The High-FivOne of my favorite subjects in school was history, so the games on this High-Five are near and dear to my heart. If you want to hear more about these games, take a listen to Episode #014 of the Game Schooler Podcast.
5. Memoir ’44
Memoir ’44 handles the horrific subject of World War II very well. The gameplay is abstracted enough to separate it from atrocities of war. In addition, the designer, Richard Borg, did a fantastic job putting each scenario in historical context. Memoir ’44 is a two-player game out of the box, but the educational value is worth the concession.
Pandemic: Fall of Rome uses familiar gameplay but modifies it enough to create a unique experience. Players must work together to defend their borders and establish peace with the invading tribes. The game does a great job of introducing students to the other tribes challenging the power of the Roman Empire at the time, including the Anglo-Saxons, Goths, Vandals, and Huns. Plus, Pandemic: Fall of Rome was the 2020 Origins Awards Best Historical Game Winner!
3. 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is a classic drafting game that puts students in charge of constructing a civilization and one of the wonders of the ancient world. The game is fast and works with up to 7 players without increasing play length. Although the game may take a couple of rounds for players to fully grasp the concepts of the game, the amount of historical ideas present in this game leaves history teachers salivating.
World’s Fair 1893 is a historical juggernaut, and a recent reprint makes this innovative game more inclusive. Players compete to submit exhibitions to the fair through the use of area control. Each exhibit card is full of historical information that’s screaming for further exploration. Throw in some prominent figures from the 1890s, and you’ve got yourself a history lesson in a box!
In Museum, players curate collections for their private museums. The game features over 300 illustrations of authentic historical artifacts from Ancient Egypt, Aztec, Rome, and Chinese cultures. It’s a proverbial museum in a box! Your students could get lost in the details in this game for days, and Museum sets the standard for all future historical board games.