Inis - a game set in ancient Ireland, pronounced "inish" like finish.

Try Each Game Twice, At Least

I love learning new rules, I even love teaching new rules, as confusing as it can be. And of course I love playing the games. I love that feeling, about half way through the first play, when all the rules click, when I’ve seen the special powers, the ways others use them, how everything interacts, and I realize what I should have done from the start. So of course I have to play a second game. The second game, I think, is the best. When it’s all still new to me, but I know enough that I have a strategy in mind I want to try. You should play every game twice, at least.

But there are only 52 weeks in a year. Trying to get enough people around a table on any given weekend is a challenge. And when I am able to, it’s tough to convince everyone to play the same game we’ve played before, instead of the game that just came out, or that other one we’ve been meaning to try for months now… Games in my collection often don’t get played more than once, or might not get played at all, sometimes for years.

Due to the pandemic, it’s been over a year since we’ve even been able to sit around a table together. We’ve been playing some board games online, and that’s fun, but it isn’t the same thing as sitting together, watching someone try to bluff, or seeing that look on a friend’s face when they know they’ve got a string of actions coming that are just going to ruin things for everyone else. It’s great ‘craic.’ That’s the first Irish word you learn after you marry someone from the island. Craic, it means good times, and I miss them.

So now there’s a year’s worth of games waiting to be played, and you, like me, probably don’t have the money or space to acquire them all at once. That’s where the Portland Game Library comes in. It’s like having an enormous and constantly updating game collection, that you don’t have to manage yourself. All you have to do is tell us what games you want to play, and we’ll deliver them to your home.