Today I have a fun topic I’m super excited to share with you all. My family loves a family game night so I’m listing what I consider to be the best board games for 2018.
We talk a lot about making time for a family to connect with one another and disconnect from outside distraction. (I’m looking at you, electronics). The best way to do that sometimes is by having some good old fashion family game night. Next time you have a few hours to kill or even if you just want to find an idea for pulling the family together, grab your favorite game, your favorite people, and get started!
If you’re looking for some fresh ideas for games to play, try these. The criteria I like to use for our family game nights are:
- games that can be played with as few as two people.
- the entire game has to finish within a couple hours. (otherwise, my family runs out of steam)
- age appropriate for 8 and up but interesting enough to engage adults so that everyone really enjoys playing.
These games hit all the checkmarks and are loads of fun for our family.
This is a game where you stack wooden pieces into a tower. Each player removes one wooden piece at a time. Over time the tower becomes less and less stable until one unlucky player makes the tower tumble. This game can be enjoyed by all ages. I’ve been playing it since I was a kid. It comes in a few different varieties. The classic game, the pieces are square on the ends but some versions have parallelogram shapes to make it more interesting. Everyone has a good time and the sound of the tower falling is always followed by hysterical laughter.
This game is fun. Hands are set up ready to fling whipped cream into your face. Each player rolls a dice to see how many times they have to pull the lever, if the mechanism is triggered, you get whipped cream in your face. There are several versions of the game but the premise is the same. It’s so intense and so fun. Bring on the game and BYOWC (bring your own whipped cream)
What I love about spot it is that there are a couple of different ways to play and this is another game that can be played by all ages and is still fun. It’s a game that my kids have taken with them everywhere. It’s a set of circular cards stored in a tin can. So it’s one that they have taken with on car trips and also taken to school to share. Each card in the deck has exactly one matching image to every other card in the deck and it’s a race to find the most matches to win. It’s amazing.
Sorry is one of my favorite games of my childhood and I love it. The objective of the game is to get all of your players out of the start position, around the track, and back home without getting sent back to start. Players draw from a deck of cards to play. The cards dictate to the player in turn what they can do, whether you move forward and backward, whether you move one piece or multiple. The fun part of the game is the “slide”. If you land on a slide of another color you send everyone on the slide back to start.
Here’s another classic game. The objective is the same as in Sorry. Instead of a deck of cards, you are “rolling” the dice. There’s another twist though, instead of a traditional dice roll, you push the “pop-o-matic bubble” in the center of the board which causes the dice to roll. There are two dice, one numbered which allows you to move around the board and the other one is blank on five sides but if you roll the sixth side, you are protected from being sent back to start as long as you possess the safe piece. If your opponent happens to land on your piece while you are unprotected, you must go back to start. Your goal is to get all of your pieces home first.
Sequence is like tic-tac-toe x10. It’s a strategy game but lots of fun, there are two players or two teams, although the game can be modified for three players or teams. The board is set up and a deck of cards is set up. Each team chooses their chip color. Each player gets six cards, to play your turn, you select a place on the board matching a card in your hand to place your chip, place your used card down face up, and pick a new card from the deck. You win if you get two strands on the board. A strand is 5 chips in a row. There are wild cards that allow you to place a chip in any unoccupied space on the board or to remove pieces depending on the type of wildcard you possess.
Labyrinth is a race to get to your goals in as few steps as possible when your path can change either by you trying to make it easier for yourself or your opponent throwing obstacles in your way. Each time you play, the board is different. Each player gets a wizard and a treasure. Each turn, players place a puzzle piece on the board. The goal is to keep your treasure secret and get all your treasure and back to start before your opponents get to theirs.
Catan is a game where you take on the role of a settler and you earn victory points for accomplishments. The game accommodates 3-4 players, if you have more, you’ll need an expansion pack. Instead of a square or rectangular game board, the board is a hexagon where the outside of the hexagon leads to the sea, the inside of the hexagon is set up to represent different terrain types, each terrain type produces a type of resource. Settlers start with two settlements and earn the resources of their settlement. From there, players can build, trade, or develop their settlements to reach accomplishments. For reaching accomplishments, victory points are earned. The first player to reach 10 victory points wins.
This game is a lot of fun and a lot like the Newlywed Game your aunts watched on tv back in the day. Just me? A reader reads a question and the other players write down what they think the reader will say. Then the answers are revealed and each player places their chips on which answer they think the reader will pick. Points are earned based on which players get it right and each player takes turns being the reader. It’s fun to get to know what your family thinks you might say and fun to guess what you think your family will say. We learned that we are a goofy bunch of characters and that kids really do say the darndest things.
Headbanz or HeadsUp
Ok, this one is a bit of a cheat because Headbanz is a board game with numerous versions based on age but HeadsUp is an app that is played on a cell phone. The game is basically the same. I included an electronic version even though my whole thing is about unplugging for family fun because this is a legitimate way to connect using an electronic device. For example, say you’re waiting in line or for an appointment. Instead of everyone being engrossed on their own devices, we can all be interacting with one another while playing a game.
Board games are a central part of family time. They are fun to play, fit well into family budgets, make excellent gifts, and some even travel well. It can sometimes be a challenge to spend time together as a family. Board games are an easy answer to the call for more family time. I know that over the years, it’s something we have really enjoyed and look forward to.
I think there’s something about spending distraction-free time together that helps us connect and get to know one another, helps children feel a part of the family unit and cared for. Playing board games is right up there with eating dinner together for that level of distraction-free face time. So if getting together around the dinner table is becoming unfeasible, maybe playing a game with one another is an option.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our families’ list of our favorite board games right now. I like to make sure we have board games stocked and am always on the lookout for fun ones. What do you think of this list? Are there any of your favorites that I missed? Do you have family game nights? Let me know in the comments below.
If you have any questions about the games I mentioned, please feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll be sure to get back to you.