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Four is really the meat and potatoes of board gaming. Two couples get together for dinner and after dinner amusement. Mom and Dad break out Monopoly with the kids on a rainy Saturday afternoon. A quartet of unfortunately single dudes at College on a typical Saturday night…
Many games are designed for four, or at the very least play best with four. Walk into your FLGS and you’ll find no shortage of great games – Classics like Ticket to Ride, Settler’s of Catan, and Carcassone, all play best with four. Here are a few others that might fit the bill for your next game night:
Dominion: This is a deck building game – start the game with a few cards and obtain more to build your… deck… I mean it’s a very literal description. Cards are generally in three categories – victory points which determine the winner but generally provide little other value, action cards which provide various benefits through the game, and currency cards which are used to buy cards through the game. Work to balance scoring enough points to win the game with having enough money to buy the points. Dominion is a classic which has spawned many excellent expansions. Highly recommended.
Takenoko: A very cute game featuring a panda, a gardener, and stack-able bamboo stalks. Players race to complete different types of objectives before the emperor comes to inspect the bamboo gardens they are creating. The artwork is nice, and the panda figure is adorable. The bamboo stalks provide a very visually appealing third dimension to the board. Strategy is fairly light, and the theme is accessible to all. Warning – the pink and green bamboo may be indistinguishable for your colorblind friends, which makes the game virtually unplayable.
Love Letter: Probably a game I should have mentioned earlier – Love Letter is a super simple, elegant game of deduction. You take on the character of the card you hold in your hand, ranging from lowly Guard to Princess. Each turn you draw and play one of the two cards in your hand – the Guard allows you to guess the hand of another player to eliminate them, while the King for instance allows you to trade your hand with someone else. The winner is the either the last person standing, or holds the highest ranking character when the deck runs out. This is a ten minute game, and is very portable. It also comes in a variety of different themes. Read Brad Brockway’s full review here and check it out!
Stone Age: One of my group’s favorite games for the strategy and unclear winner until all the points are counted. Stone Age is a worker placement game in which players take on families or tribes looking to survive and thrive – making structures, having babies, gathering resources, and hunting for food. Buildings and two types of cards provide the main methods of scoring, with resources being the currency to purchase them. More tribe members means being able to do more each turn, but comes with the cost of needing to feed extra people. Lots of ways to win, and fairly simple after one play through.
Like I said there are TONS of great games for four – what are your favorites?