My current obsession? Board games! For the past few weeks, my partner’s family has been hosting board game nights. I’ll tell you what, nothing beats a good old fashioned night of competitive gaming. I haven’t stopped talking about the game nights while I’m at work and this has lead to some fantastic board game recommendations. Sure, Monopoly, Sorry!, and Clue are fun and all, but the board game industry has exploded within the past ten years. Now there are thousands of easily accessible board games for any experience level. I asked one of our board game experts Savannah to give me her top five board game recommendations. Here are her answers.


Race for the Galaxy

Want a great two player game? Try Race for the Galaxy. It’s a card game where 2-4 players compete to build the most powerful space empire. The rules can seem complicated at first, but it’s worth it once it all clicks into place. I’ve replayed this game more than just about anything on my shelf, and it NEVER gets old.


Try the co-op game Pandemic. This one can also be played with two players, but my favorite thing about it is the fact that it’s co-operative (meaning the players are working together to win against the game, instead of each other). 2-4 players race to stop several strains of a virus before it infects the whole world. Fair warning, you will probably lose this game a LOT, but that really just makes victory so much sweeter.


For the casual player, here is Anomia. It’s another card game, best played with a boisterous group, about naming things before someone else can. Can get very loud and very competitive (in a fun way). And it only takes about 20-25 minutes to play, so it won’t crash a party.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

When I want a game with a good storyline, I play Betrayal at House on the Hill. It’s another co-op… until it’s not. 3-6 players explore a haunted house, and the game board is made of tiles that are revealed with each turn, so it’s different every time. As they progress, players get closer and closer to triggering the “Haunt,” in which one player is suddenly revealed as a monster, murderer, or another dastardly demon, and the remaining players have to beat them to win. The game comes with quite a few different betrayal scenarios, which combined with the ever-changing game board makes for another game with lots of replay potential.

dread rpg board game cover


If you want a game that’s REALLY scary… try Dread! This one’s cheating a little bit, because it’s actually more of an RPG (Role-Playing Game) than a proper board game, but it does feature a family game night classic: Jenga! Instead of relying on character sheets and D20s to determine your character’s fate, you only need to do one simple thing to accomplish your goals, beat the monsters, and make it out alive: pull a brick. Oh, and if the tower falls? Your character dies.

(Bonus recommendation, if you’re less into horror and more into forbidden love, check out Star Crossed. It uses a Jenga tower in a similar way, but with much more romantic results.)

There you have it! We have a variety of different board games from classics to the obscure. Have you been to a Bookmans Board Game Night? Each Bookmans location has their own game nights! Check out all the fun you can have at our upcoming board gaming events this month at Bookmans Mesa, Bookmans Northwest, Bookmans Midtown, Bookmans Phoenix, and Bookmans East.