Bored yet? If so, now is probably a good time to break out the board games.
Concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in canceled community events along with instructions from officials to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet. And residents are now being asked to voluntarily shelter at home.
So, with limited activities and nowhere to go, what do you do?
Enter the once-forgotten board game, where players can travel all over the world — without ever leaving the comfort of their living rooms.
Randall Mick, owner of Three Suns Unlimited in Longview, said the popularity of board games varies from person to person.
“Right now, Pandemic is one of our best sellers, he said. “It’s a cooperative game where people are fighting viruses that are mutating around the world.”
Mick said the very real coronavirus pandemic has slowed business, but Three Suns customers curbside pickup.
“If people don’t want to come into the store, we can take the games out to them,” he said. “All they have to do is call up and ask if we have it and we can take care of business that way.”
Eddie Bartlett, co-founder of The Long Con, a role playing game convention in Longview, said in the last five to seven years, there has been a resurgence of board games.
“Remember Monopoly when you were a kid — that’s not the most fun game to try to play with a kid,” Bartlett said. “But now there’s a board game for any interest that you have.”
Take, for example, “The Walking Dead” TV series. Bartlett said for fans of that show, he would recommend Dead Panic.
“That’s a really good game if you’re into that type of thing with the zombies,” he said. “Your character is trying to gather supplies, keep your house together and keep the zombies out. And, you can get bit in the game.”
Bartlett said the game starts out as a cooperative but can become competitive.
So, maybe Dead Panic isn’t for everyone, especially children. But Castle Panic, on the other hand, is more of a game for the entire family, Bartlett said.
“It’s simple, interesting and doesn’t take you all day to learn it,” he said.
Mick said other board games suited for families include Ticket to Ride, a cross-country train adventure where players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America; Catan, where players are recent immigrants to the newly populated island and can expand their colony by building settlements, roads and villages by harvesting commodities from the land around them; and Risk, where players take turns selecting or acquiring a territory until all territories have been claimed.
“My favorite is Ticket to Ride,” he said. But his wife, Christine, prefers Everdell, a worker replacement game that features a detailed world realized through artwork.
Bartlett said during this time of isolation and social distancing, he tries to inform people that there are board games suited for just one player.
“If you don’t have anybody to play with, you can still enjoy some board games by yourself,” he said. “Pretty much any number of players you have, you can find a game to fit that.”
There also are board games geared toward video game lovers, Bartlett said.
“For parents that want to get the kids off the video games while they’re stuck at home, you can give them the board games associated with those video games,” he said. “This will get them involved with the family and get them away from so much screen time.”