While not overseeing the board game programs at my library, I am the Teen Librarian. Engaging teens is a constant challenge and I am always trying to identify new strategies to bring this demographic into our buildings. I feel that board games, with their presence in pop culture, large selections at retail stories such as Target and Walmart and presence at conventions such as Comic Con, is a great way to engage teens and offer a unique type of passive programming. At my library, we have numerous board and card games stationed in the Teen area available for use at any time. These games do not circulate and there is no check out process. I strongly believe that offering games in the teen specific areas at your library whether academic or public will allow teens to feel comfortable and afford them the gift of discovering various services that you have to offer. If you are looking to adopt some new games at your institution with strong teen appeal, check out the list below to discover new games that have been just released or are coming later in 2019:
“Embers of Memory: A Throne of Glass” Game (Ospery Games)
Based on the popular books by author Sarah J. Maas (author of A Court of Roses and Thorns among other very popular YA books), this card game is releasing in October/November. This game selection would allow you to promote some of your Throne of Glass titles and add a literary tie-in to your board game programs.
“Marvel Splendor” (Space Cowboys)
Splendor, with Marvel theme. Enough said. (I checked the Space Cowboy website and could not find any more details).
“FunkoVerse Strategy Game” (Propsero Hall/Funko)
This game was announced at Comic Con 2019. It merges the extremely popular vinyl figures with a strategy game. Each game comes with four goals you are trying to beat in a 2v2 matchup. At release on October 1, there will be two base games and “expandalone” expansions. The themes are Harry Potter, Batman (complete with Catwoman and Harley Quinn), Rick and Morty and The Golden Girls. The best part about this game is you can mix and match and play with varying character abilities. For example, Harry and Hermione can battle Joker and Harley Quinn as well as exchange powers – i.e. Harry can use the Batarang and Harley Quinn can use a wand. This game looks completely awesome and will capture teen interest.
“Death Eaters Rising” (The OP)
This game works very similar to USAopoly’s Thanos Rising. Players use dice to battle He-Who-Shall-Not-be-Named. I haven’t been able to find an exact release date but as someone who is a fan of Thanos Rising, I will be picking this up.
“Tailsman: Kingdom Hearts” (The OP)
Based on the popular video game, this will appeal to both video game and Disney fans!
A brand-new dice game variation of the extremely popular card game. My library has a copy of “Sushi Roll” in my Teen area.
“Wakanda Forever” (Spin Master)
With Avengers: Endgame being the highest grossing film of all time, Wakanda Forever allows players to experience being the Black Panther. Becca Scott just released a playthrough on the YouTube channel Game the Game and it seems very, very entertaining.
“Sinister Six” (Spin Master)
For fans of Spider-Man, this card game allows players to become their favorite Spider-Man villain and perform various heists. I saw this on so many people’s Instagram post about GenCon! The game seems very fun and light enough to teach quickly.
The film IT: Chapter Two releases on September 4, 2019. While this game might be geared for older teens, I think this will appeal to those teens who loved the 2017 film and those who are experiencing the Stephen King classic.
For the ultimate Disney Fan or for your trivia events.
Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein
This might appeal to more of the academic librarians who check out this blog, but Plaid Hat Games has released a game about building Frankenstein’s Monster. Offering this game during class or to supplement the curriculum based on Mary Shelley’s famous book might engage teens in a unique way.
Which one do you think teens will like most? Did I miss any? Share in the comments below.
Ashleigh Hvinden is a Reference and Teen Services Librarian with the Carlsbad City Library in California. Ashleigh loves IP board games and started developing a collection in 2016. In college, Ashleigh was the one who had all the board games and would make her friends play Disney Scene-It so much so that they would refuse to play. Her favorites include Chess, Monopoly, Splendor, Lords of Waterdeep, Thanos Rising, Ticket to Ride, and Farkle. Ashleigh is always looking for a brand-new game to play and listens to way to many Board Game Podcasts.