Games for a Hot August Night (Neil Diamond soundtrack is optional)
Robert
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Toronto
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Living in a climate with lots of seasonal variance, one of our favorite things to do in order to get a little more out of summer, is to sit out on the back deck on clear, warm evenings, playing games well into the night. We always have music playing in the background (but it is usually not Neil Diamond).

Of course, not all games work in this situation. The lighting is usually low, mainly candle-light, so there cannot be lots of reading involved. There is always a chance of a gust of wind, so games requiring a large tableau of cards or dexterity games don't work really well. We try to avoid games with too many counters, tiles or small bits as they can get knocked off the table and fall between the cracks of the deck into never-neverland...

We have tried a few that didn't work because of these issues. We tried Pandemic but couldn't read the board; tried Acquire but we lost a frickin tile (fortunately you can buy replacements on ebay); tried Mr. Jackbut found it hard to play in a low-light situation - it is hard to tell who is a suspect and who is innocent...

A game like Chess would fit the criteria, but we find it too intense for our late summer nights. Lots of card games would work too, I guess, but I am kind of cardophobic and on really humid nights cards can kind of melt in your hands...

In spite of those restrictions, here are a few games that we enjoy on our hot summer nights.

What are your summer selections? Maybe we'll try them out!!

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1. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:205]
Robert
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Hive is currently the back deck favorite. The new edition with the heavy bakelite tiles is perfect. They are indestructible, easy to see and the game presents just the right level of concentration needed for late night play...
 
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2. Board Game: Dominoes [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:14958]
Robert
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Dominoes really is the classic outdoor game. We usually play a fairly simple 5's type game with only the first double acting as a spinner. It is light, fun and fast. The tiles stay in place and they make a great sound on the tabletop....

 
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3. Board Game: San Juan [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:228]
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We have had success playing San Juan outside on a warm, still Hot August Night. We find that it takes just the right level of concentration.

I wouldn't chance it on a windy night though - as the cards could blow around a bit...
 
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4. Board Game: Cartagena [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:845]
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Cartegena works well for us if it's not too humid. There aren't too many little pirates to keep track of and the simpler Jamaica version just requires that you hold the cards in your hand, rather than laying them out and risking getting them blown around.

The cards are small and thin, though, so a really humid night would not be too friendly to them. I might pick up some wooden card holders so sweaty palms don't warp the cards too much...

 
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5. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:617]
Hiding Tiger
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The tiles won't blow away, and most of the symbols should be clear enough in low light. Maybe difficult with the characters suit if you're relying on reading the little number in the corner.
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6. Board Game: Rummikub [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:1551]
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There are heaps of "card" games available in tile format. Avoids the problems of cards blowing away and also sweaty-hand syndrome.
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7. Board Game: Backgammon [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1090]
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If 2 players is all you have.

Apparently there are 4 player variants, if you can find them.
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