Board Games

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No avatars, no powerups: just you, some pals, and the game...

I'm a big fan of family game night (friends welcome, of course...) but sometimes you might want to get out of the house for your board game adventures:


My good friend Libba described it like this: "If Monty Python had ever designed a board game, it would have been this one."  Undoubtedly the goofiest, most madcap fun you'll have sitting around a table doing really stupid stuff.  Get it for both kids and adults.  

Like Coney Island on your Coffee Table:

My husband told me he and his brother loved their Carrom board when they were little.  I'd never heard of one, but I purchased one for a Christmas present and immediately was charmed by the old-school fun of it.  Plus it's BIG!  

Puzzling and pretty:


Don't let the simplicity of the board fool you.  This is an innovative, perplexing 3D game. (It's actual 3D, as in right in front of you!) I love the beauty and craftsmanship of Schmidt games.  If you don't have any of them, start with this one.  

Great for kids used to digital bells and whistles:

This game is as beautiful as it is fun to play.  The design is gorgeous, with old-school gameboard design and beautifully made game pieces.  Bonus for digital addicts? A well-recorded, spooky narrator who leads players through the mysterious gameplay.  This is the best of all worlds.

Improve Famous Maxims:


You really want to play this with your literary friends.  Or stand up comics.  

Magical dice for games... or maybe actual magic:


I just couldn't resist recommending my favorite set of dice.  These really are beautiful.

Old game resurrected in the 80s:


This is a classic capture game of skill, with pretty glass stones used as game pieces.  I wish you could still get this game in its 80s tube packaging.  (My personal set was so easy to tuck in a backpack to take camping.) Luckily, the game board still rolls up and the stones come in little velvet pouches.  This feels somehow ancient and modern.  

Like I have to suggest chess...


Of course you need a chess set.  You probably have two or three.  If not, this is a nice one.

Same goes for backgammon:

I lost my decades-old set at a picnic.  This one was a perfect replacement.  

King Me!

I had a hard time finding an authentic-feeling, old-timey set of checkers when I wanted to introduce my daughter to the legendary game.  This one is particularly nice, and would fit right in on your grandparents' front porch.

Same goes for Chinese Checkers:

This board is sturdy, with a pretty wooden board and glass marbles.

Get up and GO! 


Become an analog Go pro with this perfect easy-to-travel-with set.  This is the real deal with classic bamboo bowls and board, melamine pieces, and a great little bag to take with you to the park.  


No board game closet is complete without this on one of the shelves.  There are a bazillion versions, but I still love the original, even though Idi Amin is oddly over-represented in the History category.

A friend tried to annoy me with bird puns, but Toucan play that game...


If you cringed at the above headline, you will want nothing whatsoever to do with this game.  If you felt challenged to one-up my bad pun (perhaps I ruffled your feathers) then this is the game for you.  Guaranteed to replace Cards Against Humanity at your next party.

Fun for less wordy, more visual types:


You THINK this is a game for kids, but it's not.  Great art and silly-but-challenging gameplay make this one of my family's go-to games.  Plus, who doesn't love yelling "Pictureka!!!"?

Awaken your inner Hemingway:


If you write fiction, you'll kill at this.  If you don't, you might pick it up as a hobby.

The Mack Daddy of goofy party games:


My husband and I used this to help our daughter with grammar.  (SUUUUUUURE we did.  That was TOTALLLLY why we played this game...)

Classic to awaken your inner artist: 


Rediscover why you used to love playing Pictionary.  There is something so great about combining art and charades.

And when you want to up the ante:


Be warned: this is about as lowbrow as games can be.  

When was the last time you played this classic?

Yes, it's as fun now as you remember.  No matter what your strength -- science mind or artistic nature -- Cranium has something for you.

And on the subject of classics:
There have been a lot of iterations of this one, but I love the original.

And the same goes for this one:


I think there was a Friends-branded version of this in the 90s, but the old-school Clue is hard to improve upon.  This vintage reproduction set is particularly nice.

Scrabble like your grandma played it:

If you look in my Scrabble box at all the old score sheets, you can always see the nights where I played with my husband while drinking wine.  Hint: don't drink wine if you want to win at Scrabble.

"A Classic Game... with Two More Moves!"


Seriously, the only thing better than Twister is Twister with "two more moves!"  This is the perfect classic set.

I played this in 6th Grade:

There is something liberating about this "nostalgic edition" of Mystery Date.  Play it to thank heaven women have come as far as we have in the last half century!

Another oldie but goodie:
This is the closest version to the one I played when I was little.  Still a great game.  (Also: no wine while playing this one.  Have you no ethics, Doctor?)

Surprisingly fun, even for adults:

One of the first things my daughter ever bought with her allowance was a Mousetrap game.  It has actually turned out to be a family favorite, especially in the age of virtual.  Actual mechanical things are fun!  Even when they're made of plastic.

What's better than ordinary Boggle?
BIG BOGGLE!  Drag this one out for all your wordy friends.

"Be different to win points!"


Any game that has the above as a tagline is okay by me.  There are several versions of this, but the original is my favorite.

Point fingers and make accusations! 


Sounds like a typical holiday get-together!  Actually, this is a surprisingly fun crime-solving mystery game.  Kids and adults can both play it.

The one and only original Monopoly:


No game closet is complete without it.  Go for this retro reproduction, and awaken your inner capitalist megalomaniac!  

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