Tabletop gaming is huge right now. Once relegated to children and uber-nerds, board games have gone mainstream. If you’re looking to add some tabletop fun to your next get-together, here are 11 games that will appeal to a wide range of interests.
Settlers of Catan
If you love competitive strategy games like RISK but don’t have the attention span for an all-day game, Settlers of Catan may be up your alley. The randomized board makes each game a new challenge.
If you’re in the mood for cooperative instead of competitive, check out Castle Panic. Up to 6 players work together to protect the castle from monsters. Accolades are given to the “Master Slayer,” but you’ll win (or lose) as a group.
1 – 6 players, Ages 10+
Also check out: Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft
Munchkin has many of the game mechanics and fantasy of a roleplaying game like Dungeons and Dragons, but without the actual role playing. It’s super silly and easy to learn.
3 – 6 players, Ages 10+
Also check out: Zombies!!!
In Pandemic you save a world overrun by disease by working together. Playing cooperatively, the game ends when you either find the cure or all die from it. Each game takes about an hour.
2-4 Players, Ages 10+
Also check out: Arkham Horror
This word game is a little like a fast-paced version of Scrabble. A big vocabulary is not necessary to play, making it a great game that kids can adults can enjoy together. Bananagrams is stored in an adorable banana shaped zipper pouch.
Best with 2 – 7 players, Ages 7+
Also check out: Boggle
Fluxx is a card came where the rules, including how to win, change as you play. It arguably involves more luck than strategy, but it’s a fun game you can learn almost instantly making it perfect for mid-sized groups. Multiple expansion packs are available to tweak the gameplay.
2 – 6 people, Ages 8+
Also check out: Chrononauts
Hoopla is a cooperative take on the original Cranium, and can be easily played on teams if you have a larger group. It’s part Pictionary, part charades, and part wordplay. The group works together to beat the clock, which can be a great way to side-step any groups with uber competitors or sore losers.
2 – 8 players or teams, 13+
Also check out: Cranium
Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It
Bet you Know It is a twist on Trivial Pursuit which invites everyone to bet points on whether a player will answer a question correctly or not. Points can be traded for pie wedges, making it possible win the game even if they’ve got some gaps in their trivia knowledge. The game supports up to 6 players, but larger groups can be split into teams.
4 – 6 players or teams, Ages 16+
Also check out: Wits & Wagers
Roll dice. Eat brains. Win! Zombie Dice is a fast paced game that can be played with almost an unlimited number of people. Like Bananagrams, it’s another compact game that can be kept in your bag for anytime gaming.
2 – 100 players, Ages 6+
Also check out: Cthulhu dice
Cards Against Humanity
This Kickstarter-spawned game is the formalization of something we were already doing with Apples to Apples: combining nouns and adjectives in ways that show we’re really horrible people. Cards Against Humanity kicks it up a notch with words and phrases that are decidedly adult-only with cards like “German dungeon porn.”
3 or more players, ages 18+
Also check out: Apples to Apples
Ultimate Werewolf is a polished and expanded version of the game Mafia. The population tries to suss out which players are werewolves – and kill them first. Debate can get heated, which can either be a source of entertainment or stress depending on your friends, but it’s a great game to break the ice when you’re mixing social circles.
5 – 70 players, Ages 8+
Also check out: Are You the Traitor
What are some of your favorite tabletop games?