NRB Selects with Holly

Looking for a small game you can just stick in your bag? Got a party coming up and need the perfect game to bring? Is there a massive deck-building game-shaped hole in your life? Whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered! Today, NRB’s Holly shares five of her top board game picks that are sure to make every game night a hit.

A Competitive Game

So, for competitive games my current favourite is Captain Sonar, which we played on the channel maybe a month or two ago. It’s wonderful! What I like in a competitive game is something really fast paced and in this one you have to work together against another team. I think that really adds to the competitiveness. The way the tasks are divided makes it really exciting, and the non turn based mode is great as well. It’s complete chaos that usually ends up in shouting and screaming and I think that’s just perfect. Captain Sonar is a great game.

A Game for Two People

For two people, my go to game is still Cascadia. I love Cascadia! It’s a tile placement game and it’s just so beautiful. You can play it with three or four people, but the reason I love it for two is that you really get into a tempo with each other in the picking up tiles and tokens and putting them down. It’s fun to watch what the other player is doing and work toward the same goals. It’s a gorgeous game, but at the same time it’s really crunchy. You can have gone on your own journey with trying to fulfil the objectives, and someone else could’ve responded completely differently, and yet you’ll still have a really interesting competition at the end. I used to beat Tempest at it over and over again and we’ve now got to the point where he might beat me about 50% of the time, so it’s really swingy and there’s so much room for growing and enjoying it. I love Cascadia.

A Party Game

I love bringing games to a party, especially if you know how many people are going to be there and being like, “Okay, if there’s eight people I can bring this but if there’s ten people I can bring this.” For me, a game I keep coming back to is Monikers. It’s a game I will always want to play if I’m in a room with a group of people. I love the way it gets people who aren’t performers to perform which is also one of the things that made me fall in love with Blood on the Clocktower! You don’t have to be a trained actor to play either game. It’s nice to watch people who often claim to not have those skills find those skills and end up absolutely performing to their heart’s content. I love it. I really love watching that. I think the reason Monikers doesn’t get the attention it deserves is because it’s a bit like Charades, but in the same way that Blood on the Clocktower has its roots in Mafia and Werewolf. I’ve been thinking a lot about it. It doesn’t matter that the game is based on something that’s worked for hundred of years, but the way they package the game and their prompts… I just think the game is absolutely fantastic. I do think it’s worth forking out for a copy as opposed to just sticking with Charades.

A Travel Friendly Game.

My favourite travel friendly game at the moment is Sea Salt and Paper. I don’t think we’ve played it on the channel. It’s a really tiny game. I picked it up from Orc’s Nest in London recently after playing it with some friends. I always have it in my bag but I don’t notice it because it’s so small. Me and Tempest have played it in places like outdoor bars. I can also take it home. I’ve played it with my mum and my grandmother. It’s a very simple card game, simple enough to explain in five minutes. It’s also interesting enough for me to want to play 20 times and try and win in different ways and stretch the limits of the game. It’s really fun and it’s really cute too.

A Deck Building Game

My favourite deck builder is Hero Realms. A lot of people have played Star Realms but haven’t tried Hero Realms. I really recommend giving it a go. To be honest, I would give Hero Realms as the answer to my travel friendly game, my competitive game, and my two player game as well. It’s probably my favourite game at the moment. It really has got to the bottom of making a machine out of a deck. Like all good deck builders, it really makes you think about which cards are going to work together the best or compliment each other the best. They also have a co-op version of it now, which I have but am yet to play. I’m really excited to play with this expansion though. They’re bringing out new things and boosters for it all the time. I’ve been playing it for over a year and absolutely love it, but if you want to stretch and expand it you can. There’s just so much to it. It’s a great two player. It’s an even better three or four player. It’s super portable. It’s very swingy. It’s got all the things I’d want in a game and it’s a deck builder! It’s the deck builder that got me into deck building games. I didn’t care much for them before but this game really changed my perception of them.

If you want to pick up any of these games, check if they’re in stock at Zatu. Buying them there supports No Rolls Barred via our affiliate partnership. Read more here.