Staying sane on a family road trip is going to require some entertainment, both on the road and during down time. We’ve been playing some family games this last year that lie a bit off the beaten track, that lend themselves well to a mobile lifestyle. All of them are card-based, rather than board based, all are flexible in the number of players, and all have proven to be very replayable, at least in our family.
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Golden Carrot. There are a number of games in the Killer Bunnies family, but in my opinion, this is the one you’ll want to check out. In this game, three or more players vie to keep their bunnies alive, while eliminating their opponents’ bunnies. You’ll throw attacks at your opponents ranging from relatively benign (Green Gelatin with Evil Pineapple Chunks) to extreme (Laser Gun.) Defend your bunnies with the Magic Spatula, or feed your bunnies to keep them healthy, and try to be the bunny at the end of the game with the Magic Carrot to win! This isn’t a collectible card game, but it does have booster packs, which add more bunnies, more weapons, and more variety to the game. It’s offbeat, wacky fun, with a bit of strategy and a lot of luck of the draw.
Magic: The Gathering. This is a collectible card game, and one of the more complex strategy games I’ve come across. Invented by a mathematics professor in 1993, it now attracts millions of players worldwide. In this game, two players face off with a customized deck, constructed from cards they’ve collected. With the cards in their decks, players attempt to play creatures, events, and abilities to reduce the opponent’s score from 20 down to zero. The game is very strategic, with a bit of luck thrown in, owing to the fact that cards are shuffled before each game. The game has almost limitless variation and replayability, as cards can be traded, additional cards purchased, or any of the hundreds of alternate rules can be adopted to make games longer or shorter, or include more than two people.
Munchkin is the mega-hit card game about dungeon adventure . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items! Use the Friendship Potion or the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the fierce Gazebo or the dreaded Plutonium Dragon. Munchkin games will typically last 20-40 minutes, and are guaranteed to be hilariously funny for 2-6 players. There’s not a whole lot of strategy here, and in fact the preferred style of play is to use your cards at the most ridiculous moment possible. Players are free to gang up on each other, or jump in and help each other at any time, and the rules cheating is encourage cheating, just as long as you don’t get caught. Give this game a try, I think you’ll have fun with it.
What games are you playing on your family travels? We’d love to hear about it!