• Keith Miller

Top 10 Family Games

Updated: Mar 21

Living with the reality of families across the world being stuck indoors during the next few weeks, one way can make the most of this time to setting up and fresh new board game and playing away the boredom and monotony! We made a list of the top 10 board games for families. So let's find a game or two to help pass the time with good old fashioned family fun.


Ticket to Ride

Players: 2–5 Play Time: 30–60 minutes Recommended Age: 8+


In this classic game, players attempt to complete train routes to various cities in order to get the most points. Play cards of the colors that match the spaces on the board and place your train cars to complete the routes. Young kids will love the train pieces and watching their train routes grow, while older kids and parents will enjoy the light strategy. You can even play this game with Alexa if you have an Amazon Echo or just download the Amazon app!


Wits & Wagers

Players: 3-10

Play Time: 20 minutes

Recommended Age: 6+


This is a trivia game for people who don't like trivia games. Even if you don't know the right answer, you can bet the answer you think is correct. All the answers to the questions are numbers. For example, what is the population of New Mexico or what year was the TV invented? The closest without going over is the right answer. Whoever guessed (and/or bet on) the right answer will get points. You can even guess on multiple answers and hedge your bets! This works well with a variety of people. Even younger kids will enjoy guessing the numbers on these questions and learning new things while they play.


Forbidden Island

Players: 1-4

Play Time: 30 minutes

Recommended Age: 8+


Adventure awaits in this cooperative game with a modular board made up of randomized tiles. Ever game will present a slightly different challenge from the last, as you work together (each with different abilities/skills) to collect all the treasures, escape to the helicopter and fly off the sinking island before it's too late.


Codenames

Players: 2-8

Play Time: 15 minutes

Recommended Age: 5+


This is a team game where each team has a spymaster who will give a one-word clue that relates to one or more cards laid out in a grid on the table. While the original game uses a grid of written words, later versions have pictures. The Disney, Marvel, Harry Potter or more generic "Pictures" version of Codenames provide great choices for a wide range of ages and tastes. This is a thinking and learning game that is highly repayable and would be a great way to spend a rainy day.


Survive: Escape from Atlantis

Players: 2-4

Play Time: 45-60 minutes

Recommended Age: 8+


If your family is the type that like something a bit more competitive, Survive might be the game for you. Each player controls ten treasure carrying meeples as they try to get as many as they can off the sinking island of Atlantis. On the bottom of these little guys is a number that represents the treasure points they are worth, but once they are placed you can't look at the values for the rest of the game. If they can make it off the island and through the water to safety, the player will get those points. The player who gets the most treasure points will win the game. The tricky part is at the end of every turn other players may get a chance to control the whales, sharks and sea monsters in the water allowing them to eat the competition or just destroy the boats and knock others into the sea. With a little bit of "take that" and a whole lot of chaotic fun, this game is a fantastic way to spend an hour. Additionally, if your family enjoys a more Sci-Fi theme, check out Survive: Space Attack.


Scattegories

Players: 2-6

Play Time: 30 minutes

Recommended Age: 10+


Roll a die to with letters from the alphabet on it and give each player a list. For each item on the list, players write a word starting with the letter rolled. A timer is set and at the end of the round players share their answers. If any two players have written the same answer neither will score a point for that list item. Everyone will enjoy the discussions that unfold as the lists are read out each round. This game plays fast, is highly replayable and a great choice for the family that loves word games.


Outfoxed

Players: 2-4

Play Time: 15 minutes

Recommended Age: 5+


If you are tired of playing Guess Who? this is a fantastic alternative that teaches kids critical thinking. Not only is this a great game, it is the only cooperative deduction game we have seen for this age range. In addition to teaching basic deduction skills, this game has fun components, like the clue decoder players use to reveal which suspect is the thief.


Exit Series

Players: 1-6

Play Time: 60-120 minutes

Recommended Age: 12+


Exit is a series of Escape Rooms in a box. They are clever, fun and take about an hour to play. This is a great option for families that would like the challenge of a puzzles to be solved quickly and cooperatively. The only major downside is that once you've escaped (and therefore solved all the puzzles) there are not really replayable. This being said these games can be some of the most action packed hours in board gaming. I'd recommend starting with the Abandoned Cabin, but these games can be played in any order.


Once Upon a Time

Players: 2-6

Play Time: 30 minutes

Recommended Age: 8+


Sit around the table and tell a story together, until you are interrupted by the next storyteller! This card driven game will have you competing with each other to narrate the fairy tale you are telling but each person is secretly trying to drive the story to a different ending. If you manage to (somewhat) logically play cards with the people, animals, fairly tale creatures and places your competitors mention, you can interrupt or steal the narrative and try to shape the story to fit the ending you need to win the game.


Blokus

Players: 2-4

Play Time: 20-30 minutes

Recommended Age: 5+


This very colorful and gorgeous abstract strategy game is played with with transparent pieces that are reminiscent of a game of Tetris. Place a piece on the board, but the catch is you can't put a piece down adjacent to another one of your pieces and it has to touch a corner of one of your pieces. While this game is simple there is a lot of strategy and fun to be found.


Honorable mentions:

My Little Scythe

If you've been in the hobby for even a short period of time, you've probably heard of the excellent worker placement game from Stonemaier Games called Scythe. As good as it is, it's probably a little too complicated for kids under 13 or 14, but this "little" version of the game, made by the same company, simplifies some of the mechanisms so that it can be played with 7 and 8 years old.


Stone Age

A worker placement game that is fun for the whole family. It's simple to learn and presents fun and interesting puzzles. As with the game above, this also has a My Little Stone Age variant directed at younger audiences.


Richard Scarry's Busy Town Eye found it!

Travel around Busy Town and work together to find all the things! Be forewarned though, the game board is 6 feet long! There is also a Disney version of this game for those that might enjoy that theme.


Mission: Red Planet

Blast off to Mars in a Victorian Era steam punk spaceship. Players control astronauts with various abilities as they will gather resources and meet a secret goal to score points. Highest score will win.


The Quacks of Quedlinburg

Brew potions adding one ingredient at a time as you push your luck to gain more points make sure that your concoctions don't blow up in your face.

What did you think of our list of the top 10 family board games? What are the games your family likes to play?

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