Once an English major learning about famous writers, now a degree-holding aspiring author with a day job (as you can see, college was worth the crippling debt; stay in school kids), whenever my hobby ties into all that book-learning I did, it makes the forever English lover in me quite happy. Thus, I quite often like to try games based solely on their English-esque themes (really puts a wrench in that whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” thing, huh?). On the bright side, I usually end up liking them a lot.

If you’re like me and wholeheartedly enjoy that little spark of literary love, I’ve got a few games that are definitely worth checking out. So, without further ado, here are five board games for all you English majors at heart (or in real life!), in no particular order.

1. The Perilous Parlor Game

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, first of all, how dare you. Secondly, that’s okay (although, not really because you’re truly missing out on fabulous literature – it’s not just for kids!) you can still play the game!

In this light one-vs-many game, one player takes the role of Count Olaf and tries to eliminate yet another Baudelaire guardian, while 1-3 other players take on the roles of the Baudelaire children and have to keep their guardian alive until ol’ faithful Mr. Poe arrives.

While not an extremely difficult game, it is a very accurate and entertaining adaptation of the book series, and will definitely fill anyone who has read them with swelling nostalgia. Additionally, it is a good gateway game if you’re looking to get your group into heavier one-vs-many style games.

2. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

Another book series close to almost any readers’ heart, Harry Potter. This cooperative deckbuilder really puts players into the wizarding world and makes them feel as though they are the golden trio (and Neville) fighting Draco Malfoy, Dolores Umbridge, and even Voldemort himself.

Taking you through all 7 years, this game hits hard on a lot of great details and really does the series justice. This is also a great median between light and heavy, and an excellent gateway game for Harry Potter fans who you want to get into gaming (I should know, I got 3 different people into games just by offering this up).

3. Paperback

Ahh yes, another deckbuilder … but what’s this? It’s completely different! Huzzah!! In this Scrabble-esque game, players are working to collect cards with letters on them so that, when drawn, they can spell words and have enough money to buy more letters, or cards worth points.

It’s a huge spin on Scrabble, or that type of game, but with the same spelling aspect at heart. It leaves room for more decision making, the possibility to speed or slow the game by whether or not you buy point-cards, and a ton of possibilities for words based on how many cards you draw. It also has add-ins where players can have individual powers, or can can try to create themed words for extra points.  I consider it a huge improvement on Scrabble, personally, and look forward to getting the expansion for it.

4. Shakespeare

Not only an unforgettable writer, but an unforgettable game as well! This worker-placement game allows players to put together a set with the help of hired workers and then hire actors to perform on that very set! The cards are beautiful and all the familiar characters are enough to make any Shakespeare fan fall in love … get it, “Shakespeare in Love”? Well, maybe it was a bit of a stretch.

A longer and heavier game for sure, some players can definitely find themselves falling victim to analysis paralysis because there’s so much you want to do, and there never seems to be enough time or ability to do them! (As is the case with most excellent worker-placements). As a huge fan of Shakespeare, I honestly recommend this to all my literature lovers based purely on the theme, and they usually end up getting very into the “act” and loving it!

5. Wordspot

I’ve definitely made fun of this one a little in the past, as it is basically a glorified word search, but Wordspot is a pretty cool game for any pair that enjoys word-finding with a little challenge. Have fun covering up words any which way (even backwards!), but don’t get stuck with tiles left in your hand and no words to cover if you want to win. The way the board shrinks as more words are found is enough to get you really invested in this one.

That’s all I have for today, gamers! You can learn more about these by visiting the good peeps of Board Game Geek, or feel free to message me and we can talk about them for hours! I hope there are some other English-Literature-Loving gamers out there getting a kick out of these too!! Happy Gaming! 🙂