Guide for Pairing Board Games with Your Drug of Choice

Starting with beer? Try Pandemic.EXPAND
Starting with beer? Try Pandemic.

Drinking games are an American tradition. But with a marketplace so crowded with games, alcohol and other recreational drugs, it can be difficult to find a pair that works well together. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite games and some of our favorite ways to enjoy them, no matter what you choose to imbibe.

Beer + Pandemic
If you’re playing a long game you probably don’t want to start with the hard stuff. Playing games like Settlers of Catan, Risk or Monopoly means beer is the way to go because you need to have a strategy that you can remember during the long stretch of gameplay. So try to avoid blackouts (unless your goal is to do your best Wolf of Wall Street impression, in which case you’ll probably want hearty amounts of Quaaludes on hand). If you want to experiment with a new game that takes some strategy, time and cooperation with other players, try Pandemic. In this game a group of up to four players are in a race against the clock to stop a global outbreak. Think World War Z before it goes full fledged The Walking Dead. The game requires players to work together to find a cure before it’s too late.

Shots + Exploding Kittens
If you’re taking shots then the game needs to be fast paced so that all of the players can get involved quickly. The game should also be easy to follow because, well, you probably won’t remember a bunch of rules for very long. Cards Against Humanity has become a popular way to start a drinking game, but if you want to try something different go and pick up Exploding Kittens. Basically, this game is Russian roulette mixed with Uno. If you draw an exploding kitten card, you’re out (take a shot). The other cards allow you to make players draw multiple times (take a shot), reshuffle the deck (take a shot) or diffuse the exploding kitten with a laser pointer or catnip (everybody else take a shot).

Pot + King of Tokyo 
Let's be honest, no game is going to top Jenga when you’re high. But, if you and some friends are looking for something just as simple and way more brightly colored then try King of Tokyo. The game is easy enough (it needs to be): You and up to 6 friends each get a Godzilla-esque monster and play King of the Hill with Tokyo. Whoever holds the city the longest wins the game. Players get to roll dice, draw power-up cards and have their minds blown by cool monsters.

Hallucinogens + Axis & Allies
This one’s tricky. If you're a veteran of psychedelic trips, you could give games like King of Tokyo or Exploding Kittens a try. But we can’t really recommend that for the uninitiated. Several people have suggested playing Risk when you’re tripping on acid or mushrooms, which could be fun to do during a game with slower gameplay. Who knows, maybe one of those tiny plastic figures can double as a wartime consigliere. If you want to mix things up, go for Axis & Allies. The game teams up the allied countries and pits them against players on the axis team as they try to conquer territories around the world. This way you can have some fun with history and pretend to be Winston Churchill at the same time.

Cocaine + Ticket to Ride 
You’re going to need a fast-paced game with a singular task that rewards your most cutthroat instincts. Luckily a game like Ticket to Ride can meet all of those requirements. This game pits railroad magnates against each other in a competition to complete the most railroads across the county. Cards give you goals to build rails to certain locations around a map. But if you’re not fast enough — or just not paying close enough attention — another player can complete the task before you and take your points. The game moves quickly, so watch your competitors closely. 

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