We’re all busy and have a lot on our plates. Mom and Dad are at work, trying to keep the house clean and tranquil, while the kids have to go to school and prepare for their future. Our buddies are not always available because they have their responsibilities. So, what better way to get away from it all than to get together with the people you care about and spend a few hours with them?
Families and friends can spend precious time together by playing board games. Board games bring family, friends, and even strangers closer together, whether you work in a team to finish a game or compete with each other to declare a winner.
In this article, we give you the best three-player board games to check out and play this year. We chose them based on the positive feedback they received from satisfied customers and their ability to provide you with the best board game experience.
The best 3 player board games are given below with details:
- Spirit Island
- Stone Age
- Blood Rage
- Ticket To Ride
- Settlers of Catan
Spirit Island is a challenging and creative cooperative game. It would help if you protect your island home from coming Invaders. Players are taking on the roles of many land spirits, each with their own set of elemental abilities. Players choose which of their power cards to play at the same time each turn, paying energy to do so. Free extra effects can be obtained by using combinations of power cards that match a spirit’s elemental affinities.
Other magics are slower and require preparation and planning to wield successfully, whereas faster powers take impact quickly before the Invaders expand and ravage. Spirits gather energy in the Spirit phase and can choose how / if to Grow: reclaim used power cards, seek new power, or spread presence to other island regions.
The Invaders expand in a semi-predictable pattern over the island map. They explore some lands (portions of the island) each turn, then create villages and cities in those regions the next turn. They devastate the land the next turn, bringing blight and attacking any native islanders that are present.
When invaded by the Invaders, the islanders fight back and help the spirits in various ways, but they may not always do it exactly as you’d wanted. Some Powers act through the islanders, assisting them in driving out the Invaders or cleaning up the land.
As the game advances, the spirits expand their influence across the island and seek new and more powerful powers, while the Invaders ramp up their colonization attempts. Each round represents a period in the alternate timeline of 1-3 years.
Winning requires destroying every last village and city on the map at the start of the game. Still, victory becomes easier as you terrify the Invaders: they’ll leave even if a few settlements or cities remain. If any spirit is destroyed, the island is overrun by blight, or the Invader deck is empty before victory, the player is defeated.
There are various opponents to fight against in this game (e.g., a Swedish Mining Colony or a British Remote Colony). Each uniquely modifies the game and provides a distinct path of difficulty enhancements to keep the game hard as you improve your skills.
Horrified features sculpted miniatures of exceptional quality (Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon). Players fight together against creatures of increasing levels of difficulty in this novel, easy-to-learn cooperative game. Each creature is different, and defeating them necessitates different strategies and tactics.
In Horrified, your goal is to defeat all of the monsters in the game. Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon are among the creatures included in the game. Each monster has its special ability, and defeating them necessitates completing specified tasks. You’ll battle two enemies at the least difficulty level, three at the standard level, and four at the most difficult level.
Each player is given one of the seven heroes and a Perk card at the start of the game. Your hero badge displays the number of actions you can perform per turn (most have four), as well as your special ability and starting position on the board. Each Perk card grants you a one-time-use power that you can use at any time during anyone’s turn.
There are two stages to each turn: a Hero Phase and a Monster Phase. You’ll go through those two phases before passing the cross to the next player.
During the Hero Phase, you’ll primarily be going across the board, gathering up objects, and using those items at specified areas to defeat the monsters gradually. To keep the villagers away from the creatures, you can move them throughout the map. Every time you get a villager to a safe spot, you get a Perk card.
You’ll draw one Monster card and resolve the three sections of the card during the Monster Phase. First, look at the number at the top of the card, then take that many new items from the bag and place them on the board where they go. Following then, the Event will either add a new villager to the board or activate a certain monster (if one exists). Finally, look at the bottom of the card to see if any of the monsters in play are moving or attacking.
You’ll look to see if a monster is the inside range of a hero or villager after it moves, and if they are, you’ll roll one or more attack dice. The Hit icon and the Monster’s Power icon are the two negative icons on the dice. If a villager is hit with the Hit icon, they are automatically defeated, and the Terror Level rises in one place. If a hero is hit by the Strike icon, they can use goods to block the blow or absorb the hit, raise the Terror Level, and go to the hospital. The Monster’s Power icon activates a clear objective for the monster.
If you can fight all of the monsters, you’ll win the game. If the Terror Level reaches 7 or the Monster deck is empty when it’s time to draw a card, you’ll lose.
Early in 2008, Dominion was the game that gave birth to the deck-building genre. It has remained relevant because, since its release, it has continued to publish great expansions at a rate of around one per year. There are a few.
It’s the Middle Ages, and you’re gaining resources and glory points by tapping into all of the kingdom’s resources. You start with almost nothing and add new cards to your deck to hopefully draw and play in the future, just like any other deck builder. The beauty of Dominion is that there are only ten cards to choose from each game, and they are all distinct. Every time, you must completely change your plan.
Because of the various combinations, Dominion is a fantastic game for three players. Games can be fast-paced, and the winner is the one who can find out how to do it correctly. There is only a small bit of player engagement, and the optimal enjoyment level for everything looks to be three people. The number four is far too powerful.
Each player in Dominion begins with an identical, limited deck of cards. Several other cards are available in the center of the table for players to “buy” as they can afford them. The players build their deck on the fly by choosing which cards to buy and how they play their hands as they draw them, looking for the most efficient path to the valuable win points by the end of the game.
While Dominion is not a card game, the game’s principles are similar to those of a CCG deck. There are 500 cards in the game. You choose 10 of the 25 Kingdom card kinds to include in each play, resulting in a huge amount of variability.
You’re a farmer in Agricola, living in a small cabin with your husband and very little else. You can only take two actions per round, one for yourself and one for your spouse, from the many options available on a farm, such as gathering clay, wood, or stone or erecting fences. You may consider having children to complete more work, but first, you must expand your home. And what will you feed all the young regrets?
The use (or non-use) of two of the game’s main types of cards, Minor Improvements and Occupations, allows for various levels of complexity. These cards are not included in the beginner’s edition (called the Family Alternative in the US version).
The US release includes three levels of both types of cards for advanced play: Basic (E-deck), Interactive (I-deck), and Complex (K-deck), and the rulebook encourages players to mix and match the decks. There are also aftermarket decks such as Z-Deck and the L-Deck.
Agricola is a game where you take turns. There are 14 game rounds spread between 6 stages, each with a Harvest at the end (after Rounds 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 14).
Each player is given two playing tokens (farmer and spouse) at the start of the game, allowing them to take two turns (or acts) per round. There are many choices, and as the game develops, you’ll have more: each round begins with a new action card being flipped over.
Problem: Only one person can perform each action in each round, so it’s important to select certain tasks.
The “Stone Age” was a difficult period. Our parents worked their legs and backs against wooden plows in the stony dirt in their duties as hunters, collectors, farmers, and tool makers. The wooden plow, of course, was not the end of progress. To make their work more effective, people have long looked for better equipment and more productive plants.
The players in Stone Age live in this era, exactly as our grandparents did. They gather wood, break stones, and use the water to wash their riches. They can freely trade, extend their community, and thereby progress to higher levels of civilization. In this prehistoric era, the players compete for food using a combination of luck and planning.
In each of the three phases, players can use up to ten clans. Players put their men in sections of the board that they believe would benefit them in the first phase, such as the hunt, the trading hub, or the quarry.
The starting player activates each of their staffed locations in whichever order they want in the second phase, followed by the other players in turn. Players must have enough food to feed their populations in the third phase. Otherwise, they will lose resources and points.
Scythe is an alternate-history engine-building game set in the 1920s. Farming and conflict, broken hearts and rusted gears, creativity, and courage define this period. Each player in Scythe takes on the role of a figure from five Eastern European factions attempting to make a fortune and secure their faction’s interest in the area around the mysterious Factory. Conquer territory, enlist new soldiers, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate huge disengagements are all things that players can do in this game.
Each player starts with different resources (power, cash, fighting skill, and popularity), a different beginning location, and a secret aim. Starting locations have been carefully calibrated to contribute to the uniqueness of each faction and the game’s asymmetrical nature (each faction always starts in the same place).
Scythe allows players to have almost total control over their destiny. The only element of chance or variability, aside from each player’s unique secret objective card, is the “approach” cards that players will draw as they interact with the people of newly discovered areas. Each encounter card gives the player several choices, allowing them to limit the luck of the draw by making the best choice. Combat is likewise based on decisions rather than luck or chance.
Scythe uses a simplified action-selection process (no rounds or phases) to keep the game and minimize downtime between turns quickly. There is no player elimination, but there is enough direct conflict for those who seek it.
Engine-building is present in every facet of Scythe. Players can better their activities by building structures to improve their map location, hiring recruits to boost character powers, activating mechs to block invading enemies, and pushing their borders to reap more sorts and quantities of resources. These engine-building elements give the game a sense of speed and development. Even when playing the same faction numerous times, the order in which players build their engine adds to the unique sense of each game.
Gloomhaven is a tactical battle game set in a dynamic universe with shifting motives. Players will assume the character of a traveling explorer, each with their own set of skills and motivations for visiting this dark part of the globe. Away from need, players must work together to clear out dangerous dungeons and ancient ruins. They will improve their powers through experience and loot, discover new locales to explore and plunder, and grow an ever-branching plot powered by their choices.
This is a game with a permanent and dynamic universe that is best enjoyed over several gaming sessions. Players will decide what to do after each scenario, which will impact how the story develops, similar to a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Players will fight against automated monsters utilizing an innovative card system to control the order of play and what each player does on their turn while playing through a scenario.
Each turn, a player picks two cards from their hand to play. Their initiative for the round is determined by the number on the top card. When it’s a player’s turn in the initiative order, they decide whether to employ the top power of one card and the bottom power of the other, or vice versa.
Players must be mindful, though, because they will lose cards from their hands permanently over time. They may become tired and be forced to retreat if they take too long to clear a cell
Each player in Blood Rage is in charge of their own Viking clan’s soldiers, commander, and ship. Ragnarök has arrived, and the world has come to an end! It’s the Vikings’ last chance to go out in style and secure their position at Odin’s side in Valhalla!
There are numerous paths to glory for a Viking. You can plunder the land for its riches, crush your opponents in epic battles, complete missions, boost your clan’s stats, or even die gloriously in combat or from Ragnarök, the ultimate unavoidable death, to name a few options.
The cards drawn at the start of each of the three-game rounds influence most player strategy (or Ages). These “Gods’ Gifts” give a variety of benefits to your clan, like greater Viking strength and devious fighting methods, clan improvements, and even the assistance of famous Norse animals.
They could also involve various tasks, such as dominating specific provinces or sending a large number of your Vikings to Valhalla. The majority of these cards are associated with one of the Norse gods, implying the type of strategy they encourage. For example, Thor gives greater glory for combat victories, Heimdall bestows foresight and surprises, Tyr gives fighting power, and the trickster Loki prizes for losing battles or punishes the victor.
During the draft phase, players must carefully consider their plans, but they must also be prepared to adapt and respond to their opponents’ strategies as the action phase progresses. Battles are decided not only by the strength of the characters involved but also by secret cards.
You can forecast what card your opponent will play based on their actions and allegiances to specific gods and plan accordingly. Winning battles isn’t always the best strategy, as crushing the proper card might net you even more rewards. In Blood Rage, the only losing option is to avoid battle and a glorious death!
Ticket To Ride
Ticket to Ride is a game that can be learned in just 15 minutes, thanks to its beautifully basic gameplay. Players acquire train car cards, which they then use to claim railway networks across North America. The more points they gain, the longer the routes are. Players who complete Destination Tickets – objective cards that connect distant cities – earn extra points, as does the player who constructs the longest continuous route.
Ticket to Ride author Alan R. Moon states, “The rules are simple enough to write on a railway ticket – each turn you either draw more cards, claim a route, or acquire additional Destination Tickets.” “The tension arises from the need to strike a balance between greed – adding more cards to your hand – and fear – losing a key route to a competitor.”
Ticket to Ride is a big-format board game in the Days of Wonder style, with high-quality drawings and components like an enlarged map of North America, 225 custom-molded railway carriages, 144 illustrated cards, and wooden scoring markers.
Ticket to Ride has become the BoardGameGeek ideal of a “gateway game” since its launch. There are multiple following wins — easy enough to be taught in a few minutes, but with enough action and drama to keep new players engaged and in the game for the length.
Ticket to Ride is a part of the Ticket to Ride series.
Settlers of Catan
In CATAN (previously The Settlers of Catan), players construct towns, cities, and roadways to become the dominating force on the island of Catan. The resources produced by the island are determined by rolling dice each turn. Players construct by spending the resources (sheep, wheat, wood, brick, and ore) represented by these resource cards; each land type produces a specific resource, except the unproductive desert: hills produce brick, forests produce wood, mountains produce ore, fields produce wheat, and pastures produce sheep.
Large hexagonal tiles (each symbolizing a resource or the desert) are randomly placed in a honeycomb form and surrounded by water tiles, some of which include ports of exchange.
Each resource tile has a numbered disk related to die rolls (two 6-sided dice are used). Each player is allocated two towns (think: houses) and roads (think: sticks), then put on resource tile intersections and borders. Based on which hex tiles their last-placed house is adjacent to, players receive a hand of resource cards. On the desert tile, a robber pawn is put.
A turn consists of possibly playing a development card, rolling the dice, everyone (possibly) collecting resource cards based on the role and position of houses (or upgraded cities—think: hotels) unless a 7, turning in resource cards for improvements (if possible and desired), trading cards at a port, and trading resource cards with other players. If a 7 is rolled, the active player moves the robber to a new hex tile and collects resource cards from other players constructed on that tile.
Building settlements and cities, having the longest road and largest army (from some development cards) and collecting specific development cards that just award victory points are all ways to get points. When a player has accumulated 10 points (some of which may be kept hidden), he discloses his total and claims victory.
CATAN has earned numerous awards and is one of the most popular games in recent history due to its remarkable ability to appeal to new and experienced gamers.
We hope that this article has helped you find the three-player board game that best suits your and your friends’ likes and personalities. Hopefully, spending time with your friends and family, enjoying the game night and each other’s company, brings you joy and laughter.