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New Board Game Additions to our Library of Things

Blog post by Reference Librarian, Charlene Clark

I’ve been looking forward to adding more board games to our Library of Things collection for a while. I wanted to focus on board games that are good for playing with the whole family in a home party atmosphere.

And okay, perhaps I was thinking a bit selfishly and wanted to grab a few options I’ve been meaning to check out myself!

Mentally, I went through my family’s own collection and thought on what the biggest hits were for us. I knew the Topsfield Library collection already offered such modern classics as Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Codenames, so I’d have to dig a bit deeper!

5-Minute Dungeon is a game that my family discovered during the pandemic, when we were seeking any activity that might keep the kids occupied and off screens for any amount of time. This is for two to five players, a chaotic, co-operative, real-time card game with tons of replay value. In 5-Minute Dungeon, players have just – you guessed it – five minutes to escape a randomized dungeon. My kids have so much fun with this game, it has continued entertaining long past the lockdown necessity.

Next, I suggested 7 Wonders, which my husband and I first played with a group of friends but also enjoy just the two of us, head-to-head. It is another card management game, though a little more complex strategy-wise. Available for up to seven players, your goal is to develop your civilization, one of the great cities of the Ancient World, through the ages and building its Wonder of the World. I think the fun is in the mix of short-term gain and long game strategy worked into the three phases (“Ages”) while also trying to keep your neighbor from achieving their goals.

Another game I requested is new to me but has been on my personal wishlist for a while, Wavelength. This team-based social guessing game has earned many accolades since it debuted in 2019 and looks to be a challenging attempt at clever clues and a bit of mind-reading. Players are given a visual spectrum, a category card with extreme examples (Rough – Smooth, Fantasy – Sci-Fi, Sad Song – Happy Song, etc), and have to guess the target area of the spectrum based on their teammate’s example clue. Hard to describe without demonstrating the game itself, but perhaps that’s one of the reasons it was named one of the most innovative games of 2019 by Board Game Geek.

Finally, I’d like to highlight our new addition of The Quacks of Quedlinburg, another family-friendly game that garnered a lot of positive attention in the gaming awards industry. Despite the distinct lack of ducks (the Quacks refer to the scrupulous “doctors” the players represent), there is definitely a sense of humor in this potion-making competition. Your goal is to build the most valuable “medicine” concoction without it exploding or subsequently recovering and recreating after your chemical mishap. Of course, this is all represented with tokens and cards, so it remains a fun option for the whole family.

Board games are a popular fixture in our family home, so I’m excited to have the library provide the opportunity for them to become a part of yours. I can’t wait for our next game night; I hope you enjoy yours, too!

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