We might be digitally savvy, but nothing beats playing old-school games with friends. Cards, boards, tiles, and even adventure games are wonderful.
Tabletop games make for a great, device-free, way to have a fun time with other humans. These types of games are especially fitting when you are trying to get to know people better; no awkward small talk involved! They also make for an even a better way to spend time with the friends that you have known forever, because everyone’s competitive side can be very entertaining, or scary, which depends on your contenders.
Monopoly and Risk are classics, but there are some exciting alternatives that have a Khaleeji or Kuwaiti flavor to them. We love seeing what our local artists and designers come up with. Their awareness of cultural context brings so much more to the table. Even the games that are based on globally recognized ones were done really well.
Arabic for “Guess Who?”, this game is mostly about the visuals. All of the characters are dressed in traditional clothing and are beautifully illustrated. It is perfect for non-Arabic speakers since there isn’t any reading involved. We love that it works for both young and old players. The fact that it comes in a cute tin doesn’t hurt either. We’re suckers for functional and fancy packaging!
Monopoly Deal is one of our favorite games. It doesn’t drag on like the original. This is the Kuwaiti version. You get three types of cards, properties which are all Kuwaiti neighborhoods, money and action cards. Properties come in different colors and you need to collect three sets of them. You can rely on the colors for playing but you do need at least one person who knows Arabic so they can explain the Action cards. Most people can figure it out right away. We love that the ‘Just Say No’ card is ‘Ma Tshoof Shar’ which translates to see no evil.
Can you play the game of politics? To win at this game you need to secure yourself a seat in Parliament. As in the real-world, strategic thinking, wits and diplomacy can take you a long way. So can a cut-throat attitude of winner takes all. You get to decide how you want to play.
Gool Ay Shay
Sorry non-Arabic speakers, this is the Kuwaitified version of Say Anything. So you need to be able to read the questions. Someone asks a question from their card, the rest of the players answer. Everyone votes for the best answer and the results are recorded. We suggest playing with your funny friends for a more humorous experience.
You might have already played this game with an ordinary deck of cards and called it Old Maid or Shayeb depending on where you call home. There are some differences in the rules and how it is played. But you want to avoid the Wjh Alnhs card. With those creepy eyes, who wouldn’t want to?
Two opposing teams, hidden agendas, misdirections and misinformation. This one is a little more complicated than the rest. You try to take down the enemy, turn some people into spies or expose them. It is a lot of fun but it is better suited for more advanced players that are comfortable with lots of rules.
We secretly wish we had Sherlock Holmes level observational skills, which is why we love this game. This game is made up of fifty-five card discs. Each card has some pictures but there is only ever one image in common between any two discs. There are five different ways to play this game and they are all so much fun. It is pretty fast paced and easy to get a hang of.
But be warned before you sit down and challenge your friends. Some friends need to come with a sore loser warning. If you have one of those, your friendship may end up getting severed. Play at your own risk.