April is the Cruelest Month

The strongest friendships are the ones that can survive head to head BATTLE!

April is poetry month, but according to Mr. T.S. Eliot it is also the cruelest month. Here are some cruel and competitive games that let you declare yourself to be THE GREATEST, and do the best touch-down dance ever.

Board Game: Betrayal at the House on the Hill

• Designers: Bruce Glassco, Rob Daviau, Bill McQuillan, Mike Selinker, Teeuwynn Woodruff
• Publisher: Avalon Hill
• 3-6 players
• 60 min
• Ages: 12+

In Betrayal at the House on the Hill, players explore a haunted mansion together, until one of the players is cursed and must turn against their former teammates. While the team attempts to leave the mansion alive, the cursed teammate works to take them down one by one. This game is fun for those who like competition, and the variety of outcomes allows for a unique gameplay each time. This is pretty popular game at our library because the rules are pretty simple and the theme is intriguing.

Board Game: Risk

• Designers: Albert Lamorisse, Michael I. Levin
• Publisher: Hasbro
• 2-6 players
• 1-2 hours
• Ages: 10+

In this iconic game of war and area control, players attempt to conquer the world with their armies and wipe out their opponents’ armies in the process. Risk is a fun strategy game that can be played by up to six players, making it great for playing with a friend or with the whole family. Let the battles begin!

Card Game: Coup

• Designers: Rikki Tahta
• Publisher: Indie Boards & Cards
• 2-6 players
• 15 min
• Ages: 13+

Lie, assassinate and betray your friends! This hidden role game is fast and cutthroat. Players are dealt two cards which represent their roles, and also their life. When these two cards are revealed the player is out of the game. The hidden roles include an attack power and a defensive power. You can take out your opponents quickly, or lay low until all your opponents have been taken out by other players. The compact size of this game makes it great for small library collections, and teens and young adults often enjoy the opportunity to lie about their cards, and call others on a bluff.

Card Game: Codenames

• Designers: Vlaada Chvátil
• Publisher: Czech Games
• 2-8 players
• 15 min
• Ages: 14+

Codenames is a quick-playing game of social deduction and deception. Players split into two teams, and each team leader attempts to have their teammates guess which code words are theirs without tipping off the opposing team. Codenames is quick to learn and good for a crowd, making it a wonderful party game.

Card Game: Ultimate Werewolf

• Designers: Ted Alspach
• Publisher: Bezier Games
• 5-75 players
• 30 min
• Ages: 14+

Ultimate Werewolf is the ideal party game of trickery and deception. Players are villagers whose home is being attacked by werewolves. However, nobody knows which of their neighbors can be trusted, and which of them are secretly werewolves in disguise. In each round, players can attempt to vote and eliminate a werewolf; only after the character has died will they know if they were correct. This party game is easy to learn, quick to play, and can be played with different selections of the included cards for added twists.

Tabletop Role-Playing Game: Agon

• Designers: John Harper and Sean Nittner
• Publisher: Evil Hat
• 3-6 players
• 2-4 hours
• Ages: 13+
• Available: Book, PDF and on Roll20 at https://evilhat.com/product/agon/

Play mythic heroes from Greek myth, making their way home from the Trojan War in the midst of capricious deities and mythic creatures. See your name die rise as you gain glory. In every conflict, one player will be the victor – in the end, you will either return home as a glorious hero whose name will ring out through the ages or as a name whose deeds were lost to time.

Video Game: Among Us

• Developer/Publisher: Innersloth Games
• 4-15 players
• 15-30 min
• Ages: 9+
• Available: https://www.innersloth.com/games/among-us/

A party game of teamwork and betrayal. A murder mystery game where crewmates work together to complete tasks before one or more Impostors can kill everyone aboard. Players may be ejected into space if others deduce they are the impostor. 

Video Game: Goose Goose Duck

• Developer/Publisher: Gaggle Studios, Inc.
• 1-16 players
• 15-30 min
• Ages: 7+
• Available: on Steam https://gaggle.fun/goose-goose-duck

Work together and communicate to defeat the malicious Mallards whose goal is to sabotage your mission. This game is much like Among Us with the addition of several good, evil, and neutral roles that add an additional layer of deception and a bit of silliness to each game.

Video Game: Project Winter

• Developer/Publisher: Boltrend Games
• 5-8 players
• 15 min
• Ages: 12+
• Available: Steam, Nintendo switch, Playstation, Steam, Xbox  https://projectwinter.co/

Communication and teamwork is essential to the survivors’ ultimate goal of escaping in the game Project winter. Survivors must gather resources, repair structures, and brave the wilderness together as they try to restore the cabin radio and call for help. But BEWARE, there are traitors in the group with a goal of stopping your escape. 

Additional Recommendations:

  • Board Game: Dogs of War – Viciously take down your friends in this combo of stock-market mechanics and combat.
  • Board Game: Secret Hitler – This game is a game of lying, deception and taking out the Fascists in our midst.
  • Video Games from Jackbox – A bunch of the Jackbox games are amazing for taking out library patrons. Champed Up! (Party Pack 7) , Murder Trivia Party 2 (Party Pack 6), and Push the Button (Party Pack 6) are all vicious, deadly fun.

Interested in maybe joining us? drop us a line at Gamert@ala.org

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