As the saying (kind of) goes – sun’s out…games out.
Now that Spring is here and Summer is approaching, it’s time to move your sessions outdoors.
Well, at least a few meters from your kitchen door.
Here are eight of our favorite games that you and your pals can enjoy in the fresh air.
Of course, if you need to resort to lawn games instead of playing on your gorgeous table – it’s vital that you go big. A favorite for many, Kubb (pronounced ‘coob’) is a mad mix of horseshoes, bowling, and chess as players battle it out to destroy the game’s king. Highly strategic, players hurl underarm throws to topple their opponent’s Kubbs and take a pot-shot at the game’s King. Play alternates back and forward, taking anywhere from 20 minutes for experienced (re: lucky) players all the way to an hour or more for high-level games. Perfect for players that love a little dexterity with their games…and something that leaves their other arm free to hold a beer.
At this point, we’d like to think that anyone reading these articles know that Skull is close to a universal constant. Great for any occasion, this is an exceptional pick for groups looking for fun in the sun – letting you enjoy all the fun of poker without having to worry about your hand blowing away. Each turn sees players throwing one of their hand of robust placemats down and eventually betting on how many a player can flip over without revealing a grinning skull instead of a beautifully rendered rose. And at this point, the game sings.
Of course, there may be some groups that are more into wordplay than tossing sticks or counting points multipliers. Thankfully – Czech Games has something special for them. A co-operative guessing game, Letter Jam asks your group to band together to crack clues and unscramble word puzzles. Each of the game’s five turns sees your group discover their own letter…which remains unseen and unknown in front of them. With a quick teach and short runtime, LJ is great at bringing players together and delivering the high of a collaborative victory. Throw in the use of a smartphone app, this a low-friction game like no other and – with no player left behind – is perfect for groups of mixed ability. Or just those who enjoy a little bit of wordplay before a picnic.
If you’re willing to schlep a little bit of plastic with you, there are few games that look better outdoors than the amazing Santorini. Simple to play and easier to teach, Santorini is played on a 5×5 grid that asks players (ideally two) to build an object and move their piece one space – with the aim of moving one of your two characters onto the third level of a structure. And that’s it. With games lasting no more than ten minutes, players build a gorgeous model of the city…and then get mean. With such a simple ruleset, any mistake can be punished by serious gamers and even kids can have fun learning the basics in the fresh air. Though once little Tim ends up crushing you for the fifth time in a row, it may be worth packing up your game and heading back indoors again.