Sooooooooo I attended a game night for the first time in a long time the other day. Normally, these events are not of major note. I mean, I play games all the time with my family. My mom used to force a game night on my sister and I once a week. When I was young, and easily annoyed, I found these nights to be the epitome of torture. I would have rather been watching the Simpsons or sleeping or anything but playing Rummy with my family. To say the least, my reaction was always:
Since then, I’ve grown to love game nights. It’s a bit of everything: a party that doesn’t require charisma or social skills but allows everyone to interact in a positive way. But most of all, these games I play impart some wonderful life lessons that can only be learned by putting plastic pieces on a cardboard slab and rolling die. I felt the need to share these delightful lessons with you because clearly you want to play too.
Fast forward to the present.This particular game night was put together by a former co-worker of mine who is quirky and just hipster enough to be friendly. For example, she has tattoos of a saw, a hog, and the state of Illinois all on one arm. Hipster-y but not dangerous. Anyway, the night began with her describing the series of games she owns. Half of them were agriculture based, with players as farmers, there were some with zombies and one with trains and then one called Puerto Rico where apparently you settle the island (I’m hoping this did not include some slavery of some kind).
I ended up playing Agricola. This game had so many damn pieces, I thought we were building something like those really complex Kinex sets I always wanted but never had the balls to attempt as a kid.
In this clusterfuck of a game, you are a farmer with a spouse. There’s a harvest at the end of every stage, with a number of rounds per stage. You can do actions per the amount of people you have. These people begin with the 2 pieces (you and your spouse) and can multiply to more hungry, needy people past the third stage. Basically, you’re just farming stuff, trying to build an oven to make a loaf of bread, while feeding your hungry, lazy family at the end of every stage. It had to be one of the most confusing games I’ve played. Considering this fact, I definitely lost, but wasn’t the worst there (one friend had a negative score). Life lesson learned: You are a shitty farmer and head of household. Even in fictional places.
Next up was Mystery of the Abbey. This was a helluva lot simpler than Agricola. Basically Clue but with Monks or Friars or whatever, Mystery of the Abbey makes you wander around a monastery, checking off thin, tall, bald, or hooded figures who may have murdered someone.
My first question when this game was unleashed: Is this based on the Name of the Rose? I’m not sure how comfortable I would be playing a game trying to find pedophiles between murders. Luckily, these two things have nothing in common. This game wasn’t so bad. I didn’t win but I came a close 2nd and learned: Not all monks rape people and solving crimes in your spare time is not only safe, but fun for the whole family.
Last, and well into midnight, was a series of zombie games. Fluxx: Zombie Edition was fine. It required a lot of reading, but was straightforward for the most part. Last Night On Earth capped off the night. We played small town heroes battling zombies. Three of us were heroes, but only one controlled the crowd of zombies attacking people. You won fights by the roll of the die. There was all these cards to get weapons and to control what others were able to do. Well, we ended up losing, which I guess means we got eaten? or became zombies? I’m still not sure, and one of use became a hero-zombie before the game ended. All in all, not bad again. Also, lost again. I’m not a loser, I swear, I was stuck as the school sweetheart (that’s literally what the card said) who could only shoot a gun and was armed with a pitchfork. I killed maybe one zombie the whole damn game. Lesson learned: zombies always win. Especially if you are only armed with a pitchfork and teenage sex kitten eyes.
Go forth, fruitful beings. You are now armed with lessons I learned from an adult people game night that lasted 5 hours with absolutely no alcohol. But there was hummus. Lots o’ hummus (Thanks, hipsters).