You're trekking in the Andes and the sun is just rising and glinting on the snow, creating this sort of ethereal haze, and you really get a sense of the awesome power of nature and the insignificance of man. Then you just CHUNDER EVERYWHERE! It's a few years old but the 'Gap Yah' cultural phenomenon is still as real as ever. If you can't afford the flights (or the plummy accent), then check out these brilliant student board games from all around the world!
1. Machi Koro - 2-4 players, 30 minutes, £25
Welcome to the (imaginary) Japanese city of Machi Koro. You've just been elected Mayor. Congrats! Unfortunately the citizens have some pretty big demands: jobs, a theme park, a couple of cheese factories and maybe even a radio tower. A tough proposition since the city currently consists of a wheat field, a bakery and a single die. Armed only with your dice and a dream, you must grow Machi Koro into the largest city in the region. You will need to collect income from developments, build public works, and steal from your neighbors' coffers. Just make sure they aren't doing the same to you! First Mayor to construct the 4 starting landmarks wins!
2. Mafia de Cuba - 6-12 players, 15 minutes, £19
It's 1955. You're in a restaurant in Havana, talkin' business wit' the boss. The phone rings and it's President Batista. The boss goes to talk to him - of course he does, it's polite. The boss is nuttin' if not polite. He leaves his precious cigar box on the table. Suddenly, the hidden diamonds from the cigar box are missing. Nuttin' to do with you, of course, but they're gone. The boss comes back and goes nuts. He starts askin' questions, trying to figure out just where those precious diamonds went. Except now you start to realise things ain't exactly what they seem. Some of youse are bein' honest, and some of youse don't seem so clean - you hear whispers about undercover CIA. On top of this, the boss has gotta decide who he trusts the least. Accusin' the wrong guy can lose you your honour, and that's a pretty big thing 'round here. In Mafia de Cuba, someone wins, someone loses, someone stole those diamonds - all I know is, it ain't me.
3. Medina - 2-4 players, 1 hour, £40
The year is 1822. After years of decay, it is time to rebuild the Medina, located at the foot of the Atlas mountains in northwestern Africa. The architects and engineers of the city work to erect large and beautiful palaces and to renovate the damaged city wall. As the reconstruction of the old city progresses, the city's inhabitants flock through the alleys, and the contours of the new city gradually reappear! Players score points by claiming bits of the city as they build them. Possibly the most cultural 'gap yah' game, playing this will eliminate the need to visit a museum for at least, like, 3 more years. Score!
In lieu of jetting off on your gap yah, we recommend popping along to Urban Tap House on a Monday night between 5-10pm, £3 entry, for the Board Game Bar! It's totes amaze - just don't chunder everywhaaar!