Tabletop games give fun alternative for being online


Maddie Bernet

The worlds of Clue, Ticket to Ride and Exploding Kittens build paths of adventure, creative outlooks and entertainment for everyone.

Maddie Bernet, Staff Writer

Competitive games are not always online such as GamePigeon or Wordle. Board and card games are a friendlier form of competition and can be played in person rather than on a screen. Knowing the other contestants helps to create a non-toxic game compared to playing with unknown people online. Creating memories is the name of the game, and students play their way into lasting bonds.

Ticket to Ride

In this two-to five-player game, participants create railroad tracks across continentsthe more they create, the greater points are won. Ticket to Ride is a group game that turns players into entrepreneurs, where contestants compete against each other to capture the railroads, gathering more points as they continue to build. Contenders solve problems through strategizing on how to build their railroad after the original path has been blocked. The ability to make decisions on the go allows players to still have the opportunity to gain the point needed to win.

“There are many layers of strategy that you can use to try to best your opponents,” sophomore William Read said. “It really takes any skill level, and you keep improving and trying to come up with new strategies.”

Players are able to learn how to use body language to their advantage; keeping a stoic facial expression hides a player’s plan on where their track will go during expansion. Building multiple larger paths at the same time rather than focusing on one can also throw opponents off a participant’s trail, leading to more and more points.

“I’ve gained the ability to read the people I play against,” junior Ahiska Ganta said. “I’ve gotten good at making my paths not too obvious.”

Ticket to Ride’s players enjoy blocking each other’s paths and making life difficult for everyone. Trusting others is the way players lose their planned tracks. Typically taking 30-60 minutes, this $55 game is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Exploding Kittens

Outlasting every other player is the goal in the card game, Exploding Kittens. Using special cards to attack, defend and strengthen abilities, this two-to five-player game brings on the rivalries between friends through unexpected cards and plays. The anticipation of drawing the exploding kitten card by moving and exchanging cards gets higher and higher during this game.

Different cards have different abilities including the attack, nope, favor and see the future cards. By playing an attack card, a player does not have to pick up a card, avoiding the chance of picking up the exploding kitten, and force the next person to pick up two cards. The nope card has the ability to cancel other cards out such as the attack card. The favor card requires a contestant to give up a card to the person playing the card and the see the future card lets a player look at the top three cards in the deck. 

When the exploding kitten card is drawn, the contestant will be eliminated unless they possess a diffuse card. Throughout the game, players must change their strategy and approach, trying to avoid the dreaded exploding kitten card that ends it all. 

“I love the competitive aspect of Exploding Kittens,” freshman Rachel Shear said. “I like this game because of the fun cards and cool mechanics.”

The design of each card is unique to each of its individual functions. The quirky, cartoonish and colorful style of the art draws players into the world of unicorn cats and taco kittens.

“The design is fun and colorful with epic illustrations,” Shear said. “The diffusing cards are some of my favorites because of their designs and silly meanings. One card would diffuse an exploding kitten with catnip sandwiches.”

Despite the morbid name and premise, this $20 game provides light-hearted fun for everyone above the age of 7. 


One death, six suspects: players must find out who commited the murder of Mr. Boddy by searching for clues in his mansion. Requiring secrecy and wit, students interact in rounds and aim to be the first person to discover the identity of the murderer by moving throughout the mansion suggesting different weapons, people and rooms involved. This two-to six-player game steps into the experience of being a detective through the process of elimination in this murder mystery game.

“I learned to use logic instead of guessing randomly,” freshman Imaan Mirza said. “There is a lot of problem solving at different levels of difficulty.”

“I learned to use logic instead of guessing randomly. There is a lot of problem solving at different levels of difficulty.”

— Imaan Mirza

Hiding what players believe is happening is a big factor of winning Clue. The players must be able to keep a straight face, or else their intentions will be discovered. Keeping secrets is the only way to figure out the mystery.

“My favorite part of the game is really the ending because you spend a lot of time playing,” Mirza said. “When you finally find out who it is, it’s never really who you think.”

On average, Clue takes about an hour to navigate the twists and turns of keeping people on their toes. The curiosity of players is the driving factor of what has them come back to this board game classic.