Regular readers of this blog will know that Brian and I are big fans of board games. We have a large collection of games at home, and we regularly give them as gift to each other, family and friends—for anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. I consider them one of the most ecofrugal forms of entertainment, measured in cost per hour: you can get countless hours of entertainment out of a single game that costs $20 to $60, or much less if you buy it at a yard sale. And with thousands of different games to choose from, there's something to please pretty much everyone.
Yet this cheap, versatile form of entertainment remains pretty much a niche activity. True, interest in board games is on the rise; the increase in sales has attracted enough attention for such disparate publications as VICE and USA Today to label it a "board game renaissance." But the fact remains that when you talk about "gaming," most people assume you mean electronic games. And that's a pity, because board games offer an experience no computer game can match: the chance to share the fun with other people right in the same room.
So my latest Money Crashers piece is a paean to the joys of tabletop gaming. I wax rhapsodic about many different types of games you can enjoy even in the middle of a power outage: board games, card games, role-playing games (RPGs), and party games such as Charades. In each category, I name several popular choices that can provide unlimited hours of fun for $40 or less—less than the cost of a new console game you'll play only once. I also include at least a few choices that cost virtually nothing: free, printable board games from Cheapass Games, card games that require nothing but a deck of playing cards you can pick up at any dollar store, RPGs with sample rule sets available for free, and party games that require nothing but a pencil and paper.
The fun starts here: Best Affordable Tabletop Games – Board Games, RPGs, Cards & Party Games