Leave Monopoly and Cluedo in the cupboard: there are plenty of great new board games on the block to see you through lockdown. To narrow them down, we asked Dan Jolin, editor of independent board-gaming magazine Senet, to pick three tabletop gems to suit newcomers and even the most advanced gamers.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly game that creates a bit of party atmosphere, you could do far worse than Codenames. A word association game with a Bond-esque spy theme, it splits players into two teams. Each selects a Spymaster, who must use single-word clues to help identify that team’s hidden field agents from a shared grid of word cards – without accidentally revealing any of the other team’s agents. It’s furious fun. RRP £16.99. www.johnlewis.com
For seasoned board gamers
One of the biggest hits of last year was Wingspan, which gives each player their own picturesque habitat and tasks them with filling it with birds, each of which is gorgeously rendered on one of the game’s 170 unique cards. It’s competitive but never vicious, as you populate your ecosystem with the appropriate avians and trigger their specific abilities to score points. This makes it a gentle, engaging way to bring the great outdoors into your living room. RRP £59.99. www.theworks.co.uk
For tabletop titans
Gloomhaven is a sprawling medieval fantasy epic in a box – and the best tabletop experience out there right now. Each player chooses a fantastical mercenary and you work together to complete tough, battle-based scenarios. Like the best binge telly, it will have you hooked for months. And if it sounds too intimidating, its entry-level version, subtitled Jaws of the Lion, is a great – and cheaper – way to try it out. RRP £149.99. www.waylandgames.co.uk