10 Fun Board Games Kids and Adults Will Love
Looking at the game aisle can be overwhelming… what are fun board games kids AND adults can enjoy together? Honestly, playing board games with the kids is a fabulous way to spend time together, but if the thought of playing another round of Candy Land makes you want to weep, it’s time to move on to more interesting and challenging games.
We seem to be experiencing a Renaissance of sorts in the board game world. No longer are board games just “roll the dice, move your token”… now there are games that require strategy, abstract thinking, and even story telling. Deck building games, memory games and even co-operative games mean that there is the perfect game for how your kid likes to play. And many of these games then become stepping stones for more complex games that will take you even deeper into the gaming world.
Fun Board Games Kids and Adults Will Love
This list is for kids around 6 or 7 on the young end and up. I’ve even played with younger kids, it just takes a little more hand holding or interaction. Cooperative games are best for this, because everyone works together towards a common goal.
I wrote up the list in no particular order, and I could probably add many more games, but this is a start. Check it out, and start playing some Board Games!
King of Tokyo
King of Tokyo is a great game for kids who LOVE the monsters and fighting that they see in cartoons or movies. This is primarily a dice game… but fun characters and cards are involved as well. Roll the dice.. try to take over Tokyo, punch your opponents, take “hit points”, heal and generally cause mayhem. No actual destruction happens (so you don’t have to worry about the state of your furniture after the game), everything is “scored” on these fun little boards. Several different characters, and the ability to buy special powers gives this game lots of replay value. Some reading required (for the special powers).
Expansion sets add new characters and fun to the game.
2-6 players, ages 8 and up…
Enchanted Forest is a Memory Game based on Fairy Tales. Now… don’t go thinking it’s just princesses … it’s a bit more complex. The game board is a forest, and under each tree is a symbol to match a specific Fairy Tale (Puss in Boots boot, the Spindle from Sleeping Beauty). On one end of the board is a castle with a stack of cards that match these symbols. Players roll the dice, and move around the forest looking under the trees (secretly, so no one else can see what’s under the tree) looking for the symbol that matches the one in the castle. Once they find it… they move to the castle and claim it by pointing out the correct tree. Not so easy… you have to remember which tree it was under… and all the trees look alike. Also, as soon as the card is claimed, a new card comes up, and then you have to start over. First to correctly match 3 symbols wins. This fun memory building game requires no reading, and the only counting is the roll of the dice.
2- 6 players, ages 6 and up….
Elfenland is a strategy trip planning game where young elves are sent out into the world to get to as many cities as they can in just four rounds (can I tell you how much I love when a game has a finite number of turns…). Using cards and tokens, players must travel across mountains and grass meadows, down rivers and through the sky to collect wooden cylinders from each town. A bit of strategizing is important… how far can you go on the cards you are dealt? Can you piggy back on other players’ tokens to go further? Do you really want to ride on a pig? This Spiel des Jahres award winner has two different levels of play, so you can choose to go randomly, or hand out specific destination cards. There is very little reading (just the names on the destination cards). The “difficulty” comes in plotting out the best routes according to the resources available.
2- 6 players, ages 10 and up (although I have played with 8 year olds)
Clue is a classic board game that has been around for ages… but don’t disregard it because of its age! This old game has recently been given a facelift, and been made more “relevant” to today’s players (although, I for one miss Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum, the new characters are fine… more Scooby Doo than Agatha Christie). Basically, clue is a game of logic. The game stars by secretly sliding the answer cards into an envelope… the remaining cards are distributed to the players. (These are clues) You move around a house collecting new clues (on these groovy worksheets) and try to discover Who was the Killer? In What Room were they killed? and with What Weapon? The first one to figure it out wins. Some reading required (to correctly mark names and weapons), counting (dice) and a bit of logic.
3- 6 players, ages 8 and up
Don’t feel like thinking too hard? Suspend is a great game for kids and adults who are good at balance, and love the crash of a game collapsing. Basically, you take turns balancing wires on a hanging sculpture. (Sort of a Calder thing… but less elegant) Wires are chosen by the roll of a die … different colors equal different lengths. This is not a difficult game… at all (unless you are like me, wildly uncoordinated). And the game doesn’t take very long (which makes it the perfect…”ONE MORE GAME and then BEDTIME game).
It might also be a fun game after Mommy has had a glass or two of wine….just saying…
1-4 players (yes, my daughter will actually play herself). The box says 8 and up, but I’d say 5 and up
Dixit is one of those games that isn’t so cut and dried as far as “this is what to do”. It’s got a story-telling aspect that allows for a lot of creativity… but it’s also more of a subjective game. Play with creative people, and you will have an amazing time. The set up is a bit like Apples to Apples, only instead of putting down a specific card with a word that everyone tries to match… you give a description of a picture, and they try to match it. Now, the key is, you want people to match your picture, but you don’t want it to be too obvious. Vague clues are best… for example, a picture of a cherry tree, you might say first president or makes delicious pie. Others put down photos that they think are similar… and everyone bids to see who is the closest match. This game was another Spiel des Jahres winner, and it’s a great one to play in groups.
3-6 players, ages 8 and up (although, younger kids might come up with some amazing ideas..)
Supreme World domination by Diplomatic Ogres, Flying Elves, and Bivouacking Humans are the object of Small World. Problem is, the world is really small…. so things can get crowded. The game begins by creating new character identities for players to choose from. Each has different abilities, and different strengths. Then you push into the world, taking over as many segments as you can. Like Risk, you battle for space… but no dice, this is a simple one to one match up. As your character gets depleted… you simply switch to a new character. The game is done in 10 rounds (yeah! A game with a clear end in sight!!). It’s actually quite fun, and while you do “attack” other players, it’s not a terribly aggressive game.
2- 5 players (and I love that there are multiple game boards, depending on how many players are in the game). Box says 10 and up… with help, 8 year olds could manage.
DON’T PANIC! Or do...Castle Panic is a Co-Operative Game where all of you work together to defend the Castle Tower from attacking Orcs and Ogres. Rings of defenses surround the castle, Swordsmen, knight and archers all do their part. While the enemy keeps coming in closer and closer while players fight them off using cards with abilities. Cards can be traded between players to help to company. You truly have to work together to save the castle, or you all lose. Fortunately, for players like my daughter who NEED a winner, you get points for killing off attackers… the player in the end with the most points is the supreme winner…. There is some reading on the abilities cards. Working together is a key component.
1- 6 player, 10 and up (on the box) but since it’s a cooperative game, you can bring younger players in.
Don’t write Qwirkle off as too young. This is one of those games that we play frequently, because EVERYONE can manage it, from the youngest (about 6) to my mother (who doesn’t like games with dragons and orcs). It’s simple to learn, and simple to play, but there is enough strategy and chance to keep things interesting. Think Dominos with pictures and colors. On your turn you lay down the tiles in rows where either all are the same color, but different shapes, or are the same shape, but different color. Points are scored for how many tiles you lay down. If a row of 6 is completed, it’s a Qwirkle, and extra points are scored. Someone needs to be the scorekeeper, and do some math… otherwise, this simple game is for anyone.
2- 4 players (although we’ve played with as many as 7), ages 6 and up (and we’ve played with younger)
Machi Koro is a basic deck building game, where you create a city of your own. Deck building games work like this… you buy or win cards that add to your deck (in this case, you buy them). In Machi Koro, rolling the dice activates the “Power” of your card, which allows you to win money or generate revenue. You also have to finish certain tasks to complete your city. Deciding which strategy is more important… raise money? build? Buy cards? is the crux of the game. And because you are also subject to the whim of the dice, strategy doesn’t always work. My daughter loves this game, and she was able to teach it to her friends easily. They have no trouble playing without adults. In fact, the rules are straight forward, and you can be up and playing in no time. There is a bit of reading in this game… the cards all have different abilities and powers. It will be too much for a younger player.
2-4 players, ages 10 and up
Other Fun Board Games For Kids to consider…..
All of these games make it to the table A LOT in our house..
Did you Find that Perfect Game?
Bottom line, these are the types of fun board games kids will be willing to power down the electronics and shut off the TV for, and adults will enjoy them too. Spending actual time together and interacting is more valuable than you can imagine. AND… these are games that kids can then go off and play with their friends!