27th May2019

The Best High-Stakes Board Games Based on Real Life

by James Smith

When it comes to niche and nerdy, board games basically wrote the book. Played since the dawn of time, we know for a fact that they date back at least 5,000 years, meaning they most definitely precede their video, computer, and arcade game successors.

Long adopted as a form of entertainment, they stood for centuries as the ultimate boredom busters, so it’s no surprise that some of them drew on real-life phenomena for inspiration. Sports and competitive pastimes seemed to prove particularly popular, leading to the creation of some of the most thrilling and high-stakes board games of all time. So, without further ado, here are a few of the best of them.

Le Mans

As we mentioned above, board games have been around for a ridiculously long time, so it’s no surprise that we have to cast our minds back to bring you some of the best of them. Le Mans is a perfect case in point. Harking all the way back to the 1960s, it nonetheless offers players hours of high-stakes entertainment, and that’s exactly what we look for in our favourites. Offering the choice of 12 different car specifications, gameplay is complicated by the unique characteristics of each vehicle on the board, making this a true test of how well you can strategize. Trust us when we say that it takes brains to come out on top.

Roulette

Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay

Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay

Roulette is recognised and played the whole world over. A mainstay of both physical and internet-based casinos, it is a gambling classic, and playing roulette online has experienced a huge surge in popularity in recent years, with Paddy Power alone offering eight different takes on its traditional incarnation. With this in mind, it’s easy to forget that you can play it at home too, and yet it’s possible to do exactly that. Although you don’t have to bet unless you fancy it, lots of people find it fun to emulate the real thing by putting some pennies on the line. Alternatively, there are those who prefer to add their own twist, by forcing those who fall foul of fickle fortune to carry out a dare. Whichever way you choose to play, we promise you’ll have fun.

The World Cup Game

Image by Christian B. from Pixabay

Image by Christian B. from Pixabay

Widely considered to be the best football-inspired board game of all time, The World Cup Game covers two iconic tournaments: Uruguay 1930 and Korea/Japan 2002. Both are designed to occupy an evening, with the former taking over an hour to complete and the latter closer to three. You’ll find when you order that the box is pretty weighty, and that’s because you get some serious bang for your buck. With two big boards, 74 national flag tiles, 36 plastic footballs and an awful lot more, every detail has been covered, making for some exceptionally realistic gameplay.
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When it comes to finding boredom-busting board games, some of the best ideas are borrowed from the real life that these flights of fancy inhabit. Why not give one a go and see what you think?
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