We all remember having fun playing games as children and traditional board games are all very well, but they have their problems. For example, anyone who has played a three hour game of Monopoly and been unable to buy any properties won’t be keen to play again. Similarly, in Cluedo, there is usually one unfortunate person who ends up being dragged from one room to another by all the other players, leaving them with no way of working out who killed Dr. Black. The first time these things happen it can be funny, but after that it gets tiresome.
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Modern board games are designed to avoid these sorts of problems. Also known as Euro games, these “second generation” board games are characterised by lots of beautiful pieces, a fairly well defined playing time and limited luck (dice rarely feature and even then tend to play a minor role). One of the best features of modern board games, however, is that they are often designed with built-in catch-up mechanisms. This means everyone always feels they are in with a chance of improving their position, making the games much more enjoyable.
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Despite this, the person who plays best invariably wins, which means these are no-longer just children’s toys, but are now increasingly popular among adults too. As a result, more and more board game venues are springing up and it is a great way to get out and meet new people and have fun. For example, Oxford is host to several evening clubs as well as one shop and a board game café where players can pay a cover charge to play something from their extensive library.
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Boardgames are also a traditional gift, especially at Christmas. So if you are looking for the perfect present, why not take a look at some of our suggestions. Occasionally, Euro-games can be found in the high street including charity shops or stores like Waterstones, WHSmiths or even Tesco. However, for a good selection, it is best to go to a dedicated seller. It is always easier to learn from someone rather than a rulebook, though. So if you would like to try before you buy, you could always look up your local club online and ask whether they would be prepared to introduce you to it first.