Looking for a fun new game the whole family can play? Here, moms dish on the best family board games — ones that keep both kids and parents engaged and entertained. From enduring classics we played as kids ourselves to new favorites involving labyrinths, train cars, and some serious strategic thinking, these 10 games will be surefire hits on your next family night.
After months of traveling, gift-giving, and pricey nights out, save money and score quality time with your pals by hosting a board game potluck party. Invite over a handful of friends and ask each person to bring his or her favorite board game plus a snack to share. Take care of the drinks yourself or ask guests to pitch in if things become costly.
A few entertaining tips to try:
- Set up a table to stack all the games and, when guests arrive, ask them to write the name of their game on a slip of paper. Toss all the slips into a hat and draw them throughout the night to decide which game will be played next.
- Create fun, festive decorations and drink recipes that follow the board game theme. Glue Sorry game pieces to the top of cocktail stirrers, swap your living room rug for a Twister mat, or laminate Uno cards and turn them into drink coasters.
- Give the party a nostalgic feel and ask guests to bring the board games they loved as kids. Add to the old-school vibe by creating playlists of the songs that were popular when you were younger.
Have you hosted a board game potluck? Share your suggestions below.
Nothing beats good old-fashioned board games when it comes to quick and easy family entertainment. Whether you're spending time with relatives or just snuggled up with your little ones for the rest of the holiday break, we've rounded up a mix of classic and contemporary board games to keep your family engaged. While some of our favorites may be found in your basement, others are worth a speedy trip to the store for some fresh, brand-new competition. Shop and play these family-friendly board games!
Battleship hits theaters this Friday, and that has us eager to play the classic game. Whether you are looking to improve your strategic skills or indulge in a little nostalgia, we've listed four ways to digitally sink some battleships via iPhone apps, the Android Market, Facebook, and more. And for the serious players, check out this man's algorithm for the perfect Battleship game.
- iPhone — Play the classic Battleship ($1) game on your for iPhone, or opt to play the Super Weapons mode to earn higher player rankings and to unlock new weapons. The app also has WiFi, Bluetooth, and Pass & Play capabilities, so you can play Battleship with another player. In honor of the film, you can also play the game with its new cinematic twist Battleship Alien Invaders (free). All the classic features, but now with play options as the human navy or the alien forces.
- Facebook — The Facebook game Navy Battles: The Pacific Campaign is actually wildly addictive. Play is on a standard grid and includes bonus attack strategies like air attack, missile strikes, and guided torpedoes to help target the enemy's fleet.
- Android Market — In the Android Market, Dragonplay brings you Sea Battle Live (free), an online game based on the classic Battleship. The app is a true winner — earning nearly five stars from 5,745 reviewers. Play against friends or online opponents.
- Online — While you can't play Hasbro's official version of Battleship online, you can play a series of Battleship minigames, like "Quick Fire," a steer-and-shoot game.
We're all well-versed in '90s board games for girls, but did you know there was popular '60s board game that inspired the title of last night's Mad Men episode (and had a cameo in a commercial on the show)? "Mystery Date" is a board game for girls ages 6 to 14, and there have been several newer versions since the first one came out in 1965 — the year before this season of Mad Men is set. The object of the board game is to be all dolled up for your romantic rendezvous by getting your hands on three matching cards to put together your outfit, which needs to match your man and the type of date you'll be going on. To find out who your date is you spin the handle on the "mystery door" and open the door to find one of four date options plus a "dud" (a disheveled and dirty guy): the formal dance date, the bowling date, the beach date, and the skiing date. If your outfit doesn't match your date's, the play continues to the next player.
While the dating board game is lighthearted, the name takes on a much darker overtone from what it references in last night's episode, the worst kind of unknown caller at your door. The show centers on the fascination and fear, especially from the women, of real-life serial killer Richard Speck's systematic rape and murder of eight female student nurses from a Chicago hospital on July 14, 1966. The mass murderer broke into the hospital and held nine nurses captive in a room while he took each out one by one and tortured, raped, then killed all but one. The lone surviving nurse saved herself by hiding under the bed, another theme carried through the Mad Men episode. This horrific killing is an interesting historical 1966 event to base an episode on, but we have to wonder what the further ramifications were for women during the era. We see all generations from Sally to Peggy to her grandmother handle the fear in different ways — including wielding a knife and hiding under the couch — did this mark the end of the friendly, trust-your-neighbor mentality of the '50s and early '60s? Is this when society stopped trusting the mystery date at the door?
Photo courtesy of AMC
For a better glimpse of the Mystery Date board game, keep reading.
Classic toy brand Hasbro thinks game night is in dire need of a tech edge, based on their just-revealed spin on classic games Monopoly and The Game of Life. At this year's Toy Fair, the company is previewing tech savvy versions of the games that use iOS devices during play.
Monopoly zAPPed plays generally like the classic real estate game you know, but instead of fake paper money players tap "debit cards" on their iOS device of choice to withdraw or add funds to their game account. The app will also have side games to try for a free "get out of jail" pass.
Being mildly obsessed with The Game of Life as a kid, the zAPPed version of the game is what I'm most excited to try. Use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch for a digital version of the giant number spinner and view family snapshots of your fabulous life by the end of the game. The game also features over 100 videos from America's Funniest Home Videos, which I really hope can be skipped through on the app.
Life zAPPed will hit store shelves in Spring, while its Monopoly counterpart debuts in the Fall. Both games will retail for $25. Are you interested in playing an apped-up version of the games, or is classic better when it comes to board games?
Playing board games with your children is the perfect way to spend some indoor quality time together this Summer. It helps build important learning and social skills too. Paint the town, or Summer, pink with these special editions of your favorite classic board games just for girls, both big and small.
- Scrabble Junior - Pinkalicious Edition ($18): This fun word and picture version of the famous crossword game shows off its Pinkalicious style. Young players match the Pinkalicious pictured words with letter tiles. Older players form their own words on the reverse side of the board. For ages 5 and up.
- Hello Kitty Big Roll Bingo ($13): It's Hello Kitty and friends in a kids' first bingo game. Oversized dice reveal the letter and a picture. The set includes an extra die and rules for older players. For ages 4 and up.
- Monopoly — Pink Boutique Edition ($20): This Monopoly is dressed up in pink and all about things girls love! It comes in a keepsake box (which doubles as a jewelry box) and includes a pink gameboard, boutiques, and malls instead of houses and hotels, and Instant Message and Text Message cards instead of Chance and Community Chest. For ages 10 and up.
- The Game of Life — Pink Edition ($35): Choose a girl and spin the dial to begin your journey down the funky, flowery path, making decisions, and earning money along the way. For ages 9 and up.
After all the pizza was finished and the necessary prank calls were made, playing a girly board game was next on the agenda for an ultimate '90s slumber party. As we look back at the board games and their respective commercials, strap a scrunchie on that side pony, pop in your Ace of Base cassette, and get ready for a serious trip down memory lane. Did your favorite make the list?
The classic board game Candyland has been a kid favorite since its debut in the 1940s. If your lil one can't get enough of Candy Cane Forest or Gum Drop Mountain, a Candyland-inspired birthday party is easy to put together and fun to attend! Get ready for a sugar high with these ideas on turning your house into a candy kingdom!
What is this madness? Hasbro unveiled a new version of Monopoly this week, and instead of the classic, pastel-colored currency, the game is run by a computer. Called Monopoly Live, it retains some familiar elements — the board itself has stayed the same. But other elements have changed, including ditching fake cash and dice, and adding an infrared tower that keeps track of players' money and makes sure players stick to the rules — even counting the number of spaces they advance!
Apparently creators wanted to give the classic board game "a social experience." And while this game certainly won't replace the classic, its makers hope that it will attract a younger generation that prefers video games to older classics.
Monopoly Live will be available this Fall for $50. Fans of the classic game Battleship can also expect an updated version of the game this Fall.