Family game nights around the kitchen table were a wintertime staple at my house. Before the pizza order had gone through there would be dozens of board games stacked on top of each other, waiting for us to make our choice. We had card games, dice games, adventure games, you name it! Typically, we’d spend so much time debating what to play that our pizza would arrive before we’d made our choice. So with all the new games to choose from these days, how can you find the right fit for your family? Read on below for a breakdown of the different kinds of games you can find and examples for your family to try.
Card games can range from those played with any standard deck of 52 cards to those with decks of cards unique to that game. While you can find complicated card games to play, there are loads out there suitable for almost any age player in your family. Card games typically come contained in a small box, making them suitable to bring on family trips and vacations. Card games are also tactile, which can be an added benefit for your little ones during family game nights.
- Sushi Go! (ages 8+) | $12
- Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (ages 8+) | $10
- Exploding Kittens (ages 7+) | $20
Tabletop Role-Playing Games
Tabletop Role-Playing Games (TTRPGs) include any game you play with a group of players in which you each assume the role of a character. Sometimes these characters are from a rich fantasy world, like in Dungeons & Dragons, or maybe they’re as simple as just Villager or Werewolf (such as in One Night: Ultimate Werewolf). In either case, TTRPGs are equal parts story, imagination and adventure. If your family likes to fantasize during their play, this may be the game category for you. You can also try booking a professional storyteller or game master to guide your family through their next adventure-filled family game night.
- Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (ages 12+) | $40
- One Night: Ultimate Werewolf (ages 8+) | $20
- Mice and Mystics (ages 7+) | $60
Sometimes a family game night should be focused more on teamwork than individual competition. Enter the world of cooperative gaming! Cooperative games are those with a shared goal or objective for the players. Maybe it’s a mystery that everyone needs to solve, like in the classic game Clue. Maybe everyone is working to end a global crisis, like in the game Pandemic. Whatever the shared goal is, you can count on lots of family strategizing and team building if you hope to successfully play a cooperative game.
- Pandemic (ages 8+) | $40
- Outfoxed! (ages 5+) | $30
- Plunder: A Pirate’s Life (ages 10+) | $50
Is your family full of board game fanatics? Do they love making up new rules for classics like Monopoly or Battleship? Then strategy games are for you! Strategy games can be played with teams or as individuals against one another. These games favor decision-making and planning, skills that often come in handy in real-life scenarios. Just make sure no one takes this family game night too seriously or you may have some unhappy gamers!
- Catan Junior (ages 6+) | $30
- Ticket to Ride (ages 8+) | $50
- Kingdomino (ages 8+) | $20
Move over Trivial Pursuit, we’re in the 21st century now and there are loads of trivia games out there perfect for a fun, yet informative, family game night. Unless your family is made up of all older kids or baby geniuses, you’ll want to find an age-appropriate trivia game that levels the playing field with multiple-choice questions and everyday topics. Of course, you can adjust any trivia game on the fly by giving out clues for the harder questions.
- I Should Have Known That! (ages 14+) | $40
- Colour Brain (ages 8+) | $20
- Timeline (ages 8+) | $14
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