And in the meantime, here are some of our family’s favorite games. We have 3 adults (in our 40s) and 2 kids (ages 14 and 12) in our household, just so you have a reference. Let me also preface this list by saying we probably have about one hundred games in our home. We’re serious gamers here. I canvassed everyone and asked their five favorite board, dice, or card games, and below I’ve included all of the ones mentioned. The games at the top got the most votes, and the list goes in descending order from there. Enjoy!
The top three games in our family all tied for three votes each:
Cribbage: This classic card game has been a part of all of our families of origin (although I don’t play it, myself). Dryst learned it from my parents. There’s much hilarity when a multi-generational game gets cookin’.
Dread Pirate: Buccaneer’s Revenge: We got this board game from a funky local toy shop. Although it took a while to get the hang of it, this is an awesome family game of strategy and adventure on the high seas. Reading skills are needed, but you can play as teams with those who need reading help.
Skip-Bo: The best way to play this game is with partners. It’s a fun numbers card game, and you can use each others’ discards to help play the cards on your pile. There’s no cross-talk allowed, but using your ESP can help!
The next three games tied for two votes each:
Cosmic Wimpout: The ultimate hippie dice game! You accumulate points by collecting 10s, 5s, and matches, and the first one to 500 points is the winner…unless someone catches up to you in “last licks.” Totally groovy.
Rummikub: This is similar to the card game Rummy, but with Scrabble-like tiles. It takes a keen eye for matches and straights, especially since you can rearrange them in a puzzle-like fashion.
Yahtzee: Another classic game, this one with dice. We love the version they have on Webkinz, and that got us back into playing with actual dice.
And the rest of these got one mention each:
Can’t Stop: A fun game of statistics and probabilities. Everyone competes to capture three numbers between 2 and 12, but if you don’t stop, you may lose it all.
Chess: Dryst has been playing since he was five, and he and Quester are the real chess fans in the house. I think you have to have a certain type of mind to really love chess. A serious strategy-fest.
Clue: We started with the junior version when the kids were younger, and now have the old-fashioned board. Mystery, stealth, and shrewd guessing are involved. Some reading skills are needed for this one.
Mexican Train Dominoes: I added this game, which we play fairly often at our homeschool group. I never played dominoes as a kid, and I’ve found that I just love this version. Fun to play while sitting around chatting.
Monopoly: You know, Monopoly! The youngest member of our homeschool group is a fanatic about this game, and we’re all convinced he’ll be a tycoon one day. Be sure to have several hours available, though, and lots of snacks.
Munchkin: A hilarious Dungeons & Dragons-themed card game. You’re allowed to cheat, as long as you don’t get caught. The rules are a bit complex, but the game will pick up speed as you get the hang of it. Players need to be able to read the cards.
Snorta!: We just got this one for Christmas. Based on memory and making animal noises, it’s one of those games that has you laughing and shaking your head in confusion.
Twister: This is another one that gets the giggles going. Be sure you have someone to spin the wheel who’s not actually trying to play. Yoga aficianados have an advantage.
Whoonu: Made by the Cranium folks, this is a really fun game for getting to know people and their preferences. Once you’ve mastered it, play it with opposites – what would be the person’s least favorite thing?
Zombie Dice: Zombies are trendy, and that holds true in our homeschool group too. Subject matter aside, it’s another fun dice and numbers game, and good to play with a crowd.