Board games have been an entertainment staple for years. I grew up on many of the classics and these days they’re more interactive and inventive than ever before. My co-workers love having games night and I’ve been introduced to some fun new games. If I were to go shopping for new board games, I don’t think I’d know where to start with the variety available. For a run-down of the many options worth considering, check out our detailed board games buying guide. To get you started, though, I did some research and found some great gems that will provide entertainment for all ages this holiday season.
Board games for any group size
If you’re hosting or attending a games night, you might want to have a variety of games for your guests. When I attended a games night, my host was gracious enough to break off into a smaller group and teach me a game that was quick to learn and fun. That game was Codenames. In this word game, players split into teams with each having a spymaster and field operatives. The spymaster then gives one-word clues in hopes that their teammates will find the codename card in their team’s colour and avoid finding their teammates colour. Everyone must avoid the assassin to win the game. Each team is competing to contact all their agents first. Codenames also has a few variations such as a Disney, Marvel and Harry Potter editions.
Board games for adults
Now if you’re having an adult only games night, you may want to throw in a few adults only games. I’m sure most people have heard of Cards Against Humanity even if you haven’t played it. The game is simple to play and if it tickles your sense of humour, you’ll get a few laughs. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. There are some new varieties such as a Canadian version as well as expansions to the original.
Another fun option is Joking Hazard. It’s jokingly referred to as the best, worst card game. It calls itself an offensive card game where you compete to finish awful comics. Each box has 360 cards, including 10 write-your-own words cards. This allows for millions of possible combinations and jokes. Each player will always have seven cards and essentially in each round you will be creating a 3-card comic to be judged by whoever is “the judge”. Whoever is deemed to have the best comic ending will receive a point. Keep playing until one person has 3 points and they are crowned the winner.
Board games for kids
Kids love a good old fashioned games night too. Both of my sons loved playing board games and card games growing up, and it’s a great way to connect without screens.
I grew up playing Battleship and it’s still a popular choice today. Battleship will test your strategic skills. To play you will need to place your ships on your side of the board that’s hidden from your opponent. You’ll then take turns asking each other coordinates until you get a hit. This means you’ve found one of their ships, but you’ll then need to find out how long their ship is and what direction it’s going. Keep firing shots at your opponent and record your strikes with red pegs and your misses with white pegs. Ships sink when each of their coordinates have been hit and you’ll win the game when you’ve sunk all your opponent’s ships.
Another classic that’s fun for all ages is Connect 4. It’s played just the way you remember it, with each player choosing a colour and then trying to get four of their coloured discs in a row. There are some new varieties as well such as a spin feature that may help you win, just beware you’re not helping your opponent win first.
Games for everyone
There are many games to choose from if you’re hosting a games night for all ages.
Azul is recommended for ages 8 and up and while I haven’t played it myself, I see it’s on many “most popular games” lists. It’s classified as a puzzle board game and it’s colourful and engaging. You earn points and win by laying tile designs and completing specific patterns on the game board. There’s also some strategy involved and the player with the most points will win the game.
Looking for more ideas? Check out our board games buying guide for everything you need to know about the types of board games, which are best for different numbers of players and events, and more.
You can find a variety of board games for entertaining at Best Buy online.