Sick of playing the same games? We researched five fun but lesser-known card and board games to spice up the final days and weeks in isolation. Now that gatherings of up to 10 are allowed, but bars and restaurants remain closed, you could even make a night of it with a few good friends and a glass of wine.

Carcassonne

This one is a modern-day classic and helped bring board games back in a big way. It’s easy to see why. In this game you’re trying to get the most points by placing your people down on cities, roads and monasteries. You do this by drawing tiles at random and putting them together one by one so that they form one coherent picture.

Beautiful art with simple rules means a game you can teach easily and play over and over. There are also a lot of expansions that can add new layers to the game if you’re looking to spice things up.

You can find more detailed instructions here.

Codenames

The silliest way to pretend to be a spy! In codenames you have two teams. Each team has one master spy and some field agents. The master spy has to give clues to their agents about which codenames they have to pick, but they can’t ever say the codenames they’re alluding to. It’s a race to see who can figure out their team’s codenames first!

Click here for a rules explanation.

Secret Hitler

Not as sinister as it sounds… Secret Hitler is a game about deception. Most of the players are labelled liberals while there are a few players secretly labelled fascists. One of these fascists is also Hitler. Every turn, a pair of players try to get elected as President and Chancellor, and they try to pass either fascist or liberal policies. The liberals want to pass liberal policies and kill Hitler while the fascists want to pass fascist policies and get Hitler elected chancellor.

You’ve got to keep a strong poker face and you’re sure to be surprised to find out who the traitors were at the end of the game.

Here you can get a more comprehensive explanation.

Articulate

Two things will win you a game of articulate: trivia and trust. You work in teams of two and on your turn, you and your partner try to get through as many clues as you can. But the catch is, you have to describe the words without using them. It’s a lot of fun and seeing people desperately try to explain some very abstract things can be very funny.

For clearer instructions click here.

Concordia

The most “complex” game on this list, but probably also the most rewarding. Concordia is a game set in the time of ancient Rome. It’s about trying to get settled in different areas, get different resources and buy certain cards. It’s reasonably easy to learn and you will pick up the rules in a few turns, but it is the definition of ‘easy to learn and hard to master’.

Figuring out the optimal moves and when to make them is the big draw of this game. It’s very satisfying to have a plan that comes to fruition and you’ll want to play this again as soon as you finish.

For a more comprehensive explanation, click here.

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