Boredom Busters – 3 Games The Family Needs While The World Waits For Sports

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Quarantine, shelter-in-place, self-isolation. Call it what you want, but all of us are stuck in our homes and looking for things to do.

The Coronavirus has hit us hard and is keeping us away from others in these strange times. So, how do we pass the time until something changes and we are able to resume whatever normal life we can?

With no sports to watch, follow or read about, many are binge watching movies, reading books, making funny videos, etc. But for me and my family, we’ve spent a lot of our downtime playing games—any games we can get our hands on.

In these desperate times, here are the three games we have found that we feel are a lot of fun for the whole family. They are easy to learn and a great way to pass the time. Enjoy!

Wizard

This is our go-to game, and honestly, we’re a bit addicted. We’ve invented our own lingo and even had funny shirts made (don’t ask). We play as often as we can.

If you’ve played Hearts or even Bridge, you’ll pick this card game up quickly.

You’ll need to buy a pack of Wizard cards, which is basically a regular deck of cards but also includes four Wizard cards and four Jester cards. It is a game of trump and winning tricks. The hard part is correctly predicting HOW MANY tricks you will take per round.

Win your predicted number of tricks and you win points. Fail to win the correct number and you lose points. Playing a Wizard card wins the hand no matter what and is always a game-changer. Sloughing a Jester card at the right time can destroy your opponents’ strategy.

Depending on how many players (3 to 6), you can play as many as 15 hands, accumulating points each round. First round is one card, second round is two cards, all the way to the last hand of 15 cards. The more cards, the harder it becomes to correctly guess all the tricks you may or may not take. Lots of strategy and lots of luck.

It takes a few hands to get the hang of Wizard, but you’ll pick it up quickly. The more you play, the better you get.

Give it a try. Trust me—you’ll love it.

Five Crowns

This is another card game that requires special cards. Up to seven people can play and the rules are quite simple, similar to a version of Rummy.

It is also a progressive game that starts with each player getting three cards. You go around the table drawing a card from the deck or a card off the top of the discard pile.

The object is to get three-of-a-kind. However, in every round there is a wild card depending on how many cards you have. The first round is three cards so 3s are wild. The next hand you get four cards and 4s are wild as you try to get four-of-a-kind. The game continues up to 13 cards, where Kings are wild.

The object is to be the player at the end with the LEAST amount of points. The first player to complete each hand (3, 4, 5 of-a-kind, etc.) gets zero points. The rest of the players have to add up the cards remaining in their hands once a player ‘goes out.’

This is a great game with many twists and turns. It’s easy for everyone to learn and lots of laughs.

Catan

This game is a more complicated board game suited for a slightly older crowd, and it can take up to 60 minutes to play a full game. But it is still a lot of fun.

The rules take a bit of time to grasp and having a veteran player explain the game is helpful but not required.

The object of the game is to trade, build and settle the fictional country/isle of Catan laid out on the board. The pieces that make up Catan can change every time you play, so no two games are the same.

During the game you roll dice to begin settling your pieces. In order to settle, you have to accumulate the resources needed to trade for settlements, roads, cities and other resource cards.

The first player to build the biggest development and win enough victory points wins the game.

There are many nuances and strategies involved that are revealed the more times you play.

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Times are tough these days, but these games are great for engaging the whole family and are certain to take your mind off the news, if only for a little while.

Stay safe, everyone. We can get through this and hopefully you can use these games as a crutch. Have fun!

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About Author

John D. Hunter is Montana native but grew up in the Tacoma/Seattle area and proudly attended Washington State University. He is a former morning show producer on KJR SportsRadio in Seattle. For 7 years he produced ‘Knight in the Morning’ with Michael Knight and New York Vinnie. From there he moved to ESPN.com where he spent another 7 years as an Interactive Editor and Soccer reporter/writer. He has covered 3 Super Bowls, the NBA Finals, 1998 World Cup in France and many more sporting events.

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