Ten Modern Games to Replace Classic Games

Ten Modern Games to Replace Classic Games

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Honourable Mentions

There were some other games that almost made the list. I was contemplating recommending Inis as a replacement for Risk, but the truth is I haven’t actually played a game of Risk to completion and as such I don’t actually know if it’s true. Also our review of Inis has been on the todo pile for a long time and so I couldn’t actually link you to a more comprehensive analysis. I think it’s probably a decent suggestion but I just didn’t have the confidence to say for sure.

For Battleship I was going to recommend Captain Sonar but really the only connection between the two is ‘submarine captains trying to land a kill before their opponent’. Plus it just needs so many people to bring out the most in it. The other alternative was Treasure Island which I played at a convention once and hated, but apparently a large part of that can be explained away by a terrible rule book. I have a copy of my own now and I’ll revisit it when time permits. Again, the fact there are no reviews available for either of those also tempered my desire to put them on the list.

For Yahtzee I was going to recommend Escape: The Curse of the Temple but the real-time aspect is just so heavily emphasised that I think there would be a large amount of culture shock. None of the other Yahtzee inspired games we’ve discussed on the blog (CV, Roll Through The Ages, Elder Sign, etc) are anything I’d really particularly want to play myself on most occasions.

I almost suggested Nmbr9 for Connect 4 but as I was writing my justifications down I thought they felt a little thin. I also thought about suggesting Jamaica for Candyland but I haven’t ever played Candyland to know if the comparison is reliable. I’ve actually played fewer classic board games than you might expect and a lot of the ones I have played aren’t really well known. Do you remember Ghost Castle? Key to the Kingdom? I owned and played those. Hero Quest? Well, the chances you know someone with a copy are already pretty slim. My copy is long gone.

Charades almost got a mention, along with Concept but I think that’s stretching both the definition of ‘classic board game’ and ‘games I think you’d love’. In the final consideration, I wasn’t sufficiently convinced of either.

That List in Full

RankGameReplaced By…
10MonopolyChinatown
9Clue(do)Mysterium
8Connect 4Potion Explosion
7ChessOnitama
6PictionaryTelestrations
5PokerSkull
4Game of LifeFog of Love
3Snakes and LaddersJamaica
2JengaRhino Hero Super Battle
1ScrabbleScrabble

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  12 comments for “Ten Modern Games to Replace Classic Games

  1. Grumblefist
    18/09/2019 at 5:32 am

    I’ll open by saying nice work.
    Personally I’ve not played potion explosion the board game. So can’t comment. (Played the phone app though)

    However, my 4yo loves baren park. Very Tetris-y / connect4-y IMHO. Nice bright colours and interesting (optional) scoring choices.
    Also, it means I can buy me, *cough* I mean her, the expansion for Xmas.

    Everyone is a winner.

    • 18/09/2019 at 5:33 am

      The thing I l like Potion Explosion is it just feels good to play. Not the mechanisms, the components. The noises. And I think that’s part of what people like from Connect 4 – the slotting of discs and enjoying seeing them rattle into place.

      Barenpark is certainly a fine game, and it’s good that you’re being kind enough to get her the expansion and undoubtedly will play it with her constantly. 🙂

  2. Aaron Bredon
    18/09/2019 at 5:32 am

    There is actually a classic game that still works in the modern day: the original Careers – that is my choice to replace Life – still a roll and move where you go through life, but in Careers you have more control over what happens. Like Monopoly, everything can be traded, but there is no player elimination. It even subverts the whole roll-and-move concept with Experience cards that can replace the roll with a small controlled move, and 1/3 of the outer board giving Opportunity cards that give players the ability to go to various jobs.

  3. Marcius Fabiani
    18/09/2019 at 5:32 am

    I disagree about chess and poker. A friend of mine recently sold his copy of Onitama, and I asked why. He said: “Why play Onitama, if I can just play chess?”. And poker has very little to do with Skulls (I like both games) other than the bluffing. Skull is closely related to a game we call Porrinha in Brazil, though.

  4. CigarGuy
    18/09/2019 at 5:32 am

    If you like Scrabble (better yet, if you hate it because of people who have memorized the 2-letter words and are unbeatable) why not try Tim Fowers’ Hardback?

    • 18/09/2019 at 5:33 am

      I found Paperback a little too… good natured… to really scratch my Scrabble itch. I take it Hardback is meaner?

  5. David Hopkins
    18/09/2019 at 5:32 am

    What do you think of Mystery of The Abbey (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/915/mystery-abbey) as a more direct replacement for Clue(do)? It has the same core deduction mechanics, but eliminates roll-and-move time wasting, and adds a lot of other monastic thematic elements.

  6. PlanetJuggler
    18/09/2019 at 5:32 am

    I enjoy Bananagrams much more than I ever enjoyed Scrabble.
    As for a replacement for Clue/Cluedo, I’d recommend “Deception: Murder in Hong Kong”. It gives a card-driven detective vibe while also having a hidden traitor mechanic.

    • 18/09/2019 at 5:33 am

      Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is definitely a really strong alternative recommendation. One of my favourite games in general. 😀

  7. Marc
    18/09/2019 at 5:32 am

    Downforce might be a good alternative to Candyland. Both use card based movement systems and have silly/dramatic moments. Downforce is actually a game, though.

    • 18/09/2019 at 5:33 am

      Unfortunately I haven’t actually tried Downforce to comment, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind as a possibility. 🙂

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