From traditional board games and card games, to video games and mobile apps, family game time has evolved over the decades. We now have a countless array of games from which to choose. While many games are not suited to everyone’s skill level or interest, there are many that can be enjoyed by your whole family, at any age or capability.
One of the most beloved board games has to be Scrabble, and it has reigned supreme as a family game night staple for years. It’s simple gameplay appeals to both seasoned (and often competitive) stalwarts and beginners. Equipped with 100 letter tiles, four tile racks and one game guide, players seek to create words using existing letters and words on the board, earning points for each letter they put down. Between Triple Word Scores, countless “10 Words That Will Win You Any Game of Scrabble” online guides and debate over what is and isn’t in fact a real word, Scrabble is a great option to keep you on your toes.
Classic Card Games
Rather than purchasing a new board game, why not make use of some good, old-fashioned cards? Most households have a 52-pack lying around, and now is the perfect time to dust it off. Sticking to the classics is always a good idea, and can include such games as: Crazy Eights or Gin Rummy. The former is a shedding-style card game where the goal is to become the first player to get rid of all their cards. The latter is a tried and true staple with the objective of forming combinations of three or more cards totalling 100 or more points before their opponent. Card games are easy, affordable and allow everyone to learn how to play.
Perhaps the most fun you can get for about $1, Heads Up has become a game staple shared amongst friends, family and strangers. This mobile app (available for both Apple and Android devices) has you guess the word on the phone screen. One player holds the phone to their head while other players provide clues before the timer runs out. You can choose any word from pre-existing categories, which include everything from celebrities to accents, singing to animals, or you can create your own categories. Heads Up is a great way to spend time with your loved ones, enjoy a good game and have a good laugh. The various category options also mean that no generation, age group or person is left out.
Safe to say that we all know one person—either in our family or circle of friends—who opts to remove the centre block from a precariously perched stack of wooden blocks during a rather high-stress game of Jenga. Jenga has remained a family game staple for decades, and for good reason. It’s simple to set up, taking only a few minutes to construct the iconic tower. The gameplay lasts a relatively short amount of time—especially if you’re playing with someone with the aforementioned penchant for making risky moves. While the traditional Jenga sets have included natural wooden blocks, there have been a myriad of variations of the game over the years. This includes collector editions for beloved sports teams and movie franchises, providing something for everyone.
King Kandy and his kingdom of Candy Land debuted in 1949, and the game has retained its appeal for decades because of its simple gameplay and appeal to audiences of all ages. A racing board game, it requires almost no reading or strategy, and minimal counting. Players simply follow the directions outlined on the cards (or spinner in recent iterations), and play until they reach the end of the board. There have been a few re-releases of the game based on pop culture, but for the most part, the game has retained its classic roots. Its mass popularity led to a film adaptation of the game in 2005 that starred beloved characters, Mr. Mint, Princess Lolly and the evil Lord Licorice.
Any of the above games are great options for spending quality time with your family at home, your home away from home, or even in a retirement living community with grandma. There are also countless other games that are just as fun, engaging and family-friendly. Regardless of what you choose, gameplay with your family is something that will surely keep you entertained. Whether enjoying special bonding time together, or just enjoying a laugh, this type of activity is one that never gets old. With little to no risk to suggest a game night, will you be the first to roll the dice?