By Rob Walker
Never heard of International Tabletop Day? You will. The geniuses behind the wonderful Geek & Sundry Youtube Channel have named March 30th International Tabletop Day. This day corresponds with the one year anniversary of Wil Wheaton’s G&S show “Tabletop” (which if you haven’t seen, you really should). International Tabletop Day is also a celebration of the art and benefits of gaming, and is meant to encourage us to strengthen the bonds of family and friendship by playing together.
In honor of the first International Tabletop Day, I wanted to share a few of my picks for tabletop games that you may want to play this March 30th.
If you’ve always wanted to give Arkham Horror a shot, but are dissuaded by the complexities of the game, Elder Sign may be the game for you. Elder Sign takes place in the world of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and sends 1 to 8 1920s investigators to a museum where they have to complete tasks, cast spells and fight monsters in order to seal away the eldritch horrors that are banging on the doors of our reality.
This card game is like Monty Python meets Dungeons and Dragons, but instead of pencils and paper, the characters are made from a hands of cards. The name of the game is finding treasure, doing battle and screwing over your fellow players. It’s easy to learn and a lot of fun. If you haven’t played this one before, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
This is a card game that falls into the storytelling game genre. Once Upon a Time is all about using the conventions and tropes of fairy tales, and encouraging improvisation to craft a story from whatever cards are placed on the table. This game is at its best when you have very active and imaginative players. If you have creative friends, or a group that wants to give improv a try, this game can be perfect for a party setting.
If you like board games and are a fan of zombie movies, Zombies!!! might be a perfect fit. At the beginning of every turn, a single tile is placed, continuing to build a city from which you must escape. With each player placing a different tile in a place of their choosing, you never know if you’re going to wind up on an empty street, or in a hospital filled with undead. This mechanic, combined with item and event cards, present a tabletop version of the zombie apocalypse that can be equal parts tense, grotesque and hilarious.
There is a reason that this game has been around since 1934, it’s a classic. I don’t really know what to say about this game that hasn’t already been said, it’s been a staple of family gatherings and game nights for decades. Monopoly has given many of us our first taste of ownership and economics, or if you’re like my family, you first taste of thuggery.
These are a few of my suggestions, what are yours? What games will you be busting out on the first International Tabletop Day?