While a lot of gaming has gone digital, there will always be something especially fun about gathering around the table to play a board game. When the weather’s not nice enough for a day out about town, or you want something more interactive than comfy reading time, turn to the game shelf.
Despite the modern tech boom, tabletop games haven’t gone out of style. You’ve got the classics – like Monopoly, Sorry, Life and Trivial Pursuit – that have stood the test of time. If your game shelf is looking a little dusty, and your family has played Sorry one too many times, it may be time to try out a new challenge!
There are plenty of contemporary additions to the board game industry that are worth a play. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new family favorite. The next time the weather’s not nice enough for you plan a family game night, consider one of these:
Apples to Apples
Most of today’s parents didn’t play this game as kids, but it’s quickly becoming a staple in American households as a “must-have” game. Apples to Apples is perfect for large groups, usually good for a laugh, and a great way to stretch your creative muscles.
Each round, one person – the judge – chooses a green apple card from the top of the deck, and reads a single word out loud. Players scan the red cards in their hands – which contain random descriptions – to decide which one best fits the word that was read, and place that card face down. The judge then reads through the chosen red cards aloud, and picks the one that he or she thinks makes the most sense (or, more often, whichever card makes the judge laugh the hardest). The game is best for age 12 and up, and needs 4 to 10 players.
Have you ever played 20 questions with your kids? Headbanz is a lot like that – but in reverse. A player puts a plastic headband around his or her head, and inserts a card in the band – without looking at the front of the card! With the card affixed to the player’s forehead, the rest of the players can see what’s on the card. The person wearing the headband must ask questions, which the other players answer “yes” or “no,” to discover what mystery item is on the card. There’s a Headbanz game especially for children, but if your kids are age 12 or older, the adult version is a better fit. The game works best with 3 to 8 players.
Robot Face Race
Give the “robot randomizer” a shake, and find the robot that matches the one on the screen out of 120 options. This game tests memory and as the game goes on, players can move more quickly to find the right robot for the roll. Robot Face Race is great for kids who range in age, and it’s most appropriate for age 4 and up. It works for 2 to 4 players.
Leaps and Ledges
Think of Jenga, but with more rules and competitiveness. The goal of Leaps and Ledges is to make it to the top of the tower first, by picking the right cards – but those cards may contain instructions that send you backward, too! For example, if your opponent lands on the same level as you, it will knock you off. This is a fun-filled race to the top, and with all the potential trips along the way, it’s impossible to predict who will win. The complexity of the rules makes this game most suitable for ages 8 and above.
Kitten Caboodle & Diggity Dogs
If your family has a soft spot for animals, this adoption/rescue-themed game is for you. There are two versions: Kitten Caboodle, which includes adorable cats, and Diggity Dogs, for the pup-loving group.
Before cats or dogs can go home with players, they need certain items – like food and grooming tools. Players take turns asking each other for these items, in a hand of cards (sort of like “Go Fish”). The winner is the owner who gets everything all squared away first, for his or her adopted kitten or puppy. This is not only a fun card game, but also a great way to teach your kids about the various materials that go into caring for a pet. Kids ages 5 and up most enjoy this game, and it calls for 2 to 4 players.
This is a safe way to have some fun with fibbing – it’s allowed as part of the game! Fibber is a fun, Pinnochio-inspired card game that tests your ability to keep a straight face. Each player has a hand of cards with various characters on them (think aliens, witches, and ghosts), and every player must wear a funny nose attached to eyeglasses. On the player’s turn, she places a card face down, and announces what it is. If another player calls the card-playing person’s bluff, the fibber has to add a colorful level to her goofy nose. If the person who called the bluff is wrong, he must add a level to his nose. The winner of the game is the person with the shortest nose at the end!