played it causing the former to gamble away their wealth and, ultimately, themselves.
Net the coin
Carrom is quite popular in South Asia, especially India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The carrom board is made of plywood with pockets in the corners covered by net. Playing this game requires a bit of skill and perhaps some knowledge of physics and geometry. But wait! Don’t get scared by that. It isn’t the Science or Math that makes it fun, but striking and dunking the coins and the queen before your opponent does.
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Checkers is also called draughts and this classic board game consists of a chequered board and coins of two different colours. Like chess, it is one of the oldest known board games. The most popular form is played in 10x10 grid game board, but it is played on eight by eight and 12x12 grid boards as well.
Watch your words
Are you a lexophile? Then all you wordsmiths out there cannot simply go without a game of scrabble. In a 15x15 grid game board, players must place tiles in rows and columns to form words that are defined in a standard dictionary. The tiles have letters and value points on it. Each word formed is scored separately and added up. Here, you’re having fun, by showing everyone what a smarty-pants you are, and also learning! An app called Words with Friends has been developed from scrabble, but as mentioned before, board games are the real deal.
Roll the dice
Ludo is the evolved form of the Indian game, Pachisi . It is a basic dice game in which the board has four colours — blue, green, red and yellow. Players are assigned a colour and tokens. The first one to race along the game track and bring their tokens to the finishing point is the winner.
Make your money
This all-time favourite game of money, trading and properties has a large fanbase and there have been a lot of different versions spun off from the original. Monopoly literally means the exclusive possession or control of something. In the game, the players own, trade and develop properties and collect rent from their opponents until there is just one last person standing. So go ahead and… well, monopolise!
Race to the finish
Ah, good old Snakes and Ladders! This classic game originated in India sometime around the 16th century. It is played on a game board with 10x10 numbered squares. The rules are pretty much standard — roll the dice, move your piece accordingly, climb ladders, get devoured by snakes along the way and race to the finish line.
What a life!
The Game of Life or simply Life is a game where players travel through life — going to college, getting a job, winning the lottery, getting married or even becoming a movie star! Players have to spin a small wheel and navigate the playing pieces, which look like cars, through “life”.
There are so many smart and innovative board games in existence that it’ll take you hours to even list them, let alone play all of them. But still, how many have you played?