President Obama - It's Your Turn To Roll!
With all the furore over Cardiff's NATO drama - metal gates, boarded up bins and more police with guns than a Martin Scorsese film - we decided to sprinkle love and happiness through the air with a list of board games for Mr. Barack Obama (that's 'Barry' to us) to take back home to Washington and play with his family - he does has two daughters to entertain! For Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13, it must be nice to have your father stop being President for a while and turn back into normal old dad for a family games night. After all, this is the man who said "Strong and engaged families help build a strong America," and if that isn't a subtle hint to teamwork during a session of Pandemic, then I don't know what is!
Firstly Elemensus is a great family game, especially for a man who's already admitted he loves Scrabble! Drawing a unique take on a classic game, Elemensus is a 2-4 player game and plays for 30 minutes - great for a quick break in a busy schedule. Players have to form words using tiles that act like the elements of the Periodic Table to make the Orion Nebula, making it even harder to spell out rude words with your letters!
Next up is Hanabi, another quick 'n' easy family game for 2-5 players. With all the special events and occasions ol' Barry has to go to, we reckon he's fed up of seeing endless firework shows - he wants to make his own! Working together and playing your cards blind, you must give each other vital information to ensure you pull off the most spectacular display EVER!
For a more local feel, we recommend Ivor the Engine - based off the popular children's TV series and set in our b-e-a-uuutiful land of Wales, this game for 3-5 players takes an hour to play and works mainly around the premise of sheep (surprise, surprise...). Players must help clear lost sheep - sheeples! - from the train tracks, collecting them as they go and completing other tasks for friends. The person who finishes with the most sheep reins triumphant, and we'd put our money on Baaa-rack. (Sorry).
Last Night on Earth is a brilliant 2-6 player game for families that lasts a little longer at 90 minutes +, but we think it's an Obama essential - does the President even have a plan for a zombie apocalypse?! If not, this is the game for him! Easy to learn rules and a vital need for co-operation means he'd be getting stuck in and battling zombies in no time, all with the help of his family! Now that's a film we'd like to see...
While President Obama knows the values of family time, there's no doubt he likes to kick back and chill out with his mates too, and luckily we've thought of the perfect game for it - Diplomacy! For 2-7 players, this 3-hours-or-longer game is an epic saga of armies, fleets and the strategical moves for each of them. Negotiation is key as you try to seize control of your continent. Is it awkward if the President of the United States doesn't win?
Our last commendation is Dixit Jinx, a member of the Dixit family who's gone a bit Picasso! This abstract spin on the original is for 3-6 players and lasts just 15 minutes - a nice but brief game for a break in the Oval Office, perhaps? Singing, speaking or acting out the cards gives his multi-talented daughters a chance to shine while the imagination element can help ease stress after a long day of running a country! Phew!
And there we have it, folks! The best family board games for Obama to take back in his luggage. We'd quite like to see a higgledy-piggledy stack of board games in White House photos! Or perhaps hear that he's developed a taste for Yu-Gi-Oh cards... crazy, we know - he's a Pokémon guy!