THE anti-covid19 measures in place since March have forced people to find ways of entertaining themselves at home. Some people have turned to board games to help them pass the time with their families. For some, this is a new interest, while for others it is a regular part of their routine.
Board At Home (BAH) is a board gaming business run by teacher Christopher Naranjit. Patrons can play designer board games most days of the week for a small fee at the venue in Couva. Naranjit said since the inception of the stay-at-home measures, people have been contacting him to find out where to purchase board games such as Jenga and Clue. He said the callers were not the people who would normally attend BAH sessions.
Social media manager Ana Therton said Uno is always a staple in her family and she wants to try the local board games Not A Real Place and the Trini Taboo app, both developed by Naranjit. The Not a Real Place board game is described as a parody of Monopoly set in Trinidad, drenched in stale jokes, sarcasm, dark humour and true strategy. Up to six people can play the game.
Trini-Taboo is a free, localised version of the familiar Taboo game that people can download and use on their phones or print cards to use offline. The game requires participants to guess a word based on another player's description but without using the regular identifiable words.
Marketing and public relations consultant Desiree Sorzano said board games had made a comeback in her household as she and her eight-year-old son, Kurdon, play Scrabble and Monopoly to pass the time.
“It’s a very refreshing activity and for me it brings back memories of back in the day where I played those games religiously with my cousins.”
She also recommended local board game Santimanitay: Race to the Stage, developed by Newsday employee Warren Le Platte. The game is an action-packed board game based around TT Carnival. It combines challenging trivia with a storyline and engaging characters. Two to eight players compete to reach their ultimate goal which is The Stage. The path to the goal is filled with challenges; players must avoid hard luck spaces, get past midnight robbers, take advantage of Warrahoon cards and display their knowledge of Carnival. Up to 12 people can play in player-vs-player mode.
Accountant Ramona Singh said she has always loved board games including Scrabble, Monopoly, Life, and Snakes and Ladders, and continues to play them now.
Entrepreneur Rebecca Sitahal-Flemming said her younger daughter has always insisted on board game nights, and they usually play Scrabble and Up Words, but not Monopoly as it takes too long.
Counsellor Dernielle Proper said she has always played board games with her nieces, nephew and parents. She said most of the games, like Ludo, have now moved online due to the stay-at-home measures.
Trinidad is Not a Real Place is the pick for businesswoman Joanne Santana and her family.
Founder of the Caribbean Books Foundation Marsha Gomes-Mckie said her favourite is the local game, The Name Game: Boy, Girl, Animal, Place, Thing, In a Box, which she said is a hit with her family.
The board games experience is not new for businesswoman Michelle La Croix who said she and her children had been playing games at the library and at home and continue to do so during this time.
Entrepreneur Trishanna Rattansingh said she and her boyfriend have been playing Ludo while in quarantine, both the physical game and the online version and are addicted to it.
For managing director of gift shop Caboodle Gifts Ltd, Tessa Haskel, once the stay-at-home measures were announced, she saw a dramatic increase in the demand for board games and puzzles. She said the games being requested were the traditional ones parents would be familiar with, such as Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders and Uno, etc.
Arima Public Library technician Ryan Rodriguez said board games made a comeback a few years ago and had hit a peak over the last three years when it became mainstream and popular. He said board game Fridays is one of the busiest activities at the library and there was an annual International Tabletop Day event which is popular at the Children's Library. He said the library has collected quite a few games to keep up with the demand for newer games.