Beyond Monopoly! - solid family games
Beyond Monopoly!
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York
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IF YOU HAVE ARRIVED HERE AFTER MEETING BEYOND MONOPOLY!...

...welcome to the Geek, Boardgamegeek, the biggest website and database on games in the world. And a very friendly community too. It is all free to use, no charge. If you want to add stuff, comment, questions, then you must register, but they never spam you or share your info.

Have a look at the list below and to explore further, just click on the name of the game in the list. Geekdo users rate the games out of 10, and the Geek makes these into averages and rankings. So you can see how popular a game is by its rating and ranking.

This list is a selection of solid family games you can enjoy easily at Beyond Monopoly!. We can show you how to play them and you'll soon be enjoying your new hobby.

On this list, Comments and Add Items are switched off.

Have a look around and enjoy your new discovery!

Check out our next list as well- great 2 player games!

IF YOU HAVE ARRIVED HERE AFTER BEING A GEEK...

This list is a work in progress, and one of a series. Expect it to grow.

Beyond Monopoly!, York's friendliest boardgame club, actively tries to promote modern games to people totally outside of the hobby.

The purpose of this list is to give those people a quick introduction to games they can easily play with their family. These are all games in the club collection and are not too challenging for new players.

Comments are turned off, because this list is intended to be shown to people totally unfamiliar with BGG and its inhabitants! But please add your thumbs to games that fit the bill in your view.
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Beyond Monopoly!
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Carcassonne is easy to learn, quick to play, and tricky to win. Very adaptable, it has lots of expansions and different editions or variants to choose from. Typically it takes around 30 minutes once you have the hang of it.

On your turn, you add a tile to the landscape, putting one of your little people (meeples) on it if you want. Score points for completing roads, cities and monasteries, and try to get more points at the end for your farmers.

Carcassonne won the Spiele des Jahres prize in 2001. The SdJ is the most prestigious game award, and a reliable symbol of rewarding, family-friendly game-play.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SdJ
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2. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Beyond Monopoly!
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Another SdJ winner, Ticket to Ride (TTR) takes about 90 minutes to finish when you're familiar with it. On your turn, you either take cards, or pay cards back to place your trains and score points.

The neat part is that everybody has secret destination Tickets, showing different cities they must join with their trains. At the end of the game, these are revealed. If you succeed in linking your cities cross-country, you score bonus points. But if you fail, you are deducted those points instead!

You can take more Tickets during the game, so if you've already made your routes, you might get more bonus points, if you have time.

TTR has various editions with the same basic play, but extra rules which make the game a bit harder. The basic edition is enough for good solid family play.
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3. Board Game: Hey, That's My Fish! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:677]
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Hey! That's My Fish is so simple and quick to play, it takes longer to set up and explain than actually play. On your go, you slide one of your penguins on the ice as far as you like, then take the tile you left from. Since penguins cannot slide on water, only on the ice, quickly your choices of where to move become restricted.

Each tile has 1 to 3 fishes on it. The player who collects the most fish by the end is the winner.

HTMF is always a hit with new players. It looks like a silly kid's game, but you're playing a game where suddenly you have tricky choices right from the start. It's a real eye-opener for new people, so simple, but all the complexity comes from the players' choices.
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4. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:621]
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(Note: this photo is not from Beyond Monopoly!, but illustrates game play).

Another fast, fun game, in Diamant you must push your luck to get the most gems. As your miners go deeper down the dangerous mine, you get to share the gems that are turned up by fresh cards. Each turn, everybody decides if they want to stay or leave. Leavers get to pick up leftover gems on their way out, and bank their takings safely in their chest.

Stayers go deeper, and with fewer miners, they get a bigger share of what's found. But the mine is full of hazards, snakes, gas, scorpions and worse. When two of the same hazard appear, any miners still down there are lost! Along with the gems they pocketed.

Do you dare go deeper? Will you push your luck and be rewarded?

Diamant is another surprise for new players. Simple rules, but now you must also think about what the others are thinking. Will they quit? Should you stay in that case, and get a bigger share? Is the reward worth the risk?
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5. Board Game: Manhattan [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:989]
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Another strong family game, another SdJ winner, but Manhattan has some "take-that!" in it. Players use cards to show where they place their building blocks. Towers keep growing as it's the top piece that shows who owns the tower and so who will score the points. 1 point for each tower, 2 points if you have the most in a city block, and 3 points if you have the tallest in the game.

Best with 4 players, you score points after each round of 6 moves. Points scored are shown on the scoring track, so you can see who is in the lead and needs pegging back! You only play 4 rounds too, so it's over in about 60 minutes.

Another idea novel to new players is that the Start Player changes each round. Players take turn going clockwise, but after each scoring, the Starting Player also moves on. This makes a big difference in your moves, if you know you're getting the last turn or not!
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6. Board Game: 12 Thieves [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2047]
 
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Another simple but intriguing game which gets players to think on their feet, adapt to changes and make the best of their lot. In Thief Of Bagdad, you have some Guards and some Thieves. You get your Guards to stand at the gates of the palaces you want to rob, and they let your Thieves in. You move your pieces around by spending cards, but you also spend cards to bribe the other Guards at the gate.

If you don't have the right cards, or the other Guards are absent (you cannot bribe yourself), then your Thieves can't get in. Sometimes, the best thing is to move your Guards or neutral Guards away to another gate, to deny another player a chance to bribe!

It's a race to get your Thieves in, because the treasure chests you're stealing need more thieves to carry them away as the game goes on. You draw more cards when your turn is over, so sometimes you need to miss a go to get more cards.

Thief Of Bagdad has bright graphics, easy rules, and makes you adapt and improvise as you go. You've got to think of the best way to use your cards on every turn.
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7. Board Game: Niagara [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1098]
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Niagara is another SdJ winner, with a nice twist. The board is a big river, with clear plastic discs filling the channel, and a waterfall going over the end. You send your canoes down the river and back up, collecting gems if you can. After everyone has moved, extra discs are pushed in at the top of the river, so all the canoes are forced further downstream. Get your moves wrong, and you spend a lot of time paddling against the flow. Get it really wrong and you end up over the waterfall!

Each player has a set of tiles numbered 1-6 and a cloud (to change the weather). You secretly choose which you're using, then everybody takes their turn, then you discard it. When you have used all 7 tiles, you pick them up and start again (which all the players do together of course). Whatever the lowest number chosen in a turn, that's how many discs are pushed in at the top.

You can steal gems off other canoes, and like in Manhattan, the Start Player moves on each round, so sometimes you'll be going early and sometimes late in the round.

Niagara is another big surprise to new players. It's competitive, but you're racing against the river as much as against the other players. It's a good example of what we call 'group-think'. If everybody uses their high numbers to go a long way, the river will move very fast. So do you use a low number and let them get ahead?

Also, you can win in three different ways, and you can share the win too. You have lots of choices in Niagara, and new players are amazed at its novelty. It's such an original game, but with so much variety each time you play.
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