10 CURRENT FAVORITE TABLETOP GAMES, RANKED
I play a lot of tabletop/board games with my family, our 20-something children and their BF/GFs, my pushing 80 in-laws, and our own friends. These are my 10 current favorite games
- •All the nominees...The game shelf at Tuntreet Park
- •Honorable Mention: Boggle(Perfect for holidays when we have more than 6 people who all want to play the same game... But it doesn't get much one-on-one or small group use because The Mrs kills us all with her superior spatial awareness and mammoth vocabulary.)
- •TsuroSail a ship on an ever changing map path and stay at sea while avoiding Godzilla like creatures that turn up and attack ships. The goal is to stay afloat longer than other players as the map changes. Fast (15 mins max) and works for 2-8 players. Pretty simple, so if you like strategy and cut-throat competition move along.
- •MunchkinA dungeon and dragons type card game where the goal is to go underground and kill everything you find, including your fellow players. Once you learn the powers of the various cards in the deck, it becomes fast and quite amusing, especially if you play with theatrical types who will role play their characters. As I do.
- •7 WondersA world building game where you trade with your neighbors to get the raw materials you need to win. Once you figure it out the rounds go quickly and you can play a game in 35-40 minutes. You win by collecting the most gold.
- •Betrayal at House on the HillYou enter a dark haunted house with your friends and explore the space as you build it. Then, the haunting begins and you must play cooperatively with each other to get out alive - or all die together when the house defeats you. Fun because there are so many variations and every game is different, and every haunted house is different as you build it with tiles as you explore. Very cool game pieces.
- •RiskAll time classic gets a bum rap because who has 7 hours to play a game? But when we plan ahead and play with the kids it's still so much fun (despite the reliance on the luck of the dice roll). We have even developed an Alien Risk version/rules so the first player who is eliminated becomes an alien invasion army and gets to keep playing (with favorable conditions) instead of having to wander off and be alone while the rest of us battle.
- •BananagramsSo much fun with large groups. Rapid game play (a literal race to build words) with plenty of downtime between rounds to talk and laugh and catch up. We have been known to meet our music professor friends at coffee shops and spend a couple hours playing Bgrams and catching up.
- •SmallworldThe newest game on our table, were still figuring it out. Like Risk, you're trying to conquer lands inhabited by other creatures (elves, trolls, zombies, Amazons, etc) but you will never have enough creatures to hold your land for more than a few turns. So the gig is to go as far as fast as you can, and then abandon your race and conquered lands for another gang of creatures and do it again. Far more strategy than Risk because there's an endless collection of special powers. Faster too!
- •Ticket to RideCollect tickets, build trains, connect cities in a race with other railroad moguls. Easy to learn, fun for all ages, fairly rapid game play, plenty of time for in-game conversation. And you can try to sabotage other players, too, if that's how you roll. Person with longest trains and most connected cities (and thus most points) wins. Tons of additional map boards too, from classic US to Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain, Asia and more.
- •MysteriumA very fun and amusing game where (like Clue) you try to determine the murderer, weapon and location. Unlike Clue, this is totally done by getting 'visions' from the game master Ghost and trying to interpret said visions. The fun comes when everybody sees different connections in the ghost's displayed visions. Previously listed here: https://li.st/l/7hZDHw0Ubxf7nC7njLRTMO
- •ScrabbleAll-time classic. We even have a family traveling trophy. Fast game play, competitive and a bit of strategy makes this fun (but a huge vocab is still the difference maker). We probably play 2-5 games a week, especially in winter.