5 Board Games to Try with Friends and Family

Board games had a renaissance during the COVID-19 pandemic. And no wonder – as a creative, dynamic, and often funny way for families and friends to unite and have fun, they can be a great help in a difficult situation. We picked five board games that we think have the best chance of making your night in a success – let’s check them out:

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride tops our list for a reason: One round of the game takes less than an hour, but it’s so dynamic and exciting that you’ll start another immediately.

Created by Days of Wonder, Ticket to Ride is an adventure game where players build railroad routes across a map. The map usually represents the US or Europe, but it could be anywhere you want. During the game, players collect points by completing routes and connecting different cities. The longer your train track is, the more points you get, and the player with the biggest number of points wins the game.

Poker

If you and your friends want to feel an adrenaline rush, there’s no better game to achieve that than poker. Arguably the most popular card game in the world, poker wears many hats – you can play Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Low, 7-Card Stud, etc. Regardless of the variant you choose, excitement is guaranteed for all players.

However, poker is not an easy game to play. You’ll need to learn the basic poker rules and play regularly to build on that. We recommend you start with the simple variants, and of course, don’t bet any real money if you don’t know how to play.

If you and your friends are already experienced poker players, you can spice up the atmosphere and play with real money. And of course, whether you’re a pro or just playing for fun, setting the right atmosphere is half the fun. Throw some green felt over your kitchen table, dim the lights, get some poker chips, and it’ll feel just like playing poker in a real casino.

Carcassonne

Inspired by the French medieval city and fortress of the same name, Carcassonne is one of the most popular board games in 2021. Each player gets tiny tiles that contain pieces of roads, paths, monasteries, or cities. Each tile is used to create an ever-expanding topography by connecting the tiles together. Once they place a tile, players can place a little person on it to earn them points (e.g., a monk on a monastery tile, a farmer on grassland, etc.). The winner is the player who establishes the most strategically beneficial set of tiles and therefore wins the most points.

Carcassonne is really easy to understand by beginners and lasts approximately 45-50 minutes, during which all players are constantly engaged.

Taboo

If your family likes simple verbal games, Taboo is the perfect pick. There are no long guides and complicated rules in this game: The aim is to guess a word from a card without your partner using that word or additional “taboo” words to explain it to you.

Taboo is a dynamic game. Your opponent will watch your moves and react if you don’t play by the rules, and it’s great for house parties.

Catan

The first release of this game was in 1996, and it has since evolved to the point of having a 3D version, with figures and tokens crafted in astounding detail. The game was originally titled Settlers of Catan, but is now simply called Catan.

If you and your friends love strategic entertainment, Catan is a must-try. Basically, you build your own civilization by creating settlements, villages, and cities. The goal is to expand your civilization across the board. You’ll have different resources (wood, wheat, sheep, ore, etc.) that you can use for building and trade them for other resources. You’ll also need to be careful what your opponents do – they can destroy your houses or steal your resources. But you can also form alliances with one of the players to crush another’s expansion, only to turn on them afterward. Endless fun awaits!

Nakoa Davis