Rainy-day idea: Board game mashups

Take two or more games and voila! You've got a new one

By Blair EveleighBlair Eveleigh


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Another bad-weather day at the cottage: Overcast, drizzly, blech. “Get out the old board games!” Well, that can go over like a lead kerplunk. Seriously, how many rounds of Scrabble can you expect your guests to play in one weekend?

But here’s an idea: Combine two games in one. Or, even more adventurous, take those warhorses and put them all together into one big mega-game.

Call it Operation Risky Troubled Trivial MonopoLife! and then make up your own rules. Have players start on different boards, for instance. Maybe they jump to another game when they roll an odd number; perhaps they have to complete one round on a board before going to the next. If you make the game big enough—and if you have a whole soaking day to fill, why not?—then you could set the stakes high as well. Now’s the time to get some of those annoying jobs off your to-do list: Last player to get an orange pie in the Trivial Pursuit portion of play? They’re in charge of bailing the boat, or cleaning out the biffy. You get the picture.

The point is to mix things up and make the very familiar new and fun again. Don’t be afraid to jump from Operation to Scruples, to alter game cards (Adopt a Pet in The Game of Life could become Adopt a Guest), or to commingle Battleship moves with Monopoly (“You sank my Boardwalk hotel!”). And if all the players are of the age of majority, you could add some optional rules of play: drinking games, truth or dare, stripping. Not that we recommend those.

This article was originally published on November 19, 2009

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