Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Board Games & Popular Culture

Board games are making a huge comeback.  More and more shops are popping up where they allow you to hangout with friends and play some quality board games.

There are about three that I know of specifically: 1. Snakes and Lattes Board Game Café, 2. Snakes and Lagers and 3. Castle Board Game Café.  Here's a good list of other such places in the city of Toronto.

What I am seeing a lot of though are older games taking on a new life through popular culture themed editions.  This list is about showing readers a few of them.

Let's begin!


This Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition holds all of the basic rules of the classic game.  There are just a few slight differences like the tokens each player can use including Rick's hat, a telephone, Michonne's katana, an RV, a baseball bat and a bucket of zombie bits.

While it still deals with setting up properties and such, you also play for supplies.  Not a lot of it is different so it should be easy to play.

Other editions include: Dr. Who Monopoly, Pokemon Monopoly, WWE Monopoly, The Legend of Zelda Monopoly, Retro Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Monopoly and Adventure Time Monopoly.

The game is recommended for a group of 2-6 players.  Players should be 13 years of age or older.

Clue is such a classic game.  I owned the basic version when I was young (i.e. inherited it from my brother) and enjoyed it a lot.

In the Firefly edition, the mystery centers around who betrayed River Tam and turned her over to the Alliance.  The game board consists of the rooms on the ship and the characters you know from the show.  Your goal as a player is to find out who did it, where the abduction took place and what was used to do it.

Other editions include: Seinfeld Clue, Big Bang Theory Clue, & Supernatural Clue.

It is recommended for players 9 years of age and older.  It allows for a play-through involving 2-6 players.

Risk is another strategy game and this Doctor Who edition puts players in control of several Dalek armies.  Your game board is a map of the Earth like the classic game and a lot of the old rules will still apply.

You are basically waging war against your friend's Dalek army in order to reign supreme.  But also be prepared for variations of the old rules and new additions to the game with this special edition.

One example is The Doctor himself.  He will swoop in during each turn and prevent your armies from moving forward across Earth.

Other editions are mostly related to video games: Risk Mass Effect Galaxy at War, Risk Metal Gear Solid, Risk Halo, Risk Plants VS. Zombies, Risk Starcraft, Risk The Walking Dead, Risk Star Wars & Risk The Lord of the Rings.

This series of games is recommended for players over the age of 10.  It's great for 2 to 5 players.

Settlers of Catan is a strategy game where each player chooses the area of their settlement and builds it with each turn.  You also collect resources and compete with friends to collect victory points and win the game.

I love this game.   I know it looks and sounds so boring, but if you play with friends and get competitive, it is incredibly fun.

This is the only game in the Settlers of Catan series that is based on a show from popular culture (i.e. Star Trek).  The rules of the base game apply.  It just makes use of resources and landscapes from the original show.  I really wish they would make another one because it would be fun to see what they do with it.

Settlers of Catan is recommended for players over the age of 10.  It can involve 3- 4 people at once.

Honourable Mention

Jenga isn't a board game, but it is definitely a classic.

There have been quite a few themed editions of Jenga including: TETRIS, Donkey Kong, Nightmare Before Christmas and this here, classic Spider-Man Jenga.  And the cool thing is that each edition has a little twist to it that strays from tradition.

For example, the Spider-Man edition offers two ways to play. 1.  The regular way.  2.  Build the tower and play to help Spider-Man catch the Green Goblin using the blocks.

They are pretty rare and if you see one, scoop it up before it's gone.  They tend to be made in low quantities.

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