Catan

Ever think your kid has telekinesis and is changing die rolls with his mind?  On a first name basis with the thief who is stealing your stuff?  That’s Catan1 for you.  Catan is everywhere, but Catan is also a small step above the roll and move games like Monopoly of our youths.  You roll the dice, you hope it gets you some resources, and you buy roads and cities with those resources.  But the dice do hate you.

Ticket to Ride

Note: I can’t talk about this game without starting to sing the Beatles song.  You know what’s cool about trains?  Almost nothing.  You know what’s cool about Ticket to Ride, a classic game based on making train routes across America?  Almost everything.  It’s like riding Amtrak without the breakdowns.  Ticket to Ride is about collecting sets of train cards of the same color and turning them in to collect rail segments, with the goal of connecting cities across America with your rail network.  The longer the distance, the more points.  You can play it peacefully or cutthroat, you can pick it up easily but spend a lifetime mastering.  Play time is around 30-45 minutes.