We’re almost there guys! The cold season is slowly withdrawing and ushering in Spring. I can see it everywhere I look. New buds popping out of the ground. The sounds of birds chirping. The smell of old leaves decaying. Lovely stuff!
Soon enough, we’ll be able to head to the park or beach and frolic in the sun. When you’re done playing frisbee or running around, catch some shade under a big tree or umbrella and bust out one of these picnic perfect games!
Players: 1 -4
Playtime: 20 min
Songbirds is a card game about birds who battle each other to dominate a forest. In the game, each bird has its own colour.
In this game, players are forest spirits guiding a bird to success in a hidden manner. Numbered cards are red, blue, green, and white. As each player lays out nut tokens (points) for each row and column, he or she places a card from their hand onto the 5×5 grid.
One of the tricks of Songbirds is that the colour of the bird on your last remaining card in-hand is the only colour you score. As a result, your strategy changes continuously based on the board’s state as you determine which color has the best chance of scoring high.
Counting cards is a part of the game as the grid fills up. During this process, players narrow down which cards their opponents are holding onto. Colors with equal presence in a row/column cancel each other out, and the color with less presence wins. The opportunity to block an unwanted color from scoring can be heavily rewarded.
Up to four players can participate in the game. In the four-player version of the rules, there are multiple variants based on the choice of the two double-sided starting cards. It is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy ‘easy to learn, hard to master games.
Playtime: 15-25 min
You play the role of a lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom in Kingdomino. In order to spot the best plots, one must explore all the lands, including wheat fields, lakes, and mountains, while competing with other lords.
Similar to Dominoes, the game uses tiles with two sections. Players pick a new domino each turn to connect to their existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to an existing terrain type. Players pick first based on which tile was previously chosen, with better tiles forcing them to pick later in the round. The game ends once each player has completed a 5×5 grid (or fails to do so), and points are awarded based on the number of connecting tiles and valuable crown symbols.
Simple yet highly addictive, Kingdomino is the perfect picnic game because it’s both competitive and quick to play. This surprisingly low-cost product is just brimming with value.
Using domino tiles, you must gather and build the most lucrative 5 x 5 square territory around your castle, earning points based on the number of terrain territories you connect.
Playing doesn’t require a perfectly flat surface which is ideal for playing outdoors. The top of a picnic table or a blanket on the ground is good places to play. Additionally, the tiles are heavy enough that they won’t be blown away by strong winds.
Kingdomino’s quick set-up time, dynamic gameplay, and low set-up cost make it a great choice for any outdoor gathering!
Number of Players: 2
Playtime: 20 min
Something that puts any game in the running for a decent picnic pack-along is heaviness of pieces. Wind can wipe out card games so games featuring more robust pieces are important. Hive passes the test with flying colors. You do need a blanket or picnic table to play on but aside from that, you’re golden!
It is a highly addictive strategy game for two players that can be played anywhere there is a flat surface and without a board. The Hive consists of twenty-two pieces, eleven black and eleven white, resembling creatures with unique ways of moving. Each piece features a bug (ant, bee, grasshopper, etc..) and each bug has a neat ability. It’s a fast game that feels in some ways like chess. Strategy is big in this game and knowing which pieces your opponent has left to play is a boon.
When the first piece is placed, the game begins without any set up required. When the subsequent pieces are placed, this forms a pattern that becomes the playing surface (the pieces themselves become the board). In contrast to other similar games, pieces are never eliminated and they do not have to be played all at once. To win this game, you must encircle your opponent’s queen as completely as possible while also trying to block your opponent from doing the same to your queen. The player who surrounds the queen completely wins.
There we have it. Just a few gems to keep on your watch list as the nicer weather approaches. Have fun and see you later!
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