Helen now considers Hive her favourite tabletop game.

Tabletop games are surrounded by a myth that you need to be a genius to play them. In reality, you’re given a set-up of dice, cards and game pieces and a mission to complete. They’re just like the board games of your childhood, but slightly more innovative.

Whether it is a rich and intriguing world where you can spend hours playing or a short coffee-break game – there is something for everyone of any ability.

I first played Hive at a board game café with a friend. The initial instructions seemed confusing but after a few rounds, it actually wasn’t difficult at all. ‘Hive’ is just like chess but with bugs and insects – you must protect your queen!

Now, armed with my pocket edition of the game, I encourage others to play Hive with me all the time and I’m well versed in all the tactics you can use. It brings out the competitive side of me and I enjoy feeling that exhilarating bubbling heat of pride when I win.

Apart from winning, one of the best aspects of playing tabletop games is the community. Whether you’re in a big group and playing as a cast of characters or you’re competing against each other one-on-one. You’re experiencing it all with another person (or a lot of other people) and that can be truly magical.

This is why one of my favourite tabletop games is Codenames. It’s a unique concept, it has elements of Pictionary, Scrabble and Charades (which are all games I love). It’s all about words which immediately sparked my interest, but, more than that, I enjoy the teamwork side of it. Partners’ minds meld and merge together to the point where you almost become one. It can be very amusing when you don’t get it right.

If the world of complicated tabletop games isn’t your thing then there are plenty of games that suit your talents and interests. Anyone can be a player, you just need to spend a fair bit of time learning the rules first.

If you’re feeling lonely during lockdown and fancy picking up something new then you can still play table top games – check out of the list of how here.