Games People Play: Desi Boardgames To Deal With Being Stuck Indoors

Covid 19 is really spreading and it's going fast. So instead of thinking you're invincible, this is the time to be smart, and stay home. Plenty of time to be social later, hopefully! So if that plan to head out just got cancelled, order in your favourite food and play our list of Indian boardgames. From games that explore pop culture references to historical ones that involves you strategising, to even simple Tic Tac Toe but with a twist, our picks of desi boardgames just needs a bunch of friends to turn into fun time indoors. 

Kreeda Games

Chennai-based Kreeda Games makes excellent boardgames all drawn from real, ancient games played in India. Their boardgames are really well-made and make for lovely gifts too. Kreeda Games does detailed research about the origin, history and rules associated with each game. From Chaupad, a traditional Indian dice game to The Tiger And The Goat, a strategy game and to a couple of games inspired by the epics (Ramayana meets Snakes and Ladders), there is enough here to make you feel like a kid in a candy shop. And they make games for both kids as well as adults.


Bangalore-based Kavade (pronounced ka-va-day), which has been around since 2009, is named after the Kannada word for cowrie-shells, which are often used in a traditional game of Chowkabaara. You come to Kavade for the kind of games you just won’t find anywhere else. These include one-of-a-kind cloth or wooden chess sets, Kalamkari-printed boards of Pagade/Chaupad (a mythology and strategy game).


Kavade ToyHive

CKN Chambers, 143, 1st Main Road, Seshadripuram, Bengaluru


Desi Toys

Desi Toys is throwback like no other, to those days when life was simple, Doordarshan was on TV and games were relatively uncomplicated. And bringing this charm and nostalgia to a boardgame near you is Desi Toys with some of their offerings. Take for instance, the good old Snakes and Ladders, but this one comes embroidered on cloth, and even their Chumbak Shatrang, comprising magnetic chess pieces and a beautiful wooden chess board, have our hearts. Read more about Desi Toys here.


Are you a history buff and want to practice some of your strategic moves and lead your virtual men or women to battle, then this board game (Samrat Rise Of The Delhi Sultanate), from the Hyderabad-based games company Kitki, is all about playing king . Yes, every player is king {or queen if you please}, who has to acquire resources, strategise and then lead soldiers into war. Colour coded maps, playing cards and dices are all part of this hair raising game. Not into war and strategy? then use your brains in another kind of board game, one that involves the magical world of chemistry and magic (Operation Escape Evil: The Magical World of Chemistry). These games, meant for 8-year-olds and above {you are never too old to play games}, supposedly encourage problem solving and critical thinking. Our current favourite is Space Pirates which is set up near Jupiter, around 4 of its largest moons. It's like a version of cops and robbers, but cooler!  

Chaya Nisarga

This Bangalore based brand is a collective of people who are passionate about arts, crafts, and its application to the real world. Chaya Nisarga creates, design, and manufactures Indian games. Apart from usual games like chess and snakes and ladders (looks different from what is available in regular stores), they also have wooden toys and puzzles that will definitely keep you (or your little one) occupied for hours!