9 Nerdy Board Games for Non-Nerdy People (in which I reveal a whole new geeky side of myself)

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This month, I’m participating in The Nester’s “31 Days of Change” project. The challenge: to write every day for 31 days! Click here to read more and to see what other listy-things I’ve been up to.




Neither Kenny nor I would categorize ourselves as nerdy. But we both enjoy playing games that may nerdy people play. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. 7 Wonders is a fun game for 3 or more people, which means that Kenny and I don’t play it often. But it’s a fun one to play with a group and is not all that difficult to play. We play this game with Kenny’s brother Kevin a lot. The game goes through 3 “ages” where players use their resources to purchase different items to accumulate points.

7 Wonders Board Game

2. Betrayal at House on the Hill is not a game that Kenny and I own but I wish we did! This is another group game–at least it starts out that way–and then the game can change into a hundred different things. It’s hard to explain, but just understand that you’re exploring a haunted house and ANYTHING can happen. This is a longer game and I don’t think it can be played with two players but it is more fun with more people anyway.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

3. Settlers of Catan: Cities and Knights–let me just get this out there. Everybody loves Settlers, but the Cities and Knights expansion makes it SO MUCH BETTER. It becomes way more intricate (yet not too much more complicated) and will make the regular Settlers seem boring.

Catan Cities and Knights

4. Dominion/Seaside: Dominion is a fun card game that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking and is easily played by two or more people. We also have the Seaside expansion but we found that it doesn’t make the game that much more fun/different. The original is fine on its own! My only complaint with this game is that there often isn’t that much interaction between players, since everyone is sort of doing their own thing. Ken and I can get into a silent zombie-like state while playing this game and it gets a little weird. It’s also tough (for me) to tell who is winning until the end when the points are counted, which takes out some of the competitiveness for me.


5. Eurorails is one of the longest games I will play–it takes about 3 hours to get through a game. But it is fun. It’s like Ticket to Ride but way more intense–you get money by picking up and dropping off cargo all over Europe. It takes a lot of concentration but if you’re playing with the right people it can be a lot of fun.

Eurorails Board Game

6. Forbidden Island is a game I got for my birthday this year from a great friend who knows me well. It’s one of those games where everyone is on the same team and we’re all playing against the game itself. Normally I do not like these games because I don’t understand what is going on, but this game I UNDERSTAND and can actually contribute to the strategy. The premise: You are on an island that is sinking into the ocean and have to rescue the treasures and get off the island before it sinks completely.

Forbidden Island Game

7. Guillotine is a card game set during the French Revolution. The premise? We’re all executioners trying to execute the highest-ranking nobles. This is a super fast, fun game that is really great to play with a group. Also, it’s best to play this game while eating cake.

guillotine card game

8. Lost Cities is a perfect game for two or more people that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking…just a lot of counting to ten. This game is nice because it is somewhat based on chance, which means that Ken and I’s marriage has a chance of surviving through it.

Lost Cities Board Game

9. Ticket to Ride is one of our favorite games to play with friends. It’s easy and fun and there can be a LOT of interaction/anger between players as routes get snapped up. We have the 1910 expansion and love it just because it offers a lot more routes than the original game. We’ve also played Ticket to Ride Africa (verdict: great) and hope to play India with friends soon.

Ticket to Ride Board Game Cover

Funny story about TTR: Kenny and I played this the morning before he proposed to me. He won handily, and I was so mad that I threatened not to speak to him for the rest of the day (petty, I know, but I get really into games). And then he asked me to marry him about an hour later, so OF COURSE I had to break my silence and say YES DUH. Kenny gets the upper hand in life EVERY TIME.

We’ve played a myriad of other games, but we’re always looking for new games to play! What are your favorite nerdy games?


  • Pandemic and Flashpoint are games of cooperation, which I find I enjoy more than I win, you lose games (or more oftenly, I lose, you win). Perfect timing for this post–it’s starting to feel more like indoor game weather.

  • Awesome post! Guillotine’s best when eating cake – ha! This is a huge help as I’m getting my girlfriend a board game for Christmas. Thanks again!

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