Game Treasure Hunting Roundup

Are you, like me, living alone in a social-distancing nightmare? If you are, and even if you aren’t, I’m sure we could all use more gameplay, right? Well, I certainly can. I decided to go on a mission to find cheap, new or old, games at antique stores, flea markets, and my local Target store to see if I could find solo and two-player games with my mother. I’m a fan of finding good deals and treasure hunts, so this was right up my alley. 

If you’d like to do this yourself but are concerned about visiting those types of places during COVID, I suggest going during a weekday, as I did. Traffic is much lighter. I also decided to look at a variety of online, free to play, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) that are good for beginning gamers.  All of the MMORPGs listed have system requirements that you may wish to compare against your personal computer.

Here’s what I found:

Board Games

  • The Original Checkered Game of Life (Milton Bradley, 1970)
    • Ages 6+
    • Players 2-4 
    • Strongly luck based with some light strategy
    • This is a replication of the 1866 version of the game. At the time it was released in 1866, the game was for ages 6+. However, it is very dark game and includes fates such as suicide and ruin, which you won’t find in the modern game. For that reason, I’d suggest more mature players for this game.
  • Mancala (publisher and date unknown)
    • Ages 6+
    • Players 2
    • Abstract strategy, luck, and mathematical/counting game play
    • Mancala dates back thousands of years to Africa & The Middle East. This game has many variations as it’s been adapted in cultures around the world.

Card Games

  • Dutch Blitz (Dutch Blitz Game Co., 2014)
    • Ages 8+
    • Players 2-4
    • This game was created by a German immigrant to teach his children about colors, numbers, and mathematics. It’s an easy to learn and fast-paced game.
  • Pairs (Hip Pocket Games, 2014)
    • Ages 12+
    • Players 2-8
    • You can play up to 20 separate games with the deck. Instructions for all twenty of the games are included in the game.

Dice Games 

Online Video Games

  • Lord of the Rings Online
    • Age 13+
    • This game is an MMORPG. The quest content is free to level 20. It can remain free to play, if you’re willing to grind to earn LoTRO points so you can purchase additional quest packs.

Let us know what games you find on your treasure hunt! We look forward to your contributions in the comments below. Happy treasure hunting!


This post is written by LeeAnn McNabb. LeeAnn is a GameRT member and a member of the GameRT Membership & Promotion Committee.

2 comments

  1. Board Game Arena (https://en.boardgamearena.com/) is a free website that has tons of board games that can be played online with friends or strangers. It includes some familiar classics like Yahtzee and 7 Wonders, and a wide variety of other games from lightweight and party games, to more complex games for serious board gamers. New games are continually being added. A paid version ($24/year, or $4/month) lets you initiate certain Premium games with friends, but there are still plenty that are free. Along with Zoom/Skype, Board Game Arena works really well for game night. Our family and friends are now using it with their friends/family! One downside is that there’s a bit of a learning curve with the interface for less tech-savvy folks (there are some videos on YouTube), but in terms of learning how to play new games, there’s lots of support on the site–links to rules, video tutorials, prompts and tips within each game interface, and the ability to observe other games in progress.

  2. Some online boargames:
    Boardgame search for PC on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/tags/en/Board+Game
    A lot of titles are now available there.
    A good tabletop simulator also on Steam:
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/286160/Tabletop_Simulator/

    And of the MMORPGs i’d mention Guild Wars 2. It’s very easy for begginers, and free to play (original game+1expansions are free with some limits). I’d also recomend playing on European servers for whose very friendly community i can vouch!

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