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Boardgames are one of our passions here at Jake's. We don't mean games like Monopoly and Cluedo, but rather the unique, clever and endlessly fun genre of European boardgames.
From strategy-based games like Puerto Rico to family classics like Settlers of Catan and party games such as Apples to Apples, we have a boardgame for any group, on any occasion.
Please come in and talk to us about our games - we want to share this well-kept secret! And with a personal collection of over 100 boardgames, Jake really is an expert on the subject.
In many European countries, particularly Germany, boardgames are hugely popular. People spend time playing games for both entertainment and socialisation.
This leads to a huge boardgame industry, with many independent artists and developers releasing hundreds of games each year. Some game designers, such a Reiner Knizia, even achieve celebrity status in Germany and among game enthusiasts around the world.
The broad genre of "European Games" covers thousands of games with an unbelievable range of themes, audiences, skill levels and dynamics. Each game has a unique flavour, and each represents a huge amount of work by a dedicated game designer.
While nearly all European boardgames are clever and interesting, some are better than others. Here at Jake's, we have a selected range of the very best boardgames for every age group, social group and occasion. Come in and have a chat to us about them, we're sure to have the perfect one for you. Boardgames also make fantastically practical, enjoyable and reusable gifts for anyone at all.
Jake and Ali, independently of the business, run European boardgames evenings in Twizel every few weeks. These community events have so far been a huge success among the locals. For information on these evenings, and to find out when the next one is happening, please contact us.
Sometimes it can be hard to find an activity which the whole family will enjoy, particularly with children of varying ages. Our European boardgames are the perfect solution, and we have a huge selection of games aimed specifically at families.
Many of our games, such as Dixit, can literally be played and enjoyed by anyone over 5. Adults and kids of all ages can play together and all enjoy it equally on different levels. Other games in this category include Carcassonne and Cartagena.
Some of our family games have more focussed age ranges. Some, like Flea Circus, are enjoyed by children more than adults, and some, like 7 Wonders, can't really be played by children under about 8 or 10. Talk to us to get the perfect game for your family! Below are a few popular ones:
Carcassonne: A classic European family game. Players take turns placing tiles, and claiming cities, roads and monasteries for points. Carcassonne is a simple and open game, so younger players can be assisted by the rest of the family. Very easy to play, but interesting enough to enjoy again and again.
The Settlers of Catan: Probably the most famous European boardgame ever. This classic involves building roads, settlements and cities to gather resources and earn victory points. A fantastic game for a family or a group of adults. Multiple expansions are available to make the game even more versatile.
Cartagena: A wonderfully simple game for young and old. The game involves getting a group of convicts out of Cartagena Prison through an underground tunnel. First to bust out all their prisoners wins.
Dixit: An unusual and compelling game limited only by your imagination. Dixit involves associating strange and colourful pictures with words and phrases. Light-hearted fun for all ages!
Flea Circus: A fantastic game involving playing cards to get cats and dogs. The player with the most animal pieces at the end wins.
7 Wonders: Like Settlers of Catan, this game is great for a group of adults or the whole family. Players build up their cities and wonders through 3 ages in this unique and clever game.
Dominion: Our personal favourite, Dominion offers endless possibilities. No two games are the same, and the multiple expansion packs available add even more to this hugely dynamic and versatile game. Again, Dominion is an adult game which kids can play and love.
These games are usually played by large groups, and make for lots of light-hearted laughs. Perfect for any social setting where you don't have time for an in-depth strategy game.
Apples to Apples is our favourite. This hilarious game involves matching nouns with random adjectives, creating great laughs and side-splitting comparisons. Best played with a group of adults.
Wits and Wagers is another classic. This game involves guessing answers to trivia questions and then betting on what you think is the correct answer a (even if it's not yours). Involving mainly luck and guesswork, this game is also great fun.
Dixit is another option. As mentioned in the Family Games section, Dixit is an unusual and compelling game limited only by your imagination. Dixit involves associating strange and colourful pictures with words and phrases. Light-hearted fun for all ages!
We have plenty of other great games for party situations - talk to us!
These games are for when you want to sit down and play a serious boardgame. They aren't necessarily at all difficult to grasp, but they are all interesting and involved.
Dominion: While listed under the Family Games section, this game definitely deserves a mention here. Dominion varies so much with each playing, it can be played in a very relaxed way or as an intense strategy game. This is our personal favourite of all our 100+ games.
Settlers of Catan: Yes, this too was listed under Family Games. Like Dominion, this can be an entertaining family game or a full-on battle of wits. An absolute classic, this game is immensely enjoyable when played with a group of adults.
Puerto Rico: This is one of the more complex games in our range. Players trade in indigo, sugar, coffee and other resources to earn money and expand their city. This game is great fun, and a real strategic challenge.
Axis & Allies: This is a genuine fully-fledged war game. It involves using and reinforcing your armies strategically on a huge board as you fight to win World War II. If you're looking for a serious strategy session, this is the game for you.
We have plenty of other strategy games too, of varying levels of difficulty. Come on in and have a chat to us!
Boardgames generally come in large boxes, which is very inconvinient if you're camping, cycling, or otherwise travelling. While we have many small European card games such as Colloretto and Fluxx, some games are simply too big to transport easily.
Here at Jake's, however, we have many of our favourite large boardgames available in travellers' editions - downsized boxed with compact versions of games such as Carcassonne, Apples to Apples and Ingenious. These games have all the playability of the originals, and are easy to transport even if you're on a bike or backpacking.
Come on in to see our current selection of travellers' games!
This page has really only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of our range of games, and it would be impossible to describe them all here. To get a closer look at our other games, including Munchkin, "Hey, That's my Fish!", Alhambra, Bohnanza and Through the Desert, you'll have to come on in to Jake's.
We'll see you soon!
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