I Need a New Game

StartokerStartoker Member
edited May 2013 in On The Table

Hello on The Table Geeks,

    Just joined & this is my 1st post. I'm a PhD candidate at Wright State University and am looking into cognitive maintenance for older adults in a gaming environment. Searching for games that match the following criteria:

  • Six or more players. Fewer players OK but must be able to accommodate at least 6.
  • Individual, not team or cooperative play, i.e. "There Can be Only One" (winner that is).
  • Not collectable
  • Turn-based. Older adults like to chat or munch while it's not their turn.
  • No early elimination
  • A good measure of strategy (Yes, older adults like to think)

Minis (not collectable) are a plus.

Accommodation of late arrivals a plus.

War theme/or component a plus for males. Puzzle theme/component a plus for females.


I know this is a challenge; but if there's something out there like this I'm thinking you folks would know of it.

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • I was going to suggest The Resistance or Werewolf, but those don't meet your criteria.

    Possibly 6-player versions of Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne? Unfortunately those games don't expand to more players, 6 is the maximum (and you need an expansion for Catan to get 6 players anyway).

    Tsuro can have up to 8 players, it's a quick game too - but it does have early elimination.

    Any variant of Fluxx or Munchkin may work - easy to have more players when you have a lot of cards (in Munchkin), and with Fluxx you can always add in a new player at any stage just by handing them three cards. Unfortunately they're not as strategic as other games, as you can't plan too far in advance - things change too quickly.

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  • Sound like your standard D&D 3.5 or similar table top RPG system would work for that. Just run a campaign setting that involves all the characters completing against each other (eg: a 'Running Man' style dungeon crawl or they could all be champions of their respective tribes/clans that have been picked to battle out a territory/resource dispute between the clans/tribes as an alternative to all-out-war).
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    I have to strongly oppose what @StealthDovah said. No offense meant, but IMHO classic RPGs depend way to much on the GM for being balanced enough to run a fulfilling campaign of PvP...
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  • An ordinary RPG is not played this way, but I do think a motivated Gamemaster could use the framework of D&D or some other game to adapt to this particular niche. Roleplaying offers action and combat, as well as puzzle solving; it can accommodate a group of 6 or more pretty well; it involves strategy; and early elimination is not usually a problem. It is a versatile medium, really, but it depends heavily on the creativity and prep work of the GM.

    I also think the social interaction of roleplaying is a mark in its favor. D&D may not be exactly turn-based, aside from combat initiative, but it can be played with a consistent rotation as the GM asks each player in turn what they want to do.

    Many people use tabletop maps and boards with miniatures, if that seems like a helpful central focus.

    If you want individual, non-cooperative play, you could write the scenario so that each character is on their own, or pursuing individual victory conditions like the happily ever after cards in Once Upon a Time. Or they could be grouped together as rivals, rather than allies or enemies. Avoid PvP or you are likely to get some early eliminations.

    Dungeons & Dragons never stopped anyone from munching on snacks in my experience.

    If you are looking for a ready-made, pre-structured game, then this may not serve as well. But if you like the challenge of composing an adventure to suit the circumstance, an RPG may allow you to get everything on that checklist.
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    @Farlander. My point is basically that the GM will never be able to provide an even ground for everyone in the game. Even if you find the perfect GM that could pull this of, someone will inevitably feel short changed. RPGs are simply not really build to be played against each other for a longer period of time and my feeling is: This will end in tears.
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  • MrHelloMrHello Member
    edited May 2013 PM
    Alhambra, Dixit, and Fluxx were all played on tabletop, and meet most of the criteria that you're looking for.  Out of the three Alhambra sounds like it's closest to what you're looking for.

    As for RPG's, I tend to disagree with that too.  Those games appeal mostly to a niche market, and they aren't easily marketable to those that aren't interested in it.  You'd be better off with a simple game that is easily learned, and appeals to a wide range of people.

    Best of luck.
  • You might take a look in the TableTop forum rather than On The Table as this forum/show is geared primarily towards collectable miniatures games.

    To meet your conditions you will be more interested in "Euro Games" which tend to keep all players involved until the end of the game and lean more towards problem solving and/or resource management.

    Some of the games suggested here may be a bit problematic depending on what exactly you are looking for.  Fluxx, for example, is a very volatile game where the rules are ever changing.  The more people that are involved the more protracted the game will likely be and the more difficult to keep track of what is going on from one turn to the next.  There is also very little strategy involved.  Munchkin will likely suffer similar issues with larger groups.

    Tsuro is not bad necessarily.  The individual games will go quickly (especially with larger groups).  There will be player elimination but since the games will be quicker they can get in and play again shortly.  If you are looking for an activity that will occupy an hour or longer you may have trouble with players getting tired of playing the same game over and over.

    Before I get too long winded here you should check out this thread in the TableTop forum which specifically discusses games for larger groups of people.
  • edited May 2013 PM
    Settlers of Catan (plus expansions), Ticket to Ride, Alhambra at the 3 best that meet your criteria that I know of.  All 3 won Game of the Year and all 3 are outstanding games

    Bang, Sequence, Fluxx, Resistance and Dixit I also agree with.  Even Clue is a pretty cognitive game, especially if you can get the master detective version (more rooms, more players, a lot more deduction).

    A good 5 player game I found is Tobago

    Once Upon a Time and Fiasco are great for story tellers, if RPGs are a bit too involved.

    Best of luck :)
  • In terms of board/card games, 7 Wonders meets all of your criteria EXCEPT the turn-based one.  All players are choosing their next card simultaneously, and then when everyone has their card, everyone plays it and resolves their turn at the same time.  But you can always slow down the tempo of the game, or take short breaks between turns.
  • Scotland Yard meets your criteria pretty well. http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/438/scotland-yard

    It has pieces (minis and tracking boards/sheets) for up to 6 players, but it could be made to accommodate more. It's definitely a strategy/problem solving game in which players are trying to catch a criminal who is played by one of the players, which should hit your gendered-based preferences. Lots of tokens, but it's not collectible
    at all. There's an element of cooperative play, i.e. all players are after the same criminal, but only one player (detective) actually gets to catch "Mr. X". And whoever plays Mr. X gets to wear a sweet hat.

    Hope that helps. Good luck on the research.
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