Well this is new. A transcript! Fancy.
We’ll be back next week with a proper episode, for now let’s revisit 2016.
[00:00:00] Hello gang. Hey you might be able to tell from my voice that I’m a little bit under the weather so rather than putting myself through the misery of recording a new episode, we’re going to revisit one of my favorites from the last Christmas. This was an interview with Quinns from Shut Up and Sit Down.
It’s all about awesome board games that you can use to lure. Non-gamers into our world. Enjoy the episode guys and will be back next week for Christmas Eve. So we better have [00:01:00] something for you by then.
It’s Quinns from shut up and sit down hello Quinns.
Hello, Robin. Thank you very much for letting me out of your Advent calendar.
It was very sad tight in there. I hope you’ve eaten the chocolates the I did. I only had the chocolates to go on for for like 11 days, so it kept me, but it kept me going. It’s all me through good. Well. I’m glad you’ve survived because it’s the festive period hooray hooray indeed and I don’t know we’re going to talk about a problem today that many of our list is May face.
It’s Christmas day. We’ve eaten lots of chocolate, drunk at the champagne and someone pulls out the dreaded red [00:02:00] and white box…(monopoly)
That’s the point where I would become quite nervous because the website I run as you said it’s Shut Up and Sit Down, which entirely reviews board games and card games and physical games, which people might not be aware are actually in a really great place right now.
The industry’s growing like like. I couldn’t remember the phrase hotcakes there, and I was going to say hot boats was a very different thing, and yes, you get a dozen of these games coming out every week. We review the very best ones all kinds of great ones and the ones that make you realize just how awful some games like Monopoly can be.
My duty then is to get people to stop playing these games that really just often make them miserable and try and put games in front of them that lead them to creating really happy memories with their family instead.
Oh, that’s what we want. We want happy memories.
I [00:03:00] mean people might immediately then wonder what’s wrong with Monopoly and the quickest way to answer that is to say, you know what, how often do you ever finish games of it, and how much do you still enjoy it when you come to the end of it, and then hopefully we don’t need a reason why, we just know it’s not that entertaining.
But if you’re looking for a reason why, one of the biggest things is that when it’s not your turn there’s no way to be kept engaged with what’s happening. When you’re not actually rolling those Dice and buying a thing. But of course if you don’t like Monopoly, or you don’t like whatever board game. It is your family. You know dutifully drags out as if there were sort of finishing some decades-old ritual that you must play this game every year.
If you don’t like that then the number one thing to do is to bring a game that you do like, that you can put in front of your family, and you can all have fun with that.
That’s on you.
If you’re going to be the grumpy person who doesn’t like Monopoly, then you should be the one to replace it.
Absolutely, and that’s that’s something I love doing introducing my family to games with with stories to be told, and interesting decisions to be made, and things that are [00:04:00] just going to be interesting and exciting and get people engaged.
So Quinns do you have some suggestions for this Christmas for games that people could take along, or even buy for their loved ones and force upon them.
I certainly do! Sorry. We’re going to start with the easy obvious one, and then this train is going to start getting faster and faster, and potentially go off the rails.
But it’s fine because it’s a very safe train no-one is going to die so tickets please. We actually speaking of trains. What a beautiful segue. I know and completely accidental… So Ticket to Ride is a game by a company called Days of Wonder.
It’s quite nice for what it is and pretty affordable. It is a lovely game about essentially trying to connect cities of Europe or America, or whichever version you get. Trying to collect cards and then essentially play those cards you collect all the red cards, then you play them all and you manage to connect to big red route [00:05:00] and place it a little plastic trains down…
But the big problem is that you and all of your family or friends are competing for space on this board so if someone claims that big red route that runs between Paris and London then you know no one else can have that route.
I really wanted to go to London today. I know you did Robin, but no one can go to London because your brother has greedily taken the route and it’s fun because what ticket to ride does is it puts a puzzle in front of the players.
That’s really good and really interesting and really satisfying, but there’s still a sense that you’re really playing with people. Often in Monopoly and Cluedo the only opportunity you’re given to interact with your friends is to sort of make their experience of the game worse.
Where is Ticket to Ride has you sort of in a way, you’re building something together, and you’re watching your friends block one another. It’s it’s it’s good. It’s very simple, and it’s a million times more satisfying than the board games that people keep buying and bringing out year-on-year for reasons that [00:06:00] I can’t fathom.
It was one of my first entry points to the new world of gaming and I had a lovely time. I reckon it also lovely for for all ages all sort of experience levels with games
For people who are having a smaller Christmas. Maybe you don’t have four or five people around the table. Maybe you just have two or three.
I was going to recommend that people find a copy of the game called Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective.
Have you played this one? It’s very good. I’m essentially what shall I comes consultant detected. Is take the Christmas tradition of you know watching a murder mystery, maybe after lunch and says well.
We’re other than watching on TV. Why don’t we solve for mystery together and what you’ve got when you open this box is a map of Sherlock Holmes London and the newspaper the real fold-out newspaper from the day of the crime [00:07:00] in 1893 or whenever and. Essentially it’s a little sort of Choose Your Own Adventure game while you walk around London you decide where to go you pick up Clues, and you have to solve a mystery.
You know you might be for example you go to the scene of the crime, and you might find a cigarette butt near the body, and then maybe you go and visit the local tobacconists, and you find out such and such a person smoke these cigarettes, and you go to their house. It’s incredibly complicated and difficult, but in a good way.
You know this isn’t just some very cheap and easy mystery. This is the kind of mystery which you can read and chew over for hours and hours and have great breakthroughs and have red herrings that take you completely down the wrong path. It’s a tremendously satisfying experience that really respects your intelligence and in terms of something that can just eat up hour after hour of a day and rewards you so much.
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is one of the most satisfying, rewarding cooperative team building experiences, I’ve ever played and [00:08:00] perfect if your Christmas is just maybe you and a loved one just taking it easy ourselves, and I thoroughly recommend playing this with a glass full of whiskey and hats. It’s not something I’ve done, but I’ve seen a lot of pictures, and I’m not going to judge if you want to get the deerstalker go for it.
I’m happy with any sort of hats to be honest. Oh, not even like just like. Sci fi helmets and just whatever just hats it is true that we don’t get to wear hats often enough and Christmas. It seems like a great time to do that um if people were looking for something that is runs more along the theme of sort of Monopoly’s capitalistic territory grabbing sort of ethos, but we’re looking for something that was actually just a much stronger more interesting game, shut up and sit down has, recommended a game called Lords of Vegas yes, it’s good.
It’s a very very strong. It’s it’s a bit more complicated than the games we’ve talked about so far so. You know you [00:09:00] might need to have people who are willing to sit through a rules explanation of 5-10 minutes. But once you get playing it has all of the that the anger and the frustration that people talk about loving in Monopoly, of like you know really grinding the pounds out of your friends, but in a way that enables people to fight back in a way.
That is a lot less reliant on luck in a way that is a puzzle that even when it’s not your turn. You are wrapped and paying so much attention to very briefly explain what the game is you get a big board showing The Last Vegas Strip. Players are going to get control of different bits of it, and they’re going to try and build casinos, but the thing about these casinos is they can merge into one another kind of like um if if you’ve got a bit of spilled milk on the table, and I have some spilled milk and those two milk spills get close enough they’ll absorb and become one.
Lords of Vegas has you working with that except with a lot more rolling dice. I don’t know why I’m describing it as spilled milk trust [00:10:00] me. I enjoyed the metaphor it felt right it felt real. As long as one person did that’s great um.
We’ve gone from something complicated and we’re going to go right back to something very very simple. There is a great sort of party game called Monikers which is basically a great replacement if you play Charades.
I’m here to tell you that there’s a couple of things you can do that a bit better than charades the first thing you could try is reverse charades, which is rather than having one person trying to express something to a group of people, which really means that one person has to make a bit of a fool of themselves in front of their family, which isn’t always what everyone wants.
What reverse arrays does is you get everyone in the room except one person to do the miming, so you and your family have like eight people, you have seven of them all miming you know drawers or whatever the word is and one person trying to [00:11:00] guess and that is just the funniest thing in the world.
If you’re looking for something, that’s a bit more traditional and less silly, but still very silly there’s a game called Monikers which I believe you can buy from Amazon. That’s Mo n ik ERS and what this does really is it’s you get a whole lot of cards with all different things on and it builds up to charades, but it builds up to it through people first having to guess what these cards are through you describing them, and then through you saying one word and word association and it’s quite hard to describe but basically it builds up to charades, and then by the time you get to charades.
Everyone is so familiar with the pool of words and movies enact actors that you’re describing that it’s charades, but a trust exercise where you do something a bit silly in front of your family, and your family immediately get it and that’s in a in a weird way even funnier and more satisfying because yeah, I especially remember being a teenager and having to do charades and just hating it because you go up [00:12:00] and you do something stupid and no one gets it, and then they’re laughing at you whereas Monikers is much more a game where people laugh with you, and it’s great for that.
I can recommend that as well we played it after the Eurovision song contest. Did you now that’s fantastic Robin? You sound like a great guy. What are your experiences of playing board games at Christmas then?
Dixit! What a great gentle game. That works well with people you know because you have this deck of cars that all beautifully Illustrated in a very French way.
Yes, it is a profoundly, pleasingly very French, beautifully so and somebody is the Storyteller and they tell a little story using just a few words or a little dance or even a noise and then everybody puts that beautiful card in, in secret that most illustrates this story, and then everybody has to guess what the [00:13:00] storytellers card was you go.
Don’t say some arty phrase or word, say someone around the tables job. You know if someone if someone’s a policeman then say policemen and then. Everyone putting in a card which is like an abstracted French sort of watercolor interpretation and then seeing how that applies to someone around the tables job is like side-splittingly funny.
what a great box. What a great recommendation, so I feel what we’ve done here Robin is at really just show how big and Broad and strange this world of board games is as soon as you start looking and how it can be a real highlight [00:14:00] for Christmas absolutely. There’s so many stories to be told and an exciting decisions to make and terrible mistakes to be made with hilarious consequences.
Yeah, I feel like if someone just grew up playing Monopoly included with their family. It would even be difficult to conceive of a board game. Where when you lose the game. You’re kicking yourself, and you go. Oh, I should have done this. You know that that mistake was all on me. You know the modern hobbyist board game Market one of the first things you want to avoid is people losing again because through no fault of their own whereas, you know so many of the traditional Hasbro board games, just just punish players with that all the time.
Trust us guys boardgames. Don’t have to be a low point of your Christmas. They can be the highlight outside of the presents obviously and the brussel sprouts. I really like probably to a little bit of pancetta a little bit of garlic some walnuts.
Well Quinns thank you ever so much for joining [00:15:00] us, it’s time to go back behind your special flap of the Advent calendar.
Please don’t put me back in there!
I won’t put you back as long as you can tell our listeners how they can get in touch or find out more about this wonderful world of gaming.
Oh, I could do that. Yeah, so if people would like to know more about board games, then they can do that through my website. Which is www.Shutupandsitdown.com We’re a very friendly site. We’re nowhere near as aggressive as that name implies, and whether you prefer to learn about your board games through reading articles through listening to podcasts or watching funny videos we do all three of those things so ideally you’ll come along and you’ll absorb all the content. [00:16:00]
Visit Shut Up and Sit Down for gaming awesomeness
Check out our online courses
Learn how gaming changed one CfG member’s life
Buy some of the games mentioned: