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4 Board Games to Chill Out To

Board games can be an incredibly relaxing hobby. As a general principal, we get together on a semi-regular basis to enjoy each other’s company and revel in a puzzle or two. It is rarely a high stress environment, and for that we are lucky to have it as a hobby. Board gaming is kind of chilled.

Of course, then there is taking that level of chill to the extreme. There are some games that are so relaxing and enjoyable that they really help you de-stress after a day at work or after a busy weekend. These are games that go beyond playing Viticulture with wine and cheese. These are games that go beyond playing Mysterium by candle light. These are games that take relaxing to the next level.

So sit back, dear reader. Maybe pour yourself a glass of Merlot and prepare yourself a baked Camembert. Maybe make yourself a rich hot chocolate and light a scented candle.  Maybe have a Baileys and listen to some Grover Washington Jr. I know I am. Let’s talk about games you can really relax to.

Board Games To Chill Out To

Okay, let’s start this relaxed list of board games to chill out to. Some of these games are competitive, some are cooperative. Either way these are games to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey.


Bob Ross: The Art of Chill

Bob Ross: The Art of Chill

Let’s start with the obvious one (also, totally listening to soft saxophone right now…) – Bob Ross: The Art of Chill.

For those who are unaware of who Bob Ross is or why this game is so fantastic, let’s go back to the 1970s and 1980s. Bob Ross was a  landscape painter, specialising in the wet-on-wet method of painting. This meant he would cover a canvas, and then very quickly keep painting over the top. His pictures were amazing, and in a 30 minute TV show he could paint an entire scene that would just take your breath away. Such a talent, he was known for being incredibly softly spoken, and saying things like:

We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents


There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend

Recently, Bob’s work has become a staple on Netflix, and as such there has been a revival in all things Bob. We have a chopping board with one of his quotes etched in, and in my mini painting kit I actually have a Bob Ross brush.

Well, in 2017, board game designers Prospero Hall created a game, in which you paint pictures with Bob. Every time you paint a feature, depending on several elements, you get a certain amount of “Chill” on the “Chillmeter”. The player who reaches a state of “Chill” the fastest wins the game.

The Art of Chill is a game that keeps on giving. We really enjoy it, and I personally prefer it to Villainous, another Prospero Hall game. It is relaxing and entertaining, and I just want to play it again and again.


Railroad Ink

Railroad Ink

Easily the most competitive game on this list, Railroad Ink is another relatively relaxed game, and I think that comes down to the inevitable nature of it.

Needing far less of an introduction, Railroad Ink is a roll-and-write game in which you are trying to build a series of interconnected routes on a whiteboard, using only the results rolled on dice. Those results include straights, bends, t-junctions, and rails, and all kinds of other direction orientated pieces for you to use. Each turn four dice are rolled and you need to use those dice in your town…? City…? Area…? Whatever…in order to create the best network.

Where the relaxation element comes in is that everyone has to use the same dice and you have to use all of them. There is no scavenging for the pieces of the puzzle, instead you have them and have to make them fit into your own masterful tableau.

I like Railroad Ink, and I probably find it more relaxing than I should. We haven’t played the expansions, but the base game is ace. Jolly good chillage.


Tokyo Highway

Tokyo Highway

Another game I probably find way more relaxing than I should is Tokyo Highway.

Tokyo Highway is an abstract dexterity game, if such a thing isn’t a contradiction, in which you are aiming to build the best highway around Tokyo. To score points you need to follow a few basic restrictions, namely to do with elevation and what you can build over, and you need to place a car on your road. You get scored at the end based on your cars. It’s ace.

What really makes Tokyo Highway is how it is paced. As the game, and as the structure you are building, becomes more complex, it becomes imperative to take your time on your turn. You find yourself taking deep breaths, controlling your breathing exactly, and minutely working a pair of fabulous plastic tweezers.

There is no other dexterity game like Tokyo Highway for forcing you to take your time and really getting you into that zone. It is a game for honing your concentration, whilst blocking out the outside world. Beautiful and remarkably good at keeping you in the moment, I can’t help but recommend Tokyo Highway. It is definitely one of the best dexterity games we have played.

Black Stories

Black Stories

Black Stories

It wasn’t that long ago that I actually wrote a review of Black StoriesThis macabre team storytelling game gives players one or two lines of a story. They must then ask questions in a yes/no fashion to the core “riddle master” who will help guide them to uncovering this huge and remarkable plot.

The best thing about Black Stories is that it doesn’t require anything more than one card (or the app) and a relaxed environment. I mean, what else could you need for a game like 20 questions?

All-in-all, Black Stories is a game that is completely unrestricted. There is no specific environment, and you can play it whenever and whenever you want. There is no time limit or limit to the number of questions you can ask. A single story can up to an hour. Meanwhile it might be as quick as 15 minutes. There may be two players, or there might be 20. It is such a relaxing game that even the (very thin) rulebook says that patience is one of the core virtues.

Black Stories is a game that allows you to just ponder things with friends, and that is really cool.

Usually, when we do lists, I like to make everything a round 5 or 10 – but today, in the name of being chilled (on the official scale of chill-ness), I’m going to call it at four. These have been four (not five) games to really chill out to.

So, let’s have a relaxed chat – if you want, why not tell me games you really like to relax to in the comments section below. And, whether you decide to leave a comment or not, I hope you have a really lovely day.


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