With three roommates, your four-bedroom apartment has never felt so small. Or maybe you’ve chosen to stay at home with your family and you’ve run out of things to talk about. Grab a four-player board game now. We asked ten experts, including game store owners, board game reviewers, and even a board game illustrator, to tell us which four-player board games they think are the best. They told us what they thought were the best. Their top picks are below. There’s something for everyone, from beginners looking for their next game night standard to more advanced players looking for a new game to play. It doesn’t matter how many people are in your group because these games are best when played with just four people.
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If you prefer to fight a fictional pandemic than watch the news, this game is one of the best four-player games on the market. Greg May, owner of The Uncommons and Hex & Company, called it a “stellar cooperative game.” It is important for players to work together to stop the spread of four diseases and save the world in this game. Ronny Alexander, who reviews cooperative board games on Co-op Board Games, says this game is a “modern classic” because it has simple rules, a theme that everyone can get into, and it’s very fun to play over and over again.
In May’s words, “perhaps the most important game of the last few decades.” Players work together to build a civilization from the ground up, and they earn points as they do. When players roll dice or trade with other players, they get resources. The game requires “a lot of strategy and a little luck,” so it’s important to know how to play well. Because the game can take a long time to play and the rules are a little more complicated, it’s best for people who are intermediate level. “It’s not by chance that it’s a big hit.” Illustrator Stephan Walsh says that “Catan is a game that can be played in so many different ways with so many chances to show off your strategy skills.” Plus, there are a lot of new things you can do to keep the game interesting.
3. Ticket to Ride
If you’re looking for a strategy game that’s easier to learn than Catan, three of our experts said Ticket to Ride would be a good choice. It’s a game where people try to cross the country and connect cities by building train routes. Easy to learn and play with the whole family, but it also has enough strategy and tactics to keep competitive gamers coming back for more, says Ian Ross. He runs the Instagram account Board Games as Art. In order to keep the board and the tension high, play with four people.
4. Space Base
There is a lot of luck and strategy because you have to roll the dice and choose your cards in Space Base. There are a lot of ways that “players can get something from each other’s dice rolls, which keeps everyone excited and eliminates the boredom of waiting for your turn,” says the author. Sci-fi fans will also enjoy Chris Walton’s artwork, which looks like it was made in the future.
5. Isle of Skye
Quinton Smith, editor of game review site Shut Up & Sit Down, says “Isle of Skye is like a box full of treats.” The goal of the game is for players to build and grow their Scottish island by trading with other players. There’s a sense of progress as you build out this little map in front of you, and the shopping phase is full of clever moves and funny mishaps.
6. Eldritch Horror
Eldritch Horror is a story-driven adventure game that can be played with 1 to 8 people. Roy Carter, owner of Tribe Comics and Games, says it’s “perfect with four.” That’s what he says. He says the game “oozes” with theme, and that “really bad things will happen to your characters and that is part of the fun.”
The game Smith recommends for people who like Pictionary is Pictomania, which he says is more “deep, exciting,” and “competitive” than the old game night favourite. If you play this game, you have to draw and guess at the same time, which “leads to surprisingly bad drawing and guessing.”
8. Age of Steam
Age of Steam shows how pioneering U.S. railroads built the tracks that changed the economy of the country. The cutting-edge battles are taking place in the industrial centres of the growing country. In this game, you have to bid on things at auctions, and there are a lot of other things. This game is on the list of the best board games for four people. Age of Steam is great.
9. Champions of Midgard
If you like worker placement games, then you’ll like Champions of Midgard, which is a game about Viking war. As the leader of a group of barbarians, you live in a small village. You need to build up ships, resources, and men to fight very big monsters. You have to make hard choices about whether to get resources or attack with your limited number of workers. The balance makes it easy to put on the list of the best board games for four people.
Azul is an abstract strategy game about making the inside of a religious building for the king with tiles from Portugal. If you want to score a lot of points, you need to trade tiles with other players and fill in rows. One of the best games for four people on this list won the Spiel des Jahres award.
11. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Flash Point is a unique game. It is a race against the clock from the point of view of a firefighter. It’s important to work together to move around a house and put out fires faster than they start. This is on the list of the best board games for four people because of the way the game works as a team.
There are beautiful beaches and mild weather in the game Goa, which uses auctions and resource management. It is set at the beginning of the 16th century when it was a very important trading centre in the world. A lot of different businesses deal with spices, send ships and colonists to other parts of the world, and make money. A good mix of economics and history.