The Best Board Games for Game Night

The Best Board Games for Game Night

The beginning of the school year brings with it a host of new classes, new professors, and most importantly, new students who can’t figure out how to turn their classroom acquaintances into bonafide friends. Whether you’re one of these nervous newcomers or an experienced friendship establisher, we could all use a good excuse to get our friends-to-be to gather. So why not host a board game night? We’ve outlined a few games that are perfect for an evening of dice rolling and delight that’s sure to entice both tabletop novices and veterans alike.

For those situations where you want to focus your attention on enticing one person at a time into an eternal friendship, you can’t go wrong with the deck-building card game Star Realms. Simple to pick up in terms of both its learning curve and its physical size, Star Realms is perfect for striking up a conversation with another student while sitting on the floor outside your next class. Each game takes around 20 minutes, which is the exact amount of time you’d normally spend idly scrolling through your phone as you wait for your professor to show up. And if you succeed in making your celestial adversary into a real-life ally, you can always keep the battle going through the cross-platform app version of the game.

Do you have a group of players who have never strayed beyond the battered copy of Monopoly in their parent’s den? Then you could break out the classic board gamer’s gateway drug Settlers of Catan, or your could switch it up with something more unique like Dixit. Combining straight-forward rules with an uncommon gameplay mechanic, Dixit is sure to be a hit with both newcomers and seasoned players alike. The game challenges you to interpret surrealist art cards and leverage them to convey a phrase. All that may sound very abstract, but the rules are approachable enough for even the least attentive of players to grasp. Dixit is most enjoyable with a slightly larger group, but worry not; you won’t have any trouble convincing your new art school acquaintances to play this aesthetically pleasing game.

Looking for the perfect game to inspire some roommate bonding? Look no further than Clank! Best played with at least one or two people who are familiar with the tenets of deck-building games, Clank! challenges 3-4 players to venture into a monster-infested dungeon, recover one or two priceless relics, and sabotage their fellow adventurers along the way, all without waking the sleeping dragon. This particular game may take longer than the previous two, but that just gives you more time to get to know each other. And what with the conspiring and competitive nature of Clank!, you’ll be sure to see your new roommates’ true colors in no time.

If Clank! seems a bit too rule-heavy for your taste, Sushi Go! is another great option that won’t make your less board-game-savvy roommates’ eyes glaze over.

Most board games are geared towards smaller groups, and often the ones that do allow for larger groups are slow and bore the snot out of whoever isn’t taking their turn. 7 Wonders, on the other hand, keeps all players engaged by having everyone take their turn at the same time. As the name might suggest, 7 Wonders can be played with up to seven people (even more if you get the expansion). Players build their empires and gain superiority over their neighbors through trade, culture, and the construction of world wonders. While it may take a bit to learn the ropes (especially if no one in your group has played before), the payoff is well worth it. The score is not revealed until the end of the game, a mechanic that keeps everyone engaged all the way through every game. And while it’s best to play with someone who has played before, lest the rules get too overwhelming, there are a multitude of rule rundown YouTube videos out there. So regardless of your board game prowess, you’re only ever an evening away from trapping some new friends.