Console games, online gaming and apps are all great ways to connect with friends, practice problem solving skills and just have fun, but my absolute favorite type of game is a board game. You can go ahead and call me nerdy and old-fashioned. (I’ll wait.) Okay, are you done laughing at me yet? Because, seriously, board games are the best!
Last time, I shared five of my faves. Here in no particular order are the rest of my Top Ten Board Games.
Kittens in a Blender – This adorable, little game has a horrifying name and I feel a little guilty every time I play it. Each player chooses a color and tries to keep their kittens out of the blender while – Bast help me – blending the other players’ kittens. Cat smoothie, anyone? I’m sorry, kittiiieees!!
Ticket to Ride – It took me a while to really get into Ticket to Ride. It’s a train game, and I just don’t get the fascination with trains that some gamers have. But it’s also, basically, a resource collecting game like Settlers of Catan. Once I realized that, it became more fun for me. Each player is given random route cards and has to build tracks between two cities. You collect cards of different colors to create your tracks. If you’re really a jerk. You figure out where your opponent is trying to reach and block them. I really hate that trick. It’s also a good way to learn some geography. The original game features a U.S. map, but there are additional versions with maps from all over the world.
Zombie Dice – This is a super-fast, super-fun game that only requires 13 zombified dice. Each die has pictures of brains, footsteps and shotgun blasts. You try to “eat” as many brains as you can without getting shotgunned. It’s similar to other dice games like Farkle or Fill or Bust, but it’s way cooler because zombies.
Telestrations – The best thing about this game is that you don’t actually have to buy the game; you can totally re-create it with paper, pens and a little creativity. It’s a cross between Pictionary and that grade school standby, Telephone. The advantage to purchasing the actual game is that it comes with a deck of word cards. Otherwise, you have to make them all up yourself. Each player picks a card and draws what is listed on the card. They pass their drawing to the player on the left who tries to guess what it is. Pretty straightforward. Here’s where it gets confusing. Each player writes down their guess on a new sheet of paper and passes that to the player on their left who now draws the guessed answer to what the first player drew. Are you still with me? The new drawing gets passed, the next player guesses, and play continues like this until the whole thing gets back to the first player. Then you read through all the crazy guesses and drawings and hilarity ensues. Draw, guess, repeat.
Cranium – Cranium is great for families or friend groups who can’t agree on what type of game to play. It’s like four games for the price of one. One component is all trivia (for my brainy sister who loves Trivial Pursuit), one is all drawing and sculpting (for my artist niece who kills at Pictionary), one part features word puzzles (for me, the word nerd) and one component that revolves around singing and performing, like charades. (No one in my family likes that part.) You make your way around the board, participating in all four types of play with your team until you get to the giant purple brain at the center of the board and you solve one final puzzle (of your opponent’s choice).