For a moment, it almost seemed as if modern society had killed the humble board game. After all, how could players like Monopoly and Cluedo compare to scrolling the news feed on Facebook, clashing with your friends online in a FIFA game, or unlimited binging from Netflix?
But, well, let’s not go too fast. In the age of self-isolation, many of us remember that the chance to spend time with other people, to sit around the kitchen table with our households, is a treat.
Flipping through the board games on the Argos website, I’m told that over 100 people have bought Cluedo in the last 24 hours, while over 100 people are just watching Monopoly, presumably wondering if, s ‘they started now, coronavirus or a game of which would end sooner.
Board games are just what it takes to bring households together, distract us from our worries, and they can even be good for our health. That’s according to a recent study from the University of Edinburgh, which found that people who played a lot of board games tended to have stronger thinking skills in their old age than those who didn’t.
So if you want to find the best board games to play in lockdown, where should you start?
Best classic board games
“Now is a good time to get creative because some game makers aren’t releasing a lot of new games this year,” says Peter Jenkinson, board game expert and founder of Toyology. This year he expects more classic title updates than new ones, but it might be worth searching eBay instead of buying new ones. “Classics are always better in their original format,” he says.
However, for more fun, you can mix up old games to find clever ways to put them together. “It’s not as difficult as you might think. Maybe when you play Scrabble, once you get 20 points, it’s your turn to sink a battleship or something? It’s not that geeky, it’s a pretty fun thing to do.
Here are Jenkinson’s top recommendations for the classics …
£ 19.97, Amazon