It’s good to take a break from the screen from time to time. The great outdoors has a lot to offer, but there are times when you’re stuck inside for some reason or the other. Board games are a fun way to gather everyone around the table to engage in some group escapism.
Most weeks have been board game night in my family for a few years now, and we’ve discovered some great games. These are our favourites, handpicked with the help of two of my 9 and 12 year olds.
We haven’t included board game classics you probably know (or own), like Clue, Monopoly, Connect 4, Scrabble, Operation, Chutes and Ladders, Battleship, Jenga, Guess Who, Pedia, and Risk. For more ideas, check out our list of the best board games to play on Zoom.
1. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is great fun if there are adult kids in the house. The game’s designers describe it as a “party game for awesome guys” and consists of 500 cards with spaces that match another small stack of cards.
The content is provocative but 90% of the thousands of Amazon reviews on this popular game are 5 stars, so there are plenty of people enjoying what has now become a modern classic. The best-selling game was so much fun that there are now expansion packs that are a great addition to those who have played the base game multiple times.
2. The Settlers of Catan
Another classic, this wildly popular game is a classic civilization-building game and will be a hit with everyone. One Amazon review referred to it as “the ‘candy land’ of strategy games and more than 10 people can join in the fun.
Played on a typical hexagonal game board, Catan combines the element of chance with skill and strategy. The game can accommodate large groups of 5 or 6 players, using expansion packs. If you find that the youngest players in your household need help getting to play, there is now a kids version.
The award-winning odd fighting game is back with its digital cousin, with cute critters fighting for dominance over a jungle. In Root, players take control of a unique faction as they fight to control areas in the jungle. Each faction plays out differently, requiring players to learn the mechanics of each one if they want to turn things around.
The digital version of Root offers players a streamlined experience and teaches each faction’s mechanics thoroughly (though new players will still need to test the waters). Players can easily fight it out online, and the Riverfolk expansion introduces additional factions. Players have some complaints regarding AI decision making, but overall, the game is seamless and offers hours of fun.
4. Ticket To Ride
One of the most popular games ever and recommended as a “gateway game” for new players, Ticket to Ride is a game where players will compete to claim different train routes through North America. (This is in the base game, as the map will depend on the expansion used.)
The game is easy to learn and suitable for all ages. The digital version is considered one of the best board games on PC and mobile. With its straightforward design, beautiful sound effects and delightful presentation, the game is perfect for almost any occasion.
Scrabble has been one of the classic board games for wordsmiths and puzzle lovers for decades. From 1984 to 1990, a Scrabble-based game show ran on television.
And although the classic board hasn’t changed much throughout the years, Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which contains over 100,000 usable Scrabble words, is now in its sixth edition and includes new words like bitcoin, emoji, and facepalm.