It’s that zany aunt your mother doesn’t want you to spend too much time with. It’s that teacher who is just a little on the wacky side. It’s that friend that no one else really gets. It’s Quelf — the bizarre, ridiculous, off-the-wall game you can’t help but fall in love with. Described as “the unpredictable party game that gives random a new name,” the goal — to be the first to make it to the final square — is simple enough. It is the journey, though, that gives the game its flair. There are four categories of cards: “Roolz,” “Quizzle,” “Stuntz & Showbiz” and “Scatterbrainz.” After rolling the die and moving the correct number of spaces with pieces with names such as Mrs. Pickle Feather and Batbileg Chinzorig, a player must pick a card from the category that corresponds with the space he or she has landed on and follow its directions, or else pay a penalty. These instructions can range anywhere from “If a phone or doorbell rings, all players must immediately stand up and say, ‘Pizza Party!’ The last player to do this pays the penalty,” to “Put on your lederhosen — it’s time for some yodeling! Place a finger in one of your nostrils, start yodeling like you mean it and roll the die until you roll three two’s.” If played with the right people (those who won’t judge you if you do choose to commence yodeling in the middle of your living room) this is a game that will keep you coming back for more. It is nearly impossible to predict what your next card will ask of you and it is this suspense that is so utterly appealing. Don’t be scared away by the absurdity too quickly — if you’re bored with Monopoly, befuddled by Boggle or are just itching for something a little off the beaten track, Quelf may have just the spark to put you back on the board game bandwagon.

Goldin is a member of the class of 2013.

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