Board games bring family and friends together. Order a pizza and gather around the dining room table for an evening of fun and excitement with your favorite game. Classic board games are a great way to spend time with loved ones, but in recent years, new games have emerged that are both fun and educational for players of all ages. Just in time for the holiday season, we have compiled this list of the top 10 best board games. Choose one or two games from our list, and then test your skills against your opponents for a fun time for all.
1. The Bounce-Off Game
First on our list is Bounce-Off Game, by Mattel. This game lets the whole family, ages three and above, participate in the fun. With simple rules that are easy to understand, the Bounce-Off game is more challenging than first appears. The object of the game is for players to create the patterns on challenge cards by bouncing the balls onto the game board grid. The first color that successfully recreates the pattern wins the game.
HedBanz, by Spin Master Games, is a fun, fast-paced game that is entertaining for everyone ages six and above. To play HedBanz, players wear a headband with an object printed on the band. They must guess their headband object by asking the other players yes/no questions, and then guessing the object. The first player to correctly guess her object before the game clock runs out, wins the game. Two to six people can play the game, making HedBanz the perfect addition to family game night.
3. Pie Face!
Pie Face!, by Hasbro, is fast-moving, a thrill a minute and filled with suspense. Take your chances! You might get pied in the face! Kids can use Mom-supplied whipped cream or just dampen the sponge that comes with the game. The sponge or whipped cream is placed on the big Pie Face hand, and then the hand contraption is passed around the circle of players. Each player turns the handle one turn and each time they avoid getting splatted with the cream or sponge in the face, they score one more point. The first player to score 25 points dominates the game.
4. The Sneaky Squirrel Game
The Sneakey Squirrel color matching game, by Educational Insights, is fun for the whole family, though not recommended for children under three due to the small game pieces. Players spin the game wheel, pick up an acorn with the Squirrel Squeezers, and then place the acorn in their logs. The first player to fill her log with acorns wins the game. The Sneaky Squirrel game teaches rudimentary math skills, as well as sorting, counting, matching, decision-making and hand-eye coordination.
5. Splendor Board Game
Splendor, by Asmodee, is a complex game with an economic theme, recommended for children over 10. Game players are merchants in an ancient land and they attempt to gain resources and favor with nobility to create new products and increase their profits. The game teaches planning, strategy and economic fundamentals. Splendor can be played with two or more players, and the players indirectly compete so cut-throat competition is not encouraged or promoted.
6. Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island, by Gamewright, rewards teamwork and cooperation as players compete to be the first team to locate and rescue four treasures from the ruins of the sinking island. According to legend of old, the ancient Archeans were a civilization that lived at the center of the earth. These peoples possessed the ability to control the wind, earth water and fire through the four sacred treasures. The treasures were hidden by the Archeans on Forbidden Island, an island that sinks when penetrated by intruders. Players select a water level to match their skills, and then set off on the adventure to capture the treasures. Forbidden Island is recommended for children 10 and over.
7. Tsuro: The Game of the Path
The object of Tsuro, by Calliope Games, is for the player to create a path for her game stone to follow by placing tiles on the board. Players’ paths may cross and change the journey for themselves and the other players. Tsuro is quick and easy to introduce to new players, and the typical game lasts only about 30 minutes. The goal of the game is to keep your path tiles on the board while forcing other players’ paths off the board. Tsoro is designed for two players, but is more fun with more players.
8. Ruckus – Family Edition
The Family Edition of Ruckus, by Imagination Games, is 2015’s best-selling board game in the US. Players attempt to accumulate matching pairs of cards, and then hang onto them until the end. Players create a ruckus to cause other players to lose their card sets, and the first player to score 77 points and shout “Ruckus” wins the game. Players of any age can play, making Ruckus perfect for family game night.
9. Fibber by Spin Master Games
Fibber, by Spin Master Games, is the game that encourages players to stretch the truth without getting called on it. Players wear eye glasses with a nose that grows. With each lie they’re caught in, the fibber must attach another nose piece. When all 11 nose pieces are used, the player with the shortest nose wins. Fibber is for two to four players.
The good, old tried-and-true Monopoly game, by Hasbro, is our 10th best board game for 2015. This classic property and commodity trading game is suitable for anyone eight and over. Learn the principles of real estate and negotiation with Monopoly game play. The new version of the game includes a speed die for faster play, and new rules that allow a property to be publicly auctioned if a player lands on the space and does not purchase the real estate. Monopoly is enjoyed with four or more players.