Whether used as a date night, family night, or over-Zoom activity, board games are bonding opportunities. Sure, someone might freak out and run an arm across all the pieces because that’s how it goes sometimes — but, hey, that’s a memory. Since we’re guessing, much like ours, your board games have certainly seen a lot more action in the past few months of the pandemic, it’s a good time to pick up a new version of a classic game like, say, backgammon or dominoes. Both games are simple to learn but never play out the same way. And the more you play, the better the games become. As luck would have it, innovative design studios from across the world regularly release elegant versions of these two classic board games. More works of art than simple activities, they are perfect for a night in with your partner or a small, socially distanced backyard gathering with friends this summer and beyond. Plus, they’re ideal for connecting with actual humans away from screens, even though they’re almost too handsome to use. Almost.
There’s a reason Backgammon is one of the world’s oldest board games. While simple to learn, it offers an addictive one-on-one match that keeps it in steady rotation. Yeah, you might need a YouTube refresher if it’s been a while since you played with your grandparents. But once you jog your memory, you’ll be so hooked you’re challenging your partner to a round before bed each night. This version, with its colorful Art Deco-esque update from Swedish design studio Printworks, looks so good you’ll keep it on the table even when the game is over.
Handmade in San Francisco, this minimalist domino set features 28 intricate pieces that are laser carved from aluminum. The price tag is on the steeper side, so they’re perfect if you’re looking for a set you’ll keep in the family for generations to come. You have the option to purchase the set in a cotton carry bag or a wooden box.
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