In these troubling times, we’re all confined in our houses, along with our families. A board game night is a great way to stop your kids from strangling each other, and many families love the quality time together that these best family board games offer them.
The fun you’ll have is dependant on how fun and imaginative the board game you’re playing is. There are thousands of options for the best family board games on Amazon, and we’ve tried and tested the best around. Here at TechEngage, we have counted down the best family board games to buy on Amazon for 2021.
Perfect for: Those looking for a long and rewarding game.
It wouldn’t be a board game night without at least considering the big daddy of them all, i.e., Monopoly. Dating back all the way to 1903 first released by American anti-monopolist Lizzie Magie, the capitalism critique board game has become a staple of both the British and American board game market.
In the game, players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game board, buying and trading properties, and developing them with houses and hotels. Players can collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy.
Money can also be gained or lost through Chance and Community Chest cards, and tax squares; players can end up in jail, which they cannot move from until they have met one of several conditions.
There are literally thousands of editions of Monopoly, and with such well-known core game mechanics, you’re bound to have a good time with any version of this classic family board game. But, for this list, we’ve chosen the Cheaters Edition: one of the most imaginative variants of this game. If you’re used to cheating (like stealing from a banker like me, every single game), how about playing Monopoly where cheating is part of the game.
Cheat cards and updated sneaky Chance and Community Chest cards tell players when and how to cheat. A player might have to try to steal money from an opponent, skip out on rent, collect extra money when passing go, and other sly swindles. If the cheater succeeds, they get a reward. But if they get caught, say hello to handcuffs and Jail.
With an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5, Amazon reviewers love how fun and tense this version of Monopoly is. In one comedic review, one Amazon customer writes:
“There were bruised egos by the end of the game. I feel betrayed by my wife and I don’t think my wife looks at me the same way. I felt weird trying to teach our 7 years old how to cheat successfully when he had a hard time understanding how to pull off the cheats stealthily. Cheaters do win. Get this game and cheat to your heart’s content, you’ll have so much fun.”
Perfect for: Younger players, murder mystery lovers.
Another classic family board game is Clue or Cluedo as it’s known in its native UK. First devised in 1943 by Anthony E. Pratt from Birmingham, England, this family murder mystery game has become a family staple both in America and elsewhere abroad.
The object of the game is to determine who murdered the game’s victim, where the crime took place, and which weapon was used. Each player assumes the role of one of the six suspects and attempts to deduce the correct answer by strategically moving around a game board representing the rooms of a mansion and collecting clues about the circumstances of the murder from the other players.
This edition of Clue includes an interesting Alexa integration. Once you’ve set up the Alexa skill, you can use your Echo devices to summon the ghost of Mrs. White. Just say, “Alexa, ask Mrs. White.” If she’s in a good mood she might help you advance in the game. But if she’s not, she could very well say, “Hah! You thought your day was going well, but that’s over now,” and will give help to another player instead.
With an average rating of a whopping 4.8 stars out of 5, Amazon customers really like the interesting way the game has been updated. For example, one happy customer writes:
“I bought this game to test out the Alexa integrations and after playing it a bit I think it’s great. The ghost adds some additional actions that can either help or hinder you in your efforts to solve the crime. Alexa will also play some eerie background music that adds some fun to the experience. They include cards in the game that allow you to play with the “ghost” without an Alexa device in case you want to play on the go. You can also remove the ghost entirely and just play the classic Clue rules.”
Perfect for: Those who are looking for a quick card game.
Breaking away from the classics for a moment, our next pick is the quick card game Exploding Kittens. Originally devised as a crowd funder, this card game first released in 2015 and has since become a rousing success for people ages 7 and up.
Exploding Kittens is a highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian roulette. You draw cards, then put cards on the table and take turns drawing from them. If you draw an Exploding Kitten, you explode and are out of the game.
You can avoid exploding if you play a Defuse Card. Defuse Cards distract the Exploding Kittens with things like laser pointers, kitten yoga, and catnip sandwiches. Or, you can also play various cards to skip your turn, attack other players, peek at the deck, or secretly relocate an Exploding Kitten Card.
With an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, Amazon customers absolutely adore this charming and bizarre card game.
One happy customer writes:
“I bought this the first time earlier this year ahead of the camping season, something new for our group’s game night. It was a huge hit, especially with the kids, because what 6-year-old doesn’t love exploding kittens? (At least conceptually.) It took a little bit of explaining and coaching to get the kids up to speed but after that they ruled the table like the merciless sociopaths kids are. They will throw you into the path of an exploding kitten card without thinking twice. Seriously though, this is a great game for kids and adults, and so it’s fun for family game nights. Kids can play on the same level as adults and they love that.”
Perfect for: Those who think Monopoly is too long.
This modern realization of a classic game doesn’t have much in common with its 19th-century predecessor, but the essential essence of The Game of Life still exists with this family-friendly and accessible board game about winning at life.
In The Game of Life game players can make their own exciting choices as they move through the twists and turns of life. Move the car token around the gameboard from Start to Retirement, and experience unexpected surprises related to family, career, dream vacations, and other milestones of life.
Once everyone reaches the end of the game at retirement, everyone pays their debts and adds up their wealth. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins!
With an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, despite the changes made from the game most adults used to play when they were kids, Amazon reviewers still really enjoy this modern edition.
“We played Life when we were kids. This game was for our 6 and 9 year old grandchildren’s Christmas present and it’s worked out perfectly for Family Game Night ! They also play Life with their friends. It’s easy to set up and play. The Game of Life is perfect for a gift and perfect for learning turn taking and socializing.”
Priced at $20, this board game is a fantastic way to spend a few evenings together as a family as you all hurtle towards early retirement.
Perfect for: Really messed up Adults
Right, before I go on about how much of an icon this game has been, a little warning first: this is not suitable for children. This game thrives on offensive, lounge-in-cheek humor, and a child should not play this game. Now that’s out of the way, Cards Against Humanity has become a cultural party game institution since it was released in 2011.
Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. Players complete fill-in-the-blank statements using words or phrases typically deemed as offensive, risqué, or politically incorrect printed on playing cards.
At the start of the game, players start with ten “white” cards, with stock funny phrases and statements. According to the rule book provided with the game, the person who most recently defecated begins as the “Card Czar” and plays a black card, face up. The Card Czar then reads the question or fill-in-the-blanks phrase on the black card out loud.
Players must select a card to match the black card and The Card Czar then picks the funniest play, and whoever submitted it gets one “Awesome Point”.
This game is perfect for anyone with dark or twisted humor, and as the creators of this game market, this game with Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Play at your own risk, the risk being your family thinking you’re messed up.
The above-stated list of best family board games aims to offer you brief yet exclusive details to choose the best among them. The Cards Against Humanity, as already mentioned, does not serve the purpose of a healthy gaming exposure for the children; nevertheless, if you are a person of dark or twisted humor, you should probably give it a try. Whereas the Hasbro Gaming Monopoly Cheaters Edition and its shorter version, The Game of Life, is an ideal choice for all family gaming clubs and is our two best family board games to buy in 2021.
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