We’re in a delightful renaissance for board games where even at the home of your coolest friend it wouldn’t be a surprise for Cards Against Humanity or Settlers of Catan to make an appearance in the middle of a shindig. Here’s a list of some awesome games television has teased us with.
True American from New Girl
From the episodes “Normal” and “Cooler” we get this game that seems like a nonsense drunken romp but with delightfully unknown rules. A fansite has a working system for how to play. This might be part of my weekend now.
Gale Force Winds from Bob’s Burgers
Roll the dice, move to a place, fight an antagonist. This was too good for the major board games to even touch. The Cliffs of Huxtables also play in, as does a mis-roll restart situation.
Card Wars from Adventure Time
This virtual reality card battle game is both everything I’ve ever wanted and everything I fear.
Satan’s Path from The Simpsons
Brings other board games to life… like a Jumanji inside a Jumanji!
Cones of Dunshire from Parks and Rec
The team from Settlers of Catan actually came in to help shape this hilariously over-elaborate extension of Ben’s depression. In the final season, the game actually helps save the town as the tech-bro hipsters recognize the creator of the game. Earlier this year, there was also a very expensive charity drive that led to the winner playing an actual game of CoD, which is a shame that they didn’t live two years in the future, where the expansion lives.
Marshgammon from How I Met Your Mother
In the episode “Game Night”, Marshall winds up inventing his own ultra-elaborate game that borrows from all other games (except backgammon) in an effort to interrogate Ted’s new girlfriend.
Bamboozled from Friends
Joey is gunning to be cast as the host of this game show where, again, the rules seemed to make no sense but there were also elements like “Wicked Wango Cards” that are just… gosh this was great. On the Season 8 DVD, there’s a simplified version of the game you can actually play.
Chardee MacDennis from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Honestly, who knows on this one? It’s so complicated there are varying fan sites with playable rules, but who among us could really pull this off? Cheating is encouraged though, so that’s cool.
Rock, Paper, Lizard, Spock from Big Bang Theory
I have such disdain for the show, but it is impossible to escape the cultural impact of this one.
Monopoly TV Show
In 1990, Merv Griffin’s production company brought the property acquisition game to life as a multi-round competitive game show that culminated in the contestants making it around the board exactly once to determine a winner. This footnote in ridiculous spin-off history is perhaps best known for a theme song which goes way too big and focuses excessively on the spelling of the word.