Having been weaned on board games growing up, I've already begun stocking a closet for the day when we all sit around the dining room table for family game night. Of course with a one and four-year-old our current options are somewhat limited. Chutes and Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry-0, and Memory have become old standbys. But recently we came across a new game to add into our rotation.
Rivers, Roads & Rails, originally published by Ravensburger in the late sixties, is basically an illustrated version of the game Connect, a matching game that follows the same principles of dominoes.
Each tile contains at least one road, one river, and one rail. A player can only play a new tile adjacent to a played tile if the sides match, and the player that uses up all his tiles first wins. In the process of playing tiles a map begins to form of a twisting and bending transportation network, complete with scenic waterfalls, woodland landscapes, ponds, and charming urban development. Comprised of 140 picture tiles, the end result is always unique. You can play the game competitively, or cooperatively like a free-form jigsaw puzzle. So far we prefer the latter approach, turning it into a game to see how many of tiles we can use, which on more than one occasion resulted in a map that began on the bedroom floor, extended out the door and continued down the hallway.
We scored ours at a garage sale, but you can still acquire the game brand new for under $20.
(images: Ben Partridge)