The year of 2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone. The same as many of you, I too had to spend long months in quarantine, social distancing and isolation. I had to adjust my life to the new reality and to give up a lot of hobbies in the name of safety. The time spent home though allowed me to explore new interest, or go back to old ones that I have neglected before.
If you are looking for a fun indoor activity, now is the time to try board gaming. Last year I had the chance to discover many new board games, including some that allowed me to travel and explore nature without setting foot out of my door.
To help you get started, I have prepared my list of favorite board games for nature lovers.
Time: 60-90 mins
Players : 2-4
Root is an adventure game where different forest fraction fight for resources. It is a cards-and-dice game, which includes beautiful forest mat and the cutest animal tokens.
The rules are not too complicated and rather clear, but unlike some of the other games in the list, I would only recommend if for young adults and above. It is mostly about strategy and it could get quite intense. Moreover, each fraction has its own particularities, giving the players a variety of moves and a new experience with each game.
It is an exciting game but I would rate it last in my list as the nature element is a bit weak, and after all, I would prefer if the forest creatures wouldn’t fight.
Time: 40-70 mins
Players : 1-5
Wingspan is a card-driven board game for bird-enthusiasts, biologists and nature lovers. Each player’s aim is to grow its habitat by collecting birds, feeding them and helping them lay eggs.
The game is a mix of strategy and chance, and drawing different cards each time makes each play a new experience. It is designed with a lot of attention to the detail, and includes beautiful art work. There are over 180 different bird cards with beautiful illustrations.
In addition, the game is actually educational. Every card includes a fact about the bird on it, and the birds themselves behave as they would in real life. It is suitable for both children and adults.
Time: 30-90 mins
Players : 2-4
Photosynthesis, as the title suggests, is about taking your trees through their life-cycle, from growing, blooming and rebirth.
The game is extra beautiful. Putting all your figures on the board, you have a gorgeous forest where each tree is different shape and color. It is competitive but fun, and it may looks simple but is actually very strategic.
Photosynthesis gets extra points for not only being educational, but as well made of recycled materials, with which stays true to its theme of environmental awareness.
Time: 40-70 mins
Players : 1-5
The story here is simple – You are a hiker going through US National Parks enjoying the nature and the amazing views.
If you are an experienced player, maybe that is not the game for you. But if you enjoy simple fun, you should try it. The rules are fairly easy and the game is suitable for the whole family. It is the perfect way to get inspired or inspire your children to travel and explore nature.
The production is beautiful. The game includes set of cards with gorgeous illustrations of 59 parks, as well as cute tokens of resources (wood, water etc.). Even the box is beautifully designed, and the game itself is easy to setup and storage.
In addition, a donation is made to the National Park Service for each game.
Time: 40-80 mins
Players : 1-4
Everdell is about building a village of forest critters by collecting resources and using them to construct buildings. It is a cards-based game that is more about strategy than luck.
The rules of the game are simple enough so you won’t get a headache, in the same time complex enough to make it a challenging and exciting experience. There are plenty of cards in the deck so the game won’t turn boring after a few plays.
The illustrations on the cards are not only beautiful but they bring life to each character. In addition, the resources tokens are both good-looking and are made of such materials that would give you more authentic experience. The game is entertaining and visually magical.
Not a fan of board games? If you are looking for other types of entertainment, you should check my “how to travel without traveling” article for more ideas and inspiration.