Favorite Board Games

When the kids don't want to go anywhere, and the weather is just too hot to play in the backyard, one of our families favorite things to do is to play board games.  Some of our favorite games are the traditional ones from my childhood: Monopoly, Risk, Sorry, Parcheesi, Twister, and Battleship.  But here are some of our other favorites.  

1 ●Forbidden Island
Since receiving this for Christmas, this game has percolated to our top game pick.  It has so much going for it.  The best part is that it is a cooperative game, so all players (up to four) strategize together to gather up the four relics and get off the island before it sinks. 

Each player is also given a unique skill (from a deck of six) to help the team along. 

The game also has different skills levels (controlled by the starting water level), that can make the game more or elss challenging.  This is a definite plus for game night!

2 ●● Munchkins

This is my boys' newest favorite game.  It is for a slightly older crowd, as it does require reading skills.  

As the creators self-describe the game, "Munchkin captures the essence of the dungeon experience . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. "  Kill the monsters, steal the treasure, stab your buddy.  Okay, unlike Forbidden Island, this game is not cooperative (unless, of course, you can bribe your buddy to help you)

The cards themselves can be hilarious.  For example, the Level 15 Hairy Potter (a gorilla who makes pots) or Level 6 Pukachu (with Projectile vomiting attack).  Attack with the +2 Board of Education or +3 Pantyhose of Giant Strength (not usable by warriors)

You will find yourself working out the best strategy to win, while laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of the cards!

Very fun!

3 ●Blokus

Fun for both kids and adults, Blokus is a strategy board game that challenges spatial thinking. Bright colors and simple rules make it ideal for ages five and up, but adults will certainly be engrossed by this unique and challenging game.

4 ● Labyrinth
Deep within the twisting maze that is the Labyrinth, each player searches for their own unique treasure. With a constantly changing playing board, two games will never be the same! This unique game has won the hearts of millions of game players for over 20 years. The beautifully artistic playing cards determine the quest for your treasure. Each player tries to gain the advantage over the other players by inserting the extra tile to move walls and open passages of the Labyrinth. Block and advance is the name of the game! The first player to reach all of the various treasures and return to the starting point wins!

5 ● Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride, an award-winning strategy game, challenges players ages eight and older to complete multiple train routes connecting major cities. As miniature trains begin to populate the board map of North America, secret city-to-city rail connections are completed or hopelessly blocked by merciless competitors. Providing an enticing mixture of strategy and luck for groups of two to five players, Ticket to Ride squeezes the journey of a lifetime into a mere hour or less. 

6 ● Apples to Apples Junior
Players aged nine and up will delight in all the crazy comparisons, while expanding their vocabulary and thinking skills at the same time. The game is as easy as comparing apples to apples – just open the box, deal the RED APPLE cards to each player, and you’re
ready to go!

7 ● Bananagrams
In this unique word game, players use tiles to create words crossword-style. The first player to use all their tiles is the winner. With multiple ways to play, this game is perfect for beginning spellers, as well as more advanced players. No pencil, paper, or board required.

 7 ●Quirkle
Another new game for us from Christmas, this one also has become a favorite. 

Very similar in many ways to dominoes, each player attempts to place their pieces in a spot that matches the other pieces around it - aiming for maximum points.  As with all of our favorite family games, this one can be played by any level player.

8  Settlers of Catan

The Settlers of Catan from Mayfair Games is an award-winning strategy game where players collect resources and use them to build roads, settlements and cities on their way to victory. The board itself is variable, making each game a little different from the next. Each round of The Settlers of Catan is intended to keep three or four players ages 10 and above engaged for up to 90 minutes.

9 ● Loot/Ra-a-Tat Cat, Sleeping Queens, Three of a Kind
We have many of the card games from Gamewright, and love them all. Many of them only take a few minutes to play each game.  Three of a Crime is a deduction game where players try to determine the guilty party.  Loot is a pirate strategy game, in Rat-a-tat cat each player tries to get the lowest total points, and Frog Juice is a fun game with spells.  Any of these games are great to pull out for easy, quick entertainment, and because they are cards, they travel well and fit easily into a backpack or purse.

10 ● Lego Creationary

A fun game where the builder rolls a die to determine a category: vehicle, building, nature or things.  The builder selects a card which will tell him what he should build.  Other participants in the game must try and guess what he/she is building. 

11 ● Topple

Topple is a three-dimensional board game for the whole family. To play, perch the game board (a five-level, 8-inch square of molded plastic) on top of the 7-inch- high stand, choose your color piece, and agree on what score will win. Each player then rolls a die and must place a piece on the game board level that corresponds to the number rolled. Points are scored by completing rows or building high stacks. The round ends and you get a point penalty if you send pieces cascading off the platform--that is, cause a topple.  

12 ● Carcassone

This is a very strategic game that the whole family enjoys playing.  In this game, players lay tiles to build cities, roads and monasteries in the South of France. In a jigsaw manner, points are gained by creating long roads, large farms or big cities.

Description from the manufacturer:  Carcassonne is a clever tile-laying game. The southern French city of Carcassonne is famous for its unique roman and medieval fortifications. The players develop the area around Carcassonne and deploy their followers on the roads, in the cities, in the cloisters, and in the fields. The skill of the players to develop the area will determine who is victorious. The game is for ages 8 and up and 2 to 5 players.

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