Game night is one of those evening everyone looks forward to, but can often times be very stressful for the person hosting the event. The good news is that there are many ways to make game night less stressful and more enjoyable for all parties involved! Here are just a few ways to improve your game night.
Open with a dexterity game
Dexterity games are often times overlooked due to their casual nature. They are a great way to get people laughing, engaged and interacting with each other. It’s hard not to laugh at someone failing in a big way when the objective of the game is to avoid knocking things over!
Do you remember LOVING playing Jenga as a kid? There are dozens of other dexterity games that are just as much fun with a new twist on them. Games like Click Clack Lumber Jack (Previously known as Tok Tok Woodman) and Rampage are perfect examples of fun and exciting new dexterity games.
Close with a feel good mini game
When most people hear the word board game, what do you think is the first game that comes to mind? Monopoly? Clue? Risk?
What many of your friends don’t know is how many short but fun games exist and as a board gamer, you should be the one to introduce them! Games like Lover Letter, Hanabi, Coup, and Tsuro take less than 25 minutes and still pack in just as much fun as some of the heavier games.
Not only are these games fun and quick to play but they are also the PERFECT gift for any occasion. I try to always keep an extra copy of Love Letter around so when I teach someone to play it and they love it I can just give them a copy. With low price points and endless replayability you’ll be making board game lovers out of every person that your friend plays with.
Always make sure you have enough time
There are few feelings worse than board game fatigue. You know exactly what I am talking about. At the end of the night when we’ve all been playing a game for 30 minutes too long and none of us seem to have drank enough to make the experience enjoyable.
My personal preference is to always give myself an entire extra hour than I need. If we have two hours to play a game I pick a game that takes an hour. If I have four hours to play I pick a game that takes three hours to play. Explaining the rules to players that have never played the game will always take longer than expected as will actually playing the game. Unless every player has played the game before, it’s often a good idea to give yourself a comfortable cushion.
Another solution could be setting up an extra foldable table. You can decide to play until x o’ clock and leave the game on that table until the your next game night.
Try to avoid getting burnt out
I am the kind of person that eats, sleeps and breathes board games but sometimes I find myself getting a little more burnt out on them than intended. I’ll play games every day for several weeks then suddenly find myself not even wanting to think about board gaming. This can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks.
To avoid this, try playing with new groups of people fairly regularly. If you’re meeting new people your gaming experience is likely to be different every time you play even if you end up playing the same games over and over again. Often time the social aspect of gaming can be overlooked. I know that if I spend too much time with some of my friends they start to grind my gears. Meeting new people can help you avoid board gaming AND social burnout.
Pick games suitable for your audience and plan ahead
This is something I can not stress enough. You wouldn't play strip poker with your grandma so don’t play Twilight Imperium with a person that’s never even heard of a 4x game.
I am the worst about this. I almost never plan ahead. I make a facebook post inviting everyone to open gaming at my house and then end up with a mix of heavy gamers and light gamers. Due to the fact that large majority of my friends have never met each other of course they all want to socialize with each other. When you have one friend that wants to play Eclipse and another that has only ever played Munchkin it can be hard to find a game that suits your audience. This is why in my opinion, planning ahead is the most important step to take before game night.
If you’re planning on having a game night, pick out your games and the players before hand. Do you have 3 heavy gamer friends and 4 light gamers? Plan for the heavier gamers to play a game of Puerto Rico or Seasons while your lighter gamer friends play King of Tokyo or Machi Koro.
I hope everyone enjoyed this article. There is much more to come!