(Pocket-lint) - Maybe it's just us, but we can't be the only ones who've almost got a hoard of board games at this point, taking up storage that simply doesn't exist in our flat. Whether our board game box is under the stairs or in the living room, there's nothing like a family trove of great games to bail you out on a rainy day.
Whether that means the titanic repetition of Monopoly, the "is this actually even a game" bafflement of Ludo or the cerebral brilliance of Settlers of Catan, truly great board games tend to stick around.
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The business of board games is absolutely booming, though, and superb new games are releasing all the time. To shake you out of your comfort zone, and get you playing some brilliant new options, we've taken a look at some of the very best games to have released in the last year or so, and listed them here for your consideration.
You never know, this could be the start of a new board game infatuation for you.
Our guide to the best new board games to buy today
One of the most celebrated new games to release in years, Wingspan is an inspired look at birds, weaved carefully into a complex but rewarding game. You take on the role of bird spotters trying to discover unique breeds of bird, and detailing their characteristics.
The art is beautiful in the extreme, and the tone is more gentle than you get from most competitive board games, as a result of its subject matter. It's really a superb new addition to the canon of great board games.
There's nothing like a full-on fantasy RPG to get the blood pumping, but these generally require a degree of dedication, legwork and preparation before you can really enjoy them as a group. Gloomhaven is like an entire world of RPG fun in a box, with intricate campaigns and amazing combat encounters to enjoy as a group, and while it's one of the priciest games you could care to find, it's also extremely rewarding.
Beasts of Balance
This fun balancing game is brilliant for families, and has the added bonus of a free tie-in app that helps you to organise the game and work out who's doing what, and letting you play competitively or cooperatively depending on what you're looking for on a given day.
It's as simple as it looks, letting players compete to stack up towers of animals and shapes as high as they can without overbalancing the stack and having their work tumble to the ground. It's superb fun if you have kids, and a great way to bond as a family without parents suffering from any boredom.
Mansions of Madness
If you prefer your board games cooperative, perhaps to keep family friction to a minimum, there's plenty of fun to be hand in Mansions of Madness, a take on the terrifying mythos of H P Lovecraft. The best part is that, with the aid of a companion app, you can play together against the AI rather than having one player take on the role of Keeper.
That makes it really great fun for a group who want to work together, while its creepy tone makes for plenty of great moments.
A War of Whispers
The newest entry on our list is A War of Whispers, which is making a splash after its Kickstarter campaign. This great game takes a look at the traditional tabletop war and strategy simulators, like the Game of Thrones board game or Risk, and twists it cleverly by positioning players as the spymasters, not the generals.
This means that guessing the intentions of other players is as important as your own plans, and it's also been designed to be playable much more quickly than other grand strategy games. You can complete a game in an hour easily, making it a really useful game to fill a bit of time.
Klask might, in some ways, stretch the definitions of a board game — it's very dexterity-based, and has much in common with air hockey or table football. But it's on a board, it's nice and compact, and it's also absolutely superb fun. Players face off with a range of ways to score points on each other, whether by getting the little ball they hit around into the other's goal, forcing them to lose control of their magnetic flicker, or seeing their opponent attract two of the floating white magnets onto said flicker.
It's fast-paced fun, and rounds are so quick that you're sure to get into leagues and long-running rivalries in no time. The perfect board game for quick (or long) breaks in the office, Klask is simply a game you have to try.
Silver and Gold
If you're looking for something a bit more portable and quicker to play, Silver & Gold is a new card game that could do the trick nicely. You each try to complete treasure maps that look more than a little like Tetris pieces — it's a game of patterns, but with a pirate twist.
Wipeable cards pair with pens to make it endlessly replayable and quick round times mean that you can squeeze plenty of games in if you're on a journey or holiday.
Keyforge is the new(ish) game from Richard Garfield, who originally designed the seminal Magic: The Gathering. Like that game, this is a constantly evolving competitive card game, but it's much simpler to pick up and play than Magic, deliberately so.
The big twist is that, rather than collecting and buying new cards to create perfect decks, Keyforge is built around the idea that each deck is unique and stands on its own. Your deck will look like no one else's, meaning that every game against a new opponent is a learning process with inventive new changes. It's a great idea and a fun game that's got a good chance of building into a behemoth over time.