In my youth[¹], I could stay up all night long with no regard or consequence for the following days. What a dream those days seem. But about the time I turned 23 and began holding a “career” job, that no longer was feasible. I’m sure that the days[²] before this lead to exhaustion and a total lack of productivity, but I neither noticed nor cared until this point. Working as a teller at a bank requires a certain amount of attention to detail and professionalism to advance. A hungover or exhausted and sloppy worker[³] doesn’t excel easily in those conditions. In my mind, failure and mediocrity were not options. This began the weeknights slotted with a full eight hours of sleep[⁴].
I began thinking – what if I could re-live those days. What would I choose? Well, I would totally stay up all night. And… game.I would tabletop game with my husband, friends, and fellow geek hosts all night long. Here are five games that make me totally Geek [Out]:
Elder Sign is a Lovecraftian co-op game where you and your fellow investigators are playing against the clock. Otherwise, you are forced to face one of the Elder evils lurking in another portal. I love this game because you play with your friends and not against them.
In this co-op game (are you seeing a theme here?) you and your teammates are trying to save the world from 4 pathogen outbreaks; red, blue, yellow, and black. By choice (and hilarity), we always gave our own names the diseases such as red as zombie virus, yellow as vampirism, black as werewolfism and and blue as hysterical pregnancy. If you do not cure and eradicate the outbreaks within a certain number of rounds, you lose. And honestly, you almost always lose Pandemic. But you lose together. (Now is the time to gag from the cutesy factor).
It’s hard to win a game whose rules are fluid and controlled by your opponents. Which is exactly what makes Star Fluxx (and the other versions of Fluxx) so unique. This card game is played by creating rules which you and your opponents must meet to win. The game play is always different and can last 10-15 minutes or upwards of an hour.
Best summed up – this is an adult (and I mean, X-Rated) version of Apples to Apples. Seasoned player tip – the more you drink and the later it gets, the better this game is. There have been several nights where we played through the entire deck. In the Coffman household we play by our own format by including what we call, “The Deck”. Once all players have played their hand for the round, an anonymous hand is pulled from the deck. 25% of the time, the deck has the best answer.
Iconica is very near and dear to my heart for several reasons:
1. The artwork on the cards is just phenomenal. The cards have beautiful colors and unique designs.
2. It was created by a local game maker, Eric Torres. And I love supporting local business and people living their dreams.
3. Lastly, it was my first podcast with the lovely ladies of Educating [Geeks]. This game will forever bring me wonderful memories of Alice and I wreaking havoc with our methodical strategy while Cassie shot us looks that could kill.
What are some of the games that keep you up all night? What games should I add to my collection for the rare evening of beers, games, and friends?
¹: I know, I know, I’m not even 30 yet but just go with me here.
²: Not actually days, more realistically it’s years.
³: One of the first managers I had in my career, who is now a friend of mine, had no pity or tolerance for hungover employees. Back then, it was horrifying – anticipating her lack of empathy and any possible question of my state. Now, it’s hilarious to think how nervous I was, considering I never, ever went into work hungover. Cheers, former boss lady!
⁴: I’d like to note, sadly, I do not get eight hours of sleep. It’s more like 5-6 (on a good night). But steer clear if I get much less. I turn into a cranky, evil bitch on less than 4.
⁵: And drink.
6: I hate losing. Anything. Everything. I. Hate. Losing. But this game is still so much fun. Even though I hate losing.