Have some free time as a family? A couple of hours at the weekend? A cosy evening in together?
Technology may be taking over the world, with screen-time increasing and becoming one of the biggest bugbears for parents to tackle, but why not wind things back a bit and go old-school with a good old-fashioned board game, for all the family to enjoy. Gather around the table, or set up camp on the living room floor, and put each other to the test with competitive, challenging games. Don’t forget to crown the winner!
We all know the classics like Monopoly, Cluedo and Scrabble, and no – we’re not bored of those board games just yet. But there are more and more choices coming available for all ages and stages to play, from picture guessing to trivia quick-fires, and it’s an exciting time to try them out.
Whether looking for educational choices to help with your children’s cognitive development, team-playing options for evening dinner parties, or sing-along games to have a big old laugh with, we’ve done the scouring for you of the latest board games to try.
What to look for when choosing a board game?
Checking the age range of your board game is very important – make sure it is suitable for the group intending to play. It needs to be a fair game, with everyone understanding the rules and objectives. They will always have this displayed on the box.
The number of players is also worth looking at – you don’t want to leave anyone out, or not have enough to play.
For some games you can separate into teams, so if there’s a large number of you, this might be the best option. Then the rest is down to choice – pick the one that tempts you most, and get playing!
See our pick of the best board games for hours of family fun!
Monopoly for Sore Losers
Many a family feud has begun over an innocent game of Monopoly. Hasbro has revised the game especially for those who don’t take losing well. The twist is that you win by doing all the things that would traditionally see you lose - going to Jail, paying rent on a property, or the ultimate clanger, declaring yourself bankrupt! Designed to turn the much-loved game on its head and tickle your funny bone in the process.
Buy now £9.99, Amazon
Articulate Board Game
‘The fast-talking description game’ is always a family favourite at Christmas time. Gather everyone together, split off into teams and compete to describe as many words as you can, without actually saying them. Race against your opposition with 30 seconds on the clock, no ‘rhymes with’ or ‘sounds like’ allowed. From objects and nature to people and action words, give it your best go and laugh the whole way through. Guessers need to keep alert too to win the points.
Buy now £17.56, Amazon
Herd Mentality Board Game
Random questions will be fired away and the aim of the game is to guess the same answer as everyone else – sounds simple enough. Write down your answer, making sure no one is looking, and if in the majority you win cows. The person with the different answer – the odd one out – lands the pink cow and your herd will be worthless until you pass it on. Easy to pick up and fast-paced, spend hours of fun with this social deduction game, reading the mind of others and following the crowd.
Buy now £19.99, John Lewis
Dixit Board Game
Let your imagination run wild with a game of Dixit. Deal the cards – there are 84 beautifully illustrated ones included – and simply bluff opponents to win points. Dedicate a storyteller each turn to pick a card and propose a theme based on its imagery. All other players must pick a card from their hand that best matches this and convince the others that theirs tells the story. All cards are then shuffled and revealed – players must identify the teller’s card. A challenging time to get competitive.
Buy now £25.49, WHSmith
The LOGO Board Game
Think you know your logos and brands? Prove it by answering the trivia questions on the Picture, Theme and Pot-Luck cards and hop across the board to win. A highly rated and well-priced Amazon choice board game, unleash afternoons of entertainment with the whole family. There are more than 1500 different questions to work through so get cracking!
Buy now £19.99, Amazon
Peek-A-Boo Zoo Board Game
Age: 3- 10
An animal escaped the zoo! Your challenge is to guess which one. A great beginner’s board game for children, slide a card under the board (don’t let anyone see), roll the dice to move and travel around the board searching for the animal on the run. Land on ‘peek-a-boo’ and open the window to peek a clue. You’ll work it out based on a process of elimination and colour recognition – this will help develop children’s connections between sight and reasoning. Also perfect for playdates!
Buy now £23.57, Amazon
Top of The Pops Party Board Game
Describe, sing and kazoo your favourite hits from the 80s, 90s, 00s and beyond in this brilliant upgraded version of the family favourite board game Top of The Pops. Speed through the different rounds – go head-to-head to beat the buzzer, race to quote song lyrics and titles, chant out your vocal cords – and collect artists from every decade to win. Boogying throughout is strongly encouraged.
Buy now £17.04, Amazon
Confident? Board Game
Players: 2-6, or teams
Win your way with confidence! There’s no need to give an exact answer in this board game, instead guess with a range of answers to give everyone, knowledgeable or not so knowledgeable, the chance to win. Once asked questions, flip your answer boards for the big reveal and get ready for hours of giggles with the most quirky, ridiculous answers. The smallest range, if correct, will score the most points – how confident are you feeling?
Buy now £19.99, Amazon
Throw Throw Burrito Card Game
What do you get when you mix a card game with dodgeball? Throw Throw Burrito! Go face to face with your opponent trying to collect matching sets of cards quicker than them while dodging, ducking and throwing around squishy burritos at the same time. The more cards you collect the more points you earn, but any hit by flying burritos will be deducted. A card game like you’ve never seen before – let the Mexican battle commence.
Buy now £24.99, John Lewis
Beat That! Board Game
Stack up points by completing a series of ridiculous challenges using totally random objects along the way with Beat That! Board game. A funny and fast game, ideal for most ages, the pack includes 160 challenge cards alongside plastic cups, ping pong balls, chopsticks, a tape measure and betting tokens – told you it was random. Earn your way to victory by outdoing other players and winning the absurd challenges.
Buy now £22.99, John Lewis
Pictureka Board Game
Get together with the family around this colourful board game and go on a hunt for outrageous pictures. Players will be sent on a mission to find certain objects across the tiles and must shout ‘Pictureka’ once found – the one with the most cards wins. A simple concept, be fast and first to be victorious!
Buy now £14.99, Amazon
Cluedo Liars Edition
Hasbro Games has released a fresh version of the much-loved Cluedo game, the Liar’s Edition. It’s all about deception where you have to lie your way to victory without being caught. If your fellow gamers sniff a rat, they can hit the Liar Button which flashes red and can take you down if the truth comes out. A fun twist on the traditional game, it’s perfect for ages eight and up. Requires two 1.5V AAA alkaline batteries and Amazon Prime next day delivery available.
Buy now £8.00, Amazon
If 20/21 wasn’t a wild enough ride, have a go at this board game. Pandemic sees players, who are disease-fighting experts, race to cure four diseases that have broken out at the same time across the world.
There are opportunities to travel between cities, treat populations, build a research station and find a vaccine, all while skirting ‘Epidemic!’ cards that will see you losing your efforts to end the plagues. A game of strategy and cooperation, there is no one winner. Gamers will either all lose together or all triumph as one.
After the last few years we’ve had, it should be a walk in the park.
Buy now £30.00, John Lewis
5 Second Rule Spintensity
Players: 2 or more
Perfect for fast talkers, this fast moving game will have you racing to name three things in five seconds before hitting the timer to see what the spinner wants you to do next. You’ll have to think quickly to stay in the game before the timer runs out.
Buy now £6.66, The Toy Shop