Desert Island Games




You know the old game – usually its books or movies.  Why not for games?  After all, it’s far more likely that you’ll be trapped on a desert island with another person than with electricity and a television set.

So, same old drill – you are somehow stranded on a desert island with a few other people who are willing to play whatever it is you brought with you to pass the time.  Which 5 games would you make sure to have with you?

Here’s my list:

5.  Arkham Horror – a nice loong game to pass by significant portions of a day, plus no risk of alienating your friends since you’re all working together.

4.  Carcassonne – this game is just fun.  It’s fun to build all the cities and roads and farms.   Fun to play and then play again to see how it builds differently.  Also a gentle reminder of civilization in this godforsaken place.

3. Tobago – I know, I know, you’re already stuck on an island, so why bring a game about searching for treasure on one, especially when it is highly unlikely the real island has any treasure?  Well, my theory here is that you could divide the real island into hexes and use the cards to play a full size game of Tobago, with plenty of running around and exploring of the island to get your blood moving.

2. Dominion w/ expansions – Dominion is just a great game, and with all the different combinations of cards you can use, especially with the expansions, you can get a lot of variety out of the one game, which is always good for defeating boredom.

1.  Cosmic Encounter – While this list is only sort of in an order, this is definitely my #1 pick.  Just like Dominion, the variety of Alien powers creates a lot of replayability – but in this game, it’s like playing a new game with each new combination of powers, which is most excellent when stuck on an island with a limited selection.  Also, this is my very favorite game, its very fun, and it keeps everyone very very involved the whole time.

So there’s my list.  What about you?  What 5 games would you have, and why?

Futurewolfie loves epic games, space, and epic games set in space. You'll find him rolling fistfuls of dice, reveling in thematic goodness, and giving Farmerlenny a hard time for liking boring stuff.

Discussion5 Comments

  1. “After all, it’s far more likely that you’ll be trapped on a desert island with another person than with electricity and a television set.”

    If that’s some sort of veiled criticism, I won’t hear it, and I won’t respond to it.

  2. not in any particular order:

    1. Settlers of Catan (with Cities and Knights expansion) – I just love this game. I would be willing to play this the entire time we’re stuck on the island.

    2. Risk – we’re probably going to be stuck on that island for a long time. It would probably be good to have a game that takes a long time.

    3. Scrabble – language is the glue of civilization, right? We can use all the help we can get to stay civilized.

    4. Blokus – this is just a fun game to pass the time and keep the mind sharp.

    5. Zombie Fluxx – a game I’ve recently enjoyed, this one will help you prepare for the inevitable: zombies on the island.

  3. here we go…

    1. Axis & Allies
    pro: long, involved, social
    con: risk of losing pieces on a desert island

    2. Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
    pro: replay value, keeps mind sharp, social
    con: risk of delusions due to extended desert island play.

    3. Carcassonne
    pro: simplicity, replay value
    con: none to speak of.

    4. Chess
    pro: universality, keeps the mind sharp, aesthetically pleasing
    con: 2-player max

    5. Life’s a Pitch
    pro: social, creative, will promote a continued connectedness with the outside world
    con: Extended play may lead to an island full of con-artists and liars.

  4. Okay, okay. Here are my five:

    * Dominion w/ expansions
    * A double-decker card pack (for its nigh limitless options…but mostly for Canasta and Pinochle)
    * Carcassonne
    * El Grande
    * Ticket to Ride: Europe w/ 1912

  5. I’m just going to assume that I’m stuck on an island with a bunch of people that love boardgames so I don’t need to bring gateway games to bridge the gap to the great ones.

    1. Race For The Galaxy
    This is my favorite game. Plays quick, plays with 2-6 players, great replay value. Even plays solitaire if everyone else gets sick of games. This is the game I would take if I could only bring 1.

    2. Railroad Tycoon/Railways of The World
    Great longer game with tons of replay and some aggressive game play depending on the number of players and map. I’d pack some expansions into the box for even more variety. If Race didn’t exist this would be my favorite.

    3. Dominion
    It would be nice to have some card sleeves with this one or else I think I’d wear out the cards quickly. Nice quick play time, a little lighter than the others, and near infinite replayability. I think this and Race would battle it out for what gets played the most due to their quick set up and shorter game length.

    4. Agricola
    This and RRT would satisfy my meaty longer games category. It can be quicker with 2 players and hopefully I wouldn’t lose any pieces.

    5. Ra
    This is my favorite auction game so I’d throw it in for a lighter affair. Nice filler, quick play time, and scales well.

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