September 15, 2015
Teambuilding is a vital part of keeping your work force together and ensuring unity amongst your office. But if your company is fairly small, shelling out money on comparatively expensive activities might not be the way to go. True, they are brilliant but there must be something out there to do teambuilding on a budget, right? Thankfully, yes there is and it certainly beats simply amassing your employees together on a night out. In this blog, we take a look at the board game revolution and offer up six games that can pull your workers together.
Note: We have an update to this blog for 2017 with all new games! Click for Six More Great Board Games for Team Building.
The traditional board game has undergone a bit of a revolution in the past fifteen to twenty years, kickstarted by huge hits like Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, Ticket to Ride and Dominion. If you’re not familiar with these and were expecting the usual list of Monopoly, Cluedo and Battleship then prepare for disappointment. But trust us when we say you won’t just be playing these games to enhance your employee relationships but we are pretty certain these board games will dominate your Christmas this year as well.
The co-operative game may not be something you’re used to but boy is it fun to work in teams and in some cases defeat the game itself.
Codenames (pictured) was the recent hit game at Gen Con, the largest board gaming convention in the United States. In this game, players are divided into the red and the blue team with each side having a Spymaster. There are 25 names presented to the players – codenames of agents working ‘in the field’. Some are red, some are blue and using only the simplest of one word and one number clues (Festival: 3 would ideally get your team to select 3 codenames that relate to the word ‘festival’ for example), your team must pick the names that match your team, avoid accidentally revealing an agent for the other team and definitely avoiding picking the name of the Assassin who will kill the game stone dead immediately. A fun, thrilling game that only lasts twenty minutes, this will undoubtedly improve lateral thinking and working as a team.
A board game that you might just find in Waterstones these days, Pandemic sees everyone working together to defeat four viruses that threaten to wipe out the world. With each of you assigned a special role (the Medic and the Researcher are but two examples), you must attempt to find the vaccines to wipe out these diseases once and for all whilst trotting around the globe. Just don’t pull an epidemic card because you might find London is overrun with germs before you know it. Encouraging a group to work co-operatively together to achieve one main aim, this is a superb little game. Another similar option would be Flash Point: Fire Rescue, where you play as firefighters looking to save lives amidst a roaring nightmare that threatens to bring down the structure of a rather unfortunate family home.
Dead of Winter
Who doesn’t love zombies? With Hallowe’en fast approaching and The Walking Dead continuing to thrill us all (that reminds us: feel free to book your Hallowe’en entertainment now!), the Dead of Winter is sure to delight everyone who plays it. Working as a team in a small community overran by zombies, you need to move your characters to various locations including the school and police station in order to find supplies, weapons and medicine to stave off the zombie hoard. A crossroads game, any move you make could alter the course of the game with unique story cards forcing you to make one of two difficult decisions over and over again. Save yourself or save others? Argh! Another exciting aspect to this game is that one of you is a betrayer looking to screw over everyone else. Why? Who knows? But can you work out who they are before it’s too late?!
Perhaps the ultimate sit-down party game, The Resistance is a game for five to ten players that will have you shouting and cursing at the table. There is hope for the teambuilding aspect however as you must work together to figure out just who has infiltrated your team of revolutionaries. Similar to Mafia and Werewolf, at the start of the game each of you receives a card showing if you are a Resistance member or a Spy. The spies are outnumbered but know whom their allies are. Resistance members only know that they themselves are good and must work to assemble fellow friends as quickly as possible by going on five missions. If three missions fail, the spies win. If three succeed, the Resistance win. Trust us when we say this is a game of trust and poker faces that will excite and infuriate in equal measure.
Escape the Curse of the Temple
Another co-operative game, Escape the Curse of the Temple thrusts you head long into the world of Indiana Jones. You know that bit at the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indy sprints from that rolling boulder? It’s kind of like that. Imagine you have tripped that boulder and have just ten minutes to escape the temple with your life intact. Your friends are all with you and you all need to get out to win. To do this, you frantically roll dice, find yourself cursed, rely on the help of others to come back to you and are extremely likely to end up breathless from it all. The craziest ten minutes of your life, it’s impossible to have just one game. Just perfect to showcase the unity between your office.
Two Rooms and a Boom
Available as a ‘print and play’ (so pretty much free), Two Rooms and a Boom is a party game that requires two rooms of your office to play. But damn, if it isn’t fun. Although not strictly a board game it encourages interaction and we guarantee you’ll have a great time playing. The red team have a bomber on their side. The blue team have a President they need to protect on theirs. At the end of each round (five, four, three, two and one minutes long), hostage swaps take place. If after the final round the bomber is in the same room as the President, the red team win! If the President is in a different room to the bomber, the blue team win! With every player having a different role and spies aplenty, you’ll have to work quickly to figure out who to trust and who to alienate from your group. Thrilling.
Naturally, we’d love for your business to continue to grow as a result of these sort of games so if one day you do find yourself wanting a more immersive teambuilding experience (such as CSI or an incredible Lego experience) then get in touch using the links below.
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By Henry Fosdike