Playing games is almost a mandatory part of growing up. Is there a better way to cure the insufferable boredom of childhood than a good old competition? Playing even the most nostalgic games can create new, exciting memories. That’s why our staff has compiled a list of our top picks to help you reconnect with the past and maybe even discover some new favorites.
Think back to when you were a kid and your only stress in life was pulling a block out of a “Jenga” tower. Although the rules may be simple, this unique block-stacking game tests mental and physical skills. Begin by stacking the blocks horizontally in levels of three, making sure to position each block at a right angle to the previous level. Next, have each player take turns pulling out a block and placing it on the highest level of the tower. Whoever causes the tower to fall loses. Spice up the game by writing a dare on each block, like “text your ex.” Whoever draws the block has to do the dare.
If you’re a college student, you probably know how to play this classic drinking game. All you need is a deck of cards and your drink of choice to start. Place the king’s cup at the center of the table and hand each player their own drink. Evenly distribute the deck of cards around the king’s cup. Every player will take turns selecting a card from the deck, each being associated with a different activity. Feel free to get creative here or try out the most common card activities. For example, drawing a four calls for all the ladies to drink, picking a two means you point to another person to drink, five means you have to play “never have I ever,” etc. This classic drinking game will help you create terrific memories with friends — but it’s not our fault if you don’t remember them the next day.
The game itself might be ancient, but the fun never gets old. To start, you’ll need a mancala board and 48 marbles. Tip: if you can’t find the board in stores, opt for an empty egg container. And, if you don’t have marbles try using coins. Each player will then need a small bowl or “mancala store,” and then give both players 24 marbles. Each player will place four marbles into each of the pits closest to them. The starting player must grab all the marbles from one hole on their side and go around the board dropping them in each pit in a counterclockwise direction. If the player passes over a mancala store, they must drop the marble in it. The object of the game is to capture more marbles than your opponent.
Ever wondered what it would be like to achieve total world domination? Look no further than this classic strategy game. In “Risk,” players build armies and engage in battles across continents. The catch is that the outcome of each battle is dependent on the roll of a die. While based on luck, it is still crucial for players to think, strategize and take action if they hope to succeed in this game. Whoever can eliminate the other players’ troops and conquer every territory first wins. Take a risk and check out this classic board game if you haven’t already.
We’re Not Really Strangers
You may have heard of this unique new card game from TikTok. “WRNS” emphasizes building strong connections through quality conversation. Each card has a different prompt and falls into one of three distinct categories. Level one, Perception, focuses on assumptions of one another or first impressions. For this level, you may pick up a card that says: “Do you think I’ve ever been in love?” Whereas level two, Connection, dives into deeper questions such as “What is the last thing you lied to your mom about?” Level three, Reflection, allows players to reflect on their conversations with one another. The game concludes with each player receiving a hand-written note from one another. With no actual winner or loser, this game will have you wondering if the real prize was the friends we made along the way.
words_diana moschetti. design_lizzie kristal.
This article was published in Distraction’s Spring 2023 print issue