THE BEST SELLERS’ LIST- Numero Uno: Don’t be bored this holiday season, get yourself some of the best board games

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Thomas Sellers Jr. checking out the new Uno 50 edition rules.


By Thomas Sellers Jr.

I am an old-school gamer. 

No, it is not what you’re thinking. I bet your first thought was Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo. This 40-year-old man is referring to board games. Christmas season is officially here and I want to give you guys a great gift idea. 

Go buy your loved-one a board game this holiday. That way you can bond year-around, communicate in person and create great memories wrapped in a cloak of rivalry. The Best Sellers’ List is here to help with the process by naming the top 10 board games of all time. Now a couple of my honorable mentions are highly ranked by other publications. Scrabble and Monopoly are two of the best games to ever hit store shelves and grace the table at homes. But as I have aged, I realize my vocabulary is horrible and limited. So Scrabble frustrates me whenever I play it the old fashioned way. 

I like Scrabble or Words With Friends on my phone because I can go to Google (wink, wink, wink). Monopoly is in the top 3 in most countdowns. But if we’re all honest, we know Monopoly takes too long and has ended relationships, marriages and caused family duels. Buy those two games at your own risk. And others to consider picking up from the toy section are Operation, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Boggle, Dominoes, Catchphrase and The Game of Life. 

10. Checkers

There are two games on this list I had to learn how to play in order to keep my dad’s love and earn his respect. The first on this countdown is checkers. Thomas Sellers Sr. still beats the living will out me in this game. Breakdown of the game: You and your opponent are each responsible for 12 pieces (normally black and red). 

You are allowed to move diagonally across the checkerboard (also normally black and red). My dad seems to have the best strategy and utters the phrase “king me,” a lot playing against me. I normally beat up on younger opponents. Whenever I need to be humbled, I visit my Pops or challenge one of my uncles. 

My rare victory against them means the world. But checkers is more a right of passage and bonding experience for generations. 

9. Clue

I think we’ve all figured this game was invented overseas. Known as Clue in North America, Cluedo is a murder mystery game for three to six players that was created in 1943 as a British board game. 

What earned Clue a spot on this list is the creativity, fun elements and use of a poker face. It does have suspense and forces fun interactions with your opponents. That murder in the Boddy Mansion has to be solved from the suspect to the weapon. And toss in the location to make it more exciting. 

There are six possible killers and whatever card I draw, I create a personality for him or her. This game is fun no matter if you win, lose or are the murder. 

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8. Trouble

The object of Milton Bradley’s game is to keep your four pieces out of… trouble. Get all four same color pieces to the home base and you’re the winner. Great family fun lands this game a spot on the list. But my personal favorite part of the fame is the plastic dome known as the pop-o-matic. It rolls the tiny dice inside indicating how far you move a piece.  

7. Trivial Pursuit

This next board game is for grown folks. And it helps to have some intelligence too. Trivial Pursuit is a great way to prepare for “Jeopardy” or “Knowledge Bowl.” With hundreds of questions, your brain will be challenged in a range of subjects. Trivial Pursuit covers sports & leisure, science & nature, art & culture, geography, entertainment, and history. 

Reserve an hour or two to finish this game and make sure you are challenging like-minded competitors. Trivia Pursuit is known to create quitters. Winning this game will definitely earn you the respect of your peers, mentors and nearby animals. 

6. Sorry!

My older cousin LaToya introduced this game to me when I was about 6-year-old. With her being a pre-teen, you dominated each contest and loved saying “Sorry little Cuz.” Showing no mercy, LaToya made me tougher. Finally I beat her because I was ruthless and cunning. I learned not to play Sorry! in a vindictive mindset. She taught me strategy and purpose when moving your pieces around the Sorry! board. 

The object of this game is to move your four pawns around the board and safely navigate them home again in the game of Sorry!. All pawns begin in their respective start spaces, and players take turns drawing from a deck of 44 cards to see what the pawn’s next move might be. If your piece lands on an opponent’s piece, it is taken off the board and you get to say “sorry.” But remember, what goes around comes back around in Sorry!.  

5. Yahtzee

This is the second game I had to master to keep my dad’s approval. To add more importance to this game, my mom Alma was the best player in the house. Well, if  you ask my dad he will say he’s No. 1. But as of today I have taken the crown from both of them. How competitive was this game to my parents? My younger brother Cordarous was born a few days early when a game got heated between them. My mom slammed the Yahtzee cup so hard to the table trying to beat my dad that a labor pain hit. 

By the way, my brother does not like Yahtzee. But I grew to love this game. I finally beat my parents when I was 12-years old. We’ve had plenty of three-way dances with the victor circle trading spots multiple times. And once in my life I rolled 8 Yahtzees in one game. The only time I scored more than 2,000 points in a game. My mom has done it a few times and my dad hit that milestone often. OK, I can admit my folks are the best at yelling “Yahtzee!”

4. Pictionary

When you come from a family or artists, Pictionary becomes an all-star game. My dad is the original gangster. Then my brother Cordarous is the master of the “inside joke” picture. That’s why we make a great team. 

Then the baby boy Carlos is the best, smoothest drawer. He can create any image from his mind. My library of knowledge makes me dangerous at playing the “Win, Lose or Draw” style game. Give me a clue, the pencil and the paper and the timer won’t even be a factor. 

My big sister Shay is a skilled artist and was solid at the game. We’re so good at Pictionary, we bought the version with challenges like switch hand and do it blindfolded. Not leaving out my mom, we drew straws to see who teammate she would be. Her stick men and women have brought us so much laughter over the years. 

3. Connect Four

I won the Delano Optional School tournament back in 1992. Microphone drop! I love this game of vertical checkers. Whether it was horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, I was going to connect four of the same color pieces on you. With 42 slots, it was rare I faced a challenger that would cause me to fill up all of them or deadlock the game. I love Connect Four and create challenges within the game. I love the two-way and connection of the entire row. 

2. Scene It?

Scene It? is an interactive film series created by Screenlife Games, in which players answer trivia questions about films or pop culture. I bought three versions of this game with the ESPN (sports edition) being one of my favorite purchases of all time. I am so good at Scene It? Sports, nobody in my family will play me again. I have to challenge myself. My favorite experience with this game was beating a Millington legend in his own home. 

Charles “Schwab” Thompson was a 15-year-old sports genius. Word was spreading around town no one could touch him in athletic trivia. His big brothers reached out to me and said he requested my presence in a showdown of Scene It? After making quick work of his family, Schwab was ready to take down “The Sel.” With my brother Carlos by my side, I arrived at the Thompson house for a friendly game. But Schwab told me within seconds I was going down. Let’s put it like this, I dominated the young man, humbled him and beat him with a trivia question on figuring skating. “He knows figure skating too? That’s cheating,” were the Schwab’s last words. 

1. Uno

Uno combines all the fun and competitive elements of the other board games. With multiple versions of Uno, you will find an edition appropriate for you. The colors, the wildcards and all the creative rules make Uno timeless fun. I know most of you are saying, ‘Wait, Uno is a card game?’ Technically card games from the standard 52-member deck. Uno contains 108 cards and meets the requirement of games like Monopoly and Sorry! using cards to help the pace of the competition. 

So that Draw 4 card moves Uno into the board game category and helps it land my No. 1. spot. My Goddaughter Taliyah thinks she’s the Queen of the Game. But the only reason she is in the running for that title is because she has played the King. 

THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for West 10 Media/Magic Valley Publishing. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to thomas@magicvalleypublishing.com.