Games we WILL be playing, Summer House edition

Posted by Linda Schmidt on

Tomorrow the family and I will escape the city and hop over to Michigan for a little while.  It's time for us to clear our heads and relax before back-to-school time starts for the guys and pre-holiday craziness starts for me.  Trips to the beach, cooking, reading, and bike riding will fill our days, along with plenty of time for playing games.  We can't wait!  So what do we bring with us when we head out to the country?  Here are the categories of games that are key for us.

Light Games for Spontaneous Play

If we're lingering after a meal or in the mood for something quick and breezy, we'll reach for one of these gems.  Azul Summer Pavillion has been a favorite all summer, but regular Azul would be just as lovely.  I've been kind of obsessed with playing Take 5 online since the pandemic began, and it's one of those great card games that pretty much anyone can enjoy.  It's particularly good if you're looking for a multi-generational game to play with kids and grandparents, and is best with 4-7 players.  The Game is a fun little co-operative card game can also be played solitaire, and we love Piepmatz for a not-too-complicated but really interesting card game that plays well with 2-4 players.  I adore them both!  Finally, Break the Code is still our go-to for a quick deduction game, perfect for waking your brain up in the morning along with your cup of coffee!

Other light games we love: Sagrada, KingdominoNo Thanks, Hanabi, Cahoots

Heavier Games for Rainy Days

One of the best parts of having a lot of down time for gaming is that it's infintely easier to get in multiple plays of games that are a bit heavier.  So often we find ourselves playing new games in order to test them out, but there's a lot of joy in playing a favorite game over and over.  These are all games that have a lot of re-playability, and we'll definitely enjoy trying out different strategies during our time in Michigan.  I'm particularly happy that the new edition of Marco Polo just arrived, becuase the original is one of my favorite strategy games ever.  Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North and the bestselling Root are two other family favorites that offer a lot to explore.

Others with lots of re-playability: Great Western Trail, Wingspan, Dominion

Beach Games

We'll be riding our bikes to the beach most days, and we always take a few games along with the books and kites and rafts.  These games need to be fairly compact, you need to be able to play them while sitting in a beach chair or on a towel, and they can't have any cards that can blow away.  For our family, classic Rummikub is an absolute must for the beach, along with some kind of roll-and-write.  There are a lot of those to choose from these days, but Gonz Schon Clever and Railroad Ink are our top picks.  In addition to those, we'll often bring an abstract strategy game like Hive or A Pet's Life.

Other games that don't blow away: Bloom, Shobu and Quarto

An Escape Room Game

Finally, it's always nice to plan a special dinner-and-a-game night for the whole family, and one of the escape room games is perfect for that.  I'm partial to the Exit series while others lean more towards the Unlock games, but this year I think we'll take along the Escape from the Grand Hotel by Professor Puzzle.  I'm super curious to see how it compares to the others, and the theme is, well.... Pure Michigan.  Happy Summer, everyone!


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