Board games seem to have gone out of fashion, I can't remember the last time someone suggested a game of Monopoly or Cluedo, but they have also become a cult success thanks to some brilliant new titles.
There are a lot of gaming bloggers out there, so if you want more information, its only a google search away. I'm certainly not a game obsessive who has to try everything, with a vast knowledge of all that is out there, I just wanted to tell you, my reader (who I am going to assume come from a demographic that doesn't frequent gaming shops) that there are some great things available and urge you to give them a go.
My discovery of these new generation of board games came with Carcassonne (which isn't actually played on a board). This game involves placing tiles onto an ever growing map, building roads, cities and farms, the longer your road; the larger your city the more points you get. Its so easy to pick up, the only complex bit (and its not that hard) is how farms link up and score, but you'll have that sussed by the time you start your second game.
A great quick game is Fluxx (I would get version 4.0) a very simple card game - choose a card and follow its instuctions. Sounds easy right, where could the fun be in that? Well, a lot of the cards change the rules - maybe it will increase the number of cards you can play in a turn, or how many you can hold in your hand at the end of a turn. The goal you need to reach to win will suddenly be changed by your opponent, or your opponent might play a card that entitles them to all of your cards. The result is a very silly game where you can never be sure that you will win on your next turn, no matter how likely it looks as your turn approaches.
We've played lots of other games; Dominion, Forbidden Island (we've got the iPad version) & Bohnanza all get bought out on occassion, but my personal favourite is Ticket to Ride. We've got the European version, but it can also be bought with maps of America, Asia, African or Nordic countries. Europe works for us as its a familiar map. If I played the American version I'd spend most of the game trying to figure out where Wisconsin is.
Ticket to ride is a bit like Risk, only instead of invading you build a train route. Like Risk everyone has their own tasks and the other players don't know what you are trying to achieve, but unlike Risk you start with several tasks and if you think you can achieve more you can select extra. I like this game because where in most games your gain is another player's loss, in Ticket to Ride you might make another player's game a little harder, but they just have to select another route to work around you. This means you don't spend the end part of the game, going through the motions knowing your will inevitably loose.
Why are you still sitting here reading this? Go and play a game!