Puzzles and board games to beat boredom
Bored of the same old board games? Looking for something to occupy your mind? Ditch the screen and find more wholesome fun with the best adult puzzles and unusual board games to buy online.
The surprise must-have of self-isolation is the humble jigsaw puzzle, with stores selling out online as soon as lockdown kicked in. After much hunting, we can report that Waterstones online has the best selection of puzzles in stock, and more due within a week that can be pre-ordered now. Plus there’s a pleasing selection of arty and literary images.
The Monopoly Deal card game has all the wheeler-dealer trading without the protracted slide into bankruptcy. At first it sounds complicated but once you get your head around it, the game is surprisingly addictive and complex enough to remain interesting even if you’re limited to just two players. And it’s easily portable for more mobile times ahead.
Imagine those little puzzles that come in Christmas crackers, but beautifully made and fiendishly difficult. Hanayama's elegant metal creations are challenging enough to occupy days (often weeks). Logical minds will be just the right side of frustrated, and the repetitive movements and strategic demands are a good way of zoning out of anxieties.
This aesthetically pleasing abstract game is all about making a mosaic tile pattern in a royal palace. Azul is simple enough to grasp but strategically complex enough to grip over multiple games and epic tournaments.
2 - 4 players
Niche 2013 board game Pandemic has become a sellout item thanks to its sudden relevance to contemporary life. Players take on the role of different experts and scientists fighting to save the world. It's surprisingly satisfying to take control and to use your ascribed skills to 'win' against the deadly virus.
2 - 4 players
Ditch the ancient Trivial Pursuit and invest in Linkee for a general knowledge game with a twist. The fast-paced and lively game involves answering trivia questions and finding the the thing that links the four seemingly disconnected answers. There's no learning involved: just pick it up as you go along.
2 - 30 players
Work out who is telling the truth and who is bluffing to blend in. The Chameleon is a game of secret words and clandestine codes, where players have to solve and come up with a series of clues to reveal who is lying. It's an intriguing game, that gets better with a few drinks.
3 - 8 players
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