OT: What I Do In My Fun Time

Steven Smith, ASP.NET ninja and tech blogger at stevesmithblog.com, writes in "Cool Games" about games he enjoys playing in his free time.

Like Steve - and about a zillion other tech people in the world - I'm into good board games and definitely not averse to some XBox gaming.

And probably like a lot of fellow geeks, I'm always on the lookout for good two-player games with a high Wife Acceptance Factor. Here's a couple of board games that my wife and I have enjoyed, as scored by my beautiful wife Olivia (thanks Wifey!):

  • Stone Age: this one I bought Olivia for Christmas and we've had a lot of fun with so far; it's beautifully presented, quick moving, doesn't penalise mistakes and has a good mix of skill and luck (this review at Amazon sums up the game nicely). Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) Score: 8 out of 12
  • The Settlers of Catan (pictured): a great game with a lot of room for expandability, which we've introduced to a stack of friends who've gone out and bought it too. I can recommend the Cities & Knights Expansion as adding a couple of different, interesting elements over the basic game play. WAF Score: 10 out of 12
  • Carcassonne: a simple game that can be played in a not-too-competitive manner for kids or beginners. Also has a lot of expansions available. WAF Score: 10 out of 12
  • Ticket to Ride - Europe: we've only played a friend's copy of this game, so I'm not sure we would purchase it ourselves. It was fun nonetheless, and we did get some good use out of it (20 or so games, including some with other friends) while we borrowed it. WAF Score: 9 out of 12

It's worth quickly mentioning a few card games that suit two players too:

  • Skip-Bo: simple, 1/2 hour game (Olivia loves this game; she rates it 12 out of 12...a perfect score!)
  • 500: Australian Euchre-like card game, playing two players with a dummy third hand makes the game interesting.
  • Canasta: You have to set aside a longer amount of time to play this, but there's a bit more skill and less luck than some other card games.

Happy gaming!

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posted @ Saturday, January 31, 2009 10:59 AM

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# re: OT: What I Do In My Fun Time

Left by Christopher Bennage at 2/1/2009 4:41 AM
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My wife really likes Carcassonne on the Xbox 360 too. It's very well done. Funny enough, I started teaching my daughter Catan just last night! (Catan is really the king of all board games.)

# re: OT: What I Do In My Fun Time

Left by Thomas Williams at 2/1/2009 9:43 AM
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G'Day Christopher - thanks for the feedback: I just downloaded the trial of Carcassonne and Catan on the XBox, but I'm still debating whether they're worth buying.

Cheers, Thomas

# re: OT: What I Do In My Fun Time

Left by Steve Smith at 2/3/2009 2:37 AM
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Lost Cities is a fun little 2-player card game that a friend at work lent us and we've played a few times. Carcassonne on the XBox is great, too, because you can play it while relaxing on the couch and there's no setup/cleanup involved.

# re: OT: What I Do In My Fun Time

Left by Thomas Williams at 2/3/2009 12:53 PM
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Thanks for the pointer to "lost Cities" Steve - looks like one to check out.

Cheers, Thomas
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