Despite its reputation for being, well, lame, team building is one of the best investments you can make to improve your workforce. Good team building exercises foster employee communication, morale, motivation, and productivity; help employees to get to know each other better; and learn about strengths and weaknesses. Even the best teams can benefit from quality team building exercises, and as most business owners and managers know, great teamwork is a key factor in any company’s success.
Quality team building includes four major components: 1) communication, 2) problem solving/decision making, 3) adaptability/planning, and 4) activities that focus on building trust. A mixer/lunch out at the local restaurant or pub isn’t going to magically make all that happen. But if your company is fairly small, shelling out a lot of money on expensive off-site activities might not be in the cards. Budget team building, often cobbled together by well-meaning HR employees, is full of DIY party games, lackluster mixers, and well-worn icebreakers like “Two Truths and a Lie.” Groan. Not another boring team building game.
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Loy says: “The Hobbit Card Game is a unique take on a trick-taking style game. Not only are you taking tricks, but you’re also dealing damage to your enemies and healing your friends. Some players are good guys (hobbits and dwarves) while at least one is evil (Smaug). Trick taking takes on a new level when you’re concerned for your teammates and battling the forces of darkness at the same time. A nifty change of pace.”
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From the box: “Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!” Continue reading “Forbidden Island”
From the box: “Your adventurous settlers seek to tame the remote but rich isle of Catan. Start by revealing Catan’s many harbors and regions: pastures, fields, mountains, hills, forests, and desert. The random mix creates a different board virtually every time. Guide your settlers to victory by clever trading and cunning development. Use resource combinations— grain, wool, ore, brick, and lumber—to buy handy development cards and build roads, settlements, and cities. Acquire your resources through trades, cards, or lucky dice (even outside your turn). But beware! Someone might cut off your road or buy a monopoly. And you never know when the wily robber might steal some of your precious gains!”
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Loy says: “Risk is that classic game of conquest. Strategically build and place your armies for battle, team up with opponents, roll the dice to determine victory, and be the last general standing. This can be a simple game of tactics or a complex game of negotiations and allies; it’s all up to you.”
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From the box: “In Munchkin, you and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items. Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon. Everyone begins the game as a Level 1 Human with NO Class (heh-heh) and via cards, they acquire Races (Elf, Dwarf, etc.), Classes (Thief, Wizard, Cleric, etc.), Items, Armor, Potions, and more to combat hideous monsters like the Level 4 Undead Horse, the Level 10 Net Troll, and the Level 14 Unspeakably Awful, Indescribable Horror (very nasty, indeed). The object of the game is to reach Level 10. Levels are acquired via the slaying of monsters and the selling of acquired treasure (1,000 Gold Pieces equals 1 Level). Very silly and a lot of fun!
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Loy says: “It’s the classic Monopoly board game from your childhood. Yep, the one that caused more uproar and more flipped boards than any other. Still a competitive classic – buy, sell, and develop real estate to be the last tycoon standing.”
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From the box: Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.
In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.
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From the box: “Cranium Brain Breaks is a purple brain shaped box with 200 one-minute mini games! Fast, frantic fun that will have your family acting, sketching, sculpting, and word puzzling as you race together to beat the timer. With 200 different activities. Cranium Brain Breaks features lots of activities as seen in other Cranium games, such as sketching, sculpting, acting, humming, word puzzles and more.”
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