Board games have come a long way. Modern players can choose from thousands of excellent games in any genre for a guaranteed awesome game night, any time.
It hasn't always been this way. Just a few decades ago, most people had a game closet that contained Life, Monopoly and a copy of Candyland that was missing half of the cards. The games relied almost exclusively on luck. Many featured a knock-out mechanic that left eliminated players with nothing do but twiddle their thumbs for hours (Monopoly, we're looking at you). Game mechanics have simply improved since then and there are much better choices now.
That said, there is something about the nostalgia of these old games that keeps them in our closets. But they can be improved. With alcohol. Nonstop Tabletop presents the definitive guide to improving classic board games by turning them into drinking games.*
How to Turn Classic Board Games Into Drinking Games
You may have fond memories of this game. When it comes down to it though, it plays like a really slow NASCAR race where all of the cars run out of gas halfway through and have to watch the winner do victory laps for a couple of hours at slow speed. From a jail cell. It's fun when you win... if your friends even stick around to finish the game.
What Sucks About Monopoly
First off, let's identify the main problems with Monopoly:
- It's Too Slow
- Players Get Knocked out and Have Nothing to Do for the Rest of the Game
- Roll and Move. Roll and Move. Roll and Move
- Too Dependent on Luck
How To Improve Monopoly With Alcohol
There's still some charm to this game, to be clear. It is classic and iconic in its own way and was likely the first board game played by at least a few people at your table. The nostalgia is strong with this one. Even so, there are so many dated mechanics in this game that it's going to take some work (and drinks) to fix. Here's what to do:
Up the stakes
- Everyone Chips in on a Nice Bottle of Craft Beer or Wine. The Winner Takes it Home
Speed it up
- Everyone Starts with 3 Random Property Cards
- Passing Go is Now Worth $500
- Fines Paid to the Bank Go Under Free Parking. Land There and Win the Total Pot
Give eliminated players something to do
- Once Eliminated From the Game, a Player Picks One of the Survivors as an Ally
- Eliminated Players Take on an Advisory Role and May Share the Prize Bottle if Their Choice Ends up Winning
- Pass Go - Take a Sip
- Buy a Property - Take a Sip
- Bid in an Auction - Take a Sip
- Collect Rent - Take a Sip
- Go to Jail - Finish Your Drink
- Eliminate a Player - Finish Your Drink
There's an important dynamic here that you may have caught and will be a common theme in this article: More drinks are assigned to the player who is winning. This creates a built-in handicap, allowing other players to catch up. We're trying to speed up the game, but we're also trying to make it fun so there isn't a sober player dominating the game and a bunch of sloshed losers sleeping on the couch.
Give it a shot; this will make Monopoly at least twice as fun.
Originally titled Cluedo, this classic game of whodunit has aged relatively well. Admittedly, it has been surpassed by hundreds of other detective/logical deduction games, but once again, the nostalgia and charm here are hard to deny. But that doesn't mean that we can't improve it with alcohol.
In reality, Clue works better in this day and age as an appetizer than a main course. There's a fun, concise party game in here somewhere, it just needs to be unlocked.
What Sucks About Clue
- Moving Around from Room to Room is a Hassle
- Too Slow
- Players Eliminated from the Game are Stuck on the Sidelines After Bad Guess
- Lucky Guesses are too Easy and Powerful
- The Game Swings Erratically Between Luck and Skill
How to Improve Clue with Alcohol
We're not going to be able to get around the elimination and luck issues without drastically altering the game, but we can minimize the impact by moving the speed into Warp Drive and adding a Teleporter to the game. Did they ever make a Star Trek version of this? If not, please do and use our rules!
Speed It Up
- You have a teleporter! Each turn, teleport to whatever room you want and guess. No more wasting three turns trying to get from the kitchen to the library. Viola; now the game flies by in about 1/3 of the time of the original version. You're welcome.
- Guess - Take a Sip
- Accuse Incorrectly - Finish Your Drink
- Accuse Correctly - Finish Your Drink
- Your Character Is the Murderer And You Get Away With It (Win) - Everyone Else Finishes Their Drinks
Now Clue is fast paced, addictive and chaotic. Imagine that. Ah beer, is there anything you can't do?
Major surgery performed with tweezers and mock-electric shocks. Gameplay that is entirely dependent upon dexterity, reflexes and visual-spatial ability. Now it's a drinking game. This should be fun.
What Sucks About Operation
Not much. Unless you're the patient.
How To Improve Operation With Alcohol
- Successfully Remove an Object - Take a Swig
- Continue Play Until all Objects are Removed or Nobody Can Do it Without Causing a Buzz
- Any Player Who Spills a Drink into the Patient is Eliminated and Must Take Break from Drinking
- Repeat, Film and Put on YouTube Please
The Game of Life
No. Just no.
What Sucks About The Game Of Life
How To Improve The Game Of Life With Alcohol
Don't play The Game of Life. Drink alcohol instead.
Article by The Happy Strategerist, who wonders if there is any game that wouldn't be improved by alcohol?
This was fun to write and we'd like to do a sequel someday. What classic board games do you think could be improved by alcohol? Let us know in the comments below.
*Disclaimer. Don't be stupid. Please don't be stupid. This list is for humorous purposes with the express goal of improving classic board games. Not getting anyone sick, injured or worse. Our crazy college days are in the past and we'd prefer to enjoy a tasty beverage in moderation. You should, too. Don't get carried away (notice we recommend sips, not shots). Play with friends you can trust.
Most of all, never, ever drink and drive. That just makes you a jerk. A jerk way worse than the 10 People Who Ruin Game Night. There Are No Spouses In Board Games, but take turns being a designated driver with yours. If you drink and drive, we won't play games with you and no one else should either. Don't be a jerk. The world will thank you.