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So, the power is out. You were fortunate enough that you thought ahead, and you took the necessary precautions to keep candles and flashlights ready, you’ve got wood for the fireplace, enough food you can cook without electricity, and plenty of water laid by. With your essentials taken care of, though, you just realized that you have a lot of free time to fill.

If you’ve thought about how to survive once the power goes out, that’s a good first step. However, you need to figure out something to do while you wait for it to come back on. Assuming you’ve got some friends and family around, you might want to make sure you have a copy of the following games.

#1: Movie Buff

While you can’t watch movies when the power is out, that shouldn’t stop you and your friends from showing off your film know-how. Movie Buff is a card game where you and the rest of the table attempt to put together a set of cards including Actor, Quote, Role, and Movie cards in order to make a complete film (so, for instance, you might have Mark Hamill, “May the force be with you,” Han Solo, and Star Wars to make a complete set). While you can have multiple cards of each type for a given picture, once at least one of all four is done, the movie is complete. At that point, the next player has to pick something from the last complete film, and start a new one (which might mean putting down a Movie card for The Guyver since Mark Hamill was in that movie, too).

#2: Betrayal At House On The Hill

This unique board game is great for playing by candlelight. Players all take on a role of a character who has come to the house on the hill to explore it. As the players explore, placing modular tiles for the floors of the house, they draw omen cards. When the omens grow too powerful, the haunt begins. There are dozens of different haunts, meaning that almost every round of Betrayal at House on The Hill is a different game. One game might mean there’s a ghostly killer stalking the halls, while the next involves unexpected werewolves, and the one after that has a witch trying to turn the characters into stew. One player will often be designated as the traitor once the haunt starts, and then the game becomes competitive. So make sure you have the sort of group that won’t have hard feelings if their “side” loses a round before you start playing.

#3: Munchkin

This card game from Steve Jackson games is an old standby for those who love fantasy, and who want to play a casual game. The goal of Munchkin is to kick in the door, fight the monsters, get loot, and go up in level, with the first one at the table who gets to 10 (or 20, if you’re playing to “epic” level) winning the game.

While simple enough to learn quickly, Munchkin also comes in a variety of genres. While the classic Munchkin is all about traditional, Dungeons and Dragons-style fantasy there’s also Star Munchkin (for sci-fi lovers), Munchkin Bites (for those who love vampires and werewolves), The Good, The Bad, and The Munchkin (for Western fans), and the list goes on. While each separate genre can be played on its own, it’s also possible to shuffle them all together in order to make one, wacky, ridiculous game. So if you’ve ever wanted to be an orc werewolf with a laser rifle, and a Khitan hireling to carry all your loot, this is definitely a great game to pass the time with.

John Bishop

Category Survival

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