What games would you recommend to stock at a mountain lodge rental?
February 9, 2015 10:51 AM   Subscribe

If you were responsible for stocking the entertainment at a large (sleeps 18) mountain ski lodge with no internet, what would you provide? We're not talking about movies since we got that covered, just traditional and electronic games.

My father-in-law has a large cabin in ski country that he rents out. He's recently done maintenance and upgrades up there and has asked me for advice on computer games. I didn't want to recommend that he go out and purchase an Xbox One or PS4 since most kids these days would bring their own and the lodge doesn't have internet.

I was thinking that he would be better off getting a retro/flashback ATARI console with built in games. I figure this would be better for the novelty factor. I also wanted to suggest that he update some of his board games with some of the more modern classics like Settlers of Catan.

What do you think I should recommend?
posted by daHIFI to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (39 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Settlers is very accessible, easy to learn for visitors, as is Ticket to Ride. One problem is that both can be dependent on having all the pieces and there are lots of them and they may be prone to getting lost. You might also try a card game, I like Citadels.
posted by biffa at 10:56 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Spinner, Farkle and Snatch It are low mental investment, easy to learn games which play well with people who have a variety of interest in playing games at all.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:58 AM on February 9, 2015

Apples to Apples
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:58 AM on February 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

posted by phunniemee at 10:59 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dixit, Sequence, Settlers with the expansion, several decks of cards, poker chips.
posted by michaelh at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2015

Chess, checkers, and backgammon are classics. You can get all three of them in the same package for ~$20.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2015

Yeah, for classics:
Scrabble + dictionary
Mexican Train dominoes set

Spot It - they have a bunch of variations on this now, eg sports, animals...
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:02 AM on February 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Carcasonne and Bananagrams are both fun, easy to pick up, and playable with a mixed age group.
posted by emilyw at 11:02 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


posted by sparklemotion at 11:03 AM on February 9, 2015

posted by jbenben at 11:04 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Lots of decks of cards. (and pads and pens)
Cards Against Humanity
Apples to Apples

I like Wii for games. You can get Wheel of Fortune, Let's Dance (I think that's what it's called,) Bowling, etc. Games lots of folks like to play.

Rock Band?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:08 AM on February 9, 2015

I don't think the appeal of an Atari-era retro system is going to be very strong for most visitors -- kids won't like it much and the adults who still have any interest in video games will likely prefer something more modern as well..

However, a Wii or a Gamecube could be a good choice. Get a few controllers and some multiplayer games -- who doesn't love Mario Kart?
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:11 AM on February 9, 2015

If he's renting to families, Cards Against Humanity is iffy; it's not G rated. Be sure you check it out to see if he would feel comfortable offering that to renters who might be bringing their kids.

One that I've seen a few times at rentals/B+Bs is Scramble Squares, which are 9-piece puzzles that are super duper hard to solve. Less risk of any of the pieces going missing than with a regular jigsaw (although regular jigsaw puzzles are great and inexpensive).
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:13 AM on February 9, 2015

Many, many decks of cards. Poker chips. An Uno deck or two.
Also don't forget the old school stuff - a cribbage board, Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, etc.

And since you don't have internet, I would assume people are bringing their own via smartphone or tablet. Have a few spare chargers around: power-> usb dongles, micro usb cables, Apple thunderbolt and maybe even an old 30pin cable. These might get "accidentally" taken home though, so if you can setup a charging station instead, that might be an idea.
posted by cgg at 11:16 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd get a pinball machine.
posted by Jairus at 11:27 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Skulls & Roses, a bluff-based card game which requires no mental math or card counting.
posted by Poppa Bear at 11:30 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wits and Wagers
posted by amarynth at 11:30 AM on February 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Can't go wrong with items that can be used in many different games - lots of decks of cards (poker, spades, spoons etc) , sets of dice (liar's dice, farkle, bunco) , dominos (chicken foot, 42). A nice touch might be to add a list of games that can be played with each including instructions.

The other advantage to that is you can play with groups of varying sizes.

If he is thinking electronics, i would do the Wii. Opportunities to be silly instead of just shooting people and strategy are always good on vacation.
posted by domino at 11:51 AM on February 9, 2015

Nthing Apples to Apples; I don't much like board games in general and even I like that one.
posted by holborne at 11:53 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks guys, I'll point him to this post. I think the Wii is a good idea as far as video games go, but no way is Cards Against Humanity going to fly. I can just imagine the complaints after the first church group trip.
posted by daHIFI at 11:54 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

The problem with pinball is it's noisy and only one person is playing it at a time. It's pretty rare to find any electronic game that more than 4 can play at once. But unless there's a small screen dedicated to the game, or it's in a separate room from the main hang-out space, it will tend to dominate the focus for the room.

So my vote is for mostly board and card games. Carcassone, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers from above are all good suggestions. This is probably mostly only good for when a few people stay home while everyone else is skiing; they don't work with more than 4-6 people usually, and are reasonably involved so aren't ideal for when there's a bunch of other folks around trying to socialize.

But party games are great for big groups of people: Taboo, Pictionary, Times Up, Apples to Apples, Smarty Party, Wits & Wagers

Some in between games (these are relatively light and quick, but more strategic than party games): Category 5, Qwixx, No Thanks
posted by aubilenon at 12:05 PM on February 9, 2015

A few more -
Forbidden Island or Castle Panic - two cooperative games that work with elementary age kids and adults
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:18 PM on February 9, 2015

posted by soelo at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2015

Kill Doctor Lucky
posted by plinth at 12:38 PM on February 9, 2015

Don't forget to leave a book of hoyle card game rules. I'm sure there are people that maybe kinda know how to play a card game but don't know the actual rules.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 12:50 PM on February 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

Timeline is just about perfect for this- very easy to understand and simple to play, playable with just two people or a crowd, and it remains perfectly playable even if you lose a whole bunch of the cards. There are several different decks, all of which are playable with each other. It's a great game to play with kids and older people as well
posted by Adridne at 12:56 PM on February 9, 2015

We used to rent out a family house on an island with no internet. Always popular were the classics like chess, checkers, backgammon, decks of cards and a card game rules/instruction book, and Pictionary, dominoes, Scrabble, Monopoly, and Twister (works for kids and adults as well.) We also always had some difficult jigsaw puzzles around. We also had a ping pong table, fun if you have the room, and there are some that fold up for more compact storage. A card table that folds up is also nice to have.
posted by gudrun at 1:12 PM on February 9, 2015

Apples to Apples for sure. It's fun, social, easy to learn, good for wide age ranges, and playable by smaller or larger groups.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:21 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd go with classics. When we go camping, we bring a cribbage board and cards, dice for Yahtzee, dominoes, and Uno. Other favourites are Rummoli, Farkle (you'd just have to provide dice) and Skip Bo.
posted by looli at 1:44 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing a bunch of stuff (Apples to Apples, Catan, Ticket to Ride), and Scattergories hasn't been mentioned yet.
posted by box at 2:42 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Love Letter

Only 16 cards, easy to learn, fun quick play. They will play over and over.
posted by luvmywife at 3:05 PM on February 9, 2015

posted by Thorzdad at 3:47 PM on February 9, 2015

Nthing Spot It, Poo, Wii games.

Skip Bo is a fun card game for a couple people to play or a group. Rock, Paper, Poker is a card game with no betting, quick and easy to learn.
posted by Lay Off The Books at 3:48 PM on February 9, 2015

Balderdash and Catch Phrase
posted by Altomentis at 4:10 PM on February 9, 2015

I've been thinking about this a little, and, as your space and budget is limited, I think you might want to try to have at least one game from a few broad categories. Something like:

1. Pre-classics (backgammon, chess/checkers, Go, cards and gambling paraphernalia, etc.)
2. Classics (Monopoly, Clue, Risk, Sorry!, etc.)
3. Games where people show off their knowledge (Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, Scattergories, Balderdash, etc.)
4. Games where people show off how well they know each other (Apples to Apples, Compatibility, Gift Trap, etc.)
5. Strategy games (Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, etc.)
6. Kid games (Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, etc.)

There's probably an obvious one I'm forgetting, but you get the drift.
posted by box at 4:40 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

(And if you're going to have a deck of cards, try to have a copy of Hoyle's Rules of Games or similar too.)
posted by box at 6:59 PM on February 9, 2015

Fluxx in its wide and varied forms.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:25 PM on February 9, 2015

Scattegories, Rummikub, Banaagrams, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, Cribbage.
posted by shesbenevolent at 7:43 PM on February 9, 2015

Nthing Clue, btw. Nobody doesn't like Clue.
posted by holborne at 8:49 AM on February 10, 2015

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