Friday Fun: Family Game Day

Posted By on Nov 20, 2015 in Friday Fun

Family Game Day

Welcome to Friday Fun, everyone! With the holidays approaching, I thought it’d be good to give you some ideas for family fun. Nobody wants to be sitting in a house full of relatives, just staring at each other all day. Right? Head off the boredom and get out some family aggression in appropriate ways by putting together a game day! Today, we’re rounding up a list of board games that are fun for all ages. No more Monopoly! Bring on the fun!

Fun Family Games for Kids & Adults

  • Exploding Kittens – This game, illustrated by the creator of The Oatmeal, is a lot like Russian Roulette – with kittens. Take turns drawing cards and playing actions, all in the effort to avoid being blown up by a kitten and remain the last player standing. This game is fun for kids & adults; some reading is required but the color coding makes it work even for my not-quite-reading-full-sentences 6 year old.
  • Castle Panic – Instead of competing with your siblings – again – work WITH them in this cooperative game. Players compete against the game itself, attempting to defend their castle against hordes of incoming orks, trolls, and goblins. This game is great fun for all ages.
  • Wits and Wagers – If you’re a fan of obscure trivia, then this game is for you. Answer a numerical trivia question (How many Oreos in a standard bag? How many types of dinosaurs have ever existed?) on a mini dry erase board, and then wager on the winning guess to gain points. If you can write a number, you can play this game, though a little more life experience is definitely an advantage.
  • Sushi Go! – The adorable sushi illustrations on this game make the whole thing worth playing. Players compete to serve up the best lunch – the winning combination of sushi dishes will get you more points than the other players. The box is portable and it’s fun for everyone in the family.
  • Roll For It – This game is great for people who think they don’t like games, because the concept is simple but the race-to-the-finish competition aspect keeps it interesting. Deal out three cards to the center of the table, and take turns rolling a set of dice to see if you can match the rolls pictured on each card. Be the first to match a card and you get to keep the accompanying points. (Note: This game comes in three versions – red and purple are essentially two halves of the deluxe version; go for the deluxe if you want way cooler illustrations and several more dice sets.)
  • Concept – This game is like charades without all the embarrassing acting. Use a board full of symbols to map out a concept that your teammates or opponents are supposed to guess. This one’s great for promoting creative thinking, and players can come and go without it causing any real problems in the game.
  • Splendor – I don’t know anyone who has played this game and hasn’t loved it, almost immediately. You’re a gem miner, and you’re trying to acquire resources in order to get points to win the game. Build up the most impressive collection of gems and you’ll be visited by nobles who will add to your street cred – and your points value. My husband refers to this game as “Pretty Pretty Princesses for grown-ups,” and he and I both seriously love it.
  • Epic Spell Wars – Got a lot of teenage boys in the family? This one’s right up their alley. Each player takes on the persona of an epic wizard character, and takes turns casting spells against the other players in an effort to be the Last Wizard Standing. This game contains some adult language (quite a bit in the explanatory brochure and mild language on the cards themselves) and extreme cartoon violence, so exercise caution playing it in mixed company or with small kids.
  • Love Letter – Take your best guess about what the other players are holding in this game where you’re only ever holding two cards at once. Keep one, play one, and try to be the last player who isn’t out! This game comes with some really fun variations – our household favorite is the Batman one.
  • Cheeky Monkey – This game is sure to be a huge hit with younger kids, but surprisingly enough it also works for adults as well. It’s basically the Vegas game “Let it Ride” but with wild animals. Take turns pulling poker chips (featuring animal images) from inside a stuffed monkey toy. Risk pulling out more chips for a bigger win, but if you get doubles you’ve gotta put them all back. You cheeky monkey, you!

If you’re a family of seasoned gamers, I also whole-heartedly recommend: Dominion, 7 Wonders, Munchkin, and Forbidden Desert. These games are a little more complicated if you’re not familiar with indie game formats and styles, but all are super fun!

What’s YOUR favorite family game? Share it in the comments, I’m always open to new suggestions!

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