The 10 Best French Board Games
Who hasn’t spent a Sunday afternoon or evening with family or friends playing board games? These games get several people of all ages together around a single activity. While it may happen that some parties turn sour and some bad characteristics or cheaters resurface to move in on memorable squabbling, board games are still one of the most enjoyable activities for us, especially at a time like ours when everyone tends to go about their own business without sharing real moments of complicity with their family.
9 February 2018
The 10 Best French Board Games
Many games from around the world punctuated our gaming sessions, from endless games of Monopoly, to Cluedo’s investigations, to the made up words of Scrabble. But France is not left out and there are other games just as fun. What are these games? This is what we’ll see in this article!
Jungle Speed was created in 1991. You can play it with as little as two people, and there is no limitation on the maximum number of participants. The game contains cards with different symbols in 4 different colours: yellow, orange, purple and green. At the beginning of the game, these cards are dealt evenly and face down to each player. One by one the players turn over a card. When two players have turned over a card with a similar symbol, they must seize the totem in the middle of the circle as quickly as they can. The first one who manages to catch the totem gives the loser of the head to head all the cards he has turned over until that point, the goal being to get rid of all his cards at the end of the game. You see, you’ve got to be fast, lively and to look sharp, everything goes super quickly! Lose focus and you’ll lose the duel. Especially since there’s an extra difficulty: some symbols are similar without really being the same, so don’t rush and stay a little vigilant. If a player rushes on the totem and is mistaken, he must pick up all the cards that have been turned over. The game is based on chance, and therefore requires a little concentration and reflection, as well as physical skill. We must also be careful: it often happens that with the sudden movements of several players, the totem does not really end up in the hands of a single player but rather in the face of another, for example… Watch out.
Blanc Manger Coco
It’s like the French version of Cards Against Humanity. Granted, this game isn’t really necessarily one which we enjoy playing as a family all together, old and young people. It’s quite likely that this game will create a slightly confusing atmosphere, discovering the twisted minds of some of the members of your family. Nevertheless, Blanc-Manger Coco is a very fun game to share with friends. The principle is simple: each player is assigned a number of white cards, which correspond to sentence endings or answers to questions. Then we put a black card in the center, which corresponds to the beginning of a sentence or a question. Each player selects from the cards he has in hand, the card he believes best compliment to the black card. In the end, when everyone has chosen his card, each player reveals their choice, and each turn a pre-chosen player referee chooses the combination that seems the funniest. So far, so good… The peculiarity of the game is that these white cards and black are rather twisted, and so the combinations are all the more creepy. As a result, there are great moments of humour, and confusion…. You have to be creative to surprise your friends and score points, but not too much, you don’t want anyone thinking there’s something wrong with you…
1000 Bornes is a game based on the theme of racing. Players have a number of cards in their hand and draw an extra one each turn. The goal is to accumulate “bornes”, a slang way of designating the kilometres, until reaching the number 1000. These “bornes” are represented by cards “50”, “75”, “100” and “200” that the player must put on the table to advance, but there are also cards to put a spoke in the wheels of opponents, such as breakdowns, speed limits, fires, etc… If a player is stopped by one of these cards, they need to have the appropriate card, which lets them counter and to continue its progression. This game therefore requires thinking and anticipation to put the right cards at the right time, but also a little luck, to succeed in drawing the right cards when your gaming partners decide to hound you!
Les loups-garous de Thiercelieux
This game, although newer than the others, has quickly become a classic board game party. It is a board game of atmosphere in which each player embodies either a villager or a werewolf. For the villagers the goal is to unmask and kill all the werewolves, while the goal of the werewolves is to eliminate all the villagers. There must also be a leader who does not take part in the game but who animates the game, who randomly distributes the cards at the start to determine who will be villagers or who will be werewolf etc … The game is punctuated by periods of day and night. At nightfall, all players have their eyes closed and the werewolves are called by the playmaker to designate their next victim. The day returns, all the players reopen their eyes and the leader announces the name of the victim who will not be able to intervene until the end of the game and gets to keep the eyes open during each night. Subsequently, debates and discussions take place where everyone tries to unmask the werewolves, while the werewolves must try to divert suspicion on other people. The game ends when there are only villagers or werewolves left. We must therefore show a lot of observation, analysis and deductive spirit because we can not have any formal proof of the identity of each player. This game is a very good activity to animate a session of board games with your loved ones by stimulating everyone in a fun way.
Kem’s is one of the most famous card games in France. It’s usually played by four players but more can play, divided up into teams of two. Each competitor needs to be facing their partner. Players on the same team agree beforehand a secret sign that will allow them to warn their teammate. At the beginning of the round, each player receives 4 cards and 4 cards are placed in the center of the table. The goal of the game is for a player hold in their hand the 4 cards of the same series (eg 6 of diamonds, 6 of clubs, hearts and spades). To do so, players must use the 4 cards that are arranged in the center, exchanging one of the cards they have in their hand with one of the cards in the center. Thus new cards appear in the middle that can be used by another player. As soon as no more players want to exchange cards, we remove the 4 cards in the middle and we put 4 others and the game can restart. When a player has the 4 cards of the same series in his hand, he must discreetly execute the sign he had chosen with his teammate so that the latter can see it and announce “Kemps” (“Kem’s” in French language). In this case, the team scores a point. If an opposing player realises it before, he can say “Counter Kemps” (“Contre Kem’s” in French) in which case it’s their team that scores a point. However, if they announce Contre Kem’s while the opponents haven’t the 4 cards yet, the other team wins the point. We must therefore show speed, observation, but also discretion and cunning to bluff our opponents and lead them into error!
La pétanque (Bowls)
In this case, we are a bit far from the card game or the simple board game where we play indoors. This game, which is often attributed to the South of France, is also an official sport with more than 300 000 registered players. La pétanque is played in one against one, two against two (doublet), or three against three (triplet). The goal is to shoot a pétanque ball and place it as close as possible to the goal (a small wooden ball with a diameter of 30 millimeters) that was previously launched by one of the players. Once a member of a team has thrown his ball, it is to the opposing team to throw his ball up to place a ball closer than that of the 1st team. As soon as he’s placed a ball closer to the goal than an opposing ball, it was up to the other team to regain control. At the end of the round, the team whose ball is closest to the goal wins a point and a new round can start. In general, a game is played in 11 or 13 points. La pétanque is a very friendly game often practiced during the summer period in the early evening with his family, enough to have a great time!
Trictrac is a game of dice based on chance. It is played with two, and requires a deck similar to that of Backgammon. At the beginning of the game, each player chooses one of the two draughts colors and makes three or four stacks on the heel located on his side. Each dice can move a draught a number of arrows equal to the number of points it displays. It is necessary for the movement is possible that the arrival arrow is not blocked, that is to say, does not contain an opposing draught. The goal is not to get our draught out as quickly as possible by making them all around the deck, but to score as many points as possible by creating specific game situations that will bring a certain number of points. It’s a game based on chance, but that’s not all. There are indeed a whole series of rules, restrictions on the movement of the draughts and other special terms that the players must know to play properly. It is therefore a stimulating game because it mixes chance and decision making as well as anticipation.
Who has not heard of the babyfoot? It is a game simulating a game of football on a table and generally opposing two players or two teams of two players. The table consists of a board representing the field on which move eight bars that support the eleven players of each team. Using the bars, players must manipulate their figures laterally and rotate them in order to control, stop or hit the small ball that represents the ball. The goal, as in any football match in real life, is of course to shoot and bring the ball into the opponent’s cage. A babyfoot game usually goes in 5 or 10 points depending on the configuration of the table. When the game is one-on-one, each player must manage alone the 4 bars on his side which can be a little more complicated because it is necessary to focus on the whole board and the 4 bars. When the game is two-on-two, each player on the team usually handle two bars, one takes the bar of attackers and midfielders, and the other of defenders and goalkeeper. It is a very popular game in France but which also has an international reputation with competitions around the world. Many people enjoy playing with their friends and this game can animate the outings and parties, it is a very friendly and dynamic game where you do not get bored. It is necessary to show speed, dexterity and strategy but also team spirit when one plays with two. Watch out for bad players!
The game of the baccalaureate, also called “Petit bac” is a game of letters whose purpose is to find in writing and in a limited time a series of previously defined words beginning with the same letter. Beforehand the players must decide the categories of words they will have to find (such as a name, a city, a job, etc.). Each player draws on a sheet a grid of points with a column for each decided category and a line with the letters that will be drawn during the game. The game can then start: a lot is drawn and each player must find for each category of words previously chosen a word starting with the letter drawn by lot. Once a player has finished finding a word for each category, he announces it aloud and all players must stop writing. Then comes a correction phase or for each category each player announces the word he has found. The scale is as follows: 0 points for no answer or false answer; 1 point for a correct answer that was also found by another player; 2 points for an answer that only the player has found. The game continues until the 26 letters of the alphabet have been processed. It is a very entertaining and stimulating game that allows young people to discover new words, and all players to train to mobilize their knowledge as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is also a good way for people of foreign nationalities learning French language to learn new words and to mobilize acquired vocabulary!
Here it is! You have now some new ideas to have fun with your friends and your family during the lazy days!