Top 5 board games in LEAP

Here at LEAP we love developing games, but sometimes work gets the best of us and we need some time to unwind a bit. To help us do that, we keep a desk drawer full of board games.

Over the course of the years, we’ve come to have more than ten of them, not including the ones we personally own and bring to the office every so often. They’re all quite fun and entertaining, but I have my favorites. Let me tell you about them in this especially designed Top 5.

5. Betrayal at House on the Hill

Exploration, intrigue and suspense are combined in this tile game to make a frightening and unpredictable experience. Players navigate and build the halls and rooms of a haunted house, gathering special items, encountering all manner of creepy and horrific situations and trying to survive its dangers. That is until one player reveals himself as the traitor and uses the house’s powers against them.

What I love about this game is its replayability. The house is never built the same way in each playthrough, the traitor can be anyone and the horrors unleashed are always different. And although it’s a cooperative game, there’s always suspicion around the table, so you got to be careful with players getting too powerful.

4. King of Tokyo

In this seemingly simple dice game every player gets to be a monster. They all try to win by gaining a set amount of points or being the last one alive on the table. To do this, they fight for the privilege of terrorizing Tokyo, they gather energy in order to exchange it for powers and abilities, and they try to defeat each other. There can only be one king of Tokyo.

Appearances can be deceiving when we take this game into account. Although some of it relies on chance, there’s a good amount of planning and strategizing involved. Since there’s two ways to win the game, it’s all about knowing which path to take, when to strike and how to do all of it faster than the others.

3. Love Letter

A quick and easy-to-master card game, it puts the players in the role of rivals as they try to gain the Princess’ affection. To achieve this, they employ the help of servants and nobles represented by cards, each with a special ability and a value signifying their proximity to the Princess. The last player standing or the one with the card of highest value gets to send their love letter to the object of their fascination.

This game has very simple rules and can be played several times in a very short time. Everyone knows how many cards of each type are in the deck, so there’s a fair amount of deduction involved, which brings me to the best part: you need to deceive your opponents any way you can. Making them think you have a better or worse card than they do helps, but to really make it out on top you have to lie through your teeth. All in good measure, of course.

2. The Resistance: Avalon

Another social deception game, Avalon sends you to Arthur’s legendary round table, where the forces of good and evil wage a silent war between them. Each team of players will try to complete three missions before the other, but there’s a catch: Mordred’s minions know the allegiance of every player on the table, but Arthur’s knights don’t. Merlin, the only player in the good team and the whole table who knows everyone’s identity, will try to help his team while avoiding being discovered by the rival one.

Avalon is all about deception and attempting to deduct who’s who, and works even better with larger groups. I like how each team needs its own strategy to prevail; the evil ones have to be sneaky, while the good ones should rely on their wits. Avalon brings out the perceptive side of people and you get to know them at a deeper level, so much so that you may even surprise yourself. As you can see, I enjoy this kind of games for all the right reasons.

1. 7 Wonders

By far the best one of the bunch, this deck-buiding game focuses primarily on strategy in order to develop one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World as much as you can. During three phases, each player starts with a deck of seven cards from which they choose or buy one card and pass along the rest to the player next to them, and so on. By doing this, they acquire resources, buildings, technology and coins, all of which render victory points in the end. And the one with the most points wins the game.

What I love about this game is it gets better after each playthrough, and each one is always different, which takes some of the edge from veteran players. There’s several winning strategies depending on which Wonder you’re playing with, but you’re never limited to play in a given way. You always have to be vigilant and learn to pick your battles, knowing when to let go of a card and when to use one for your own benefit or the detriment of other players. Expansion sets help renew this game, but the original one will always be my favorite.

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