The days are getting shorter, the holidays are approaching. No better time to bring out the board games again. Or buy new ones, because there are hundreds, no thousands of games, all with their own charm, challenges and difficulty. In this NRC special you will find a wide selection from the range. We also give tips on how to make a game night a success and we dive into the history of the ‘devilish entertainment’ that the card game once was.

    Game etiquette

    This is how you become the perfect game master

    A colorful box, cards in cellophane, chips untouched. Besides a lot of unpacking work, a new game brings a promise. From evenings full of fun with friends around the table. There is still some preparation involved. Choose your invitees carefully – and so many other tips to make your game night a success.

    Tips for games

    These are the best games on sale right now

    There are so many games – puzzle games, detective games, group games – but which ones are really worth playing? NRCjournalist Lucas Brouwers has tested dozens of games in recent years and lists the 18 best that are currently for sale here.

    It is now possible to play all those games NRC discussed, including rating, length, complexity and atmosphere. Find a game that suits you here.

    Ten classics you’ll want to keep playing

    What makes a game ‘fun’? The main condition: equal opportunities. A game must also evoke a believable world of its own with original, not too complicated rules. We list ten classics that meet these requirements and therefore remain popular.

    Tips for sustainable games

    Tired of all those plastic toys? Buy or give a sustainable game. Mariska Joustra, circular economy expert at Milieu Centraal explains what to look out for. What makes a game truly sustainable, above all, is that it is played with.

    These games started on Kickstarter and are now famous

    Coming up with a brilliant game is already a job, but then you still have to publish it. This can be done via the traditional route, but also via Kickstarter, crowdfunding platform and game nursery. NRCeditor Lucas Brouwer lists which recent games were born there.

    Games for diehards

    In this article tips NRC games for diehards. It is equally important to pay attention to the explanation, but don’t let that ruin your fun. They are worth playing and ultimately easy to understand. Also for beginners.

    Play a game on your own

    Just yourself and the game. In principle, you don’t need more for a solo board game. Their rise started small, but single-player games have become increasingly popular since the pandemic. Game fanatic Jesse de Boer is already convinced: “It’s like I’m on an adventure all evening.” Pick one of these 18 solo games and try it for yourself.

    Read more about games

    Trying out games on the Spellenspektakel: tactical flirting in the sauna

    Visitors can try out new games at the Games Spectacle. Reporter Sarah Ouwerkerk took a look at this fair in Utrecht. Gay Sauna was presented there, among other things. In this steamy board game for adults, you score points by… scoring in the sauna. Conquer the most men through tactical flirting. The big advantage of such a games fair? You can test the games before you buy and a demo team saves you from struggling with a thick manual. What caught on with visitors and what didn’t?

    How the horribly difficult AIVD Christmas puzzle comes about

    Since 2011, the General Intelligence and Security Service has put the horribly difficult AIVD Christmas puzzle online every year between Sinterklaas and Christmas. Anyone can try to solve it (which is almost impossible). Bas Dunnebier (50), who heads the department that the Christmas puzzle falls under, tells more about the creation in this interview. “The AIVD Christmas puzzle may not be solvable for everyone, but it may not be so difficult that no one can do it.”

    The rich (and turbulent) history of the playing card

    Playing cards have a long tradition of fuss, as fuel for the fire of alcoholism and gambling and with their image of ‘devilish entertainment’. Cheating at cards used to be severely punished. In 15th-century Amsterdam, cheaters risked losing both eyes. Fortunately, most companies are a lot more lenient when it comes to cheaters these days. NRC guides you through the history of playing cards and highlights 11 modern variants of the old trusted deck of cards.