Bored of your board games? Try these.

December 25, 2013
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Between Christmas and New Year's Day is when many families raid the game closet. But if all you've got are Monopoly and Scrabble, your supply may need some sprucing up. And if you are only playing games that require everyone to look a screen, well, here's hoping some of these help shake you from the video-only world.

Here are some of the best table games I found at recent GenCon conventions. And, no, they don't involve dungeons, dragons, pathfinders or Magic gatherings. For the most part, they are ones that could engage those who haven't gone much deeper into gaming than a round of Apples to Apples.

A favorite of 2013 was the word game Tapple, for instance. Very quick to learn and easily adaptable to bigger groups. Find more about Tapple (plus Word Winder, Cinque Terre, Spin Monkeys and more) here.

A year earlier, my cool games list included Timeline, where players compete to put inventions and discoveries in their proper historical order. No, it doesn't feel like homework. Find more about it (plus Dixit , Dominion and more) here.

2011's list included the addictive spelling game Dabble, where a set of letters must be arranged to form words of different lengths. Learn more it (plus Artus, Faux-cabulary) here.

I'll be chatting about some of these early Dec. 26th on Fox59 News. And playing many of them over the next week and beyond.

If you have a favorite recent board or card game, feel free to clue us in below.

  • Very fun game
    The game of redneck life! The person with the most teeth at the end wins!!
  • Games
    Telestrations and Zombicide are two of our favorites for the year. Telestrations is particularly good because you can play with 8 people (or 12 if you get the party size).
  • Cool family game
    Try Settlers of Catan, a great family game for 10 years and above with lots of player interaction.
    • Catan
      Tom, Agreed. I'm a Catan fan. Want to trade wheat for sheep? Lou
    • Ticket to Ride
      Lou - that was funny re Catan. For newcomers to the Euro board games, I recommend Ticket to Ride. Elegant simplicity.
    • Andrew Likes It
      Settlers of Catan is a great game. So much so that our very own Andrew Luck admits to playing it often. See:
    • Word Game
      WEBSTER'S New World WORD MADNESS is a fun card game. Played like Go-Fish, but also like scrabble. Get dealt 10 cards, 2 minute spellout with minimum 4 words or less, then continues like go fish asking for letters to make words, with some words being double value (X,Z,Q). First to go out wins 200 points plus point totals for words laid, and deducted for cards in hand. We purchased two decks and had 8 people playing at once. Crazy as people challenge words, steal letters, etc.
    • Ticket to Ride (not Beatles)
      Become a railroad tycoon and build your railway routes across the U.S. ( other versions available, too). Our new favorite game of the season.
    • Games
      Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Bananagrams
    • King of Tokyo - very fun and easy to play
      I'd throw in King of Tokyo for anyone looking to pick up something fun and easy to get into. The game board has all of 2 spots to occupy. It's basically you playing a large monster (think Godzilla or King Kong) that is attacking the city and all of the other monsters at the same time.

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    1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

    2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

    3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

    4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

    5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.