While we enjoy playing video games with family and friends, board games have always been a group entertainment of choice. Between several friend-groups, and a board game-centric family, we end up board games with someone 2-3 times per week. This list contains some of our favorites.
If you have a game you think we would enjoy, we’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment or shoot us a dm on instagram and we’ll check it out. [These are in no particular order]
It only took one play of this visually mesmerizing game to make me fall in love with it. It has some unique resource collection mechanics that I had never been exposed to before. Everyone has different missions they are trying to accomplish as you collect sun, water, forest and mountains which can be used to “visit” and claim National parks from all over the world. It not only puts you in a flow state of planning and strategizing as you try to beat your opponents to the parks you need, but it also makes you want to travel the world and see them all in person.
A fun drafting (pick-and-play) game where you try to build the highest scoring combos of sushi rolls, appetizers and deserts. It’s quick and easy to teach to others, simple enough to be enjoyable the first time around, and intricate enough to make you want to play again. It’s also great to have on hand for large groups as up to 8 people can play. Get the “Party” Version, it’s worth the extra couple dollars that allow you to customize and change the game every time you play.
Settlers of Catan
For a period of my teen years my family played Settlers of Catan every single Sunday afternoon, almost without fail. We loved the additional strategy that came with the Cities & Knights, and Seafarers Expansions as well. While the Catan craze has died down, it is still one of the best strategy board games ever created.
I had heard about this game for a couple years before I ever got to play it (which makes sense since the sides of the box are covered in awards it won!). My in-laws were kind enough to give it to me for my 27th birthday, and for a period of time it was the only game we wanted to play! If you enjoy Catan, Dominion, Carcassonne, and other such games, this is another one definitely worth adding to your collection.
A super fun combination of world conquering, set building, and fantasy. Enthos’ game mechanics are a captivating and unique mixture of card set building, competing to dominate the world and timing. Each round you choose six races to play with, all of which have special abilities. Since it comes with 12 races there are endless combinations which make it fun and unique every time you play it.
It’s like Dungeons and Dragons, but super ridiculous, unpredictable, and you can play it in about an hour and a half instead of an entire evening. Warning, if your friend or family game night group is easily riled up and have a propensity to hold grudges post-game night, this may not be a good fit.
In the same genre as Munchkin, and Exploding Kittens, if you like strategy coupled with a hint of chaos, frustration, and absurdity, this is a game closet staple. It’s also great for large groups as up to 8 people can play. The game mechanics usually take a few rounds for new players to get used to, but most friends who we’ve shown it to enjoy it their first time.
Betrayal at House on the Hill
You and your friends play characters that explore a haunted house, discover items, and run into traps, until one fateful turn when the haunting happens and one of you becomes the possessed or haunted traitor! This game has been completely different every time you play it and puts you on the edge of your seat as you either try to stop your traitorous friend, or fulfill your devious mission. It’s a little more complicated than other games on this list, but worth the effort to learn!
The premise is simple: Toyko is the hill and you are a giant monster that wants to be the king of it! Play is simple enough that you can easily teach newcomers, but the power up cards, possibility of death (once you’re dead you’re out of the game!), and victory points add just enough strategy to make you want to play it over and over.
It’s a wild ever-changing conquer the world game in which the race you play and their abilities change several times before it’s over! It is more simple than the explanation video makes it sound, but it wouldn’t hurt to play this one with someone who has played before.
Build your train empire faster and better than your friends as you compete for the limited lines weaving their way through Europe! Ticket to Ride is a fun one for any level of gamer. The play is super simple and quick, and it’s easy enough to explain that it has become a staple for any game night.
One of the OG deck builder games. Collect cards for your deck that will come back around to get you more money, victory points, and abilities the next time around. It’s a fun exponential growth/investing sort of game that comes with all kinds of options to make it a new game every time.
Another game night classic! Beautifully simple and strategic tile discovery game. You essentially create/discover the layout of a newfound land while trying to outwit your opponents to finish with the most successful empire of castles, roads, monasteries and farms.
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