Top Shelf Games

These are, literally, the games I keep on my top shelf: the games I reach for when guests arrive. The games I will probably never get rid of (until I find something that's truly superior). Games I would immediately replace if lost. These are my "bare minimum" games:

1kBWC: Anyone who's willing to play will get my support.  ; ) The fact that you play with a bucket of pencils and a stack of index cards just makes this perfectly elegant... and the imagination, humor, and creativity involved are ideal.

Apples to Apples: The de facto party game.  Almost always a good idea.  ...Not so great when there's a wide political difference between players, though: the last time we played, I won a trick with "Republicans" to match "Idiotic". The woman who judged that was sitting next to a hard-core Republican.  Ooops.

Carcassonne: The game I play the most, really. It's light, enjoyable, and pretty.

Cathedral: purely aesthetics for me. I have a nice wooden version of the game. It's a quick pickup kind of thing, good to play once or twice; just as good sitting on the table and looking nice.

Chess: It's rare that I'll convince someone to play, but I invariably enjoy it when I get the chance.

Penté: Okay, so I haven't played this one in probably a decade, but I like it.  Truth be told, I will take this off the shelf once I have go and Quarto!, however.

Puerto Rico: Okay, I haven't ever played this.  ; ) It looks enjoyable, if a bit on the heavy side for me. We'll see.

Quiddler: I don't like scrabble; I do like Quiddler. There down side on this game (tons of down-time) tends to be an advantage, since you can talk to everyone who's not currently taking a turn... so I put it in the "party game" category. It helps that it's very easy to learn.

Set: I love this game. I used to play it every day at lunch, and I'm still not at all sick of it. It just strikes me as so sublimely elegant... Nearly perfect.

Settlers of Catan: This is about as "heavy" a game as I can really stand... I really enjoy the mechanics, the map, and the game-play.

Ursuppe: (AKA "Primordial Soup") Okay, here's another one I haven't played yet.  But it looks brilliant! And it bugs the heck out of me that I can't find a group of people to try it out.  : )  I'm going to bring this (and Puerto Rico) to our Halloween party and force it on people, though.  ; )

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