Secret Stage Top Fives: Tabletop Games

Summer is winding down, and video game season isn't out in full force yet. How should you spend your free time? Grab a few friends and try some tabletop games! You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has never touched a board or card game, and trends indicate that people are embracing this form of gaming more and more in recent years. Here are some of Secret Stage's favorite tabletop games:


HM. Risk - "Fuck that game. It can end friendships."

5. Daring Eagle - "I haven't played this board game in years. I got it at the 2005 Scout Jamboree from the armed forces area. It is pretty much just propoganda as all the cards relate to some real life piece of military hardware. But it was still fun to play, but required between 2 and 4 players so not always possible to play."

4. Rummy - "This for me is the go to game if we want to play euchre but have more/less than four people. It is a fun game that is pretty easy to learn."

3. Euchre - "Although I don't play it that much any more, it is only because the people who do are usually much batter, and I always feel bad for my partner."

2. Beer Pong - "This totally is a table top game. It really doesn't need any expenation as to why I like it. It is just always a good time."

1. Bang! - "If you don't know what this game is you should look it up. It is a card game themed around the old west, with outlaws, renegades, deputies, and one sheriff. Simplest way to explain is the sheriff and deputies win if the sheriff stays alive. They lose if he doesn't. One of my hall mates had it up north at school and I was instantly hooked."


5. Monopoly - "While I love the complexity of Triopoly, I've yet to find a good group willing to play something that hardcore for a decent length of time. Monopoly, however, is the perfect length of time and provides just enough depth to keep things simple yet interesting."

4. Cranium - "Trivia games can be fun, but rarely will you find a group of people with competitive knowledge of the same topic. Cranium uses your brain in a different way, by forcing you to think on you feet and problem solve as quickly as possible. There's nothing like it." 

3. Texas Hold 'Em - "A classic. There's nothing like staring an opponent in the eyes and knowing you're about to take their money."

2. Stratego - "This is another game that takes a lot of critical thinking and strategy. Once you get a better understanding of the game, you'll start to see what the opposing pieces are your mind, even if you can't see them visually.

1. Risk - "Risk is without a doubt my favorite tabletop game. There isn't any better platform for planning large-scale strategy and watching your domination unfold turn after turn."


5. Poker – “Mostly Texas Hold ‘Em. I enjoy games where you have to get in your opponent’s head.”

4. Cards Against Humanity – “It’s a solid game. The reason it’s on this list is because it’s a game that’s designed to be played casually; although it is competitive, players typically don’t pay attention to the score as much as they would in a more competitive game.”

3. Parcheesi – “It’s like Sorry! but with more strategy and less chance.”

2. Euchre – “This is a game I like because of the team aspect. There are multiple different approaches and every set of partners dictates a different game dynamic. Again, getting inside your opponent’s head, but the game also forces you to learn what your partner is thinking.”

1. Chess – “I learned how to play when I was young and I’ve loved it since. For me, it’s the ultimate game of 1v1 strategy and forces you to get inside your opponent’s head. I love games where strategy requires players to think so far ahead and determine multiple outcomes on which they base their moves.”


5. Mouse Trap - "The game itself really isn't that great. But it's another nostalgic one. I always loved setting up the game, and trying to rush to the finish to set the trap off. It was a pretty creative game for its time if you ask me."

4. Super Happy Get F****d Up - "Of course another drinking game. But this one is fun, you can screw people over, and it's a good way to get messed up in a hurry. Ha."

3. Ones, Fives, Three of a Kind - "This game has many names. You play with five dice and the only want to score points is to roll ones, fives, or three or more of a kind. This is more a nostalgic one for me. Often played with my family, it's been a fun casual dice game for us to play. Competitive, sometimes on the edge, and mostly based on luck."

2. Mexico - "It's a fun dice game, that puts your lying skills to the test. There is usually adult beverages involved, so that doesn't hurt. You get to see which of your friends are quick witted, and good liars. "

1. Monopoly - "This has to be on the list, and there are so many different types. If you're a nerd about something, they probably have a monopoly based around it. It's fun, competitive, and a well rounded game."


5. Pay Day - "A board game that my sisters and I used to play at my grandmas when we were young. It's worth a lot in nostalgic value."

4. Monopoly - "Causes a love/hate relationship between friends. Now it's great because there are so many editions of it like Marvel, Zelda, and Nintendo."

3. Dungeons and Dragons - "Insanely fun with the right people."

2. Dominion - "Another game brought to me by family that we often play when we are all together. Great game of strategy!"

1. Clue - "All time favorite group game! It's a classic."


5. Dixit - "A recent find, but a fast favorite. You need a group to play this, but with the art on the cards and the words/phrases people will come with for the description, it is highly amusing. Also quick and easy to learn for all ages."

4. Dominion - "Deck building card game with a TON of expansions. This is fairly simple as well but does require some strategy to keep track of your points and hope you have more than the other players by the end of the game."

3. 7 Wonders - "This game is similar to Sid Meier's Civilization in that you have leaders, ancient cities, military, science, wonders etc. Over the course of just three ages, you must acquire the most victory points and thus, this game can get very heated. This is one of my favorites as it's not for players who are new to table top gaming, but not super difficult or time consuming either."

2. Magic The Gathering - "I'll be honest. I don't play this or my number one choice as much as I'd like to since moving to a city where I've yet to find a MTG/D&D shop as accepting as my old one. However, I love the game itself and it set the foundation for SO many other card games. Plus I have my own deck now and I'm hoping to build on it and learn which color combos work best for my playing style."

1. Dungeons & Dragons - "As stated in my number 2 description, I wish I could play this more often. I have a badass Half- Elf Ranger and my own dice set mind you. Even though I can't play as often as I'd like, it is still my favorite table top game for many reasons. Brings you closer together with friends, the role playing is extremely fun, the story element is enticing and the luck of the dice rolls keeps you on your toes. Not to mention the fact that if it were not for this historic game, RPG's across the board... table top and video games alike... would not be what they are today."