A list of all the board / card games I can recall playing in my lifetime.
‘+’ means with expansions.
- 1313 Dead End Drive
- 20th Century
- 7 Wonders
- 7 Wonders Duel+
- A Feast for Odin+
- Agricola: All Creatures
- Android: Netrunner
- Apples to Apples
- Apples to Apples: Jewish Edition
- Arkham Horror (2005)+
- Army vs. Aliens
- Avalon: The Resistance
- Battlecon: Devastation of Indines
- Betrayal at the House on the Hill+
- Beyond Balderdash
- Bios: Genesis (solo)
- Black Fleet
- Bounce Off!
- Broom Service
- Can’t Stop
- Cards Against Humanity+
- Ca$h n’ Guns (2nd Edition)
- Castles of Burgundy
- Chinese Checkers
- Chutes and Ladders
- Clue: Little Detective
- Codenames (English / Hebrew)
- Codenames: Duet (Hebrew)
- Connect Four
- Cranium Cadoo
- Dark Mages
- Dead of Winter
- Dice Forge
- Don’t Break the Ice!
- Don’t Spill the Beans!
- Dungeon! (1975)
- Dungeon Lords
- Fluxx+ (Space, Cthulhu)
- Fluxx: The Board Game
- Food Chain Magnate
- Forbidden Desert
- Forbidden Island
- Forbidden Sky
- Formula D
- Free Parking
- Galaxy Trucker
- Get Bit!
- Good Cop, Bad Cop
- Great Western Trail
- Guess Who
- Harry Potter Mystery at Hogwarts
- Harry Potter Quidditch Card Game
- Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Imperial Settlers
- Isle of Skye
- Jungle Speed
- Killer Bunnies
- King of Tokyo+
- King’s Breakfast
- Kings of Israel
- Las Vegas
- Last Night on Earth
- Lego Racers Super Speedway
- Lord of the Rings
- Lords of Waterdeep
- Lost Legacy
- Love Letter
- Machi Koro+
- Magic Maze
- Mille Bornes
- Monopoly Deal
- Mr. Jack Pocket
- Mummy Rummy
- Nine Men’s Morris
- Odin’s Ravens (2nd Edition)
- Old Maid
- One Deck Dungeon+
- Pairs in Pears
- Pandemic: Cthulhu
- Perpetual Commotion
- Phase 10
- Pixel Tactics
- Poop: The Game
- Power Grid
- Puerto Rico
- Race for the Galaxy+
- Rat-a-Tat Cat
- Ravens of Thri Sahashri
- Red Dragon Inn
- Robo Rally
- Roll for the Galaxy
- Rory’s Story Cubes
- Rush Hour
- San Juan
- Scrabble: Hebrew
- Scrabble Junior
- Sentinels of the Multiverse+
- Settlers of Catan+
- Shadows Over Camelot
- Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn
- Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game+
- Small World
- Space Race: The Card Game
- Space Station
- Spot It!
- Star Realms
- Stone Age
- Summoner Wars
- Sushi Go! + Party
- Taboo (English / Hebrew)
- Tea Time
- Terra Mystica+
- Terraforming Mars
- The Game of Life
- The Game of Life: A Jedi’s Path
- Thieve’s Guild
- Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
- Ticket to Ride
- Time’s Up: Title Recall
- Tragedy Looper
- Treasures & Traps
- Trivial Pursuit
- Trump: The Game
- Ultimate Werewolf
- Valley of the Kings
- Viticulture (Essential Edition)
- Voyages of Marco Polo
- We Didn’t Playtest This At All
- Wheel of Fortune
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
- Wiz Kidz
- Xenoshyft: Onslaught
- Yahtzee / Yahtzee Jr.
- Zombie Dice
- החבילה הגיעה
- תירס חם
Trading Card Games
Magic: The Gathering
Jewish Educational Games
Berachot Go Fish
Jewish Picture Bingo
Driven to Instanity
I Have to What?!
Seasons and Sorcery (Settlers of Catan Exp.)
1313 Dead End Drive: Asked my parents to buy this after playing 13 Dead End Drive Oren’s house and loving the mechanical aspect of eliminating players by literally dropping stuff on their avatar. Got played a bit, but wasn’t my mom’s favorite game to play with me.
20th Century: Martin received this as a parting gift from co-workers, played it with us once. I bought the game off him cheap when he moved away, since this wasn’t one he really planned on playing much. Since then, it has sat on my shelf, not because it’s a bad game, but by the time I found people to play this kind of thing I had already collected other games with more appealing themes or mechanics.
7 Wonders: At the first official meeting of the Haifa Board Game Crew, Ofer suggested this for six players. I really liked the simultaneous play and drafting mechanic, and also tied for most points. This game stuck with me and I asked my mom to bring it from the states the following summer. Since then it hit the table almost every meetup until I moved away from Haifa.
7 Wonders – Duel: At one point Martin wanted to play some 2 player games with me. We played this and I loved it, especially that I won the first time and snuck in a Science Victory the second time. When I saw this game for sale on 365games I bought it, though have since only played it a few times one night with Yehuda.
Abalone: My younger brother Simcha, who is math-oriented and likes Rubik’s Cubes and the occasional game of Chess or Checkers, played this game at a friend’s and liked it enough to buy it. I only recall playing it a couple times (not my favorite type of game and I’m not very good at them…). I think it’s still sitting on his shelf. We never really played enough to delve into the strategy.
Acquire: Played this once at one of the MIT meetups I went to just before moving to Israel. Didn’t realize it was considered such a classic, I thought it an obscure financial style game. I remember enjoying it and getting really into it though, despite the fact that I was more attracted to fantasy/sci-fi themes at the time.
A Feast for Odin: Towards the end of my buying spree phase, the idea of a $100 dollar game to heavy to ship from 365game intrigued me. After reading reviews and watching videos, I decided this would be my next big game to have brought to me from the states. It would be a few weeks before I introduced it to my gamer friends but even some less experienced gamers played and greatly enjoyed this. I really like the tetris mechanic, trying to combo my occupation cards, and the theme is fun and different.
Agricola: Played once in an afternoon at the Technion with someone who seems to only know this game among Euro games. I was the only one brave enough to play with him and he said 2-players isn’t the ideal, but I enjoyed even though we didn’t have time to finish.
Agricola – All Creatures Big and Small: Another 2-player game from Martin, only played once but had a blast winning with Pigs. Growing up, my brother and I saw MTG as the only great 2-player game we knew (other than Chess, which I didn’t like getting womped all the time). This game made me aware that these Euro games come in the 2-player variety as well and can be even more tightly designed. Unfortunately, this game is hard to find.
Akrotiri: So far only played trial solo game, but definitely a keeper. Doesn’t necessarily reward rushing the ending, plus the tile laying is interesting and one of my favorite mechanics.
Android – Netrunner: One of the games David T. brought to Israel, despite being competitive (yet highly asymmetrical). While not my favorite style, we played a few times and it was tense. I generally avoided these kinds of LCG games themed off things I’m not familiar with (what is Android?). Still glad for the exposure though.
Anomia: This is one of those party games that the Rabbi on campus had, but I love word games and we had a blast with this one night. Since then I played it a couple times in college and a couple times on Shabbat here in Israel. I should probably own it at some point, so if forced to play party games at least it will be something enjoyable.
Apples to Apples: Everyone in middle school thought this was the best for some reason. While I too enjoyed it with the right crowd, I think I outgrew it before others. My younger siblings liked playing this after I outgrew it as well, but I suppose it created some good afternoons and strengthened ties.
Arkham Horror: When Yehuda asked me what I like to do and I told him board games, he said he has this one game—Arkham Horror. I had only heard about it, but he was more than happy to find someone willing to indulge him. We even set up a group to play this once a week for a time, and have since even tried an expansion. While not my favorite style of game, when we do play I try to get involved in the story to make it more interesting, and while it’s fun to play with people I know, I could see it being really fun with the right group of lively folk.
Army vs. Aliens: I don’t even remember exactly where I played this—I think maybe at a meetup with the Jerusalem Strategy club—I think I played with some ten or twelve year old who wanted to show me this game because he liked it. It was interesting enough that I recall playing it and could put it on this list–I remember comparing it in my head to Zombie Dice.
Avalon – The Resistance: My first time playing Resistance was Shabbat afternoon at a Yeshiva reunion using regular playing cards and simple rules. It was awesome, as a spy messing with people’s minds and winning the game. Even though I dislike games where the whole thing is just lying and saying words with no real mechanic attached. Living in Givat Shmuel though there was this group obsessed with Avalon, and while they seemed to love playing all night, it was not enjoyable for someone not part of that group and I avoided playing it for the most part.
Backgammon: We had an old backgammon set growing up and I remember enjoying playing it with my mom and maybe even my dad a bit, though I don’t really know the rules. A lot of folk played this in Yeshiva (that’s what people in the Middle East play).
Bananagrams: Was this an online game first? Well it was for me, one of the first “facebook” games I used to play with some of the nerdy girls in my class. I liked it as an online game but the physical game wasn’t as interesting to me (I prefer Scrabble). However, the game “Anagrams” played with these tiles is super interesting to me, and was introduced to me by a girl I had a serious crush on (or maybe the crush was a result of her introducing me to an awesome word game and spending a great Sukkot afternoon playing it).
Bang! : Played with the BSCF game club at college. More of a party feel, I don’t remember specifics but I do remember having fun with the people I played with.
Battlecon – Devastation of Indines: Played with Amyr, a power gamer from our DND group. He loves this game, and I can see why. Each character is a puzzle unto itself, as is each match-up. I didn’t really know games like this existed and while it’s not my main focus, I’m really glad I got to try this game.
Battleship: I liked that I got a portable copy of this from a discount warehouse store. When I got into programming this was also one of those early games to try and program. I suppose it fell by the wayside after not too long, but holds a place in my childhood memories nonetheless.
Betrayal at the House on the Hill: Nuri from our Haifa group had this, but more surprising, David M. played this game a lot in his younger days—his fond memories of it were relived then as we played this occasionally at our meetups, always having a good time trying to take down the traitor as hilarious mishaps occurred around the house (tossing dynamite down the hall, the Old professor and Young girl in the “statutory–I mean–statuary room”).
Beyond Balderdash: My brother played Balderdash with his friend who had interesting games, and at some point we picked this up. Since it can’t be played on Shabbat we didn’t play it as much as I would have liked, but when we did it was some good times, that I know for sure.
Bios: Genesis: Got this because of the theme and size, only played solo, and it’s not that enjoyable to me, but mostly because I have to keep checking the rules. I can imagine it being a nice solo experience if I don’t have to check the rules every two seconds, but I can’t imagine actually playing this with anyone.
Black Fleet: The last game Martin brought to play before leaving Israel, we had a great time, and I loved the theme, components, and lighter game play. A couple years later when I saw how cheap this game was sold for on Amazon I picked it up and it became our game of choice for several weeks, though it became a bit rote for me since I kept winning easily. Still, the colorful board attracted otherwise non-gamers quite successfully.
Blokus: When at random people for Shabbos who think they’re family is cool cause they play games like Blokus…I do love tetris-y game play but games like this probably better 1-on-1 cause with 4 players you have less control—though didn’t play all that much so never really delved into strategy here. Also played this in Givat Shmuel at someone who I was excited to hear had games—then it was all “walmart” games like Blokus and Clue.
Boggle: I must have played physical boggle at least once (for sure with old ladies). A word game is a word game, so I’m not one to complain, though I never saw this as a real competitive game.
Bohnanza: One of the games we played occasionally on Shabbat in college. While after a time I felt this game could drag on and I’d rather knock out several rounds of Dominion instead, it was an enjoyable way to play even with more casual gamers, and I bought this games and once or twice it was the perfect game to play with less experienced groups.
Bounce Off: This is just a physical kiddy game that I played one afternoon with my mom’s friend’s grandson? Bounce the balls into the grid to make the shapes. If the kid had fun though, then I’m happy.
Broom Service: Got this game second hand, having heard good things and played other Pfister games. Played it once on the basic side then sold it in a bulk sale, so didn’t get to see everything the game has to offer.
Can’t Stop: First played this with David W. on a piece of paper, it was cool to learn, though never had an opportunity after that to just play on some paper while in a restaurant or what-not. I then played the officially published copy at my cousin’s, and it was fun, though given a choice I’d play something else (I enjoy push-you-luck when it’s part of something bigger).
Candyland: Who hasn’t played this? I loved the shortcuts, and the plum tree, and the gloopy fudge at the end. While the game is just draw and move, something about this is very formative for children.
Captivation: My mom found this game, it’s just a vocabulary game but I also really liked it—I was nerdy and loved learning new and obscure words, and was always surprised how many seemingly random words my mom had previously encountered. This game hit the table many afternoons my middle and even high school years, and even later as my little sister liked the opportunity to compete her vocabulary with the older kids and learn new words.
Carcassone: At first I just heard that my brother’s friend had this game, but didn’t know what it was until moving to Israel and playing it after Hebrew class with a Russian and some other folk. I loved it enough to get the app, but played it to death a bit. Still, I love the tile-laying mechanic and it’s good to be familiar with as it shows up in many games.
Cards Against Humanity: I hate this activity. When we brought a box of amazing games for people to try, fifty people just huddled up around a box of CAH. People who pretend to be good people but love an excuse to make dirty stupid jokes. I played it once with two nerds while waiting for game night to start and it was inane and boring frankly. I don’t need an excuse to make racist or non-PC comments, and I don’t need some cards to tell me what to laugh at. I’m way more funny on my own.
Cash n Guns: Martin got this at a convention and gave it to me. Had some good times with this especially among non-gamers. Doesn’t get much use but still good to have in case of party emergency, despite not being a word game.
Castles of Burgundy: Free shipping? Good reviews? One of the beginning of me buying games not having played them before because good deal. Managed to bring this to the table a couple times and was greatly enjoyed. Outshined in some respects by other games, but would like at some point to play with the alternate boards and explore the depth a bit more.
Caylus: One of the first new Euro games I played after moving to Givat Shmuel, and it was great. Year and half later played this again on Friday afternoon with some serious gamers and won, was glad to have seen it before. Not a game I felt compelled to own, but can see why it’s a classic.
Checkers: My dad loves checkers, probably more for nostalgia but we played a bit when I was a kid. Not my favorite, but I liked when the checkers stacked nicely to make kings.
Chess: My older brother was in Chess club and learned from my grandfather, an expert. I suppose I picked up some Chess terms and tips from my brother and another Chess-team friend, so I’m not completely ignorant. And I know chess will still be played in 1000 years.
Chinese Checkers: This one I actually really liked, maybe because of the colorful marbles, but also perhaps the one-way nature of the game was easier for me as a kid. We had a nice wooden set with quality marbles.
Chutes and Ladders: Nothing like getting the large ladder up or falling on the big slide down. It’s like hitting the perfect combo except it was completely luck driven…but similar child-like satisfaction.
Citadels: Martin introduced this game, we didn’t play it much but I would like too—I bought it in Hebrew but no one wants to play it in Hebrew…except for when my Israeli roommate found it on the shelf and played it with a friend and loved it, even 2-players.
Clue: Not a huge fan…I did like “Little Detective” but that was more like candyland, and I did like the Harry Potter mystery at Hogwarts, partly because of Harry Potter but also it had a bit more going on with the ghost, shortcuts and cards. The fact that some adults want to play this when we could be playing Sherlock Holmes disappoints me a bit.
Codenames: Heard about the hype when this first came out, after playing it still didn’t realize how great this can be. I bought it at the request of a friend and my siblings loved playing this. And while I usually opt for something else, I really like this and really like other people playing it instead of CAH.
Codenames: Duet : Got this game in Hebrew specifically to play with my fiancee, and we had a good time. More mentally exhausting than you might think! Hebrew lends itself to a lot of ambiguity in reading the words, but what made it tough is different connotations, even if I can translate a word directly.
Concept: One of Nuri’s games, like Pictionary but with concepts. We had some fun with this, interesting when people of different cultures trying to get each other to guess.
Connect Four: One of the first games I thought to try and “solve”. No special memories though really, just one of those MB games most of us have played.
Cooties! : One of these physical games we had, I think just roll the die and try to build your bug. I liked bugs, so I guess I liked this game at age four.
Coup: Bought for a friend. While I don’t like bluffing games much, I did enjoy this, though it also depends on the group—don’t play with jerks. While I’d rather play other games, its short enough to be an enjoyable filler.
Cranium/Cadoo: Parents found this, maybe hoping it was an educational game. Not so much for me—having to act out actors and singers from my parents generation didn’t help, but I liked the clay modeling and the math and word puzzles. We didn’t really play this that much, especially since the clay and writing can’t be done on Shabbat.
Cribbage: Played this first on a CD, didn’t really know the scoring but liked it. Somewhere we got a physical board, though I only used it a few times in college with a friend who has an old soul and wanted to learn the scoring rules.
Crossfire: I think I played this once at a friend’s. Not really a board game, but everyone remembers the commercial. After two seconds though he just started throwing the marbles directly into my goal so we didn’t really get to play if I recall. Not the kind of game my parents would bother buying.
Cryptid: When I saw this for sale on Book Depository I couldn’t pass it up. I actually had only seen people play this, but finally got to play it myself on Shabbat–no pen and paper to track clues. Was a lot of fun, definitely the right kind of people enjoy this game. Way more fun than Clue in my opinion.
Dark Mages: A friend picked up this kick-started game at a convention. Seemed way too basic and lacking in depth for me, but we will add house rules to make it worth playing.
Dead of Winter: Played at Technion first, was okay, though it seemed a bit arbitrary and relying on theme over interesting mechanics. David T. bought this from England at some point and we played once, but I don’t go out of my way to play this.
Dice Forge: Imanuel brought this one day when he happened to be in town. My roommate joined as well and really enjoyed, and we had a discussion about modern board games afterwards. The winner got really lucky with a single side of his die, but we all had fun.
Dixit: Really like the idea of this, played it a bit in college and more in Givat Shmuel. I even tried playing it online once with Japanese and German, using translator. Depends on the group energy, but still a preferred party style game over most others. And I love the art for its own sake as much as anyone.
Dominion: Ah, many hours of playing this with Ari. I saw some folks playing this in college and Ari had the base and Intrigue, then got Seaside. This was my go to game after outgrowing Settlers, and I got Prosperity and Cornucopia, and we played all the expansions we had to the max. My mom and sister liked this game too though not as much as Settlers, and didn’t get as into strategy as I did. In Israel this didn’t hit the table all that much, at first. In Givat Shmuel after introducing some people to modern games they loved this until they got sick of how competitive it made them, so we stopped playing just as I decided to throw down for the complete collection.
Don’t Break the Ice: This one was still fun even just as a novelty as we got older, like eight or nine. Don’t spill the beans was probably just as good but remember it breaking or not playing it past age five or six…
DuCo: I think this was an unpublished game Martin got from a friend. Like Set in some ways, we tried this out with a few variants and had a good time, even a less experienced gamer did really well, the total abstractness not distracting from the goal of getting points.
Dungeon: Probably only played this a few times, with vague memories at my brother’s friend’s house. Yet it stuck with me and influenced my own game design. I probably would have loved Talisman as a kid. I looked for this game afterwards for years but couldn’t find it in local stores. Apparently there was a remake but at this point I’m not interested anymore.
Dungeon Lords: David W. wanted to play this with me and a different group of Germans, not our regular meetup. It was okay, I liked building my dungeon but remember some things being a bit fiddly and translated poorly. Didn’t seek out this game afterwards like others, but wasn’t surprised to discover this was yet another in the broad scope of Vlaada’s games.
Dvonn: Part of the GIPF project, which my older brother is a big fan. Not our favorite in the series, but one of the few games he brought to Israel with him and still has. We played a bit, but usually play GIPF now when I come over.
Eclipse: One of Martin’s games, for us 4X lovers. We didn’t end up playing again but only because he had other games to teach us, so I never got too invested in this game. But the four hours we did play we’re full of the usual Euro game enjoyment, managing economy, exploration and upgrading tech and space ships.
Farkle: Played with regular dice, but a nice way to pass a few minutes. Was surprised to discover that official Farkle dice are sold…what a rip off.
Fluxx: While the idea of a game with changing rules seemed awesome, I was disappointed to see that this was just things like hand size, or cards played and things like that. Some of the variations are cool (Star Wars, Cthulhu).
Fluxx Board Game: We bought this during a trip to DC to have something to do over Shabbat. It seemed okay, it was weird to play a game like this with my dad. Not a huge hit, but has its merits separate from the card game.
Forbidden Desert: Got on sale at Steimetzky for 20 shekels! Tried it out with a friend who had never played Forbidden Island, it was fun, but while Forbidden Island you kind of have to draw and plan who should collect what, Forbidden Desert seemed a bit easier in that you just excavate as much as possible, and don’t have to plan as much. The biggest danger in my opinion is Thirst, so that makes the game require planning and risk taking.
Forbidden Island: Saw this cheap on the shelf in Hebrew and English, and seeing that it was designed by Pandemic designer I had to buy it. While I suppose it became easy analyzed, I really liked it for a time, especially among people who don’t like competitive games. Even played it with the kids it was intended for and they loved it. I programmed a fully working DS port of the game too, I liked the cleanness of the rules that much.
Forbidden Sky: Too cool to pass up, I think I like this one the most. Maybe it’s the theme or the gimmick, but I also like tile laying and feel this one uses more planning. Too bad it’s not Hebrew/English though.
Formula D: Played once in college. If someone likes the feel of a race car race, this certainly captured that feeling, though dice can disappoint now and then. Haven’t seen this anywhere since though.
Free Parking: Only played this on a CD. Yet it stood out for not just being a standard playing card deck card game, and it was always awesome to get lucky with Second Chance cards and beat the PC.
Galaxy Trucker: Played this game once at MIT before moving, bought it years later from 365games. My younger brother liked it. Other’s liked it but said it made their heads hurt, despite playing more complex games, I suppose the Real-Time aspect wasn’t for them. I played the app a ton though.
Get Bit! : A filler Marting brought. I don’t really remember it except that we got eaten by sharks little by little. Presumably a great filler, but not something I’ve seen since.
GIPF: My brother loves this abstract, and practiced against AI. I play it when I see him, but I much prefer games with theme and some amount of hidden information, maybe cause I’m also not very good at some of these zero-sum abstracts.
Gloom: A cute game I played one Friday evening—Nuri actually had this game but we never played it, but a friend in Givat Shmuel who likes storytelling and DND had this so we played.
Good Cop, Bad Cop: Someone from the group of Avalon liars had this game and of course did a great job lying, and while I had fun I’m not looking for this game anywhere or to play it again.
Great Western Trail: Bought this while trying to break the habit of buying games just because I see a deal…when we did play it, Kevin really loved it and said he’d even buy it. Would need to play again to see how it changes with randomized setup. I really didn’t feel the interaction with others much though. Was also more point salad-y than I thought, but focusing on something was still the dominant strategy—Kevin and I certainly did better than the other two players.
Guillotine: Liz brought this back, I think I played it once in college too. Should be a filler, but sometimes people think too had. Maybe would be a good game to have but I never developed a strong emotional bond to it. I liked putting it at the edge of the table though so the beheaded folk just fall right off.
Guess Who: Another MB classic, was fun to play a bit older as well and make fun of the silly names and stereotypical looks of the characters. We even had a travel version but teeny pieces often rip or go missing.
Hanabi: Also played at the first BG meetup in Haifa, the perfect co-op game. Suggested this to my roommate as a date game, though I’ve yet to try that. Most people like this, including my sister, and I use it as an introduction and filler.
Harbour: My younger brother bought this after playing it at work. To him it seemed infinitely repeatable, to me a bit simple at first but would like to play more and see more buildings. You just don’t get to build all that much so each game you discover only a little bit of the potential. For a game in a small box though it’s worth it.
Harry Potter Quidditch Card game: Them probably the only reason to play this, but I recall it being fun nonetheless, hoping you’d find the snitch. Don’t even know when or why we got this though.
Hi-Q: I think I first played this solitaire game at Oren’s and insisted we get one, and I played it until finally solving it with the last peg in the center.
Hive: Played this in college, then later in Givat Shmuel. Despite the bugs this is really a abstract, yet one which I would like to explore if I wasn’t focusing on other types of games instead. Would be a good two person filler though.
Hungry Hungry Hippos: A great mechanical game, one I enjoyed as a little kid. The remake and newer commercials were disturbing, but now it seems kids will not experience this bizarre gem of childhood.
Illuminati: I just played with some cards I found at my Uncle’s house…not sure what this game is supposed to really be like, but I played a game against myself so it’s on the list.
Imperial Settlers: One of Martin’s civ games, we had two great round though Egypt won both with different approaches. Not one I rushed out to buy, I don’t know what stands out about it over other games of this genre. Some say it has great solo play, but I never tried that nor saw this elsewhere.
Impulse: Liz brought this back along with Innovation. While Innovation became a hit, Impulse took us too long to play and it was ages before I got to play a full game. I like it, and think it’s a great way to carry a space 4X in a small box, but it’s hard to introduce it to the right group, especially if I think it will take too much time to play.
Ingenious: Don’t remember where we got this, but this was one of my favorite abstracts for a while. My mom liked it too, and we only had the 2-player travel edition. I took it with me to Israel but it’s with my older brother for now.
Innovation: This became my most played game of 2018, thanks to Kevin and his willingness to play this at any opportunity. I played a good deal against AI as well but what amazes me is how every game presents seemingly intractable situations or new ways of trying to do things that even after buying the Deluxe set I’m still satisfied by a simple run of the base game. Still great with 2 or 3, though less success with 4 players, and unsuccessful against non-native English speakers.
Iota: After class game with Russian physicist, I like it’s similarity to set but with more planning involved. Fits in a tiny tin, yet I don’t see myself playing it all that much were I to snag a copy.
Isle of Skye: David W. brought this back from convention, I like the tile laying more than the price-setting, and this game made me realize Ali Express has strategy games. Sadly it shipped to the wrong address so the money I saved was lost when I had to pay for delivery. It hit the table a couple times and I would still use it as an intro to the field.
Istanbul: Another Ali purchase, but some folk had a great time the one night this hit the table. I went out and bought the expansions from America but the cards don’t quite match. Still, would like to see this played more, and can’t wait to try it with both expansions.
Jaipur: Played one round while teaching to my wife. Not particularly exciting, until you count up the score and see how close it is. Though I did 3D print an insert for the game.
Jenga: Never really played this as a game, but got it for nephew in hope’s he’ll learn the fun of building and breaking. Was sad when only I knew what this was when asked to make a Jenga tower for 3d animation course.
Jungle Speed: Played mostly in Yeshiva as an excuse to fight. My nine year old cousin liked this game too but in most events I wouldn’t play just to have an excuse to fight with girls.
Junta: Martin brought this, and while I don’t remember the rules I know we had a blast. Can’t see myself introducing something like this to others though.
Kerplunk: I think I played this once at a friend at age six or seven. Maybe easier to clean up then other fall-apart games but nothing special.
Keyflower: I got the expansions shipped to me but not the game, so I had to keep trying…finally it came but it was a few weeks before we could play. It certainly was a tense game, and accurate to the reviews. One of the games I bought without having played first, it didn’t disappoint, though not the biggest hit among our group. The prettiness of the game was appreciated even by passersby.
Killer Bunnies: Played one Shabbat with Yeshiva counselor…kind of dumb game wise but hilarious for an afternoon. Not something I’d spend money on.
King of Tokyo: Popular now in Hebrew, but Martin had it in English. Definitely more appeal towards children, we had a good romp or two. The kind of game I’d enjoy playing with children.
King’s Breakfast: Played this with some Israeli’s when I needed to leave quickly. Cute game, also probably good for kids, the kind of game we might have played over holidays.
Kings of Israel: Bought this in Hebrew thinking it was like Pandemic, realizing its not very balanced and that no one wants to play games in Hebrew…sits on the shelf, though my brother liked the novelty of a decent game with such a Biblical theme
Las Vegas: One of David W.’s games he brought from the convention. Despite not liking dice games too much, this one was different and I really enjoyed. Not enough to buy my own, but would play this if someone offered.
Last Night on Earth: I think I liked this Zombie game more than Dead of Winter, though we didn’t do very well, Martin was happy to have a chance to finally play it. Zombie’s are not my thing, but with the right group I would play this again I think. Haven’t seen anyone with it though, while Dead of Winter seems more popular.
Legendary: I like the Marvel movies and deck builders, but this game seems for more hardcore fans. While cute, it can be swingy, and not my favorite co-op…I’ll take Sentinels over this any day. Also setup and sorting are too much effort in my opinion.
Lego Racers Super Speedway: We liked Legos, so why not. Not much of a game though, more just building cards and spinning spinner. But I played it so it’s on the list.
Lord of the Rings: At Maayan’s house we played this with his older sister, I don’t remember much but I know we played a LOTR game so it’s on the list. I think at the time I didn’t really follow but I’d probably enjoy it if I played now and read the rules.
Lords of Waterdeep: Played this at a holiday meetup in Jerusalem. I guess it was an intro to worker placement for me and played it again when offered, but though it is for sale on BookDepository I’m not rushing out to own it. Now I prefer Stone Age anyway.
Lost Legacy: Played at weekly meetup in TLV, a filler like Love Letter but with different themed decks each offering a twist. Cool to have on hand, though haven’t seen anywhere else. The quick elimination might not be for everyone either, though I didn’t mind.
Love Letter: Some folks own this classic, though I only played it once in college. Considered buying it as a filler but I don’t really need it.
Machi Koro: Was cheap online, seemed to bill itself as a light game but with depth…not impressed by the depth, but some people who like simple games really like this. I would almost always prefer something else, and will not miss it when it leaves my shelf. I have the harbor expansion, but still.
Magic Maze: Great co-op game, can see it a big hit with kids. Just a lot to shlep around, but for some people this would be a great experience. The owner may find himself starting from easy settings a lot if always teaching new groups though.
Mahjongg: My grandma had a set I think, but I learned in college from someone who played with her grandma…it was a better game then I thought! I was used to just randomly cliking on the Windows Mahjong solitaire with no clue what I was doing…real Mahjongg was more interesting though we didn’t gamble on it.
Mancala: Never really learned the official rules, people had slight variations. I liked playing this as a kid but later in life when people offered I wasn’t so keen. I’d rather read a book.
Mastermind: This was great as a kid, eventually I developed more foolproof guessing methods but this is a very important game I think for practicing deduction. Several rounds in a row though get a repetitive.
Masterpiece: Played at Oren’s, probably belonged to his mom. The forgery painting was my favorite part. Thanks to my mom I recognized a few of the paintings, but find it weird that we enjoyed this as little kids. I enjoyed it more than other’s—I still wanted to play when they had moved on to Stratego and Risk and war themed games.
Mille Bornes: My dad had his old copy from when he was a kid, and I loved this game. Especially trying to get as many bonuses as possible in one round. One of the Safety cards was ripped, but we didn’t care.
Monopoly: We played with money on free parking, making this game quite long. Mom refused to play eventually. When played with dad, he had us do auctions and trades, the real way to play apparently. It was agreed among us the Oranges were better than Boardwalk because people in jail pass them more often. While adults played this with me, I loath to play it with the kids of today.
Monopoly Deal: Kids in college played this, but it was my students at camp who taught me. I think it’s kind of dumb but some people enjoy it. Certainly easier to carry around then a monopoly board.
Mottainai: I absolutely love this game. Even only playing it twice in a row one night, it just clicked for me. After buying it years later I only played it so far with David M., who played it with me that one time. This is a game that needs to click with you to enjoy, and it’s the only one I haven’t succeeded in teaching yet.
Mousetrap: The game itself is a trap, attracting kids with its rube goldeberg machine and no gameplay. Of course it broke right after we got it. But I wasn’t deprived of this one.
Mr. Jack Pocket: A filler I played at a meetup I went to. A nice quick deduction game, with a bit of depth that I went out and bought it cheap online, though only had occasion to play it once since then.
Mummy Rummy: One of our go-to holiday games. What I would later learn to call “set collection”, I just liked the colors and the satisfaction of completing the images.
Munchkin: Bought this to play with campers having heard it was a hit with staff as well. PLayed a bit in Israel too but gave it away…quickly realized it’s kind of a goofy experience and I don’t need to waste time on that.
Nations: First game Martin introduced us to, and boy was it great. I was just familiar enough with drafting and worker placement to not be overwhelemed, and loved it when we played this just me Martin and David. I bought it after getting a job, and it was a while before I felt comfortable to introduce it to players. They loved it despite the long play time, and it hits the table now and again.
Nine Men’s Morris: Played this on PC as a little kid, then recently with my older brother just to know what it is and actually learn the rules. Not a bad game, but mostly played cause my slave name is Morris.
Odin’s Ravens: Played a quick round with Kevin one Shabbat, I think he won. This is the newer more streamlined version apparently. Cute game from Bookdepository, but sold it away.
Old Maid/Go Fish: We had special imaged big cards for these games. I liked the punny names they gave the characters, and the game was fun as a little kid trying to leave the old maid with someone else.
One Deck Dungeon: Since I love Innovation/Mottainai/Impulse and was looking for a roguelike, when I saw this I thought it must be perfect. While great, the gameplay can be a bit repetitive and with four players dragged out. I’m okay to part with it but it’s good to have in the meantime as another co-op alternative. Even started a campaign with someone.
Operation: Yeah we had this MB classic. As a kid I didn’t even realize the things we removed were jokes (butterflies in the stomach). Ours broke after a time so we could sort of play on Shabbat even.
Othello: A travel game we had, never saw this as the deep strategy game it is in the CompSci world, just a game with black and white tokens as a kid, not so interesting to me.
Ouija: Not a game, but was on my uncle’s shelf. When I finally did play it was in high school with the goth girls and one gay guy…so yeah, that was a fun night.
Pairs in Pears: I think I played this once but don’t even remember it. Must not have been as interesting as Bananagrams.
Pandemic: Having heard about this from my brother who played it in college, when I saw it in college I had to play. I loved it, and really felt the roles force you to work together as a team. Played it a few times in Haifa too, though when introducing new players it was a bit too easy amd I didn’t want to be the alpha player. I’ve heard Legacy is amazing, but I don;t know I’d want to play Pandemic that much, good as it may be. I played the Cthulu version as well–pretty cool.
Parcheesi: One of my earliest memories, playing with my mom. Loved making blockades and getting to finally move my pieces out of the start region. The dice were rolled from a purple cardboard cup. Haven’t played this game since early childhood though, no reason too I suppose.
Patchwork: David W. brought this game from the convention, I loved it. When I saw it sold in Hebrew I bought it, as I needed a great 2-player game. It’s seen some good use, and think it could be a game the wife might enjoy one day.
Payday: Another game from Oren’s, as a kid I liked this game, though I can’t really remember how to play. I guess you move on the board and try to make money.
Pente: An old game we had lying around, I liked playing this with my mom. It had nice glass beads and was pretty straightforward, though eventually I suppose my interests turned elsewhere.
Perfection: Another game whose commercials tried so hard to get kids to buy this. I played it at a friend’s once, but I guess it didn’t live up to my expectations. Kind of dumb game in retrospect.
Perpetual Commotion: Meh. My sister liked this, I suppose since she also likes “spit” which is what we played with regular cards to satisfy our need for speed. Perpetual commotion just became either a chaotic mess or boring, and people think playing this game means they’re into games for some reason. No. This doesn’t count.
Perudo: Liar’s Dice…I did quite well at this. Similar to the game we called “BS” which while I don’t like lying to betray others, lying to advance in these games I wasn’t bad at. I wonder what that says about me.
Phase 10: Don’t remember being too exited by this game, I think I only played it once or twice. Not bad for kids, but I was too old I think to need this kind of diversion.
Pictionary: My top game. PLayed a lot in Yeshiva and a bit in college…the laughs, the fun of drawing weird things…just can’t be played on Shabbat so doesn’t see much use, especially since people think they can’t draw–but that’s the most fun it deciphering their scribbles!
Pixel Tactics: A book depository buy that became a story to try and get all the sets…then it was a while before I found a partner for this game. We greatly enjoyed it, but even for me it’s a brain burner. Still so many cards to see as well, but when its just the two of us this is a guaranteed good time.
Pogs: Okay so we played and collected pogs as kids. We even made our own, though they were thin and flimsy. Eventually we got rid of them all, but this was a thing from the early 90s I was a part of.
Poop – The Game: Sure its a novelty game. I don’t even remember the specific jokes but I know I played this once. So it’s on the list. There was probably a creamed corn poop card. Reminds me of Cartman painting the walls.
Power Grid: Martin taught us this and we played it quite a few times with a variety of people from different countries and board game experience. Everyone who has wanted to play this enjoys it which still surprises me…the art is less bright to me but I suppose the gameplay is tight and interesting and cmopetitive and for people who don’t mind a bit of arithmetic it’s a lot of fun.
Quiddler: A cute word game we played once as a filler, that I had seen long ago but never got to play. THe system can be abused for points with certain words, but it would be nice if more pople had this game…I haven’t seen in around much.
Race for the Galaxy: Brother gave me this, and it was a huge hit in Yeshiva wit hsome people. So sad that it went missing in college…but one of those friends went out and bought it. I played the AI a bit also to see the exanpsions, and played a bit with the BSCF club in college. Isuppose it played an important role in my advancement to complex and symbol heavy board games.
Racko: MB classic, we also had on the PC. I liked playing with run bonuses, though usually going for bonus meant losing to someone just calling Racko. Eventually this fell by the wayside to game like Catan though.
Rat-a-Tat Cat: Old Gamewright classic, so satisfying to get those Statue of Liberty cats. Played often on Shabbat, Holidays, and once while waiting for mom to pick up little brother from Gymboree. Yep. Those were the days.
Ravens of Thri Sahashri: A book depository find, was lucky to play this with my sister and we actually had a good time (and just barely won!). So small, worth having around.
Red7: Brilliant little game, perhaps one I should get. Played at MIT before moving to Israel. Very short rounds, but interesting guessing and deduction.
Red Dragon Inn: Played once or twice in college. Way better than Munchkin, same designer. Don’t really remember how to play now.
Risk: Never liked this as a kid–either got eliminated, or bored, or just watched older brother play with friends. I always felt intimidated playing this.
Robo Rally: Played a few times, got from Martin when he left. A party feel, but too fiddly for the average party crowd. Kind of a dumb game, though I hear there is a new version.
Roll for the Galaxy: Played at TLV meetup. I prefer Race, but I do like rolling dice with symbols, and could see enjoying this for its own sake. Not about to go out and buy it though.
Rook: Parker brothers game I played more on PC than with actual cards. I prefer Spades as a trick taking game.
Rory’s Story Cubes: Played with these a few times with littel brother, then once in Israel with girl from across the hall, but not something I really had a need for.
Rummikub: An old classic. I’m glad to have played it but in retrospect I think I would have liked Carcassone more.
Rush Hour: A solo puzzle game but something which I enjoyed. All those puzzle games certainly informed my preference of profession.
San Juan: Played this after having played Race for the Galaxy and Puerto Rico, so the influences were clear. It had its differences from RFTG but not anything that remains memorable to me after playing it.
Scrabble: My parents, mostly my mom, were happy to play this with me and we used the dictionary to look up words. In addition to learning words, I also learned the tricks of the game like placing high scoring letters on multipliers both ways. Did quite well against the champs in Yeshiva, and also played with old ladies occasionally. Very rare that I play now, but having a set helped a fellow English teacher, and had a nice four-player game not too long ago.
Scrabble Junior: I remember playing this as a very little kid, it had suggested words printed on the board, but mostly we just played regular Scrabble.
Sentinels of the Multiverse: Played this spread out a few times in college, loving it each time. Finally they made an app which I bought, but then started collecting the game before moving to Israel. I managed to get everything up until Villains before moving, and was surprised to discover another Oleh who had this game as well (Ofer had it on his shelf too). It become the most played game during my time here, and while I love seeing new players get excited about it I need to play on advanced usually to have any sort of challenge or real tension.
Sequence: A game that used cards, my mom liked this and so did I, nothing really special but not a bad game for those who want an easy abstract game with a dose of luck.
Set: Sure this game was endorsed by MENSA, but I just liked beating my mom, my brother, and all my mathy friends at this. I was so fast at this as a kid. I still play now and then with people who aren’t into the whole Euro game thing.
Settlers of Catan: The game. That’s what we called it. I saw it on a friend’s shelf and was intrigued, but he said it takes forever to play. A couple years later we got it. A game with resources, not cash. We also got Cities and Knight and Seafarers, and mostly played C&K. By the time I met other people who knew it, I had been playing for years. I even made my own expansion for it. Sort of played it out in Yeshiva, along with no trading-reverse robber rules. Played a bit in college too but was discovering Dominion and aother games, and Settlers fell by the wayside. In Givat Shmuel I avoid it usually because I’m used to playing it super fast and dont want to spend 3 hours playing it with ‘dull’ decision makers or easily offended people or who spend hours trading or taking revenge.
Shadows Over Camelot: Played this a couple times in college, might have been my first Traitor mechanic game. It was fun, and I know friends who own it but don’t seem to play it. Didn’t realize that this was Days of Wonder at first either.
Sid Meier’s Civ – A New Dawn: Glad Martin came back to Israel to play this with us, so I didn’t have to buy it and discover its not what I want. Certainly easier and faster than the original, but got a bit repetitive at the end, rather than an exciting race. We did play wrong a bit in terms of attack from a just conquered spot, which screwed up the ending. Still it was good to play this with the old crew.
Sid Meier’s Civ – The Board Game: This was the biggest game Martin wanted us to play, took us all afternoon one Shabbat. Years later I bought it from Book Depository and introduced it to Kevin, a Civ fan. From there a few more people joined and we end up playing it about once a month. I’m certainly getting to know the cards well and have tried strategies I never thought of before. When we have the time, this is a favorite and I’m glad it hits the table as much as it does. One player still has yet to win, I hope he does soon, as long as he keeps having fun. The fact that a game of this complexity and size is popular among close friends makes me feel lucky.
Skip-Bo: Don’t remember anything about this game, but we have it at my parents house. Maybe played once just to see what it was. Not memorable, apprently.
Slamwich: One of the Gamewright classics, I loved playing this, and loved the goofy thief drawings and making sandwiches which in retospect I would actually eat–cheese pickles and jelly…yum!
Small World: I loved this when I first played it, but had to buy the app to keep playing. In Israel I got to play with some friends at a different Yeshiva, but I wouldn’t put down the money to own this, I feel like I get bored of it for a while after one game. However, this was the game that made we want a tablet just to play board games.
Sorry!: I guess it’s got similarity to Parcheesi, but why this game became popular I don’t know. I played it a few times as a kid for the same reason everyone else did–to screw someone over then say SORRY!
Space Race – The Card Game: Got this from an exchange, played it once…wasn’t a big hit, despite interesting mechanics. Probably will sit on my shelf as a novelty. Cool art though.
Space Station: A cool game Martin brought…you can do more than you’d think you have time for. I wasn’t doing well so played a lot of screw everyone cards…ended up winning thanks to double points in the last round. Hard to find, so unlikely I’ll get to play this again.
Spot It!: A game not entirely boring for adults, but seems better for kids. We got it for my little sister, but I’ve seen college aged kids play it too, sort of as a light party or time filler game. At least CAH hasn’t done an adult version of this game (to my knowledge).
Splendor: Someone brought this to one of our meetups and it was fun, but I wasn’t blown away. I downloaded the app though and played alot, eventually buying the game cheap online. Only really played it with my sister but she liked it and made me rethink my general strategies by skipping a lot of the low level mines.
Spyfall: Played this with some folks one Shabbat in Israel. Cool idea, but the people who won was because they knew each other well and I was the outsider (I didn’t know you were just on a movie set). I’d play again given the chance, another good group game that’s not CAH, I’m in.
Spynet: A Richard Garfiled game a friend got at a convention. Neat game, though the team player interaction isn’t as deep as I’d expected, though maybe with more plays we will develop interesting strategies. Don’t know how good it is with two or three though.
Star Realms: One of Martin’s two player games, when I bought it cheap it became a great filler and since Amazon sent me six boxes I sold some to friends as well. I wish Mottainai could be my filler but Star Realms is by far the easiest to teach.
Steam – From Rails to Riches: I really just tried the app, and as I was getting into Euro games. Without a teacher or instructions, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I think I met someone who actually owned the game but we didn’t play it.
Stone Age: I just knew it was a classic, and got it cheap online. Was a big hit when we finally played, and has seen the table a few times. A good one to have in the collection, and the light worker placement game par excellence.
Stratego: I liked this game. I think I first played at Oren’s but we got our own copy. To surround the flag with bombs or use them as decoys? This is the extent of many people’s war-themed gaming, but it’s great for kids I think. Getting to set up your own army was unique, adn trying to find the spy or hoping you would get to use yours were fun.
Suburbia: Only played the app during my “what games have an app” phase, finally met one person who has it but we didn’t play it. I think it’s for sale cheap online but I really don’t need more games…and the theme is not my favorite
Summoner Wars: Played at first Haifa meetup, though it might become a regular thing but the guy who brought it stopped showing up. I lost pretty badm but then again my opponent knew the game way better. Not the type of game I seek out but something I’d be happy to play given the opportunity.
Superfight: This is a cool game I never knew existed until coming ti Givat Shmuel. A more interesting game then CAH, players argue creatively about their super powered (or handicapped) characters duking it out. With the right group this is a blast.
Sushi Go! + Party: I think I played this first in college, then bought some copies as gifts. We played at Nuri’s a few times, and finally got my own copy. The ease of teaching is great, as filler or to scratch the drafting itch without scaring people off with 7 Wonders.
Swish: A cute game, played it a bit with little sister then saw some folks in college playing it, but it seems more of a kids game to me. Add it to the list though, cause I played it.
Taboo: Would have loved to play this instead of Apples to Apples as a kid. Finally got to play a few times at parties in college, but without the right partner its not as fun.
Taki: Israeli Uno. Someone gave it us and I think we played it once. So its on the list.
Talisman: Mostly played the app, and even there got bored by the length and repetitiveness, even with every expansion…but as a kid I would have loved to play this! If there’s anything I missed out on, this was it.
Taluva: Played this in Haifa at a BBQ, pretty slick game, I actually won after a rough start but I had a lone village which couldn’t be destroyed. I like that this game’s physical layers meant something in the game, and despite stalking bgg for some time by this point, I hadn’t heard of it. Now even AliExpress is selling it. I may give in one day.
Takenoko: Got this as part of a 1+1 sale. Love Bauza’s other games, and heard this was good. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed, as the choices in the game didn’t seem to interesting to me. Especially the size of the game is unnecessary when I could keep Hanabi in my pocket or 7 Wonders in a small bag.
Tea Time: Some irregulars brought this set collection game to a Haifa meetup. It was cute, but no one really blocked others and I think I got a runaway win. Not something I’d look for but glad someone else’s game got some use.
Terra Mystica: I’d seen the ratings on bgg and my brother had played this and enjoyed, despite not being the biggest Euro gamer. But this game has no cards or dice. I had tried the app, but then found someone who owned it and we played three times. The steep price kept me from buying it until someone was selling it locally with insert and expansion included, still not cheap but I bought it and we had a few games.
Terraforming Mars: Got to play this at TLV meetup with an American older guy and Israeli kid. Cool theme, but the expert built a way better engine then us by knowing the cards. I don’t know why it’s as hyped as it was but to me it’s just another Euro. Not something I feel the need to play again unless offered.
The Game of Life: Loved this as a kid. Loved getting a huge family overflowing the plastic car. Loved getting $100,000 salary. Or when the spinner popped out. Played the Jedi version at a sleepover all night once–for some reason I was just obsessed. For that one night.
Thieve’s Guild: Played with Amyr in Haifa. Cool dice rolling game about stealing. No itch to play again but would recommend to people who like dice and stealing. Hadn’t even heard of this game before.
Through the Ages – A Story of Civilization: Played the unofficial app, then online once. Met a guy with the new version but we never got to play. Bought the 3rd edition cheap but still haven’t played. I prefer Nations anyway.
Thunderstone: Deck builder I played only via facebook, introduced by a senior CS student. Cool game, would never buy the actual cards.
Ticket to Ride: Learned it in college, it was fun a few times but I outgrew it faster than others. Would prefer in general to play something else.
Tiddlywinks: One friend actually had a licensed release of this game. I recall being quite good. More the name was funny to me cause it was in a Berenstain Bear’s book as an example of a game for wimpy kids. Turns out its more for gambling.
Time’s Up – Title Recall: This was a fun Shabbat afternoon and game night. Played with Givat Shmuel folks. Like charades with a twist, I like acting but I don’t get all the cultural references in this version.
Topple: Mechanical collapse game I played, didn’t own as a kid. But it was fun and I remember playing it at least once so on the list it goes.
Tragedy Looper: Weird anime themed RPG-esque game where time repeats itself? Someone brought this to a game meetup in Jerusalem and we tried to play, but she couldn’t really explain the rules and by the time i read the book we decided to play something else.
Treasures & Traps: Someone brought this as filler to TLV meetup, he got it at a convention in the states. We ended up with five players so it took a bit longer than filler, with one girl feeling completely lost and leaving part way through, but this is really a simple game–like Munchkin in some ways, but actually strategic with some push your luck. A rare game, not likely one I’ll see again.
Trivial Pursuit: My uncle had this, we played it a bit or maybe just asked the questions. Of all the famous classics this is one that never interested our family.
Trouble: A childhood favorite, I liked pressing that bubble in the middle and homing for a 6 or for a number that would let me bump someone. We had a big set and a travel set.
Trump – The Game: I’m not sure where my parents found this, but to be honest it was an okay game. A little more interesting than monopoly. Even though it had cards that straight up remove someone for bidding on property, those cards were limited and had to be decided when to use them best. I guess this was more of a novelty and didn’t get played all that much.
Twister: After playing this as day camp or birthdays I think, we wanted to get it at home and at some point we did. It got played sometimes, my younger brother preferring to run the spinner than to play. I wonder if kids still play this or just creepy adults.
Tzolkin: This is what we played instead of Tragedy Looper at the meetup. Without a teacher though we went through with the instructions, and eventually stopped because some players got bored. At the time these types of games were still new to me, but this one did drag on a bit after a certain point, and I felt I was doing the same thing each round. I’ve seen it as a very popular game in certain groups.
Ultimate Werewolf: While I played Mafia a lot as a kid, in college and in Israel some people used these cards to facilitate the game. Like any party game, it depends on the people playing, but I can’t say the most fun I’ve had has been playing Werewolf. Not my ideal way to spend time.
UNITY: An irregular brought this to a Haifa meetup. Cool strategy game that works with 2 or 3 players, making it have interesting balance. Rather than ganging up though, you really just want to get all your pieces attached into one piece. Not sure where you find something like this, certainly was a unique abstract.
Uno: Another childhood game, nothing like playing all four Draw-Four Wilds. Don’t forget to say Uno!
Valley of the Kings: Began a round at a BBQ, didn’t finish but seemed to be a cool set collection game with interesting twists. Small box and Egyptian theme are nice, I’ve considered buying this but it’s not like it scratches an itch for me other games don’t.
Viticulture: Thanksgiving sale, was looking for Worker Placement upgrade to Stone Age that’s still accessible but isn’t Lords of Waterdeep. So far only played solo though so I don’t know how it will be teaching this, but now that I understand the importance of getting things to start aging I can see the competition that will arise for space be more harrowing then in Stone Age.
Voyages of Marco Polo: Played in Givat Shmuel, brought by a gamer. I remember enjoying, though it took a few turns to ‘orient’ myself. Wouldn’t have enjoyed this if not for experience of all those games played with Martin. Nothing I’m itching to try again, but a solid Euro game.
We Didn’t Playtest This At All: Meh, maybe this is a bit more fun than Fluxx, but not what I expected. I like the idea of surprise victories and making everyone lose but it’s more of a party experience funny for people used to games, and I think those people would rather just play an actual game.
Wheel of Fortune / Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Uncle had these Game Show games, I think we tried them both out when I was a kid.
Wiz Kidz: A word game, small and portable, we played this sometimes on Shabbat or holiday trips when I was a kid.
Xenoshyft – Onslaught: Only played the app during my app phase, didn’t get that into it. Was surprised to see someone actually selling the cards, didn’t think anyone would actually buy this game. It’s really on this list so I can say I’ve played a game starting with every letter of the alphabet.
Yahtzee/ Yahtzee Jr. : Gee willikers, I probably only played real Yahtzee in person a few times, but we had Pokemon Yahtzee which I played quite a bit. Sometimes played online when super bored.
Zombie Dice: Brother got this, at first I didn’t like it but it grew on me, and we played sometimes in the afternoon. It’s quick enough to play a few times in a row, but not engaging enough to play for hours on end.
החבילה הגיעה: Weird Israeli game apparently invented by a professor, played with a friend when we were 12? Kids trying to recover mysterious package by gambling for money or making shady deals…not sure I’d play this with my kids, but it stuck in my head…
פרפרים: Just a butterfly themed set collection game for little kids from Israel, someone gave us as a gift. I really just tried it once so I could add it to this list.
תירס חם: Scattergories in Hebrew basically, also geared for kids. Found it thrown out on the sidewalk.
Trading Card Games
Magic – The Gathering: My older brother learned this at camp and got me into at well, from middle school to high school this was the game of choice with friends. Built up quite a collection, until other friends with tons of parents money bought ridiculous cards, though I was still strategically better and often turned their decks against them. Brother also tailor made champion decks, and I lost some cards in bets, which felt wrong. Played a bit in college and once or twice in Israel, but looking to sell my cards now to someone who will use them.
Pokemon: Got our first cards as Afikoman gifts, built up a collection until it got stupid with the Dark and Team Rocket variants and what not. Played the game somewhat, but mostly just collected, and tried to sell but no buyers on e-bay. Little brother appreciated inheriting the cards but now I don’t know where they are.
Yu-Gi-Oh: I never owned cards, but some friends played so I played a few times with them. Still not sure I really get the rules. I watched one episode and was not inspired.
Blackjack: Learned from casino PC game
Bridge: Played once, don’t remember the rules I learned
Casino: One of the 2-player games we could play when all we had was cards
Crazy Eights: It’s just uno with 8s, but we played this with other kids over Pesach
Egyptian Ratscrew: Slamwich with cards, played this only a few times
Free Cell: That windows game. Never really understood the game as a kid.
Gin Rummy: One of the few games my dad played. Also had a PC version.
Go Fish: Not my go to card game, but certainly played my share.
Hearts: Played more on PC than in person. Spades was preferable in person.
Kent: Played over holidays. Loved the hilarious code-making that arose.
Mao: Brother taught this, then I played with my friends. No discussing the rules of Mao.
Palace: Or Go! Go! Go! on Neopets. Played this a bit in college too.
Pig: First to get 4 sticks out tongue. Played a bit over holidays as a kid.
Poker: Brother got us into Hold ‘Em. Even gambled for pennies and make a few bucks.
President: Played mostly on holidays. Not my favorite, but was popular for some reason.
Rummy 500: A little more interesting Rummy, plus my sister liked this a lot.
Secret: Learned from a friend, kind of like Rat-a-Tat Cat
Solitaire: Usually played on PC, but also with cards. I preferred draw one to draw three.
Spades: Probably my card game of choice if have to play regular cards.
Spit: Sister likes this. I was quite good at it among friends. Fast hands.
Yaniv: Learned this later in life, from Israelis. Good to know as a 3 player game.
Jewish Educational Games
Berachot Go Fish: Just a way to learn Brachot. Didn’t play more than a few times.
Bereishit: Given to us by the Rabbi’s wife. Didn’t play much, questions were Hebrew.
Jewish Picture Bingo: Played this a lot. Colorful pictures of Jewish imagery. Spinner!
Kosherland: Played once or twice, didn’t own. Rip off of Candyland, not a bad game.
Mitzvah Millionaire: Played quite a bit, Monopoly feel with Jewish Trivia. Good quality.
Pirkei Avot: Old game to learn Pirkei Avot. Mom let me get OP card so I liked it.
Tizku L’Mitzvot: Weird game with crappy paper cards. Maybe played a few times.
Bovine Blastoff: 6th grade astronomy trivia project. Double decker board with cows, spaceships, fuel, weapons, currency, choice of paths, 11 page rule book. The most complex game in the class.
Choshen Memory: ‘lights out game’ to also learn Choshen stone colors.
Disaster City: Solo game using Lego pieces. Build buildings to counter disasters, increase population, get money, build pipes roads and power. Sim-city ultra light.
Driven to Instanity: Different iterations, basically move bus around board eating fast food to gain health and losing health when kids drive you crazy. Eventually made a DS version of this, not a terrible game.
Enzymania: Tried making a game with resource conversion based on Enzyme mechanics. Didn’t work out so well, but have redesigned the whole game, still needs to be playtested though.
I Have to What?! – Invented during Yeshiva, turns out it’s like Quelf. Playtested once, but no interest in continuing. Kind of a game to facilitate improv, draw roles or accents or actions from the box, then try to act them out.
Seasons and Sorcery (Settlers of Catan Exp.): Got played a few times, quite good design I think. Adds seasons which give resources and tweak rules a bit. Magic can be used to upgrade land tiles, and seasonal buildings give extra point here and there.
Shteig-Off: Game invented as tribute to Yeshiva, placing Rabbis learning Sefarim with Yeshiva foods. Maximize your particular Torah category to win! For exactly 3 players.