The Classic Games
Backgammon may be the first game to be mentioned in written history, going back 5,000 years to the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. During the 1920's, archaeologists unearthed five boards from a cemetery in the ancient town of Ur. At another location, pieces and dice were also found along with the board. Boards from ancient Egypt have also been recovered from the tomb of Tutanchamun, including a mechanical dice box, no doubt intended to stop cheaters.
Playing Time: 30 mins
The classic detective game! In Clue, players move from room to room in a mansion to solve the mystery of: who done it, with what, and where? Players are dealt character, weapon, and location cards after the top card from each card type is secretly placed in the confidential file in the middle of the board. Players must move to a room and then make an accusation against a character saying they did it in that room with a specific weapon. The player to the left must show one of any cards accused to the accuser if in that player's hand. Through deductive reasoning each player must figure out which character, weapon, and location are in the secret file. To do this, each player must uncover what cards are in other players hands by making more and more accusations. Once a player knows what cards the other players are holding they will know what cards are in the secret file. A great game for those who enjoy reasoning and thinking things out.
Playing Time: 45 mins
Dominoes is a family of games using the "Western" style tiles. The standard set of tiles is based on the 21 different combinations made with a roll of two six-sided dice. Seven (7) additional "Blank" combination tiles combine with the 21 to form the standard 28 "Double-Six" set. "Double-Nine" (with 55 tiles) and "Double-Twelve" (with 91 tiles) are also popular ("Double-Fifteen" sets also exist).
Playing Time: 30 mins
Jenga is played with 54 wooden blocks; each block is 3 times as long as it is wide, and slightly smaller in height than in width. Once the tower is built, the person who built the tower moves first. Moving in Jenga consists of taking one and only one block from any story except the completed top story of the tower at the time of the turn, and placing it on the topmost story in order to complete it. Only one hand at a time may be used to remove a block; both hands can be used, but only one hand may be on the tower at a time. Blocks may be bumped to find a loose block that will not disturb the rest of the tower. Any block that is moved out of place may be left out of place if it is determined that it will knock the tower over if it is removed. The turn ends when the next person to move touches the tower, although he or she can wait 10 seconds before moving for the previous turn to end if they believe the tower will fall in that time.
The game ends when the tower falls in any significant way -- in other words, any piece falls from the tower, other than the piece being knocked out to move to the top. The loser is the person who made the tower fall (i.e. whose turn it was when the tower fell); the winner is the person who moved before the loser.
Playing Time: 1-20 mins
The classic real estate game. Buy properties, build houses and hotels, collect rent from fellow players. Repeat as necessary until everyone else is bankrupt.
Playing Time: 180 mins
Widely accepted as the first mainstream wargame. Players are given tons of little army units to place onto the map of the world. When it's your turn, you use your units to attack other players' positions, hopefully with superior numbers. Combat is a simple dice rolling affair that stresses attrition, and reinforcements are given to players who collect sets of cards.
Playing Time: 120 mins
In this classic word game, players use their seven drawn letter-tiles to form words on the gameboard. Each word laid out earns points based on the commonality of the letters used, with certain board spaces giving bonuses. But a word can only be played if it uses at least one already-played tile or adds to an already-played word. This leads to slightly tactical play, as potential words are rejected because they would give an opponent too much access to the better bonus spaces.
Playing Time: 90 mins
Each player has a circular playing piece with six pie-shaped holes. The goal of the game is to collect a pie in each color. The colors correspond to different question categories.
The board consists of a circular track with spaces in seven different colors. Six of the colors correspond to question categories while the last color gives a new dice roll. Six spaces along the track are "pie spaces", and from these there are "spokes" of track leading to the middle of the board.
Players roll a die and move along the track in any direction they like. When a player stops on a color they get a question of the appropriate category. If the player answers a question correctly while on a pie space, they get a pie of that color (assuming they don't already have it). A correct answer on another square allows the player to roll again.
Once the player has one pie in each color, she can move along the spokes to the middle of the board to win the game.
Playing Time: 90 mins
Most of these games belong to the society however some are brought along by members.
If we are lacking a game that you think we should have then please tell us about it...