Top Ten Games My Wife Likes

Top Ten Games My Wife Likes

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Top Ten GamesAs any married person knows, one of the easiest places to find someone to game with is right across the dinner table. I think most every gamer would love to have a spouse that is as passionate about board games as they are. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

If my passion for board games runs as deep as the Pacific, then my wife’s probably tops out probably around Lake Michigan. And that’s OK, I’ll take what I can get. My wife is just not a gamer at heart. I’ve accepted the reality that we will probably never be sitting down together for an eight hour game of Twilight Imperium. That aside, she does actually like to play games with me. It’s a great social experience that we both can enjoy together or with friends. The key is finding the right game to play.

Over the years we have found a number of games that she does like to play (a well as a bunch of games that she despises). I’ve asked her to think about all the games we’ve played over the years and pull out her favorites.

If you have a non-gamer spouse at home, perhaps you can start here when looking for a new game to play together. Each game on this list will have a quick summary as well as commentary from her as to why she chose it.

I should also note that this article is not intended to be a commentary on women in gaming. It’s more about engaging your non-gamer spouse in one of your passions. My wife is a woman (and a fantastic one), but this list could just as easily apply to your non-gamer husband.

Now without further ado, I present to you the Top Ten Games My Wife Likes:

Honorable Mention: Blood Bowl: Team Manager

Blood Bowl: Team Manager Box CoverBlood Bowl: Team Manager has you running a football team set in the Warhammer universe. Each player chooses a team from amoung the different factions. Each faction will play slightly different as they each have their own unique skill set. The Dwarves are tough and stout, the elves quick on the feet and the Chaos army is really good at cheating. Each player will have a hand of football player cards that the can use to try and win match-ups and score fans (victory points). During the game you will acquire new and better players as well as team upgrades. The game play in Blood Bowl: Team Manager is surprisingly quick and flows really well. I wasn’t sure about Blood Bowl as a card game, but Fantasy Flight hit a home run with this one.

So why does she like it?

I think much of my love for this game is because the first time I learned it was during football season right after a Bears* game.  I like that this game plays really well with only two people. Each faction plays differently and requires a different strategy, encouraging the players to take different approaches to win match-ups. The artwork was fun and I enjoyed figuring out the best time to play each card. 

*Disclaimer: The views expressed in this review under the heading “So why does she like it?” are strictly the opinions of Mrs. Board Game Quest and not intended to diverge readership, unless of course you are a Chicago Bears fan. In which case, Go Bears!

Buy-Blood-Bowl-TM

10. Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against HumanityAbout a decade ago I was introduced to the game Apples to Apples. It was a fun little party game that we found to be quite enjoyable. After player Cards Against Humanity (some would call it an Apples to Apples knockoff), I promptly sold my copy of Apples to Apples. Cards Against Humanity is a comparison card game for people who like to laugh and are not easily offended. It’s raunchy, it’s offensive and it’s a whole lot of fun. The game is best played in a social setting…probably with a lot of alcohol. The rules are stupidly simple and the game makes for an enjoyable evening.

So why does she like it?

Even without alcohol this game is a whole lot of fun. Drinking is just the bonus! This game can get crazy out of control and is guaranteed to start a whole slew of inside jokes between new and old friends alike. Sometimes you draw a card and ask yourself how this got published, but then quickly get over it when you draw the next card. The topics are hilarious and this game is guaranteed to be a good time and possibly produce a few awkward moments.

Buy-CAH

9. Sentinels of the Multiverse

Sentinels of the Multiverse Game BoxWhen it comes to comic book games, Sentinels of the Multiverse (full review) is one of…if not the best. In Sentinels of the Multiverse each player takes on the role of a super hero and must team up with the other players to take down the evil villain. This fully cooperative game features a ton of new and unique heroes for the players to choose from. The rules are incredibly easy to learn and a game can be played in under an hour.

So why does she like it?

This game was easy to learn and very interesting to play. I liked that I had to think ahead a turn or two to play the right cards and activate the right powers to minimize damage and help other players. I also enjoyed how the heroes are different each game, so the game experience is always unique. It was very community oriented and all players band together to fight the villain.

Buy-Multiverse

8. Legendary: Marvel Deck Building Game

Legendary Deck Building Game Box CoverLegendary (full review) will appeal to fans of both comic books and deck building games. Players will take on the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents recruiting a team of super heroes to take down an evil mastermind. One of the unique things about Legendary is that it’s both a cooperative and a competitive game. Players must work together to defeat the mastermind and once they do, whoever has the most victory points is the real winner. If they fail to stop his evil scheme, everyone loses.

So why does she like it?

I really enjoy choosing a cooperative game for a game night with Tony and Legendary is the best of both worlds. I get the cooperative aspect and Tony gets the competitive game experience. Its fun working together to fight the villain, and I enjoy buying… ahem, I mean recruiting…new agents for my deck. Each hero has something different to offer, so the experience is slightly different each time you play.

Buy-Legendary

7. 7 Wonders

7 Wonders Box CoverWhen it comes to games with unique mechanics, I fell in love with 7 Wonders (full review) from the first time I played it. A good gateway game, 7 Wonders has players building an ancient civilization over the course of 3 ages (rounds). 7 Wonders has easy to learn rules, a neat card passing mechanic and it scales perfectly from 2-7 players. With a play time of about 45 minutes, it’s easy to get more than one game played in an evening. The hardest part about learning the rules and game play is the symbols on all the cards. That’s why we created a 7 Wonders Symbol Guide to help new players. It’s really a help to everyone, I still will reference it during the game. But as one of the highest rated games on our site, this is a game I’m always willing to play.

So why does she like it?

7 Wonders is fun because you are never sitting around waiting 3-7 rounds before it’s your turn to play. A hand of cards is passed to you, you build what you need with the resources you have access to, and pass the cards to the next person. I love building my military and adapting my strategy throughout the game to beat the other players… I hope I didn’t give my secret strategy away! The different buildings are creative and I like the bonuses that you can achieve depending on what you are building.

Buy-7Wonders

6. The Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan Game BoxCatan is currently the highest rated game on Board Game Quest. The Settlers of Catan (full review) is probably the first gateway game for most people who are into board gaming today. In my opinion, it is probably the perfect game to introduce someone new to the euro game genre. It has everything that your traditional board game doesn’t (the kind we were all raised on that is). No player elimination, high interaction, high replay value, and the all important victory point mechanic. This is usually the first game I reach for when introducing new players to the euro game. The Settlers of Catan is a game that should pretty much be in everyone’s game library.

So why does she like it?

This was one of the first games Tony reached for when introducing me to the euro game. ☺ The Settlers of Catan has quickly grown to be one of my favorite games in our game library because of how fun it is to play, the strategy is not intimidating and there are so many different versions of the game available on the market. It’s fun to trade with other players for the resources I need and build up the network of cities and settlements. The Settlers of Catan is easy to understand a great game for a newbie.

Buy-Catan

5. Takenoko

Takenoko Box CoverIf you are a fan of Japanese culture (the cultural part, not the warfare) then you will love Takenoko (full review). In Takenoko, you must tend to the Imperial panda garden in feudal Japan. Boasting some of the best game components I’ve seen in a non-miniatures game, Takenoko is a zen like game experience. The garden is built up in vibrant 3D as the game progresses, slowly expanding from a single pond to a full garden. From the wooden bamboo tokens to the well illustrated garden tiles, Takenoko is just a joy to behold. The game also boasts some easy to learn rules and a quick play time. Takenoko also plays equally well anywhere in its 2-4 player range.

So why does she like it?

The game just looks friendly and non-intimidating, and I also found it to be really easy to learn. The attention to detail in the game pieces is fantastic and it’s fun to make the bamboo grow, cultivate the gardens and have the panda eat the bamboo to get points. The bright colors, well created pieces and easy strategy development makes this game easy for a non-gamer to wrap their heads around and gives the gamer an opportunity to more deeply strategize. In Takenoko there is something for everyone.

Buy-Takenoko

4. Glory to Rome

Glory To Rome Box CoverIn Glory to Rome, players are trying to rebuild Rome after a great fire. Glory to Rome is an innovative card game that has some unique mechanics. Each card in the game can be used up to 4 different ways. One of the more interesting things about the game is its insane power curve. Things play pretty normal early in the game, but by mid to late game there is a giant power ramp up as player’s cards start having huge effects on the game at large. I’ve played Glory to Rome a number of times and really enjoy how each game plays just a little differently. Depending on what buildings are constructed, a player will have to tailor their actions and strategies to fit the flow of the game.

So why does she like it?

After being to Rome recently, I can attest that this is nothing like the real place. I can also confirm that Rome can use some rebuilding. Truth is, I wasn’t a fan of this game in the beginning. The fact that the cards are used for several purposes such as buildings, patrons, building materials and victory points confused me. After a couple of plays (Tony really liked it), I was able to get a good handle on the game and started winning. Winning = Happy Mrs. Board Game Quest. Winning aside, I started to be able to strategize how to use each card the best in order to collect the most victory points. I would say that this game is more tailored to a gamer than non-gamer, but if you have someone who you think is ready for the next level, then this is a great game to try, or you can take Tony’s approach and try anyway. 😉

Buy-Glory-To-Rome

3. Android: Netrunner

Netrunner Card Game BoxProbably one of my favorite two player games, Netrunner (full review) is a two player game set in a cyberpunk future. One player takes on the role of the Corporation, trying to advance its agendas while the other takes on the role of the runner/hacker, trying to steal the Corporation’s secrets. The interesting part of Netrunner is its asymmetrical game play. Both sides play very different, yet the game is incredibly well balanced. The game does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you are past that, you have a fantastic game on your hands.

So why does she like it?

Normally I prefer cooperative games, especially when I play with Tony, but this game was surprisingly lots of fun. This game took a full game session to learn the rules, but I’m so glad that I stuck it out because it was worth the effort to learn. I found it interesting how our turns were so different. The corporation gets one less action than the runner and we each have different goals in the game.  The game play isn’t too long considering everything going on and the artwork, great card names and mechanics made it a blast to play.

If you want to get your special non-gamer person to play this with you, I suggest they be the Corporation, specifically Weyland. Also have a copy of what the play area should look like (I was told this is called a player aid) and I suggest you play half way through the first “learning game” before starting the real game.

Buy-Netrunner

2. Suburbia

Suburbia Box CoverSuburbia is a game where players are tasked with building their specific borough in the city. Each turn, a player will add a residential, commercial or government buildings to their borough in the hopes of increasing their income and population (victory points). The fun comes with how each of the tiles interacts with all the tiles around it, and in the rest of the city. The game is full of some tough choices as players must determine the best way to spend their limited money each round.  Suburbia is a great euro game that scales particularly well.

So why does she like it?

Suburbia is interesting because it has to do with community development, something that most people understand and also identify with. Each tile is six sided and requires thoughtful planning upfront to ensure you are getting the income and reputation levels that you desire. I like that the tiles you place in your play area also have the ability to affect the other players and there is still a high level of interaction. The goals are interesting and can really make or break the win.

Buy-Suburbia

1. Dominion

Dominion Box ArtThis was the game that started the deck building craze back in 2008. Dominion (full review) came up with the unique idea for players to build their play deck as the game progresses. Since then, the deck building genre has taking the gaming world by storm. Dominion, and it’s large list of expansions, still remains one of the most fun and accessible of the group. The rules can be summarized in 3 simple words (Action, Buy, Clean) and the game will play in less than an hour. Even without the many expansions, the numerous cards you get in the base game allow for a ton of replay value. Dominion is a fantastic game that also makes a great gateway game as well.

So why does she like it?

This was the first deck building game that I ever tried, and seeing there was no board in this game I was really skeptical. Thankfully Tony didn’t use crazy terms like “deck building game,” “euro game ” and “gateway game” until after I was hooked on it. I love that the game is easy to understand after just a couple quick rounds and that it always changes each time you play. The strategy aspect changes based on the action cards that are being used in the game, so it keeps the playing field even between a gamer and a non-gamer.

Buy-Dominion

So that wraps it up for our Top Ten Games My Wife Likes. We had a lot of fun putting this list together and I want to thank Mrs. Board Game Quest for taking the time to pick out the games and write up a little summary on why she likes each one. I was surprised to see Netrunner and Glory to Rome so high on her list, but you never know what someone will like until you sit down at the table and try it.

How about you, have you had any luck getting your non-gamer spouse to join you at the gaming table? What are some of their favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. +1 on Dominion. Between Small World, Pandemic, and Dominion (all gifts I received for Christmas this past year), my wife keeps coming back to Dominion.

  2. The only games I have gotten my husband to play with me are Backgammon, Cards Against Humanity, Blokus, and Taboo. He will not play Scrabble or any other word-based game with me anymore. Looks like I’m going to have to learn Chess to play with him.

  3. It appears that your wife like card games or deck building games. Not that I don’t like this mechanic but they’re not really considered typical “board game”. I would be curious to know what are her top board games list.

    • We used board games as more of a general term. She actually thought about all the games she likes to play and those were her favorites (at the time of the writing). She tends to prefer lighter weight games, so that’s why there are more card games on the list.

  4. Thanks for this list! I am using it to figure out what game to buy to try to coerce my husband into playing with me.

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