Thursday, March 7, 2019

In Hand and no table needed

While I have used the term surface-free for games that can be played while holding all the parts in your hand, I’m getting the impression that the term In Hand might be the preferred one. Although In Hand might just refer specifically to cards games where you hold all the cards.

To be fair, it’s not like there’s some governing body demanding a strict etymology for board game terms. It’s really more of a organic process. 

I have to admit that I have come to like In Hand solitaire games a lot over the last year or so. I’ve come to like solitaire games and I mainly play them as parent breaks (quick little mental breaks) So a game that I don’t even need a table to play and can play waiting on the car or lying in bed is awfully handy.

Now, from what I can tell, In Hand games have been around for a long time. Apparently sailers played them back in the day of tall mast ships. Even if that isn’t true, that’s too romantic an idea for me not go ahead and believe.

Palm Island is my current gold standard for In Hand games. It feels like a ‘full’ game with resource management and developing an infrastructure. Mind you, that depth comes at enough of a time price that it doesn’t work for a quick mental coffee break. But I think it pushes the boundaries of what you can do with a deck of cards that stays in your hands, as well as being a very good game. 

And I wonder if it is inspiring other In Hand games. I feel like I’m seeing more of them over the last year. There isn’t a flood but I swear there’s more of them.

I have a tiny box of solitaire games that I keep in my bag, my fidget box. And now I’m thinking of developing another fidget box that is nothing but In Hand games. I’ve seen more and more variety. And they work well for games on the go. 

For me, they are often a form of fidgeting.

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