Fair   67.0F  |  Forecast »

Board Games for Family Fun

Looking to liven things up on your next family game night? These fun classics, word and strategy mind-benders are sure to get kids and parents geared up

"Take out his funny bone!" "You sank my destroyer." "King me!"

Choose your "catch phrase." But whatever your family shouts out during a board-game bout – like Operation, Battleship or classic checkers – go directly to your stash and dust-off those directions. We’ve stacked the cards in your favor with three "categories" of updated staples and under-the-radar favs, all sure to stoke up the friendly competition – and cerebellum!

Classics with a twist

When it comes to fun, Hasbro Games is pretty serious. In fact, it has an ongoing Family Game Night campaign, geared at getting families play together once a week. Here are a few of its souped-up spins on old-school games.

  • Clue: Discover the Secrets.  Barbells and spas have replaced revolvers and billiard rooms in the glitzy redo of the whodunit murder-mystery game. “Intrigue Cards" also beef the suspense. Parker Brothers/Hasbro. 3-6 players. Ages 9-plus. 60 minutes. $17.99.
  • Sorry! Sliders.  Raise the revenge factor with ball-bearing-embedded pawns that whiz up ramps to knock opponents around. By Parker Brothers/Hasbro. 1-4 players. Ages 6-plus. 30 minutes. $22.99.
  • Cranium: Family Edition. This staple features 16 activities for cross-generational fun, from cubes and clay to Flipper Frogs and wacky stunts. 4-plus players. Ages 8-plus. 45 minutes. $19.99.

Strategize this

In the past 15 years, so-called "Eurogames" have taken hold, says Bob Fix of Metro Detroit Gamers. There's greater focus on strategy, versus luck. They’re also more durable and aimed at more players – ideal for families. Try out his family of four's top picks.

  • Hey! That’s My Fish!  You're a hungry penguin gathering up grub. In this tile-game, you also chop off pieces of the hex-shaped "ice floe" you're playing on to get more din-din. Mayfair Games. 2-4 players. Ages 8-plus. 20 minutes. $25.
  • Ticket to Ride Simple and strategic, this game plays off the U.S. railroad boom of the late 1800s, with players vying to build the longest route and stave off competitors. Versions vary. Days of Wonder. 2-5 players. Ages 8-plus. 45 minutes. $50.
  • Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game.  Can you survive? This mixed-media romp pairs "small-town heroes" with loads of brain-munching monsters. Includes a CD of horror-film-style tunes. Flying Frog Productions. 2-6 players. Ages 12-plus. 1 hour. $49.95.

Word play

Kick the grammar lessons to the curb. These wacky word games turn the English language on its head – with guffaws guaranteed to follow.

  • Apples to Apples.  Subjective and hysterical, this word-association card game is addictively simple: The judge sets out a word; you plunk down one from your hand. Judge likes; you get points. Out of the Box/Mattel. 4-10 players. Ages 12-plus (kid versions start at 7). $16.99-$24.99.
  • Balderdash.  Boost your family's word power (and split a side) with the card bluffing game that challenges players to define obscure words – and make up their own definitions to throw others off. Mattel. 2-plus players. Ages 12-plus. $24.99.
  • Catch Phrase.  How fast can you describe and act out a word – without saying "rhymes with" or any part of the word itself? An electronic version of this favorite now has 10,000 terms for tons of fun. Parker Brothers/Hasbro. 4-plus players. Ages 12-plus ("Junior" is 8-plus). 15-30 minutes. $18.99-$26.99.

 

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

What to Eat and What to Avoid During Pregnancy

What to Eat and What to Avoid During Pregnancy

Cravings or not, there are some things you just can't indulge in when you're a mom-to-be. Dr. Samuel Bauer of Beaumont Health Systems provides insight and information.

Benefits of Kids Learning an Instrument

Benefits of Kids Learning an Instrument

With many schools eliminating or downsizing their music curriculum, it's still important for kids to be exposed to music.

Mushroom Recipes for a Family Meal

Mushroom Recipes for a Family Meal

Mushrooms can be a tough sell with picky eaters but these dishes will entice them to try a bite – or two!

Tennessee Law Prevents Parents from Giving Child a Hybrid Last Name

Tennessee Law Prevents Parents from Giving Child a Hybrid Last Name

Carl Abramson and Kim Sarubbi mashed together their surnames for their first two kids, but Tennessee law says they can't use the last name 'Sabr' for baby No. 3.

Sticky Fingers Duct Tape Book Offers Easy Bow Making How-To

Sticky Fingers Duct Tape Book Offers Easy Bow Making How-To

Sophie Maletsky's new guide, published by Zest Books, is packed with fun crafts and DIY ideas kids and families can make out of colorful duct tape.

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

This versatile craft material transforms into an acorn fall creation, decorative ribbon, cute Japanese critters and cool dividers for your kid's closet.

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

Mealtime can turn from pleasant to panic in a matter of seconds. Protect your child from this mishap with our list of dos and don’ts.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement