The Best Games For Family Game Night
These days the average family may come in all shapes and sizes, but their ability to transform into bitter rivals over a simple board game hasn’t changed. Leave your allegiances at the door with our list of the best games for family game night. Traditionalists beware, there’s no Scabble here.
Whether your family clan is into strategic games, quick reaction games or trivia, there’s something on this list to appease even the fussiest of family members (looking at you, Dad.)
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The only Board Game you can re-play on Dave several months later.
Ever wanted to be a guest on a panel show? Bring the panel to your own living room with Taskmaster, the game based on the Bafta award winning TV Show. Just like contestants on the real show, you’ll be assigned a series of ridiculous tasks by the power-crazed taskmaster for the title of taskmaster champion. Taskmaster is perfect if you don’t fancy sitting round a table all night, but proceed with caution, the taskmaster won’t hesitate to crack the whip.
What’s family game night without M-- Mon... I can’t even say it.
We know that at family game night, the word ‘Monopoly’ can trigger haunting memories of family squabbles and ruined Christmasses. How about a version of Monopoly that’s less ... traumatic? Monopoly Deal is a card game that can be completed in just fifteen minutes that works similarly to the traditional game. All you need to do is collect three sets of property cards to win. Now you’ll have to find something else to argue with your brother about (besides who gets to be the top hat).
Just like a real all-you-can-eat buffet, the strategic thinkers and cunning tricksters will come out on top.
Nice Buns is a strategy game where players hoard three sets of colourful Bao Buns. Each round, you’ll roll three dice that let you collect, steal and trade different buns. However, it wouldn’t be family game night without some sabotage. Before you do anything, the player on your left will get to decide which dice you can use and which dice they’ll keep for themselves. Those who can think four steps ahead and keep their eyes on the prize may even come back for seconds.
Experience the thrill of international espionage. (We think. Spies are very private people.)
To crack Codenames, players split into two teams and take turns trying to flip over their Secret Code Cards by giving each other one word clues. If you’re a close-knit family clan you can put your telepathy skills to good use, but disaster could strike if you’re not all tuned to the same frequency. Codenames will make you feel like a master manipulator or a cunning code-breaker in a cocktail of logic and intuition, shaken not Stirred.
Where the unoriginal reign supreme.
In this deliciously simple party game, players are asked questions and get rewarded for coming up with the same answer as other players. Pepperoni may not be your favourite pizza topping, but if you know it’s your Dad and brother’s then you can get away with a few little white lies to get ahead. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the double bluffs and mind games start to snowball. So if you reckon you can see the cogs turning in your Dad’s brain, or can predict your Mum’s every move, then Herd Mentality is for you.
A Family favourite for smart-alecs everywhere.
Blokus is a strategy puzzle where players take turns placing their 21 pieces on the board: each piece must touch another of the same color, but only at the corners. It scratches the same part of your puzzle brain as Sudoku or Tetris (and yes we’re sure that neuroscientists would use the same terminology). This game is perfect for parents helping out younger kids, or not-so-young kids finally outsmarting the adults.
Quicker to play than it is to say.
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is super easy for all ages to pick up. Each player places a card from their hand face up into a community pile while saying taco/cat/goat/cheese/pizza in order of players. When the card matches one of the words, everyone slaps their hand on the deck, with the last one to slap picking up the cards. As it’s such a simple game, you could even use Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza as a palette cleanser in between more intense board games. *chef’s kiss*
If you’ve seen a movie, you can play Blockbuster. If you’ve never seen a movie, that’s on you pal.
We know picking a trivia based game for the whole family can be tough - the kids have never seen The Godfather, Mum and Dad haven’t seen Trolls 2. If only there was a movie based trivia game where everyone can use their own pool of film references. Oh wait, that’s Blockbuster. The game involves two different fast paced games working in teams to pit the family against each other. Prepare for charades, quick fire rounds and racking your brain trying to remember that one movie with that one guy.... I swear I almost had it!
You can get your hands on Blockbuster from our board game shop.
Even mediterranian monarchs have to spruce up the place.
In this bizarre but satisfying game, you’re a tile-laying artist challenged to decorate the walls of the Palace of Evora. Players take turns sourcing tiles from suppliers to their player board then earn points based on how they've placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Azul is great for those with a creative flair and love of organisation. Best to avoid one on family game night if you’re in the middle of redecorating, or you may start seeing blue tiles wherever you look.
A nice family bird watching expedition, anyone?
In Wingspan, you’re eager bird enthusiasts looking to attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. However, you can’t just whack any old bird in there. Each bird creates a chain reaction once placed in your habitats. For budding ecologists or geographers, Wingspan is a fantastic way to simulate an ecosystem, or for teaching kids a little more about the complexity of nature. It certainly beats huddling around a pair of binoculars in the british rainy weather.
Suspicion, betrayal and deceit. No, it’s not an Emmy nominated drama series, it’s Snakesss.
If you think your family can stay intact after an injection of secrets and lies, Snakesss is the ultimate test. Snakesss is a social deduction game, where players are asked a question as a group and discuss the answer. However, some players have been handed a Snake card - who’ll secretly try and sabotage the discussion and mislead the other players. Snakesss works best for a group of players who know each other well, which is what makes it a perfect family game. Just don’t blame us if you’re no longer on speaking terms after family game night.
Squash the family beef with this co-operative word game. You’re all in this together.
Just One is a cooperative party game in which you play together to discover as many mystery words as possible. Players give one word clues to help their teammates guess one word, but you’ll need to be inventive as identical clues don’t count. It may feel a little strange working together on family game night rather than staging a battle to the death, but Just One can be the perfect game to keep peace. After a night of ruthless competition, why not extend an olive branch.
If 2020 bombarded you with Zoom quizzes to the point of nausea, Colourbrain may provide a refreshing solution because this is not your standard quiz.
Players are asked colour related questions and respond with one of 11 colour cards in their hands. Thiscould be anything from ‘what colours are the olympic rings’ to ‘what colour are all the Power-Rangers?’ If you’re not a total quizmaster, never fear, you also get rewarded points for questions other players get wrong. Go forth and exploit your family member’s weaknesses.
We know the ‘kids’ may be grown adults now and parents aren’t as sharp as they used to be, but there really is nothing like a family game night to kindle some healthy family rivalry. If you keep your selection of family games simple and quick like the games included on this list, there'll be far less lingering tension and far more board game buffoonery. So get the family round and treat yourselves to a family game night. Disclaimer: we will not take any responsibility for irreparable falling-out.