So you think Catan wore out its welcome years ago. You buy games off the strength of a designer’s name alone. You’re also constantly looking for the next big game or gems that other people have overlooked. If this sounds like you, you might be a board game hipster.
And there’s nothing wrong with that! You clearly have a passion for the hobby and a strong point of view on topics relating to the scene. For your next board game night, here’s a few under the radar gems you may have missed. Or, if you’re not a board game hipster, try these awesome games out while upping your board game street cred tenfold.
Good Cop Bad Cop
Ages 12 and up
For when The Resistance and One Night Ultimate Werewolf are games you got tired of years ago, there’s Good Cop Bad Cop. With corruption plaguing the police force, officers gather together to weed out the crooked cops in their ranks until a gunfight erupts and either the Agent or Kingpin are dead. This one is a social deduction game that supports a large player count so that all of your friends can share this hipster game with you. Besides being a game that lurks under the radar, it’s also a game with more structure, giving you more control over your actions versus just yelling at one another over who you think the bad guys are.
Ages 12 and up
Before the Las Vegas Strip came to be, that area of land was just a desert. In Lords of Vegas, that’s where you and your fellow players come in. As real estate tycoons, you’ll build casinos, gamble at other players’ establishments and battle each other for control of every building on the Strip. The game is constantly engaging, as you’re always involved in the action, even when it’s not your turn.
This one made some best-of lists during its initial release, though it hasn’t been in the conversation for a long time. Most board game enthusiasts I know haven’t even heard of Lords of Vegas. It’s a shame, because it’s still phenomenal. Taking the general tenants of Monopoly-style area control, Lords of Vegas turns it into an insanely strategic and cutthroat game that doesn’t take years to finish.
ages 13 and up
Penny Press puts players in charge of rival newspapers in New York City during the end of the 19th century. Over the course of play, you’ll send reporters out to cover hot stories and publish them in your newspaper as quickly as you can. At the end of the game, the player with the highest circulation wins.
This one isn’t garnering much in the way of buzz within the board game community, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. I was first drawn to it by its great theme, but the quality of the gameplay is what keeps me coming back. Don’t let this one slip through the cracks!