All of the attention in the board game world turns towards the new board games, things like Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride and other modern games. These are all great games, and I love playing them.
As Christmas approaches, I tend to find my thought drawn back to the classic boardgames. I think that these older games should not be forgotten in the rush to the new. They are games that are likely to be known by the whole family, understood and easy to pick up, and generally worth the time to play.
It can be a chore convincing parents, aunt, uncles, cousins or even grandparents to try to learn to play Puerto Rico, even though it is an excellent game. You won’t have this difficulty finding players for a game or Monoploy, or Cluedo.
Looking at all of the classic games I own, you can immediately see that some get played more often than others. Risk always struggles to draw a crowd, as can Cluedo. Monopoly is perpetually popular, but hard to play through to conclusion. I find that Scrabble is well loved, although some might feel it is more a word game than a board game.
If you find yourself playing games with your family over Christmas, give the old favourites a chance, you can always play your latest Spiel des Jahres winner with your friends another day, this time of the year is more about spending time with people that you will all enjoy, rather than winning at the latest hot game, or confusing other players with a hundred pages of rules.