I had a group of friends visit this weekend and while we were gathered around the sofa to play a game one of my close friends pointed out how many board games my family plays. She was absolutely right. One of my family’s favorite activities together was to play a fun board game. Let me tell you, we are picky game players so the standards are high.
I have compiled our favorites into a list here and linked the games on Amazon in case you want to try them out. Every game on this list we have played and enjoyed. To preface these are adult games, a few are kid friendly but most either require strategy or adult humor. If they are kid friendly I have tagged them at the end of their description in case you are looking for a game that could incorporate younger siblings/family members.
This is a great 2 player strategy game option. It will certainly bring out your competitive side! In the game you are given tiles which have numbers on them. The numbers can be played in runs or sets and the players can rearrange the board to make more of their tiles fit. The goal is to be the first player out of tiles but it becomes challenging because when you cannot make moves, you have to draw additional tiles.
Another great 2 player game option! Exploding kittens is more lighthearted and laughable. You begin the game with a hand of cards with protective powers to help you avoid drawing the exploding kitten. Anxiety rises as the game is played because you know you are approaching the exploding kitten in the deck and that the other players have plans to sabotage you! (Kid friendly)
Best with 5+ Players
This game is great for groups of adult friends. Each round, there is 1 funny photo card (the meme) and everyone has a hand full of cards with captions. The players try to submit the best caption from their hand for the meme each round. Each round there is a new judge picking the prize caption. The cards are very funny and this game gets a lot of laughs. It doesn’t require a ton of strategy and it is not a serious game so it is good for a relaxed fun game night.
Best with 4+ Players
Code names is the best word riddle game I have ever played! There is a table of cards with single words on them such as “dog” and “tree” your teammate must give you a 1-word clue to guess the words that belong to your team. In this example, the clue giver might say the word “bark” as their clue and hope that you connect dog and tree to the word bark and don’t guess any of the other words that are out on the table and may belong to the other team.
Best with 4+ Players
This game is a fun twist on your standard trivia games. Each player is given a small white board. A trivia card is drawn that might say something like “How many pounds of potatoes does Idaho produce each year?” Each player would write their best guess on the whiteboard. Players get points for having the closest guess but they also earn points by placing wagers on other people’s guesses that may be the closest.
Racko is a card game where each player begins with a rack of 10 cards. The cards have numbers on them and are bound to be wayyy out of order in your rack at the start of the game. Each turn, you get to draw 1 card and make a strategic move to get your rack in order. Whoever can be the first to have all their cards in order has “Racko” and won the game. I appreciate that this game takes some thought but still is easy enough to enjoy conversation together. The games go quickly and we often play multiple rounds before getting bored. (Kid friendly)
In this game a prompt is given such as “Things you wouldn’t want to know about your grandma” or “Things you wouldn’t want to find in your lunchbox” and each player writes an anonymous response to the prompt. Next, each player takes a turn guessing who wrote which response. If you are identified as the writer of your response, you are out! The goal is to be the last man standing. This game can get really funny very fast!
In this game you are secretly assigned to be a fascist or a communist. It sounds like “woah this game is too political” but no political debate is ever involved. It is simply a game of finding your team and working against the opponent. As the game progresses, players have a chance to strategically expose the communists. The communists begin the game as the minority at the table but have opportunities to “kill” the fascists to try to become the majority players at the table. Each team has their own goal and must try to identify who their allies are at the table. The fun begins when players try to lie to hide their identity!
These games are actually played on an Apple TV or FireTV as an app you purchase from a company called Jackbox games. You purchase the app 1 time and then players join the game from their phone. The TV will prompt the players in the room to participate in different ways. Quiplash is a game with funny prompts and Drawful is a new twist on Pictionary. These are super fun games and are an awesome bang for your buck if you have an Apple TV or Fire stick. (Kid Friendly)
Now that I live in an apartment with my boyfriend, I am strategically building a game collection that is fun for 2 players and can be played as a group when we have visitors. My favorite 2 player recommendations are Rummikub and Exploding Kittens.
A helpful tip that has made our family and friend game nights a lot more fun: There are now accounts on Youtube that do quick tutorials and game rules. My family will send a link to the Youtube video (typically 2-3 minutes long) and all players have to watch it before we begin. This takes away the miserable part of the game where everyone fights over describing the rules. TRY IT!