Many of you probably think we TLO contributors live wild, adventurous lives full of excitement, craft beer, and glamour when we are not writing. And you ain’t wrong. As a matter of fact, this past weekend I had the joy of taking part in Token Con, Oklahoma’s annual board game convention. Though I was playing games designed by creators spanning the globe, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the themes were accidentally Oklahoman. So, here are 8 board games that inadvertently Oklahoma themed.
Pipeline is a board game in which you start an oilfield company, complete with government contracts, the ability to design pipes to more efficiently refine oil, and selling your product. This is an Oklahoma themed board game, because it allows you to become your own oil overlord! It is also fitting for our state because in one “fiscal year” turn you can be making bank, while the next turn you and your other oil overlord pals have flooded the market and forced to be bailed out financially by the government with little to no negative impact on the outcome of the game.
Churrascaria is a card collection game that aims to simulate the experience of eating at a Brazilian barbeque joint. I probably know what you’re thinking. Hayley, are you hitting the booze a little too hard while writing this one? Brazilian food has nothing to do with Oklahoma. Well yes to your first assumption, and no to your second. The reason why Churrascaria is actually an Oklahoma themed game is because players win by eating the most meat and actually lose points based on how many salads they consume. If that’s not the Oklahoma standard, I don’t know what is.
Wingspan was the 2019 Spiel des Jahres winner, which is both nerd-speak and German for, “this game is a big f*%@ing deal.” In Wingspan, players fill their tableau with various species of birds to create the most symbiotic ecosystem. But as depicted by the box, the Scissortail Flycatcher is the featured bird for the game. Even Oklahoma public school educated folk know that it is our state bird. Not to be confused with our state raptor, the red-tailed hawk, which is also in the game.
Potion Explosion is a tabletop game in which players play mad scientists creating concoctions in the laboratory. But I am not making the connection between this game and Oklahoma culture because of scientific literacy. It is more because the game’s tableau, which features filthy beakers and regular chemical explosions, is more like an Oklahoma meth lab than any legit laboratory.
The Quacks of Quedlinburg
In The Quacks of Quedlinburg, players act as quack doctors making mysterious brews that are supposed to “cure” people of their ailments. Players mix various snake oils to create more potent mixtures. Replace the bearded men on the board with 40-something-year-old Edmond moms peddling essential oil blends, and the game wouldn’t change a bit.
The Great Western Trail
In The Great Western Trail, players are cattlemen who are trying to herd their moo-cows from Texas to Kansas City, all along the historical path known as The Great Western Trail. This is not only an Oklahoma board game because the real life Great Western Trail ran right through our state. It is also an Oklahoma board game because it likewise whitewashes the history of the cowboy.
In Seasons, players are sorcerers taking part in a tournament, using powers harvested from the seasons as they change. This game fits with our state because within one hour of play you experience three years’ worth of changes in the seasons, which is almost as many seasons as Oklahoma experiences in any given hour.
Morels is a two-player card game, the object of which is to gather the most mushrooms. Though there are many edible and poisonous shrooms to collect, the most coveted are the morels. For a cute design, this game can get pretty cut-throat. Which is why this is an Oklahoma-themed board game because Okies are more likely to give up their firstborn child than give up the location of their secret morel hunting spots.