Archive chinese new year

Published on January 31st, 2014 | by Nicole Jekich


Top 5 Games to Play for Lunar New Year

It’s A Horse of Course!

This weekend marks the start of a new year in many Asian cultures and this year is 2014 Year of the Horse. In addition to fireworks, tasty food and red envelopes we think that getting in some board gaming with friends and family can be tons of fun and could also bring you good luck! We have five board games with an Asian-themed setting that we recommend playing over the weekend and includes a variety of gameplay for both young and old players. Enjoy!

yedo board game

1. Yedo:

Out of all the games on the list, Yedo is the game I most recently had the pleasure of playing. Yedo is a more dynamic and theme-driven Euro-game than most others I have played. Players represent a Japanese clan that is trying to impress the ruling Shogun; but players aren’t the good guys in these scenarios. Feats of strength, honor and chivalry are replaced by bribing, kidnapping, espionage and sometimes all-out acts of war. You are trying to prove your capability by any means possible. Yes, this game covers many themes that aren’t kid friendly, but for those adults who love a good competitive game that deals with treachery and outbidding, Yedo will provide a couple hours of fun!

tokaido board game by naiiade-d5lcitk

2. Tokaido:

Travel the ancient road Tokaido that stretches from Kyoto to Tokyo, down the coastline and compete with your friends to have the best vacation ever! This isn’t a National Lampoon vacation we’re talking about either. Players follow the road and visit many scenic spots along the way. Players pick a traveling character who has their own reasons for traveling down Tokaido. The characters “compete” by collecting the most unique knick-knacks, meeting interesting people along the journey, taking relaxing breaks in hot springs, collecting a panoramic picture of the area and of course, my favorite, stopping at all the inns for a hot, delicious meal. Tokaido’s gameplay centers around set collection and the game is so relaxing it always feels like everyone wins in the end. Take a look at Luke’s review here!


yomi card game

3. Yomi:

This card-driven combat game was the first release by game designer David Sirlin. The characters in Yomi are based on many characters from  Street Fighter “a certain Capcom franchise” that Sirlin was working on previously so there are some noticeable similarities with character styles. Yomi is a game made up of premade decks tailored to each character’s personality and abilities. It is like poker in a way where a deck has cards of a certain suite and a player competes to have the best hand and in addition to the usual straights, flushes, etc many cards have added abilities. Decks can be purchased individually or in a large complete set with all ten characters. This game is perfect for those friends and family members new to gaming as Yomi’s similarities to poker makes gameplay easy to learn.

takenoko board game

4. Takenoko:

Everyone loves Takenoko because who doesn’t love pandas?! In Takenoko players take on the roles of courtesans to the emperor of Nippon and are tasked with feeding a young panda and by growing their fields of bamboo. Players are tasked with irrigating and caring for their bamboo plot and growing three different bamboo species. A winning player is crowned after successfully accomplishing a certain number of tasks assigned to them by the emperor. My friends and I all rave about how much fun Takenoko is. The game is slightly over the ideal of 30 mins for a casual game and kid-friendly game, but Takenoko still shines with its unique gameplay and the inclusion of an adorable baby panda.

Hanabi Card Board Game

5. Hanabi:

Hanabi was the winner of the Spiehle des Jahres award and is a family favorite card game designed by Antoine Bauza, the creator best known for his 7 Wonders. Players are trying to form straights using a different colored fireworks. The caveate is that players are trying to build the straights together and through the use of deduction and teammwork. Hanabi is great for families, fits a maximum of five players and can accommodate a player as young as eight years old. To read more about Hanabi, check out Kyle’s review of the game here.

What games will you be playing to bring in the Lunar New Year? If we missed any of your favorites, let us know in the comments, tell us on twitter or post about it on Facebook.

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About the Author

Nicole Jekich

came from humble beginnings as a Boise suburbanite with a love of Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. She attended an open board game day three years ago and is now an avid gamer and fantasy artist. Her interests are primarily in Dungeons & Dragons, dice placement and Roman-themed tabletop games. Nicole is also a fan of playing games that let her release her inner barbarian. Her favorite game currently is Far Space Foundry.

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