It’s December, and for the past two years it’s been tradition that Clio’s Board Games and I write a post together. We’ve known each other for years now and have been gifting each other books and board games for just as long. You should definitely check out Clio’s blog if you like board games, if you’re interested in history and if you like sassy, well-written posts.
I think these kind of posts are really cool to have around Christmas time, because a lot of us are wondering what to gift someone who has a hobby that you’re like “hummm I don’t want to give a book to a person who reads so many books, I’m not sure if they’re read this already” and such, so it’s a nice option to give a board game based on their literary tastes! This has worked super well for me so far in real life.
Here are the other posts we wrote together:
And on Clio’s blog you can see what I wrote, giving book recommendations based on board games!
Without further ado, I’ll give the word to Clio 🙂
Reading is great! It takes you to places you’ve never been and lets you experience lives you’ll never live. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself wondering what you might have done in the shoes of a literary character. If that is the case, I humbly recommend you give the medium of BOARD GAMES a try. It’s like reading, just more interactive. Another plus is that it gives you a nice activity in which your friends can participate, unlike reading, for which they are mostly a nuisance. And, in fact, you’ll get to read a book before even playing! – It’s called a rulebook. Okay, those are maybe not as fun to read as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest novel, but board games nowadays often have learn-to-play books that allow you to hop straight into the action, and for most of the popular titles there are teaching videos if you prefer that for learning.
So, if you liked the following three books, I recommend one board game each to capture its spirits:
I have a complicated relationship with Ken Follett’s historical epics. Some of them work for me, others don’t. Despite my wild interest in the Cold War, Edge of Eternity fell a bit flat for me. But the book is not without its merits, and the beginning set in the early 1960s is definitely the best part. Possibly the most gripping chapters are those about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how the world almost slipped into nuclear war. If you seek that kind of tension, look no further than 13 Days. The game puts two players at the helm of the superpowers USA and Soviet Union in a tense tug-of-war over the issues at stake – like the missiles at Cuba, but also the status of Berlin or public opinion. While you want to escalate the crisis a bit in ordert o push your agenda, you must be careful not to push too hard and start a nuclear war!
I must confess it’s been some years since I read The Immortals series, but I have very fond memories. There’s adventure, magic, and interesting characters (most of all, Daine, but also the supporting heroes and villains) in a richly imagined fantasy world. Daine has “wild magic“, an ability to communicate with animals, is fiercely loyal to her friends (human and animal alike), and permanently busy standing against opponents much bigger and more powerful. Which brings us to Mice and Mystics. We also have a plucky band of heroes fighting together (it’s a cooperative game, so you and your friends are on the same side) against bigger enemies – this time literally so, as our heroes are mice. Mice and Mystics can be played by one to four players who will be busy for about 90-120 minutes per scenario. The base game has eleven consecutive scenarios as the story – narrated along with your gameplay in the story book – unfolds. Two expansions (Heart of Glorm and Downwood Tales) offer additional scenarios and characters – including one, who as a mouse magically connected to nature – is quite like Daine.
Romantic love. Aristocratic composure. Sick burns of the not-so-sympathetic characters. Anxiety about one’s deplorable poverty which allows one to only keep two servants. What’s not to like about Jane Austen? – And, as Jane Austen goes, all those things culminate in the cause and solution of all of life’s problems: Marriage. Unlike many other Austen’s heroines, however, Emma Woodhouse is not very interested in marrying for most of her story – and all the more interested in making matches for all her acquaintances! You have the opportunity to follow in her footsteps in Jane Austen’s Matchmaker, proposing suitable matches to your fellow players. The more desirable the ladies and gentlemen you match, the more prestige you get – but beware, for if the disparity is too great, your proposal might be rejected! Jane Austen’s Matchmaker takes about 30-45 minutes for two to four players.