this thing's incredible

These Stylish Board Games Are a Welcome Distraction (and Only Require One Other Person)

Photo: Courtesy Retailer

You’re probably thinking about stocking up on board games right now (among other things). But before you stress-purchase a stack of unwieldy boxes that you’ll have nowhere to store once this international nightmare is over, consider WS Game Company’s exceptionally stylish Linen Book line.

At first glance, these appear to be smart hardback classics you might see in an old library. But when you open the cover, you’ll find a nostalgic board game hidden neatly in there. It’s a fun little party trick — even though I won’t be having parties for the foreseeable future — and the clever design makes for easy storage. You can just slip them on the bookshelf, right next to all of the novels you’re also planning to panic-buy.

I’ve bought lots of board games in my life, and they’re tucked away anywhere I can fit them — shoved into kitchen cabinets and stowed at the back of my closet with last season’s coats. But these can be kept conveniently within reach, ready to be played at a moment’s notice. Because they’re displayed so prominently in my own apartment, and because they look so nice, pals who used to rebuff my requests to play Yahtzee now pull these games off my bookshelf, intrigued.

Unlike the Candy Lands and Monopolys I grew up with, these versions are thoughtfully designed and beautifully illustrated, making the experience feel less like I’m babysitting a preschooler and more like I’m playing a parlor game with my very elegant friends. (Wine doesn’t hurt, either.) There’s something almost sophisticated about playing Chutes and Ladders with beautiful graphics replicated from a 1979 edition and charming vintage spinner.

And while these are obviously great for groups, many of these games work for two people, so if your social circle has suddenly contracted significantly, you can still play them with your partner or roommate. Sure beats Pandemic.

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These Stylish Board Games Are a Welcome Distraction