A day or so ago during lunchtime a few co-workers and I played a board game at lunch. I don't know what you think of when you think of board games, but I know I typically think of Candy Land or Monopoly. Maybe that's just the parent in me. Oh, sure...I've been in comic book stores and hobby shops with a huge inventory of board games, but I never paid them much attention. So the game I played the other day at lunch was...

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is a survival horror board game that was first published in 2007. Players can play on the Hero team or as the Zombies. A modular board randomly determines the layout of the town at the start of each game and there are several different scenarios to play. (Wikipedia)

What does this board game have to do with video games?

Well, obviously there is a big difference between board games and video games, but the truth is there are a lot of similarities too, and there are also a lot of gamers who are fans of both. Since I started working at my place of employment, I've met a few gamers with huge collections of board games. It's kind of neat. No doubt if you've been to a convention or trade show event, you've seen quite a few of them for sale.

Besides, this board game we played about surviving the zombie apocalypse had a mission that was strikingly similar to a mission from Left For Dead.

"Okay, So plan A is to find this car...Plan B is we stay in this mall and die."  -Rochelle

You might remember The Atrium from Left For Dead, it is the final chapter to the Dead Center campaign. Your team has to collect a set number of gas cans to gas up a car on display in the mall. If you manage to fill the tank, you and your team get to drive away and escape.

This is essentially the same mission we were up against. There was truck in the center of the map and we had to find the keys and gasoline to escape. I had the distinct pleasure of being the local sheriff. It borrowed a lot of elements from The Walking Dead, but I was happy with my character. I won't bore you will all of the details, but let's just say I killed five zombies, was only slightly injured, and contributed to the overall success of the team being able to escape.

It was nice to take a break from video games...set the controllers down and get out from behind the monitor...to play some old school multiplayer action in a board game. There were five of us and we had a ton of fun.

Anyway...if you're still wondering what any of this has to do with board games, well there are plenty of video game inspired board games. Might I recommend this one?

Age of Empires III: Age of Discovery board game

Designed by Glenn Drover, this board game allows you to revisit the age of exploration and discovery. Take on the role of a colonial power seeking fame, glory, and riches in the New World. As you proceed through three ages, you can launch expeditions of discovery, colonize regions, expand your merchant fleet, build capitol buildings that give your nation distinct advantages, develop your economy, and, if necessary, declare war.

Though originally published for 5 players, the game is playable by 6 with the original components and board configuration with addition of a set of figures in another color. This was originally offered as an "expansion" and an incentive to pre-order the game. The 6 player expansion will be included in the New expansion Glenn Drover's Empires: Builder Expansion as well as new buildings, and National Advantage tiles. (Board Game Geek)

Of course I'm not being totally serious with that one, but there are definitely plenty of others, some of which look and sound very cool.

There is a World of Warcraft board game that looks interesting. So does Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Gam and Starcraft. Then of course you have the retro classic board games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Frogger. You can find a list of some of them here.

Just out of curiosity, I made a quick trip to Think Geek to see what they had on the shelves...and they did not disappoint. I don't think I would do very well at World of Warcraft Trivial Pursuit, but Plants vs. Zombies Risk sounds cool. Although if I'm going to buy a Risk game, you know it's going to be the Mass Effect version. If Monopoly wasn't banned in our house (it ALWAYS leads to a fight) I might consider getting the Mario / Nintendo edition. Seems silly, since I already have the Star Wars and NASCAR editions.

How many of you play board games and do you have any you would recommend? What about video game-themed board games, any of those?

The weekend is here. May all your games (board or video) be good.