Back to Basics: Curious Card and Board Games

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If Linkee’s success has demonstrated anything, it’s that there’s still a place for the old-fashioned board or card game in the 21st Century. Gathering around the kitchen table with family and friends can be a brilliant experience once you’ve unfolded the board and memorised the rules.

But like most things, board and card games are an ocean: deep, wide and teeming with curiosities. Let’s take a look beyond the Monopolies and the Blackjacks and see what hand we’ve been dealt over the years.

Haunted House

An oldie but a goodie, Haunted House tasks you with navigating a house of horrors and dodging traps. Landing in a danger zone (the red circles) means you’re at risk of getting knocked off your feet by the “whammy ball”, dropped through the chimney and triggering a trap at random. It takes a bit of setting up, and it’s had several incarnations over the years (including a Ghostbusters edition!),even if not all of them are that charming. But it’s certainly memorable and it’s an interesting idea. Track down a copy on eBay if you can.

String Railway

All aboard? This unusual game has you building a railway network…out of pieces of string. Players establish a play area with the black string, followed by a mountain and river, and then use their pieces of string to connect station cards. Board games blog Shut Up and Sit Down seemed to like it, anyway.


This cute little board game tasks you with building a hospital, healing patients and stamping out diseases wherever you can. We’re not sure how we feel about healed patients going on to represent units of currency: elegant gameplay mechanic, or thinly-veiled social commentary? You be the judge.

Ladies and Gentlemen

This game pokes fun at the values and ideas of the Victorian era. In teams of two, players assume the roles of a Victorian husband and wife, the former trying to make money and the wife trying to spend it. But the game doesn’t try to endorse or encourage these ideas: instead, it aims to poke fun at them. We think the fact a servant costs far, far less than a ballgown is an especially savvy point.

Poo: The Card Game

We’re not being facetious. This is a real game.

As the inhabitants of a monkey cage, the aim of the game is to throw as much poo as possible. The cleanest monkey at the end of the game wins. We…we don’t really know what else to say about this one, really.


Got any of your own suggestions? Let us know in the comments!



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