Travel Friendly


Footsteps is a psychological game that requires a little bit of mind-reading and bluff. It’s a great little “appetizer” game—play while you’re sipping an aperitif and munching on salted peanuts.

The Gear: paper, pencils, and a coin to use as a token

The Game Plan

Trace the coin seven times, making a horizontal line of circles. Place a vertical slash through the center circle. One side of the line belongs to one player (the leftmost three circles, for example, for Player A, and the rightmost three circles for Player B.)

  • Place the coin on the center circle. The object of the game is to get the coin on your opponents’ end circle.
  • Each player begins with 50 points.
  • On each turn, both players jot down the number of points they wish to “spend.” This can be any number from 1-50.
  • The two players then reveal their numbers to each other. The player with the larger number then moves the token one space into his opponents’ territory. If the numbers are the same, the coin stays in the center.
  • Both players deduct the amount they had jotted down from their totals (on the first turn, they will be deducting from 50).
  • Players again write down how many points they wish to spend, and so on.
  • If one player uses up all his points, the other player wins. If one player advances the coin to the far end of her opponent’s territory, she wins. If both players run out of points, the game is a draw.

STEALTH TIP: Try to win each turn by as small a margin as possible—one point is ideal. If you bet too large, too soon, you’ll quickly run out of points.

BAND NAME, ALBUM NAME, OR BOAT NAME

Players: 2-6

Band Name, Album Name, or Boat Name is perhaps the quintessential road-trip activity. It keeps you alert to your surroundings, your creativity pumping, and the conversation flowing. It sure beats falling asleep with cheeto dust drooling out of your mouth as you listen to  Blood on the Tracks for the fiftieth time. Created by Thi Nguyen, Band Name came my way via boardgamegeek.com. Says Thi, “we invented this game when we saw a homey, un-squared-away, sweet little wooden houseboat, with off-center hand-lettering announcing its name: Well Done. And I said, ‘that’s apt—it is, indeed, well done.’” (more…)

Word Links, played over Instant Message or a chat program with a pal, will help you cheerfully while away a few workday minutes.

Players: 2-6

THE GAME PLAN:

“It” mentally lists several two-word phrases or ideas that each contain a common word. For example, end run, run-around, run out, run up—the common word, of course, is run. Then the other word from each phrase is presented as a clue. The players will venture guesses as to the common word.

Check out this recent game of Work Links, to give you an idea of how the game might go:

“It” is thinking of the word key.
It: “Stone.”
Guesser(s): “henge? wall? cold?” They will think for a moment or two and then, when all guessers agree they are stumped, may ask for another clue:  “Next clue, please.”
It: “House.”
Guessers try to find a common word linking stone and house. They venture guesses until someone hits on the common word or they have to request another clue.
It: “Note.”
Guessers continue trying to find common word until someone hits on “key”—key stone, house key, keynote. Obviously, “It” might need at least five or six words stockpiled for use as clues.

Chop-a-Croc! When you see a pair of Crocs, karate-chop your companion and scream “Chop-a-Croc [color]”. Like Punch Buggy, but since there are so few real Beetles left, Chop-a-Croc is far more satisfying.